The Montessori Classroom is referred to as the “Prepared Environment”. This environment is specially arranged so that the child is free to choose his/her work and repeat the chosen exercise as often as s/he wishes. It also helps the child to perfect all his natural tools for learning so that his/her ability will be at a maximum in future learning situations. The habits and skills, which children develop in a Montessori class, are good for a lifetime. They prepare him/her for future learning and help him/her to work more efficiently, to observe more intelligently and to concentrate more effectively no matter where s/he goes.
The following are some of the Montessori principles that are applied to Crèche Cois Laoi’s pre-school programme:
- The prepared environment – there is physical, intellectual and social freedom. Everything is child sized and all the activities are within reach to allow for free choice.
- Structure and order – the classroom is ordered and well planned. The curriculum and teaching materials are carefully selected and presented to the children. This provides a structure for their learning.
- Simplicity and aesthetic awareness – the classroom, which is a designated room in the crèche, is not overcrowded or over-stimulating with attention being paid to the development of aesthetic awareness, which means that the child’s surroundings should be beautiful, pleasantly decorated and colourful so that the child absorbs the beauty of the objects with which he is surrounded.
- Nature and reality – There is emphasis on bringing about awareness of the real world and the children are encouraged to understand and respect the natural world around them.
- Intellectual materials – the Montessori materials, cover the developmental activities designed to meet the needs of children