We offer a three-year program for children from 3 to 6 years of age. All children attend 5 days per week. For the first two years children attend half days, 8.30am to 12.00pm with the option to enrol in the afternoon program from 12pm to 2.30pm. The 3 and 4 year olds’ afternoon program is booked termly in advance, children typically stay for 1-2 afternoons per week and are invited to join the afternoon program when deemed ready by the Directress. In the third year (the Kindergarten program) children attend five full days per week from 8.30am to 2.30pm. Lindfield Montessori operates for four terms per year.
A Montessori 3-6 year environment is created to match the developing needs of the children as they pass through this rapid period of amazing self-construction focusing on hands-on learning in both individual and small group lessons. The Montessori curriculum is designed to support social, creative, language, mathematical and physical development while fostering individual interests through science, geography, biology and more. Every material in a Montessori classroom supports an aspect of child development complimenting the child’s innate interests. Children can learn through their own experience and at their own pace.
Staff and parents at Lindfield Montessori recognise each child as an individual learner, with a complex mix of abilities and prior experiences. Curriculum planning is centred on the individual needs of the child. The mixed age group offers many benefits for the child; children inspire each other, older children teach younger children, reinforcing learning. The younger children are in admiration of their older peers and may occasionally teach the older children too. The children in our Kindergarten program benefit from the unique opportunity to be leaders in their school, which builds independence and confidence. The diversity of abilities in the classroom supports unique contributions, which is invaluable for the development of self-assurance.
During the three-year journey at Lindfield Montessori each child has the opportunity to thrive in the areas of creativity, independence, focus, perseverance, imagination, emotional intelligence and above all a love of learning. These qualities are achieved through a supportive program that strives to maintain learning based around the child’s interest and needs. We, in collaboration with parents, recognise that each child's interests and needs change as they develop, we endeavour to adapt our approach to their ever-changing needs.
In the first six years of life children absorb everything from their environment without effort. Maria Montessori referred to this phase as the period of the Absorbent Mind. Around the age of 3 years the child explores their world through their senses. The Montessori environment provides the precious tools and the child has the autonomy to use them without adult judgement or time limits. The materials are didactic; the child can observe their own errors and take time to self-correct. The sensorial materials offer the child a hands-on approach that maintains interest and includes an indirect preparation for Maths, Language, Creative arts, Geography and Science in addition to an increasing capacity for a strong imagination, and confidence in their own learning ability.
In this stage children have a strong desire for movement. They are introduced to practical life skills, which involve elements of movement. Some examples include, watering the garden, pouring from a jug, polishing metal or wood, washing windows and tables.
The environment is ordered; the child feels safe and secure in this predictable environment and as a result trusting relationships emerge. This comfort allows the child to transition into the new environment, away from the security of their family, with ease. They are free to begin their learning journey and develop a lifetime love for learning.
The second year is a time of tremendous growth, the child is developing self-esteem and they are proudly independent. The child in the second year is beginning to refine their movement, becoming more efficient and graceful. They are making decisions that effect them and are strongly encouraged to do so. They are forming strong social relationships and beginning to love working with their close friends and in small groups.
All the preparatory work from the first year is coming together to form a strong knowledge base. They are emerging writers and readers, they have mathematical minds and are interested in almost everything; their desire to gain knowledge is strong. The child in his second year continues to enjoy hands on experiences and so is introduced to Mathematics and Language using concrete materials.
In the second year most children choose to attend the 4 year old afternoon program for between 2-5 afternoons a week, from 12.00pm to 2.30pm. The afternoon program is an opportunity to build on their learning experience, with time spent on project based and small group learning. The children work towards being prepared for the Kindergarten level work in the third year.
Lindfield Montessori Kindergarten program operates in conjunction with the NSW Board of Studies. Our specialised program combines both the NSW Primary syllabus with the Montessori program to enhance outcomes for children in all the key learning areas including, Mathematics, English, Science and Technology, Creative Arts, HSIE (Geography and History) and PDHPE.
The child now consolidates their knowledge gained from the first two years applying a high level of critical thinking. They are emerging abstract learners; their imagination is beginning to shape from their past experiences and they use creative thinking and problem solving instinctively. We encourage Kindergarten children to work independently and with their peers.
Morning sessions continue to include the Montessori work cycle. The children work independently or in pairs. They engage in the key learning areas from the NSW Board of Studies using the Montessori materials.
The afternoon group sessions may involve a project style approach. Collaboratively the children decide on the topic or have an inquiry, set goals and combine their skills to research and evolve their ideas. They are given the autonomy to negotiate their roles and responsibilities. The lessons typically integrate two or more subjects, deepening their understanding of the topic and making learning more enjoyable.
As the child transitions into the Kindergarten year they are proud to be the leaders of the school. Their confidence grows and their knowledge is consolidated as they take on the role of teaching younger children, explaining concepts and sharing ideas. The child in their third year is driven by the benevolence of others; they are caring and have a strong awareness of friendships. We encourage this independence and continue to support and guide the child in preparation for the transition to school.