During this period toddlers develop different functions related to movement and intellect, each at first separately and then in combination. This phase is also termed the “unconscious creator”, in which children absorb the environment around them and construct their reality.
This introductory class of maximum 15 children is run by a directress and her assistant. In a nurturing, caring environment children are introduced to the rules of the classroom and playground. The development of relationship skills is very important: getting on with self and others, learning to accept boundaries, to respect the rights of others and to stand up for one’s own rights – all these skills form a large part of the programme. Emphasis is also placed on developing language skills and encouraging independence.
The daily programme:
The programme includes: morning ring, followed by activities involving colours, shapes, numbers and letters. A forty minute work cycle on life skills includes each child’s choice and use of Montessori sensorial equipment. The programme continues with games, songs, rhymes and art activity. A period is allocated to free play, story time, lunch and sleep. Toilet training takes place throughout the day. Children are free to go home from 2:00pm onwards.
Knysna Montessori School offers aftercare for children in both the pre-school and Primary school. This takes the form of supervised play in the safe and secure environment of the preschool/school. A drink and healthy snack are available for every child remaining in aftercare.