At this age, these youngsters are transforming into the “conscious worker”. Children become absorbed in perfecting activities they only observed during the 0 – 3 year old age group. Eighty percent of the child’s brain is developed within the first six years of life, a time which forms the foundation for later living and learning. The will of the child is developed through encouragement and praise, which in turn develops concentration. Using the sensitive period of repetition the child is encouraged to aim for perfection. Consequently, independence, self-confidence and concentration are achieved. Early education is vital.
The 3 – 6 year olds need to learn to make a clear distinction between fantasy and reality and teachers and parents alike help them in making this distinction.
Knysna Montessori School has two classes each accommodating 20 children, each with a directress and assistant. The children work with specially designed Montessori materials, which provide a concrete base to abstract understanding. Formalized learning of writing, reading and numeracy also begins during this stage. Staff continually assess each child’s progress and introduce new equipment as needed.
The daily programme:
Daily activities include: Morning ring, a two hour work cycle, which includes learning life skills, numeracy and literacy, using the Montessori equipment chosen by the child. This is followed by free-play, lunch and group activities, which include nature walks, art, crafts, baking and music lessons. The day starts at 8:30 am and children are free to go home from 2:00pm onwards.
The programme is balanced with outings to places of interest. Drama is encouraged and all children take part in the annual play, as well as celebrating festival days. The playground is designed to encourage balance, large muscle co-ordination and ball skills.
Sport and extra-mural activities:
Activities available to this group are: ballet, playball, monkeynastics, tennis and swimming (summer only).
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.