Morning ring time consists of walking the line, naming the different flags of the world, setting the calendars and overall discussion time is held between the children and the directress.
The children then move onto directing themselves around the environment choosing work to do. The directresses will present new activities to the children on a one to one basis.
Purple line – 2-3 year olds
Our purple line consists of 2-3 year olds (an absolute delightful age). We do suggest the under threes attend school from 8h45 until 12h00, however, if these times are not convenient then the full day programme is available to parents.
Sleep time is optional, however, any under four year olds staying at school for the full day should have a midday nap.
Our music teacher holds a superb concert towards the middle of every year for the whole school. The themes of the concert change from year to year.
Year-End School Leavers Concert
At the end of each year our school leavers enthral the parents with a nativity scene based mainly on the birth of Christ but incorporating the traditions of all religions during this time of year.
This day usually falls on our first day back at school for the last term. Children come to school wearing a colourful sometimes decorated spring hat and we all get to plant seedlings.
The school is equipped with a piano and wide range of musical instruments to add to the splendour of music time which takes place on a Tuesday and Thursday morning.
We send out a full report book consisting of each teacher’s evaluation on your children’s development over the year. Each teacher is responsible for her own area and she will give you a full insight into what your child has learned and any areas of concerns will be addressed in the report. These reports go out in October/November of each year.
One on One Parent-Teacher Talks
During the second term we hold one on one parent/teacher talks to answer any questions and to give the parents an overall outline of their child’s progress.
Each term the staff get together to discuss the show options for the term and we usually choose a couple of performances where the children are enlightened by the gift of the arts. The Arts is an integral part of a young child’s formative schooling as it aids in creating a taste for music, acting, and the cultures.
The school offers extra mural activities throughout the year.
Below are the contact details of the extra mural teachers should you need to be in contact with them. Banking details for all extra murals can be found on the Forms/Info Page of this website.
Karen Del Castello
The child: A Sensory Explorer
I, Antoinette van Zyl, have the privilege of being the ‘sensorial directress at MMS this year. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you wish to discuss your child’s progress or simply to find out a little more about my area.
Below, I have outlined the importance of this area to familiarize you with what sensorial stands for and why it is so beneficial in our everyday learning.
Maria Montessori believed that our senses are developed long before our intellect is. In order for our intellect to develop we need to stimulate and refine the five senses. The ‘sensorial’ environment is important because it focuses on the stimulation of the senses through play. Cognitive learning is reliant on the five senses and this relationship between learning and the senses is relevant in the development of the child during their formative years.
It is also in this area that ‘language and mathematic’ concepts are first introduced and internalised. Children are particularly receptive to developing their senses from ages 2 to 6 and hence, it is important to allow children at this sensitive phase of learning to encounter as many sensorial experiences as possible through play.
The ‘sensorial’ exercises are categorized on the shelves as follows:-
Visual, Tactile, Baric, Thermic, Auditory, Olfactory, Gustatory and Stereognostic.
The primary purpose of the ‘sensorial‘materials is to help the child in his/her effort to sort out the many and varied impressions given by these senses.
Young children like to explore, experiment and tinker with the different pieces of equipment within my area as they have an insatiable appetite for constructive learning. Maria Montessori designed her ‘sensorial’ curriculum area considering all the above facts. She stated that ‘It is necessary to begin the education of the senses in the formative periods, if we wish to perfect this sense development with the education to be followed.” The education of the senses should start from infancy and continue through his/her entire formative education period to prepare them for future cognitive learning.
A normalized child was handed the keys to information from an early age so that this information peaked his curiosity to learn more out of his own interest!
Music and Movement
Fine Motor and Arts & Crafts
Geography: I first introduce the children to the sandpaper globe, in order to show them that the world is made up of land and water. The land part is made up of sandpaper, which makes it easy for the children to feel and understand where people can live. To reinforce this, the next exercise consists of three small jars, each containing either sand (signifying land), water or air (invisible but everywhere). Next they learn the names of the different continents and oceans, as well as capital cities, landmarks, volcanoes, imaginary lines (the equator, the tropic of cancer and the tropic of capricorn), biggest mountains, deepest oceans, and anything else to simplify the world we live in. We look at the structure of the earth and pictures of the inside of our planet for easier understanding of earth quakes and volcanic eruptions. During Geography class each day, the children are made aware of the fact that people live on all the continents except for Antarctica (they go there for work only), that people look different and have different cultures depending on where they live. The children gain a good general knowledge which helps them understand the world of adults better.
Zoology: This subject teaches the children to respect and take care of animals. By using simple puzzles and cards, the children learn about the different parts of animals. I use cards and models to show them the lifecycles of different animals. I also use cards and books to teach them the names of different kinds of animals, the food they eat, their footprints and their respective habitats. There are also plastic models of different animals as well as some animal remains (sea urchins, snake skins, shells, shark’s purses, and cow and wildebeest bones) to spark the children’s interest and make learning more concrete. Children take turns catching bugs in the garden, which we then discuss as a group. The idea is not to hurt the bugs and not to touch them with their bare hands either. Instead, different tools are used to catch certain bugs, such as nets to catch grasshoppers, jars to catch spiders, tweezers to lift either grasshoppers or spiders. The animals are then released back into the garden after the children have had time to study them.
Botany: Like geography above, botany teaches the children to take care of living things, in this case plants. Puzzles, cards and books are used to teach the children about different plants. We also study other topics such as seed dispersal, the importance of the sun as well as whether or not something is living or non-living. We have a pot plant in the classroom and every day a child is asked to water it if necessary. We will be starting a herb and vegetable garden just before winter to enable the children to witness the germination of plants.
Science: Science experiments are very exciting for the children as they enable them to understand how things work. If children see that a magnet attracts certain objects and they are told that the earth is a magnet, it makes it easier for them to understand how we can stand almost upside down at the bottom of Africa without falling off! It makes a very abstract concept easier to understand.
History: Every day we go through the days of the week, the months of the year, the day in the month, the year, the weather and the seasons. This is important as children do not have a good sense of time. If they say something happened yesterday, it could have happened last week or last year. History helps them put order into their days. The children learn about the history of the universe and more modern time periods like ancient Egypt or the middle ages. They learn that people at different times lived differently to how they live now. They know that there was a time long ago when the earth consisted of one maybe two contents and not seven as today. This helps children understand that things change over time.
Art and Music: These are important as they teach children to appreciate the beautiful things in life.
The cards in the zoology, botany and geography sections also introduce the children to different sight words, which helps them with reading. We work in our cultural books, where the children are asked to colour in pictures, trace and write words in order to reinforce what they have been taught in class. It is impossible to mention everything the children can learn in these different sections but I have mentioned as much as possible. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me.
Chess, Puzzle Building and Board Games