Dr Maria Montessori, a physician and educator, believed that children learn best through doing and practising rather than listening and remembering.
She believed that being active, using their hands and being interested in the resources they are using is the most effective way for children to learn.
“The education of a small child does not aim at preparing them for school but for life.”
“The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say ‘the children are now working as if I did not exist'.”
At Stratford Prep, our aim is to facilitate their learning so that it becomes an exciting process of discovery and generates that vital spark of curiousity and imagination. A Montessori education means that a child learns to take charge of their learning but with the guidance and oversight of their teacher. It is freedom with responsibility. Their learning is deeper; it is a learning for life.
Choice with limits
Our Nursery is a warm and happy place. It forms a key part of our Early Years building, which has large, light classrooms and where everything is designed with children in mind.
Being Proudly Academic, our fundamental aim is to ensure our pupils have the basic foundations to love and lead their learning.
In our Nursery, children are motivated to learn and they know how to learn, how to solve problems and how to work with others - in other words, they learn the life skills that will serve them through the rest of their education and beyond.
We use our Montessori-designed teaching and learning resources to build in our youngest children a real understanding of the building blocks of education.
As a Proudly Traditional school, these include maths, languages, cultural studies, music and elementary French. Ballet, led by a specialist visiting instructor, is another regular part of the curriculum.
The children also have their own outdoor classroom and use the sports field, the playground and the soft-play equipment in the gym.
While the government's Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum is similar to that of Montessori, its focus is on teaching as a class or in small groups compared to focusing on supporting the individual child.
We know that not all children learn and thrive in the same way. The joy of Stratford Prep being Proudly Small is that we can make use of the best of both disciplines depending on the needs of the individual child. Ultimately we want to ensure that the children in our Nursery start their Reception year not only well prepared for this crucial next step but also working above the national average.