Children enter the pre-primary class joining a community of 15 children between 18 months and three years old, with a Montessori trained guide and an assistant. They will stay with those children and adults for two school years. The learning environment will evolve with them so that all of the work in the classroom is appropriate and available to them. They will develop relationships with their classmates and adult guides that will anchor them. We use sign language to help with the frustration that comes with learning to express oneself. The age is all about “do it myself!” and we give them every opportunity, no matter how long it takes, because we are in process with them. Independence leads directly to a sense of self-competency. Over the course of their pre-primary years, they learn to feed themselves, choose work and put it away, to roll a floor mat, to clean up after themselves, to dress/undress and to use the toilet. The environment is rich in language with objects to talk about. Practical Life skills are developed with pouring, scrubbing, spooning and polishing. Puzzles and Montessori materials explore spatial relationships. Children who are ready for the challenge learn letter sounds and work with numbers. Activities are independent and child-initiated after a short lesson by the guide. When potty training is mastered, children are moved into a Primary classroom.
This year, we are offering a Transitional Pre-Primary Program which houses our older Pre-Primary children and focuses on learning to use the toilet.