Program Outline

Program Outline
The Northwest Montessori Preschool Program is available as a 2 or 3 year program, 5 days per week for children aged 3- 6.
The program is available in in 3 formats:
Montessori Cycle 1 – Three Year Option (also known as Full Cycle 1)
This is the Montessori Cycle 1 Program, delivered over 15-27 hours per week over 3 years.
This option tends to suit children who will be going to Primary School at age 6.
Montessori Cycle 1 – Two Year Option
This is the Montessori Cycle 1 Program, delivered over 15-27 hours per week over 2 years.
This option tends to suit children who will be going to Primary School at age 5.
Montessori Long Day Care
This program is identical to the Cycle 1 Program only that it is available for more hours and eligible families can claim up to 50% rebate on fees.* This option suits families who need flexibility with drop off and pick up times.
Beginning the Montessori Cycle 1 Program
The children will commence their time at the Preschool with a staggered intake. They will be attending all five morning sessions, usually after their first four weeks of attendance in their first year.
Children generally commence in the afternoon for the Extended Day program between the ages of four and five. They must have satisfied the indicators of ‘readiness’ and will begin with two afternoon sessions, building up to participating in the full program and staying until 3.00pm at the Coburg Campus and 2.30pm at the Essendon Campus from Monday to Thursday. Attendance is based upon the Directress’ knowledge of what is in the best interests of each child.
Why Five Days a Week?
In the Montessori approach to education, consistency is extremely important in developing the child’s sense of order and responsibility.
The International Montessori Council recently commented on why attending Montessori school a full 5 days per week is so important. We think their answer is worth noting:
“Often we are asked why, Montessori schools almost always ask children from age three to attend five-days a week. The answer is that young children thrive on consistency, and only regular attendance provide both the continuity that they need and helps to create the culture of empowerment and order that defines a true community of children.
“Children who come one day, miss the next, and then come again, commonly find it much more difficult to adapt to the class routine than children who attend five-days a week. For them, and for the others in the same class, the benefits of a Montessori program are reduced.
“As the months go by, the difference between the children whose attendance is consistent and those who come for two or three days a week becomes more pronounced. Full-time students normally make much more progress academically and socially in comparison with those children who attend a few days a week.
“While we recognise parents’ right to make such choices, the collective experience of excellent Montessori schools around the world leads us to recommend that Montessori schools offer only five-day programs from age three and beyond.”
Why a Three Year Commitment?
A three year commitment to Northwest Montessori Preschool is strongly encouraged to fully benefit from the program. The Cycle 1 program is designed as a three-year cycle. Much of the material and exercises in the first year or two not only help the child achieve a direct, immediate goal (such as dressing and cleaning after themselves, or learning the sounds of each letter of the alphabet), but also serve an indirect purpose of laying the foundation for future work and learning. For example, the math material is a series of exercises that guides the child starting with the most concrete and basic introduction to numbers and quantity. Over the following three years the lessons build upon themselves, adding layers of abstractness and an increasing understanding of mathematical concepts, until the child is eventually able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide — with a deeply ingrained understanding of what those operations mean — using only pencil, paper, and his or her head.
There is also a social component. The mixed-age grouping is not accidental. Each child benefits from being exposed to those who are older, and younger, than they are. The younger children have role models to look up to from the very first day of class. They quickly learn how to behave and what is acceptable from watching the older children. They also see the older children working on the more advanced material, which piques their interest and curiosity. The older children, in turn, benefit from being mentors to the younger ones. One of the best ways to internalise knowledge is to explain it to others, and often an older child will help teach certain concepts to a younger child. The oldest children in the classroom naturally take on a position of leadership, which has been modelled for them by the children before them. This opportunity to lead can be a huge pay-off for many children and helps them build confidence and self-esteem.
Is the Montessori Long Day Care option the same as the Montessori Cycle 1 Program?
Yes! We understand that the hours of the Montessori Cycle 1 Program may not suit all families which is why we introduced the Montessori Cycle 1 Long Day Care Program. The program is identical with the exception that the children can attend for up to 50 hours per week from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm & that eligible families can claim up to 50% of the cost. It provides families more flexibility with drop off and pick up times and gives the children more time in the Montessori environment.
1st Year Students
Children from the Age of 3 attend 15 hours per week in their first year, every morning from 9.00am to 12.00pm at the Coburg campus or 8.30am to 11.30am at the Essendon campus.
2nd Year Students
When the child turns 4 years of age they are eligible to attend for 21 hours per week.*
The additional hours are spread over two days. We call this ‘Extended Day’ which gives the children the opportunity to take part in longer concentration periods with more advanced curriculum.
This is available from 8.30am to 2.30pm at the Essendon Campus or 9.00am to 3.00pm at the Coburg Campus.
3rd Year Students
When the child turns 5 years of age, they are eligible to attend 27 hours per week.*
The additional hours are spread over four days. The additional hours allow the children to work with more advanced materials with a strong focus on school readiness It also provides them with an opportunity to practice their leadership skills with the 1st & 2nd year students.
In order to maximise the benefit your child will get from the program we strongly recommend a 3 year commitment.
Program Goals
To provide an environment which:
• Allows the child to follow his/her own interest, (as appropriate).
• Allows the child to repeat an activity until he/she feels fulfilled.
• Allows the child to develop at his/her own pace.
• Fosters all elements of development (physical – gross/fine motor, social, emotional, language and cognitive)
• Encourages children to take responsibility for themselves.
• Encourages children to take responsibility for the environment.
• Encourages children to take responsibility for others.
In general the child’s level of participation in the program will dictate the goals for each individual child.
1st Year Children
• Orient to the environment.
• Introduction to the initial materials and activities.
• Develop and foster concentration and perseverance.
• Develop and foster an awareness of others in the environment.
2nd Year Children
• Develop and foster concentration and perseverance.
• Develop and foster an increased role in positive interactions and support other children in the classroom.
• Introduction to the more advanced materials and activities, focusing on repetition and the introduction of extensions to known work.
3rd Year Children
• Continue to foster concentration and perseverance.
• Introduction to leading small groups.
• Mastery of extension activities.
• Strong focus on school readiness.
Program Planning
Program planning is completed on two levels: for the individual child and for the group in general.
For the Individual Child
• On a regular basis the staff plan age/developmentally appropriate activities for the child based on observations of the child’s interests and abilities.
Plan Format
• Activities to be presented and experiences offered to the child as staff observe his/her readiness.
• Activities for the child to work on; this is redirection back to already presented activities. Repetition is a crucial element in the learning process; consequently this area is very important.
• Observations; this is the recording of spontaneous activity, covering all developmental areas.
Individual Records of the Children’s Progress
The Montessori philosophy offers an environment where the spontaneous activity of the child allows for his/her developmental needs to be fulfilled. Therefore under the guidance of the teachers the child is encouraged to follow his/her interests, to repeat activities and therefore be true to their developmental needs.
Individual work activities are chosen by the child. The teachers give direction when needed and present new activities to the child when he/she show an interest and if they are developmentally ready for it.
For the Group in General
Each fortnight the teachers plan group experiences that we feel will be of interest to the children and topics in which the children have shown interest. Given the broad age range in the class these groups are offered as short experiences with the opportunity for the children to participate at their own level.
The group program plan is only for the group time throughout the session. The rest of the session is devoted to individual work done by the children and carefully recorded and monitored by the teachers.
Through participation in the program, we endeavour above all to develop traits such as independence, concentration, persistence, a love of order, and a love of learning and self-confidence. When a child has achieved a goal that has been set by himself, the joy confidence and satisfaction it brings is invaluable

Copyright 2017 Northwest Montessori Preschool