HillKruin Montessori Curriculum

HillKruin Montessori School is an educational institution that caters for the intellectual, emotional, social and physical needs of the child. It is an establishment that recognizes the wider world and its needs and therefore ensures that our children are equipped to deal with the changes within and outside of our establishment.Each environment operates with a progressive structured core-curriculum as its base. The age groups are loosely defined allowing for promotion of the child,irrespective of age, as and when the child is ready. The limited group sizes are carefully designed to ensure that the individual needs of their children are catered for.

The HillKruin Montessori School curriculum has been developed to foster a child’s love of learning and to promote respect for self, others, the community and the world. Maria Montessori believed that, once the child’s basic needs of security, love, food and shelter were met, learning was a natural, inherent and spontaneous activity. The education process depends on the child, the prepared environment, the Directress/facilitator and the parent. Learners learn in different ways and at different rates. Learning is enhanced through direct hands-on experiences rather than from a textbook. Exploration is vital to sustain curiosity, choice is necessary for self-motivation, and discovery requires trial and error. The education process encourages a child to be responsible for self and the world, and, consequently, education is dramatically more than simply learning facts.

At HillKruin, each child learns to work and play with others in a peaceful, caring community. Tolerance, acceptance and encouragement are embodied within all activities. Learners develop and identify a clear sense of values and a social conscience. Everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

The Montessori curriculum is organized to present concepts and ideas appropriate to the child. Initially, lessons are introduced simply and concretely and are reinvestigated throughout future school years to increasing depth, breadth and complexity. Thus learning occurs in context. The curriculum seeks to integrate experiences across traditional subjects and to facilitate the child’s ability to locate whole-to-part perspectives, constantly identifying the individual’s place in the world.

Maria Montessori believed that there are “sensitive periods” in a child’s development, and it is the responsibility of the Directress to facilitate these learning opportunities. The curriculum also takes natural advantage of this and has the child make choices regarding the lessons of the day. There is a whole-language approach to reading, composition and literature, which immerses the child in the activity, and refinement is an ongoing process. Mathematics moves from concrete to abstract ideas and is noted for its use of high-quality hands-on, self-correcting learning materials. The child crystallizes a clear image of how Maths works and can readily understand symbolic Maths with no particular need to memorize rote Maths facts. Many Mathematics concepts are introduced at an early age (plain and solid geometry, logic, etc.), and learners enjoy the regular application of Mathematics across the daily curriculum.

Montessori also promotes early exposure to the study of the world, again within the perspective of self to world. From the toddler to elementary years, the child regularly relates self and family with earth history, with other cultural lives and histories and with all periods/time within history. Science is a normal part of the day, with attention drawn to naturally occurring experiments (such as cooking, mixing, nature studies, etc.). The scope of science includes botany, zoology, geology, astronomy, chemistry and physics.

Practical life learning is a cornerstone of Montessori Education, and all learning is attached to some functional use in the normal day. The young child duplicates adult tasks (dusting, cleaning, washing dishes, etc., with items to their physical scale), which teaches motor skills and respect for materials simultaneously. Older learners plan and buy snacks, working with budgets/money rather than just managing money math, and recognize relationships (for example, economics and government) that affect this snack purchasing.

The Directress’s primary role is a facilitator. The Directress establishes the “Prepared Environment,” which encourages, entices, challenges and rewards the curious nature of the child. Additionally, the Directress constantly assesses, challenges and reassesses the child and promotes learning within the preferred style and personality of the child. Directresses communicate and work with parents, keeping the needs and potential of the child in perspective. Parents reinforce learning, mostly by understanding and participating in the Montessori philosophy.