Toddlers ( 2 - 3 years)
Essentially a Toddler’s Class is a happy space, a space that provides a carefully planned, stimulating environment which helps the child to develop an excellent foundation for creative learning.
Questions that often arise from parents not yet versed in the Montessori system include:
If you look at any natural social grouping in life you will find mixed ages, genders, cultures – the more mixed the richer the environment.
By grouping the children in a three-year age brackets (18m – 3 years, 3-6 years, 6-9 years, 9-12 years etc.), all sense of competition amongst the children is removed as each child works at his or her own pace. Slow learners are never left behind and so are not left feeling isolated from the rest of the class.
The children learn to communicate and socialize with other children of all ages at all levels. The younger child easily learns from the older more capable child in the environment, whilst the older child in so doing becomes more responsible and develops tolerance and nurturing for the younger child. There are many things, which no teacher can convey to a child of three, but a child of five can do it with ease!
The principle of Mixed Age Groups is central to the Montessori pedagogy and runs throughout all environments.
Whilst Dr. Maria Montessori advocated giving the children certain measures of freedom within which to function – it is very clear that this freedom is ‘within limits’. Every school has a set of rules and regulations that are at one with the norm of society and these rules may not be broken without consequence.
Misdemeanors are treated with love and understanding, usually with re-directing the activity or asking the child to work closely with the directress so that subsequent behavior can be observed. This usually does the trick – but if not, the “time-out” method may be used. The child is never labeled as ‘naughty’ and still remains feeling loved and part of the environment. The amount of time a child usually sits “out” is 1 minute for every year of age – i.e. a 4 year old will sit for four minutes or less before being approached by the teacher.
Children younger than 3 years old are rarely fully potty trained so No, your child does not need to be reliabily potty trained to be in the Toddler’s group. Usually, once your 2 year old sees friends using the little toilets in the Toddler’s environment they will develop a curiosity to do the same and a whole regimen will then follow and together with you your toddler will be wearing undies in no time.
One of the signs of readiness to move to the preschool 3-6 environment is that ‘accidents’ rarely happen and that your child will be able to go to the toilet unaided and without prompting.
Once the curiosity is there that time will naturally develop – all we have to do is to allow it to unfold without fuss.
In a Toddler’s Environment four main developmental areas are supported.
- The need for order
- The development of language and communication
- The refinement of movement
The work of the teacher is thus to plan, provide and facilitate these areas of growth.
Toddlers School Hours & Daily Program
Toddlers and Twos Group
Mon - Fri 08h30 till 12h30 (Dropoff from 07:00 - Aftercare until 17:00)
An example of a typical day in the Toddlers Group (18 months to 3 years):
07:00 – 08:30 Arrival
Give each child individual attention and breakfast if parent requests. Early arrivals play with older children, build puzzles, page through books, and build large Lego or other playful activities inside and outside, all activities on the shelves, lessons in grace and courtesy.
08:30 - 09:30
- Change nappies or clothes if necessary.
- Music and movement.
- Play all activities on the shelves including building blocks, big Lego, puzzles.
- Creative activities such as painting, drawing, tearing, and pasting.
09:30 – 09:45 Snack
09:45 – 10:45 Outdoor play
10:45 – 11:00 Wash hands and toilet / Nappy check
11:00 – 11:30 Language activities: look through books, songs, rhymes, conversation
11:30 – 11:45 Wash hands and toilet / Nappy check
11:50 – 12:00 Lunch
12:00 – 12:30 Look through books or story or prepare for nap
12:30 Half-day children go home
12:30 – 14:30 Rest/sleep. Children who wake early, play restfully, indoors with Lego, blocks and puzzles
14:30 – 14:45 Toilet/change nappies
14:45 – 15:00 Snack
15:00 – 17:00 Outdoor play and gross motor activities until parents arrive
Toddlers Extramural Activities
The Montessori curriculum covers aspects such as Art, Music, Movement, etc. and children may model with play dough whenever they want, however our Montessori trained and qualified teachers seldom have special skills in these subject areas. To afford our children every best experience of specialist skills, extracurricular activities are offered at a fee extra to the normal school fees.
Inside School Hours:
The afterschool programme operates from 12:30 to 17:00 with several children leaving at 15:00. The latest collection is at 17:00.
Aftercare is staffed by 5 staff members until 15:00. There are 3 staff members on duty until 15:30 and then 2 staff members on duty until 17:00.
There is a separate charge for after school care up until 15:00 and an additional charge up until 17:00.
THE FINE FOR COLLECTION AFTER 17:00 IS SEVERE
A holiday school programme is run by the teachers during part of most school holiday periods for the Toddlers and Pre-School children only.
Details are posted prior to the end of each school term.
The cost for Holiday Club attendance is extra to the normal school fees.