Headstart School’s Montessori programme was established in 1991. Over the past twenty three years, the School’s reputation for excellence in early childhood education has been cemented through its longstanding practice of developing curriculum based on quality classroom teaching and the programme’s experience of working with young children.
The Montessori programme curriculum focuses on early childhood development, and individual character building. The school’s trained staff instructs students in activity-based learning in an environment which is highly inclusive, social, loving, and safe. Children are given the freedom to choose from a variety of school-approved activities which are designed to make learning fun and engaging.
At such a young age, a child’s cognitive abilities are developed through experience-based activities, as opposed to class room teaching. Headstart School’s Montessori programme engages children in simple activities, such as learning the phonetic sounds of letters and solving puzzles to activities designed to improve their motor and cognitive skills. The programme primarily teaches children to take their first steps into practical life.
The programme is developed around the concept of Activity-Based Classrooms. An average class size comprises of 24 students, with a student-to-teacher ratio of 10-to-1. Every class is supervised by up to three teachers to ensure all children are individually supervised and evaluated.
Every child in the programme learns at his or her own pace, so in a class of 24, each child could quite possibly be at a different stage of learning. The program does this to allow children to develop their own unique set of skills. Every child is different, and at such a young age, learning comes faster to some than others. Teachers set goals for achievable levels of Academic skills, such as reading and writing for a particular age group. By the end of the year, teachers ensure the students in their care have reached these acceptable levels.
Teachers also carefully evaluate the progress individual children are making relative to their class. It helps identify any learning differences a child may exhibit in the early stages of their development. Parents and teachers can use this invaluable information for timely intervention and perhaps avoid a greater issue further on in the child’s life.
Teachers in grades Playgroup and Montessori I and II, spend an hour evaluating the students under their care each day. This hour is spent identifying the child’s progress and identifying and developing his or her unique abilities. Overall, class timings are divided into collective teaching time, circle time, lunch time, play time, story time and reading time.
All classes are mixed ability classes and within each, students work collectively, in groups, and individually.