The Montessori movement takes its name from its founder, Dr Maria Montessori who began the first Casa dei Bambini or Children’s House in Rome in 1907.
Today, Montessori is the single largest educational philosophy in the world with 22,000 Montessori schools in more than 100 countries on six continents.
Montessori education is firmly based on respect for and understanding of the child. At Wairarapa Montessori Preschool, we create an environment that fosters a love of learning. We believe in enhancing freedom with responsibility, valuing creativity and appreciating individuality.
We aim to nurture the human spirit by respecting one’s self, others and the environment through connection, communication and collaboration. Our principals include educating for peace by embracing diversity, celebrating the joy of discovery and practicing honesty and humility.
For 110 years Montessori methods have transformed education around the world. Wairarapa Montessori began 21 years ago and has continued to flourish due to exceptional support from parents of preschool and primary children.
After finishing preschool, children can continue Montessori primary education at South End School in Carterton. Masterton children can use a school bus to and from South End School.
Four classrooms at South End School cater for approximately 70 children with four teachers and offer a continuation of Montessori education for ages 5 to 12 years. You are welcome to observe the primary classrooms. Please telephone South End School on 06 379 4000 to make an appointment.
From two ex Wairarapa Montessori students (who are now young adults): "It really sets you up for the rest of your life." and "A Montessori education in your younger years really gives you confidence and independence as a person in your own right."
At Wairarapa Montessori preschool we aim to create conditions at that give children a sense of joy, a sense of celebration, and a sense that they are part of something bigger than themselves, without taking away their sense of personal empowerment and personal responsibility. Our intention is to inspire in them a sense of awe and wonder.
Our curriculum features five key areas:
Maths – Geometry
Mathematics and geometry start in the sensorial area with children learning the subtle gradations in size, length and weight. They also explore solid and plane geometry shapes.
Their vocabulary expands as they revel in the wonderful sounding names of the ovoid, ellipse, sphere and parallelogram! Progressing through the maths materials, they build a concrete understanding of quantity, the decimal system and they begin basic operations.
Sensorial – Art
These materials isolate and refine the senses. Children work with size, colour, sound, weight, textures and shapes. Sensorial work enriches language, leads into mathematics and connects to art & crafts.
Science – Geography
Puzzle maps, globes, pictures and classification games teach the child about the world, our place in it and respect for other cultures.
Practical life develops responsibility for the environment, self-responsibility, and respect for the community. These activities help the children from their first days to become independent, responsible and creative individuals, and to become part of the learning community.
The children work at real-life activities such as such as scrubbing, polishing, washing, cooking, sewing and food preparation. These activities give them the skills to care for themselves and the environment, as well is developing concentration and coordination.
Reading – Language – Music
The Montessori language materials provide a strong foundation in phonics, build vocabulary and develop handwriting skills. When the children are ready, they learn to read and write as naturally as they learn to speak and draw. Music is woven into the daily life of the classroom and into community celebrations.