The Acorn Montessori School has been established since 1994 and is designed for children from approximately
2 years 6 months to 5 years. The school is run on a 1:4 qualified teacher/child ratio by a team dedicated to their work and with a genuine love of children.
We believe we can offer you as parents the best possible start for your children, which will stand them in excellent stead for their educational years ahead.
Doctor Maria Montessori formulated a philosophy and method of education for children which has received worldwide acclaim and recognition. Her method is based on extensive knowledge of child psychology and careful observations of children at play. Her studies provided evidence that young children have an infinite capacity to absorb information from the world around them and the time when they are most receptive is during the critical pre-school period.
At Acorn, we aim to help the children to work, play, co-operate with others and function in a group beyond the family. The children's personal, social, moral and spiritual development will be nurtured with emphasis on developing personal values and gaining an understanding of themselves and others.
Young children, particularly from the age of three when body movements are more co-ordinated and physical independence is developing are actively engaged in exploring their immediate surroundings. It is through this process that the child can absorb a range of information, largely through the use of the senses; particularly that of touch.
The essence of the Montessori method is to harness the child's natural energy through constructive activities called "work" rather than "play" as it is purposeful and stimulates intellectual development. The Montessori classroom is the child's prepared environment. It is at all times attractive and provides ideal opportunities for learning new skills by the use of specially developed materials. The classroom is divided into specific learning areas, each with its own special equipment, offering the child a wide variety of activities, preparing the child holistically for their future.
From day one it is our primary aim to encourage and nurture your child's social skills and to meet their emotional needs, so that they are able to positively integrate into the social life of the school and beyond. Our high 1:4 qualified teacher/child ratio benefits each child's development with much one to one individual teaching.
The practical life exercises are fundamental in developing the child's natural drive towards increased independence and build on developing fine motor skills which help in the preparation for writing. Tasks such as pouring, transferring, polishing, washing, cleaning, folding, and sorting are available using real life tools and ingredients. Together with a full range of dressing frames such as buttons, buckles, zips and bows, the practical life tasks help the children in their quest for independence.
This is a crafted range of sensorial materials, attractively presented and designed to enhance the child's natural ability through exercises in contrasting, discriminating, pairing, seriating and grading. Your child will develop a real knowledge of shape and size, volume, sounds, touch and colour. All these exercises prepare a solid foundation for the intellectual activities involved in the proceeding mathematics and language activities.
Your child will have the opportunity to experience a range of specific materials, designed to provide concrete examination of abstract mathematical concepts. Each mathematical concept is taught firstly in a practical sense. For example, the child can hold the quantity in his or her hands, or see it in front of them, and then learn the abstract symbol and finally relate them both together. The Montessori maths equipment helps to reinforce the quantities and symbols from one to ten, together with circle time mental arithmetic exercises, songs and games. We then move on to eleven to nineteen, counting in tens, addition and subtraction. As with all new concepts taught at Acorn, the child progresses at their own pace, with enjoyment and without pressure.
We hold group circle twice daily, involving discussions, singing, games, topics and stories. The sessions are invaluable in building the child's concentration and confidence. They teach the child to listen, take turns, and respond when appropriate, using good sentence construction. The child will develop interest in a variety of factual and story books and learn how to handle books carefully.
The alphabet is taught phonetically at first by tracing sandpaper letters with their fingers and exploring the subtle differences in the shape of the letters. Working alongside the sandpaper letters, at Acorn, we have our own unique teaching tool, Elephonics. This involves several methods to suit all children and we have had great success with this over the years.
Pencil control is a high priority, with plenty of opportunity for each child to practice pencil skills. By the time they leave our school, many children will be reading and writing to a particularity advanced standard. We have a variety of reading schemes in the classroom for our children to experience. We also have a well stocked library within the classroom, and the children are free to use this at any time.
We do have a view that until your child is really confident with their twenty six letter sounds, we do not start our reading programme with them. Reading readiness is a really important stage to get right. Introducing reading to your child too soon may result in them not have a positive start to their reading life. Of course, reading books together with your children at any age will only benefit them and will foster a love of books which is reinforced at school.
Young children have a natural curiosity for all living things, including their world around them. We focus on developing the children's knowledge and understanding of their environment, together with other cultures and features of the natural and man made world. This provides a foundation for historical, geographical, scientific and technological learning.
We encourage their natural curiosity, and a caring and considerate attitude is fostered. Our extensive school garden gives the children hands on opportunities to plant, tend, observe, explore and enjoy the results of their efforts.
Areas of science are fostered through studying the weather daily, the seasons, growing plants from seeds, animal habitats, floating and sinking experiments, magnetism, and may take the form of personal project work or termly themes.
Each child at Acorn Montessori will have hands-on experiences with real life cycles, including watching chicks hatch in our classroom and then handling the chicks as they grow. Also, the life cycle of frogs, hatching butterflies from caterpillars, plus many others throughout the year.
Each year our older children will go on a school trip where we visit a farm or wildlife park, and for our younger children, the farm will come to our school for further hands-on experiences with wildlife and nature.
Children have the opportunity to use educational games and apps with the use of our school computer and iPad. This helps develop the children's ability to use a mouse, build hand/eye co-ordination and also teach them the safe use of these appliances.
The children are also able to explore how things work using the child's curiosity and problem solving skills, such as construction, use of tools such a screw drivers, unscrewing nuts and bolts, exploring different locks and keys, and experimenting with different weights using scales.
We introduce the children to French language, songs, stories and cultural awareness on Friday mornings. This heightens their awareness and understanding of another country, and gives them the opportunity to practise spoken French.
We focus on the development of the child's imagination and their ability to communicate and express ideas and feelings in a creative way. This is therefore an integral part of our curriculum and the following areas will demonstrate how the children experience this on a daily basis.
This is a combination of supervised work and the children's own imaginative ideas; free painting, drawing, chalking, tracing, cutting and sticking, all of which they proudly bring home. The children have the opportunity to experience many different art media in 2 and 3 dimension, and may work individually or as part of a group art project. We also have a sand tray, a water tray and playdough table, which we have out for the children to explore on different sessions throughout the week.
Frequent cookery sessions enable the children to experience a variety of techniques involved in cooking and preparing food. The children are supervised when using real implements and learn about the health and safety aspects working with food.
Children are free to play, invent and create role play situations and games within our Home Corner area of the classroom. This is an invaluable area that builds social development, creative and imaginative interaction. Throughout the school year, we adapt the home corner into a variety of different venues such as shops, countries and places, to link to our current themes.
Each week our children sing, play instruments, dance, mime and act out musical games to a keyboard accompaniment. We have a large hall where these activities happen and we enthusiastically encourage the children's all round appreciation of music and movement.
Parents are invited to watch the children take part in plays and concerts which foster memory, co-ordination, concentration and confidence.
Our large, safe outdoor environment, adjacent to the school building is used daily for supervised free play. The children have the choice of using balls, hoops, bikes, tunnels, slides and wooden climbing and balancing equipment.
Our structured outdoor activities include exploration of the school grounds, such as our wooded area and school garden where children experience gardening whilst growing many different herbs, vegetables and plants throughout the year. We also have the use of the large indoor hall where the children experience dance, movement and stretch, and 'Sticky Kids' sessions.
We also run a charity event each year which involves all children participating in obstacle course events that raise money for charities close to our school's heart.
We aim to develop the children's gross motor control, mobility, awareness of space and manipulative skills in both indoor and outdoor environments. We encourage positive attitudes to a healthy and active way of life, and our curriculum includes teaching our children to understand the effects of healthy eating and exercise on their bodies and the importance of this.
Each year the children participate in a variety of physical challenges during Sports Day which takes place in July. This is a very popular event for both children and parents.
If you have questions about our school, please feel free to give us a call on 01753 885448 or email Juliet on firstname.lastname@example.org
Acorn Montessori, The Youth Centre, East Common, Gerrards Cross, SL9 7AD
Monday - Friday: 9:15am - 15:15pm
Saturday - Sunday: Closed
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