Why Montessori?

Dr Maria Montessori

Born in Italy, Dr Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was one of the most influential pioneers of Early Years education. Her ideas, which have been recognised world-wide for over a century, were way ahead of their time and have proved to be just as relevant to the children of today. Particularly her discovery that children learn more effortlessly up to the age of six than they ever will again.

She believed that every child possesses immense natural energy and that given the right situation and stimulation, they can develop skills and achievements way beyond normal expectations, regardless of challenges they may face in other areas of their lives. Dr. Montessori called this situation the ‘Prepared Environment’ where children are free to explore, following their inner 'guide'. The adults in the Prepared Environment are guides and not 'teachers' in the traditional sense.

Montessori guides understand that children in this phase of childhood display ‘Sensitive Periods’ – times when they appear to concentrate on perfecting particular skills. Some of these sensitive periods, such as the development of social skills and the acquisition of speech, may be obvious, but perhaps less obvious are times when children develop a passion for order and an interest in small objects. Maria Montessori discovered that when children are allowed freedom to make their own choices they naturally choose those activities that best serve their learning needs. By working uninterrupted, they develop superb powers of concentration – even a baby will spend a long time playing with an object that is attractive to them if not interrupted by an (often well-meaning!) adult.

We embrace the Early Years Foundation Stage framework 2014.

Montessori - at Colourbox

Let us tell you why Montessori education works so well for the children in our school.

Girl building tower of blocks

“Play is the work of the child”

Montessori recognised that young children have a need for order and regularity in their lives. At Colourbox we provide a calm and consistent atmosphere where your child can create, play, make friends and develop as an individual as well as part of a group. Our guides use thoughtful language to encourage your child to grow in confidence and to become a competent learner.

“The senses, being explorers of the world, open our way to knowledge”

We use careful observations of the children to help us to design our rooms and outdoor space to fit their needs – rich learning experiences, incorporating all the senses, are balanced by beauty and order. Every piece of equipment serves a purpose, is of appropriate size for little hands and is easily accessible to the children. In addition to the beautifully crafted Montessori materials, children use real items that they would encounter every day – e.g. glasses, cups, saucers, washing up bowls, mops, jugs of water and rice and cooking materials.

“Free choice is one of the highest of all the mental processes”

Children are unique individuals who are unlikely to have the same interests at the same time, Consequently, children are free to choose the activities they wish to work with – indoors or outdoors – and may return to them as often as they wish. If you have ever watched a young child learn to climb stairs you will understand the importance of this! We call this ‘following the child’.

“Establishing lasting peace is the work of education”

Dr. Montessori felt that education can change the World for the better and so peace and cultural studies are a key element of our Montessori school. We learn about the cultures of those children attending Colourbox as well as those of people from different parts of the World; their lifestyle, folklore and beliefs.

"We will never be able to express how much Colourbox Montessori, and especially our son's teacher, have meant to us all as a family. Thanks to your constant efforts Aidan is well prepared for school and for future learning"

Jo Ferreira

"Our daughter chooses to go to Colourbox over having a day off - giving us reassurance about the decision we made over 3 years ago when she first started. Her primary school has a huge act to follow! We will be very sad to move on but we do so knowing that Gabriella has the background to do well. Thank you Colourbox!"

Rebecca Wilson

"Having started in The Nest right through to The Ocean room we are genuinely sad to be at the end of Archie's Colourbox journey. We knew nothing about Montessori at first, but we couldn't be more thrilled with the amazing start that it has given him."

Maxine Thornhill