Cycle 1 Reception Class
The Reception classes complete the final component of the Cycle 1 program and cater for children aged 5-6 years.
Reception children are in the developmental phase Maria Montessori called the age of The Conscious Absorbent Mind. They are experiencing a period of intense physical, social and intellectual growth. Reception children commonly ask ‘What?” and this therefore directs the learning activities developed for children.
The Reception learning environment offers a gentle transition from the more home-like preschool to the primary classroom. The environment enhances the child’s ability to learn independently and the largely self-correcting Montessori materials aid their developing concentration, promote self-esteem and facilitate the strengthening of newly acquired information. During the morning work period, children are introduced to concepts which they are then able explore at their own pace.
The curriculum and methodology build on the knowledge and skills established in the Preschool. However, you will notice some differences in the Cycle 1 Reception Class. A large emphasis is placed on developing early literacy and numeracy skills and students’ learning becomes more structured as they consolidate and deepen these foundational skills.
Cycle 2 Class Years 1-3
The Cycle 2 classroom caters for children from 6-9 years of age.
Children from 6-9 years of age are in the developmental phase called the age of The Imagination. Children gained physical independence in Cycle 1 and are now looking for intellectual independence. They are curious and excited to learn everything they can during this time, commonly asking ‘Why?’. This therefore directs the learning activities presented by the teachers. Cycle 2 children have strong morals and concern for the environment. They want to be with and work with other children.
In Cycle 2 the learning environment encourages and inspires children to be attracted to and be in awe of the wonders of the world. Dr Montessori called this ‘Cosmic Education’. The curriculum is presented in an integrated manner through the Montessori ‘Great Stories’. Children in Cycle 2 are able to use their imagination to help them develop an understanding of their world.
Literacy and numeracy are fundamental skills that allow children to learn about and explore their world. Learning is presented to children in small groups. The materials on the classroom shelves provide concrete support for children to practise newly introduced concepts independently of the teacher in order to complete set tasks.
Children are supported to establish appropriate time management skills and are expected to complete all work set by the teacher. Teaching is directed at the student’s ability level and where possible takes into account their interests. Children work in both whole class groups and small groups. To maximise engagement, care is taken to ensure work is meaningful.
Cycle 3 Year 4 -6
Children in Cycle 3 are in the developmental phase Maria Montessori called the age of ‘The Reasoning Mind’. Cycle 3 children commonly ask ‘How?’ and this therefore directs the learning activities developed for children aged 9-12 years.
Children from 9 to 12 years are very social and enjoy playing and working with their peers, and exploring relationships. Work is completed in small groups or whole class and the children are more community centred. They typically have a strong sense of justice, are keenly involved in class meetings and contribute to planning activities.
Children in Cycle 3 look forward to taking on more responsibilities than ever before as they head towards being leaders and role models for the whole school. Contribution to whole school and the wider community are expected through service.
The learning materials available in the Cycle 3 classroom continue to facilitate deep understanding of more abstract concepts in a hands-on way. Gradually, Cycle 3 children transition to working more with pencil and paper and technology becomes a valuable tool for research.
In this cycle, time management and organisational skills increase in importance as students are required to complete a greater amount of work set by the teacher.
Daily practical research is a key feature of the Cycle 3 classroom, so children can independently find the information required for their learning. Following on from this, presentation of their own research is important for this age group as not only are the children happy to share their knowledge, they also have the opportunity to formulate logical thinking in the process. Information technology devices are regularly used as one tool for of research and children learn to compare and evaluate sources.