The underlying principles of Aistear, the curriculum framework for Ireland, also sit comfortably alongside the Montessori School Method, which supports children’s development in their natural environment, in those important early years. Giraffe’s content of Montessori schools are well equipped with Montessori equipment which offers children practical life experiences which are pertaining to their world: We believe the principles underpinning our “Reach Curriculum” are in harmony with the aims of Maria Montessori the founder of the Montessori Schools.
Montessori is a teaching methodology inspired and devised by Dr. Maria Montessori. Giraffe Childcare incorporates Montessori methodology and equipment into its pre school educational programme.
"Montessori" is not a system for training children in academic studies but a method of observing and following the interests of children, and continually adapting the environment from which they learn, by means of experimentation and research, what they need to know in order to contribute to society and the environment, and to become fulfilled persons in their particular time and place on Earth.
Children enjoy respected choice and uninterrupted concentration. During this time they are allowed to focus and make progress on work/play of their own choice, with materials to which they have been introduced by the adult. This daily period of meditation and focus, of concentration on purposeful activity involving the mind and body working together, results in feelings of satisfaction, peace, and love toward others, and a high level of progress in physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual development. It is the key element in a true Montessori school.
Maria Montessori, born in 1870. She worked in the fields of psychiatry, education and anthropology. She believed that each child is born with a unique potential to be revealed, rather than as a "blank slate" waiting to be written upon. Her main contributions to the work of those of us raising and educating children are in these areas:
In the 1940's, inspired by the amazing potential of children realized in the early years, Dr. Montessori stated that age six was too late to begin to support the work and development of children. In 1947 the Montessori Assistants to pre school program was begun in Rome. This was a 3-year, full-time program which is still taught today in several countries.