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“The education of a small child does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.” Dr Maria Montessori
At Tara House, all children will be treated as individuals and their potential will be recognised, valued and nurtured. We have created a safe, welcoming child friendly environment where children can express themselves freely and confidently. The activities and use of the play equipment will offer the children opportunities to develop in an environment free from prejudice and discrimination.
The children will have the opportunity to explore, acknowledge and value similarities and differences between themselves and others.
The aim of the school is to provide a specially prepared environment where the child can be free to pursue its chosen activity to its own satisfaction, not the parents’or teachers’.
“The most important period of life is not the time of University studies, but the first one the period from birth to the age of six. That is the time when man’s intelligence itself, his greatest implement, is being formed. Not only his intelligence, the full totality of his psychic powers. The newborn is the creator of the adult personality, for we find in the newborn our own hidden nature.” Dr Maria Montessori
The child goes through Sensitive Periods, when temporary instincts, connected with the acquisition of certain characteristics, are present in the child. When the child is free he/she is guided by these sensitivities to objects and activities in the environment. He/she fixes his/her attention, studying with eagerness until a new stage of development is reached. No knowledge is imposed externally on the child, there are no rewards and no punishments. Discipline is based on mutual respect. Dr Montessori saw the development of the whole child as of paramount importance, with this end in mind she developed her equipment.
Tara House’s interest is in the holistic development of the child. We aim to cultivate independent, self-functioning, confident little people and equip them with the skills which will aid them throughout their lives.
PRACTICAL LIFE: The programme the children follow starts with Practical Life Exercises. The exercises are performed for development’s sake cultivating: care of self, care of others and care of the environment. These activites consist of: washing hands, fastening buttons, zips, laces, poppers etc, sweeping, polishing, pouring, sewing, cooking, serving food and drink, folding, threading beads, painting, dough, cutting and sticking.
These activities promote the independence of the child, utilising their innate desire to explore through their senses as they learn through play. Through the use of the Practical life materials comes the cultivation of confident, self-functioning and self-motivated individuals with a positive attitude towards themselves, others and school life. Children are allowed the freedom to choose but alongside this freedom, comes the responsibility to respect the room, the equipment and the needs of others whilst learning to recognise and meet their own needs.
The Practical life activities are not just found on the shelf, but are present throughout the classroom and their philosophy extends throughout our entire approach to the children: whether that be enabling them with skills to take themselves to the toilet, put their coat on or tie their own shoelace. The Montessori directress is there to help the child to do things for themselves.
SENSORIAL EDUCATION: The Sensorial Education aims to systematically isolate and train the senses of the child by using the Montessori Apparatus:- Colour boxes, touch boards, sound boxes, smelling bottles, cylinders equipment designed by Maria Montessori such as the pink tower, brown stairs, long red rods all used to distinguish size, shapes and dimension.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES: We offer a range of Physical Activities which include Karate, Yoga, Dance, Music and Movement classes and Outdoor Play in our fully equipped large garden.
Tara House has an impressive outdoor play area, including a large lawn area for children to run and play which is also utilised for the annual sports day and parents picnic. Under our glass canopy which allows for all weather all year round play. It also boasts a large sand pit and water play area, outdoor classroom facilities such as external electric sockets used for outdoor listening activities as well as dance and music, outdoor blackboard for children to experiment with chalk etc cars, bikes, tunnels, as well as a vegetable and flower garden that the children use for planting.
LANGUAGE AND LITERACY SKILLS: We develop Language and Literacy Skills, teaching the phonetic alphabet and, if the child is interested, introducing word building and reading. This is also done through books, stories, songs, and conversation. The children are provided with a variety of medium with which to make marks, as they start on their road to literacy and are encouraged to be as expressive and curious as they want.
MATHEMATICAL DEVELOPMENT: We also provide the opportunity in the classroom for Mathematical Development, where the child is introduced to a range of mathematical concepts: counting, quantity, numerical symbols, grading etc. and number songs, games and play activities to make learning with numbers fun.
Most important in the Montessori environment is for the child to have access to a wide range of activities and a broad curriculum. Each individual has the chance to explore and excel in whatever direction their interest lies and the opportunity to discover what their interests are. At the end of their time at Tara House we wish for them to move on to their Primary schools, with above all things, a positive attitude towards learning, self-belief and the confidence to tackle new challenges.
The child will undertake projects throughout the year, working around weekly themes, including Geography, Cultural projects, Nature, Science, Music and History. Drama and music is a regular part of nursery life – cultivating in Christmas Nativity play and Summer Concerts for Parents. Computer classes, French, Spanish, yoga and dance are integral parts of the weekly curriculum.
As a result of accepting the grant for the 3 and 4 year olds, we are obliged to adhere to the National Standards laid down by the government. We follow the Early Years Foundation stage principles which are separated into four categories:
- A unique child
- Positive relationships
- Enabling environments
- Learning and Development
For further information please ask Nadia and check the notice boards at school. Following this framework we endeavour to stick to our Montessori philosophy, planning to the government’s criteria whilst achieving their goals through the use of the Montessori equipment, so as not to compromise our beliefs. Please see the Parent’s Guide to the EYFS.
- Children learn from the examples set by people around them. At Tara House, we aim to show the children, through our practices and relationships with the families within the group, the codes of acceptable behaviour, both for adults and for children.• We aim to encourage and praise good behaviour.
- We aim to raise children’s and adults’ self esteem.
- We aim to encourage children to treat others with respect.
- We aim to encourage children and adults to support and care for others.
- We aim to treat children and adults as individuals with an equal role within the group.
- We actively encourage good behaviour through clear and concise explanations and by example.
- We also encourage this by consistent care and handling and praising good behaviour.
- Tara House Montessori School is committed to providing equal opportunities for all children and their families. We believe that no child should be excluded from the Nursery’s activities on the grounds of gender, sexuality, class, family status, means, ability, colour, ethnic origin, culture, religion or belief. We aim to ensure that all who wish to work in our Nursery have an equal opportunity to do so.
- We are multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-faith and this is considered in every aspect of nursery life.
- We will provide positive teaching strategies regarding equal opportunities and that awareness of such must be an integral part of the nursery structure.
- We believe that parents, children and staff can work together in providing an environment where diversity can be valued and shared.
- The nursery aims to build and extend experiences of all its children and will provide suitable activities and equipment which promotes positive images for all children. All materials and books which contain stereotypes or are discriminatory, will be removed from the nursery.
- A child’s name is a crucial part of their identity. It is important we use the child’s correct name and pronunciation.
- We recognise that bi-lingualism and bi-dialectism is a positive asset and a resource welcome at the nursery.
- We are a multi faith nursery and aim to acknowledge and share in the various cultural and religious festivals appropriate to the children.
- Dietary restrictions and preferences will be respected and staff aim to be open and aware of diverse eating styles, habits and customs.
- The nursery aims to counteract the assumption that a persons sex determines what they can do and what they are worth. Sexism will be challenged when it occurs in the nursery. Non sexist images will be portrayed and will portray both males and females in a variety of different roles. The children will be encouraged to value women and men equally . Staff should work towards these aims by acting and speaking in non- sexist manner. Play materials and the general atmosphere will value females and males equally.
- Staff selection criteria and procedures will be kept under review to ensure that individuals selected and treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities applicable to the post in question. All employees will be given equal opportunity for promotion and appropriate training.
- The staff, by a continual process of discussion through sharing information and experiences and other means of education, will continually re-evaluate their approach and policies in working towards providing the best learning experience for the children.