Our Montessori Program
Our vision is to prepare children for life outside formal schooling and to be active citizens within their community. We believe in holistic approaches to teaching and learning which promote both educators and children initiate learning within the centres. Our Montessori program provides children with real life experiences and promotes lifelong love of learning through different stages of children’s development. During the Montessori program, children are encouraged to explore various materials independently according to their interests. The younger children are given the opportunities to be inspired to do more advance work by observing the older children. Many of the key areas of learning during our Montessori program are integrating with our school readiness program.
Key areas of learning during Montessori program includes:
This element aims to make connection between home environment and classroom. Independence, self-help skills and caring the environment are crucial components within this key learning area which we promote during and outside our Montessori program.
The aim of this key learning area is to develop the children’s sense of order and perceptions of the world. Starting with matching, sorting and grading objects according to their colours, forms, dimensions, textures, temperatures, volume, pitch, weight, taste, etc. Children are encouraged to observe and compare with accuracies to enhance their intellectual senses.
A range of literacy activities and materials are offered to promote children’s language development. We aim to enhance the children’s fine motor skills along with their ability to differentiate sounds of each letter in the Alphabet by using the children’s sense of sight, hearing and touch.
Early Mathematics are introduced using a range of sensory materials during the Montessori program and throughout the day as part of our school readiness program as well. Children are provided with the opportunities to explore various mathematical concepts such as number recognition, counting, sorting, sequencing, etc.
School Readiness Program
Swan Academy aims to ensure smooth transition from childcare setting to school environment for all children. We aim to not only preparing children with their transitions to formal schooling but also preparing children for their future life. And we begin the process not only with the older groups but across all groups starting from our babies group. We also aim to provide families with the guidance to make the transition to school a positive experience.
A range of strategies that we incorporate into our curriculum as part of our school readiness program:
- Provide responsive and flexible curriculum that encourages thinking, investigating, exploring and problem solving in a social environment.
- Provide curriculum that focuses on developing skills and dispositions such as perseverance, independence, conflict resolution, empathy, turn taking, curiosity, problem solving, creativity and self-expression.
- Provide opportunities for children to participate in play as well as group experiences.
- Provide opportunities for children to express their needs, emotions and ideas.
- Give children a positive understanding and experience of school as a safe and enjoyable place.
- Arrange a visit to the local School.
- Read stories or watch short films about School.
Include school props, such as uniforms, bags, lunch boxes and chalk boards in the
dramatic play areas.
- Learning how to hold pencils correctly.
- Learning how to hold and handle scissors correctly.
- Learning how to use glue unassisted.
- Support Children to develop their self-help skills, e.g. children put shoes by themselves. Incorporate school based activities as part of the early childhood program. For example: practice using lunch boxes and drink bottle.
- Provide lots of reading and writing materials as part of the daily play based program, e.g. letter tracing worksheets, number tracing worksheets and shape tracing worksheets.
- Learning how to spell and write their own names.
- Basic mathematics, e.g. counting, mathematical language and symbols.
- Recognizing and correctly pronouncing letters of the alphabet, days of the week, months of the year, numbers and shapes.
- Learning the date each day, e.g. Today is Thursday, the 12th of May in the year 2016.
We organised various incursions throughout the year to extend on the children’s learning and exploration. Incursions provide countless opportunities for the children to enhance their current knowledge on a particular topic and also create opportunities for the children to develop their receptive and expressive language skills through questions and discussions.
Music And Movement
Our music education is about providing consistent opportunities for the children to explore music & concepts (e.g. beat, rhythm, pitch, tempo), compose music, express themselves musically through performance, listen to and respond to music.
Benefits of music in education include:
- Developing children’s capacities and aesthetic sensibilities
- Promotes self-expression
- Provide opportunities for children to discover more about themselves
- Provides a sense of accomplishment
- Support the development of self-esteem
- Develop bonds with peers and awareness of different cultures