St Lawrence's Montessori
It is a certified AMI Montessori house of children in Sri Lanka
St. Lawrence’s Montessori
Maria Montessori the founder of the Montessori Method is as controversial a figure in Education today, as she was a century ago. Heralded as the century’s leading advocate for early childhood education, her research and her discoveries regarding the child, helped change the course of Education. Her motto was “Education as a help to life”.
Montessori observed how children learned the language without anyone teaching them. This sparked her idea for the “Absorbent Mind”. Children under the age of three do not need to have lessons in order to learn, they simply absorb everything in the environment by experiencing it, being part of it. It is therefore important that the environment set up is good, nice and positive since this is what the child will absorb whether he chooses to or not. The environment we provide for them lays the foundation for their entire natural life.
The St. Lawrence’s Montessori House of Children opened its doors to little children in July 1955. With only four classrooms we began working with these tiny hands with the aid of well trained Educators to foster good habits and inculcate the spirit of learning in these children’s’ hearts. We facilitated those little children to learn the activities that may have now played a part in developing their lives. During the years we have facilitated the growth of many children who have walked through our doors where they pass out of the Montessori and obtain admission to many leading schools in and around Colombo.
Almost 60 years later, today, we have more than 200 children whose parents’ have trusted the system and who are faithfully sending their children to gain the knowledge that we have to offer their little minds. As we offer a Catholic focused setting in the Montessori the children experience spiritual learning as well. Our Montessori today has 10 classes with 10 well qualified experienced Educators who have obtained their Diploma from the St. Bridget’s Montessori Training Centre. We also have a trainee each for all the classes to assist the teacher sent by the Training Centre.
THE ROLE OF OUR MONTESSORI
“It is necessary for the teacher to guide the child without letting him feel her presence too much, so that she may be always ready to supply the desired help, but may never be the obstacle between the child and his experience" (The Montessori Method, 1967).
At the St. Lawrence’s Montessori House of children the teacher demonstrates key behaviors to implement this child-centered approach:
» Make children the centre of learning because, as Montessori said, “The teacher’s task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives for cultural activity in a special environment made for the child” (Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook).
» Encourage children to learn by providing freedom for them in their classroom.
» Observe children so as to prepare the best possible environment, recognizing sensitive periods and diverting inappropriate behaviour to meaningful tasks.
» Prepare the learning environment by ensuring that learning materials are provided in an orderly format and the materials provide for appropriate experiences for all the children.
» Respect each child and model ongoing respect for all children and their work.
» Introduce learning materials and demonstrate for children’s learning. The teacher introduces learning materials after observing each child.
At the St. Lawrence’s Montessori House of Children we follow Dr. Montessori’s Method where the children chooses the materials they wish to work with independently and put them away carefully once they are done. The Teachers show them the proper manner in which materials have to be used and the children follow autonomously. We do not lock away any materials.
Our Curriculum includes many areas of learning. Among them are; Exercises of Practical Life, Sensorial activities, Language and Mathematics.
Exercises of Practical Life activities build a foundation on which the children will grow and carry over into the other areas of work and in to their everyday life. Activities in this area focus mainly in developing the child’s awareness about his/her environment and how to understand and accept it accordingly.
Sensorial activities focus on developing the child’s inborn senses. They begin to understand the colours, textures and shapes etc in their environment and learn to apply them to their daily lives.
Math is logic, sequence, order, and the extrapolation of truth. Their absorbent minds full of energy that propels them to manipulate, classify, order, sequence, abstract, and repeat. These tendencies are those which help the child to acquire a greater depth to his mathematical knowledge.
Language is specifically a human expression that is learned, not inborn. The child is introduced to language through this unique Method by presenting them the sounds of words. Once they understand this concept materials are further presented to reinforce this learning.
Singing and Music is part of the child’s life. Hence we offer time for enriching their harmonious instincts.
Garden Play Time is introduced so that they learn togetherness and unity while experiencing fair-play with friends. In such enriched environments, freedom, responsibility, social and intellectual development spontaneously flourish!
The children are given the opportunity to experience and learn about Catholicism through celebrating various important Feast Days. They are introduced to taking part in prayer services that enrich their religious knowledge.
National Festivals and Year End concerts are held so that the children perform on stage and become more confident and independent. This aims for the fullest possible development of the whole child, ultimately preparing him for life's many rich experiences.
Children between the age of 2 and 2 ½ years are preferred for admission because the foundation of the human personality is laid during this period. This is the most sensitive period of their lives as they absorb everything in their environment. At the St. Lawrence’s Montessori House of Children we make it our responsibility to provide them with the tools and techniques in how to get the maximum advantage of it by issuing applications for admission for the following year during the month of May.