The BILINGUAL MONTESSORI SCHOOL in NICE
Over a century ago, Maria Montessori opened her first "Casa dei Bambini" (house for children in italian) in the popular district of San Lorenzo in Rome. It was of utmost importance for her to offer to the children the possibility to develop the different sensitivities in a frame adapted to their psychological needs, and respecting the children’s personal pace and individual features and at the same time awaken them to social life. Ever since the Montessory pedagogy has developed and nowadays counts more than 22.000 Montesori schools throughout the world.
The Montessori school of Nice opened on January 7th 2013.
When entering into a Montessori classroom, the first impressions are the order, the activity and the movement. Each one of the children is concentrated on an activity : one is counting golden pearls, others are working with geographical puzzles, another one is cleaning the leaves of a plant, in another place of the classroom the Montessori teacher is giving a grammatical lesson to a small group of children.
To achieve such a balance between apprenticeship and human development, the Montessori school Nice is proposing a secured, nice and clean environment. The spatial organization and the choice of furniture and materials will be adapted to the children’s needs.
Each classroom will consist of a unique large room, divided into specific activity areas.
Wooden furniture – adapted to the size of the children – that can be moved by the kids will be harmoniously set up in the room. The shelves are limiting the areas and will all be accessible for the children who have free access to the materials contained therein. The objects will be arranged in a precise order of progression (from left to right) and by degree of difficulty (from top to bottom).
The educational materials are divided into five major groups :
Material for daily life
· Sensory material
· Language material
· Mathematic material
· Material for science, history and geography
The class is a hive where each child is active. The functioning rules of the environment are explained to each one. The child learns how to respect and organize its personal environment, which will give him the necessary balance for its concentration that will favor the anchorage of its apprenticeship.
There is no need for correcting, classifying or grading systems. The educational material is self-correcting and the child is the first one who should be satisfied with its work. After observation, the teacher will suggest another approach and equipment to the child who has not understood or forgotten the exercise. Each child is developing at his pace and according to his experiences and personal motivations. Same as having started to walk on its own, one day the child will be reading, writing and calculating after having gone through the preliminary processes. The child is progressing according to its interests in his environment.
These two levels have a similar functioning, according to the rules of life mentioned before. However, there are some specificities :
The furniture will of course be adapted to the difference in age and therefore in size.
The activities of the class 6-9 years will be more concentrating on reading and writing, which will need more tables and chairs. More free space will be foreseen for the class 3-6 years and the class 2-3 years, who will work a lot on the ground.
The Montessori materials are different for these two levels and will be adapted to the needs of the children, in application of the principles of the educational approach.
We will have about 10 children in the class 2-3 years, with one teacher and one assistant , about 30 children in the class 3-6 years, supervised by three teachers, whereas the class for 6-9 years will count about 20 children with two teachers.
The class 2-3 years will have a bilingual teacher, the classes 3-6 and 6-9, will have amongst the teachers one with English mother tongue and one with French mother tongue. This in order to create a real bilingual environment.
We want a « human » dimension for our structure.
The life in common is one of the keys of our educational approach and applies to all the children, at all levels, but also to the teachers and the parents. The meals are one example, but there are other moments during school hours where, based on activities, the various actors of our school will meet.
Through art and physical activities : our teachers, together with outside participants, will ensure these activities by gathering throughout the weeks, little groups of volunteering children who will learn the basics of sculpturing, music and physical activities.
Excursions and work in common : educational excursions, festive projects or enrichment for the school will be occasions for all the different participants to meet : children, parents and personnel of the school.
The “organic” labelled meals are taken on site and will be ensured by professional caterer respecting all the public regulations. The children and teachers will have the meals together.