Hope Island Montessori’s educational program aligns with the learning outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework and Montessori Curriculum. The Educators and children work collaboratively to follow the Early Years Planning Cycle, creating a program based on personal philosophies, interests, objectives, engagement, documentation and reflection. Sustainability and Indigenous Culture are important areas of focus in the Children's House and we are proud of our initiatives to incorporate these into our daily learning and practices.
THE MONTESSORI WAY
During the daily Montessori work cycle, our children access materials and activities from five distinct areas - Practical Life, Sensorial Studies, Cultural Studies, Language and Math. These areas are presented in developmentally appropriate, learning experiences, both structured and unstructured.
Our Montessori environment is based in beauty, order, choice and freedom. Our children are given the opportunity to choose from wide range of activities with the ability to move about freely, work independently or together, choose activities that interest them, to work as long as they wish, to observe and to and use materials until they achieve a sense of accomplishment without interruption. Each activity is designed to enhance some aspect of the child’s development, whether it is fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, or concentration. The abundance of choices and materials in the classroom is balanced by the calm atmosphere, fostering an environment where children are happily engaged in learning, demonstrating concentration and a sense of purpose.
Our Montessori materials are beautifully handcrafted and are displayed on low open shelves. Each of the materials has a specific purpose and is multi-sensory; they encourage touch, thinking, listening, manipulation and experience and are presented to the children in a manner that will enable them to direct their own learning.
Our Montessori children are able to develop at their own pace with gentle guidance from their teachers. Within their vibrant community, our children demonstrates great independence, preparing their own snacks, carrying jugs of water and pouring their own drinks. They care for their own environment, arrange flowers, sweep and dust. Logic, routine, concentration, responsibility and many foundational skills can be developed through these meaningful activities. The mixed age range found our classrooms allows for children to learn from each other in a non competitive atmosphere of respect and kindness and directly prepares them for living in society. The children normally go about their work so calmly and purposely that it is clear that they are the masters of the "Children's House."
What the hand does, the mind remembers.
- Maria Montessori
THE KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM
Our Queensland Government Approved Kindergarten Program prepares our children to successfully make the important transition from Kindergarten into Primary School, laying the foundations for future positive learning experiences and social interactions. Building on the school readiness and independence skills naturally gained through the Montessori program, our Kindergarten program offers also wide range of holistic activities designed to extend learning around character identity, managing emotions, resilience, tolerance and kindness.
With a broad range of teaching experience our Early Childhood Teacher, Taylor Wells-McFarlane, is passionate about ensuring our children enjoy a positive and confident beginning for their school journey. Our daily journals, term plans, mid and end year reflections, home visits, parent/teacher meetings and school readiness information evenings assist parents and caregivers in ensuring their child is ready for this important transition.
THE LEARNING JOURNEY
Information regarding your child’s engagement with and progression through the program, in both an individual and group context, is recorded through a multiple of modes. These modes include termly planning documents, Educator running records, learning stories and portfolio books. Learning stories, that include both individual and group learning journeys, are published on Storypark for families to access and contribute to on both a weekly and termly basis. Learning stories may include a written description of the learning journey and/or photographs to capture the experience. The children are invited to contribute to their personal portfolio books throughout the year, making autonomous choices regarding its contents. The portfolio books capture the child’s engagement with the program through, but not limited to, photographs, artwork and direct quotes.
Children and families are welcome to access individual portfolio books, stored in the classroom, at any time. All termly planning documents, including running records, are also available to families on request.
Educators value strong relationships with families and welcome regular discussions regarding your child’s holistic development. Families are welcome to communicate via email or Storypark as well as arrange a meeting via phone or at the Children’s House. Families will also be invited to attend annual Parent Teacher Meetings:
Nido Meetings: End of Term One
Casa Meetings: End of Term Two
Casa Kindergarten Home Visits: Beginning of Term One
Casa Kindergarten: End of Term Two
We offer a range activities to compliment our holistic curriculum designed to nurture mind, body and soul through creativity, movement and relaxation. Through a wide range of experiences, we strive to instil lessons in kindness, gratitude, identity, inclusion and managing emotions so that children can confidently and graciously contribute as members of their community while maintaining awareness of their own needs.
YOGA + MINDFULNESS
Our yoga and mindfulness classes offer wonderful benefits such as providing a sense of calm, providing movement which stretches and strengthens the muscles, stimulating internal organs, promoting deep and calming breath, developing body, mind and spiritual awareness, supporting the development of concentration and helping to develop a positive sense of self. Our peace lessons also help children negotiate challenging social situations, embrace diversity and encourage kindness.
ART + CRAFT
Art and other creative mediums are utilised in both individual and group projects to help children develop their sense of self, to express a range of emotions and to refine appreciation for one another's unique way of seeing. Using nature as our biggest inspiration, we enjoy discovering new and different ways to explore creativity such as creating self portraits with natural objects, painting emotion rocks and our "Gratitude Tree", a much loved element of our Children's Garden.
MUSIC + MOVEMENT
Through our World music and dance lessons, children have the opportunity to discover other Cultures, express themselves creatively, develop co-ordination, muscle strength and grace and learn rhythm and pitch. Our singing + guitar sessions are a wonderful learning tool which encourages group participation, develops friendships, teaches tone, provides the opportunity for exploring a wide range of subjects and develops memory and concentration.