CYCLE 1 OVERVIEW:
Our Cycle 1 classrooms give your child everything they need to create an ordered foundation to build on in the future.
Cycle 1 is for children aged 3 to 6 and takes your child through to the end of what is equivalent to kindergarten in many other schools. Children at this age are engaged in what Maria Montessori called ‘a process of self-construction’ they are keenly observing the world around them and absorbing knowledge and experience at an enormous rate.
They go through what we call ‘sensitive periods’, which can be thought of as windows of opportunity for a child when they are interested in particular aspects of their environment to the exclusion of all others. These aren’t chosen at random by the child; they are driven by an inner need for development. You may notice this yourself in your child as they show an intense interest in repeating certain activities or actions at length for no obvious reason!
The Cycle 1 classroom is carefully designed to harness this huge potential for selfdevelopment children have at this age. Materials from across our six main Cycle 1 curriculum areas of Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics, Science and Culture are laid out in a logical, orderly fashion; for example, from left to right, from top to bottom, at the appropriate height etc. These materials are designed to attract the children to touch, explore and choose the work that they are most receptive to, and thus best able to absorb, at that point in time. Everything in the environment is there for a particular purpose or, in several cases, a multitude of purposes.
Our Directors are skilled at finding the balance between allowing children to take the maximum advantage of these sensitive periods while ensuring that they spend an appropriate amount of time developing in each curriculum area; Language, Maths, Science, Practical Life, Sensorial and Culture. Please explore the gallery below to learn more about some of our classroom materials.
The Continents Globe
The Sandpaper Letters
Pouring Beans between two Jugs
The Continents Globe(Culture) Having explored and understood the land and water divisions of the earth your child will be interested to learn how the Continents Globe is associated with the mapping activities in the classroom. The Continents Globe shows smooth blue water on the Earth’s surface. The continents are raised, also smooth to touch and colour coded. Your child will be shown how the globe has two corresponding faces that relate to the mapping of the continents puzzle map they will already have explored. Your child has just understood that a map is a representation of a real 3D model and can now relate this knowledge to any location, at home, or school or anywhere else.
The Sandpaper Letters(Language) The Sandpaper Letters are one of the most meditative materials to work with for your 3 or 4 year old. Wonderfully designed by Dr Montessori to demonstrate the association of sounds of speech with written symbols, the presentation of this lesson highlights touch, sight and hearing. Your child learns to slow down and deliberately trace letters long before they can form beautiful writing.
Pouring Beans between two Jugs(Practical Life) Placed on a small rectangular tray, two jugs sit facing each other, lip turned in. One jug is two thirds full of small dry beans or lentils. The Montessori Director names the materials for your child and shows them how to carry the tray from the shelf to a table. The deliberate demonstration of pouring beans helps your child to develop co-ordination, self-sufficiency and enables later pouring of liquids used in cooking and mealtime activities.
Read about Cycle 2 (6-9 year olds)