Children are unique individuals and with that in mind our Montessori Programmes are designed to address the developmental needs of each child. We are here to assist them achieve their goals every step of the way. Each programme builds on the one before it, providing appropriate challenges to the child's skill levels thus engaging the child's interest in pursing and acquiring new knowledge. We Offer Four Distinct Programmes.
Full Day - 07.00am - 07.00pm
Half Day - Morning Session : 07.00am - 01.00pm
Half Day - Afternoon Session : 01.00pm - 07.00pm
Child Caring Service : Morning Half Day
3 times weekly for children under 3 years old, only available on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the half day afternoon session
PLAYGROUP: The Tangerines (Ages 1.5 years - 3 years)
“Tangerines”, as we affectionately call this group of children, are toddlers learning to conquer the world. They are just like the tiny golden oranges – sweet and adorable. Handling them needs a great deal of care and attention. Emphasis is placed on developing the child’s fine and gross motor skills, enhancing eye-hand coordination, gaining independence in self-care and care for the environment, acquiring language abilities and inculcating a sense of order.
At the end of this stage, the child should have attained self-care skills like feeding, putting on shoes, dressing up and toilet-trained. He/she should be able to communicate effectively, sing and dance. Most importantly, he should be able to focus and have a good attention span.
NURSERY: The Apples (Ages 3 years - 4 years)
Before they turn 3 years old, our small “Tangerines” will be accessed by their teachers. If they have achieved most of their learning milestones, they will be promoted to juicy and polished “Apples”. They are more compact in terms of content and have polished appearances. The emphasis for this group of children is developing the child’s language and mathematical abilities, although self-care and caring for the environment continues to be an integral part of this curriculum. Respecting and following the ground rules is also of utmost importance in this classroom. At the end of this stage, the child should be able to read, write and speak the English and Chinese language and understands simple Mathematical concepts. He/she should increasing demonstrate his capabilities for independence and self-discipline.
KINDERGARTEN: The Watermelons (Ages 5 years to 6 years)
We don’t call them “Watermelons” because they are rounded and fat! Of course they are the eldest and biggest in size but they are also more polished and compact in content, not to mention, bright red, juicy and full of passion and zest for life! The emphasis for this group of children is to further develop the child’s language and mathematical abilities. Heavier emphasis is also placed on the Montessori’s cultural section where more abstract concepts of sciences and geography are introduced. Half a year before the child moves on to primary school, we prepare them for a smoother transition by introducing the Reception Program, which helps the child understand the rigorous expectation in the primary school system and get ready for the new environment.
At the end of this stage, the child should be able to read, write and speak the English and Chinese language fluently and is able to perform simple Mathematical operations. By the age of 6, the child should have successfully passed from solitary play, through onlooker play and parallel play to associative play where he has learnt to share materials. Many will have reached the later stage of co-operative play where there is voluntary interaction, the children having a shared purpose. The child should also be ready to move on to the challenge of a new environment in primary school, with a keen interest in learning and acquiring new information, being resourceful, having good attention span and able to focus on his given tasks.
BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CARE (Ages 7 years to 12 years)
Our"Before & After School Care"service caters to primary school children, who require child-care services before or after their school hours. Our dedicated teachers ensure that the children complete their assigned school work and assist them accordingly. Our teachers also assist the children in preparing for their school assessments and examinations. During school vacations, special programmes are also planned and arranged for this group of children. Majority of the children in this class had spent their pre-school years in our school and Halifax Montessori Childcare is like a second home to them.
Our Montessori Curriculum
All our classrooms are laid out with the 5 areas of focus in the Montessori Method. The child has the freedom to choose to work on any material from these 5 areas. Each area is equipped with a full set of graded hands-on materials for concrete learning. These 5 areas integrate for the total development of the child:
We also supplement our Montessori curriculum with Music and Movement, Speech & Drama, Cookery and Art & Craft sessions conducted by professionals in their respective areas. Field trips are conducted on a regular basis to complement our curriculum themes. Outdoor play and physical education is also a regular feature in the school curriculum. The children, with the help of their teachers put up an annual Concert and Graduation Ceremony towards the end of the year. Community Service is also introduced to the children to sow the seed of compassion from young.
Our school places great emphasis on bilingualism as we strongly believe that bilingualism is an asset, not a liability. Each class has an English speaking and a Chinese speaking teacher who conduct their respective circle time activities at the designated time slots but simultaneously operating in the classroom, during outdoor play and also on field trips, immersing the children in a simultaneous bilingual environment. This arrangement is based on studies which found children perform better when they are exposed to natural language, where the focus is on communication rather than in "a formal environment, where focus is on the conscious acquisition of linguistic rules or the manipulation of linguistic forms.
Our past experience shows that this method develops the child's language proficiency in both languages while promoting academic achievement. Studies have shown that an important aspect of the language learning environment seems to be the availability of visible referents, talking about what is present and observable helps the child understand and is thus crucial to acquiring language. Hence our classrooms have both Chinese and English literature and visual aids.
Riding on the amazing capacity that children have to learn language in the early years of their lives, we aim to provide our children with a strong foundation of the Chinese language so that they will continue to love the language in the future.
Our Nursery and Kindergarten class children are offered The Fitzroy Literacy Programme as a supplementary reading programme. These readers are carefully crafted so as to use only the words that children are ready to read for themselves. Each reader introduces a new sound and new special words. The Fitzroy materials also include activity books, audio tapes, CD and computer software.