At Rushmore House Montessori Preschool the day has a structure designed to keep your child safely settled, engaged and accessing all areas of the curriculum. Your child is greeted at the door and registers themselves using the My Montessori Child iPad system. After hanging their coats and belongings and changing to indoor shoes they go and choose an activity. They then engage in activities of their choice helped by teachers both inside the classroom and in the garden. At midday the children have circle time with their friends. At lunch time the children that are staying all day have lunch whilst children attending just the morning session go home. The afternoon has a wide range of activities designed to encourage children’s continued learning and it ends with the second circle time. The children then prepare to be collected by their parents and carers.
Arriving at Preschool
The daily routine in the preschool starts with welcoming children and registration at the door. A teacher greets them by their name and presents the My Montessori Child iPad system displaying small photographs of all the children attending. Your child chooses their picture and touches it to register then takes off their coat and hangs it on a hook by the door together with their backpack. Another teacher helps them if they need it, however the children are encouraged to do everything themselves. If they are staying all day they will also have a lunch box with a packed lunch that you prepared for them.
As soon as children finish hanging their coats and changing to indoor shoes they engage in activities of their choice. They could choose to go to the art table, the home corner, the Book corner or use one of the Montessori activities. The activities are selected from low level shelves. Your child will take their chosen activity to an adjacent table and when finished are shown how to return their activity to a shelf and push their chair in. Teachers are always at hand to help children achieve these steps. Access to the garden is free flow, children can come in and out when they choose and continue their activities outside.
It is the freedom of choice that helps to foster a child’s concentration as they focus their energies on what they have chosen. Teachers know your child’s next steps and introduce activities that your child may be interested in, that help them to develop their confidence and capabilities. Teachers may take children that are at the same level in small groups especially for Mathematics and Literacy.
The snack bar is available each session with teacher supervision offering children a choice of nutritious snacks. They take a plate and a cup for water or milk, choose their snacks and when finished they push their chair in and, with the teacher’s support, wash their plate and cup in an adjacent child level sink.
There are two circle groups each day with different presentation styles. One has more hands on presentations with the aim of capturing a child’s interest and increasing attention. The second circle time involves more discussion, as a preparation for Reception where children spend more time being taught in groups. Circle time is an opportunity to promote the planned theme for the day, talk about the day of the week, seasons, the weather and choosing a book to read together.
After circle time some children will get ready to go home and those staying all day start washing hands in preparation for lunch. Children need to bring a packed lunch into preschool with them; lunch is very much a social occasion and the teachers encourage children to eat their lunch by talking about healthy eating.
Children can go into the garden to use the climbing frame with a slide, tricycles, mud kitchen and other outdoor activities all of which help develop their gross motor skills and coordination. The art corner is set up with a range of activities as well as special activities that support the planned theme for the week.
Just as in the morning, there are two Circle Time groups with different presentation styles so children can have presentations appropriate to their stage of development and concentration. These presentations and activities support the planned theme as well as the Montessori curriculum. Teachers take turns preparing circle time presentations to explore and reinforce the planned weekly theme.
The children get ready to go home and each child deregisters themselves by selecting their photograph on the My Montessori Child iPad system. A noticeboard tells parents and carers the main activities of the day and food available at the snack bar, providing you with a starting point to talk to your child about their day.