Newcomers Information


The Rottingdean Montessori Nursery School offers the child a supportive atmosphere where each child is known, loved and helped to develop independence, self motivation, creativity and self-discipline.

The children work with specialised equipment which is graded in difficulty, self correcting and designed for success. In the classroom children work at their own pace and master basic skills at their own level of ability and therefore develop a love of learning. Subject areas include language (basic development pre-reading, pre writing), history and geography, art, music, cookery, movement, exercises in every day living skills, and number work (basic to advanced).

Our class caters for children up to 5 years of age, although Montessori can be used up to the age of 18. There are however very few schools in this country that go beyond 9 or 11.

We work through a variety of projects each term which provide added interest for the children.

We are committed to the total education of the child: Intellectual, social, physical and spiritual. Confident children are eager to learn and exercise new skills. These skills then build confidence and confidence aids success and success builds self respect.

The nursery is keen to encourage social awareness amongst the children, self respect and respect for others and their work. The children are helped to complete activities. They have freedom to choose what they wish, and are guided in each piece of work they do.

Montessori helps your child to help him/herself to become a confident, happy and self-fulfilled human beings in a world which so often does not allow the child's natural tendencies to develop, through lack of understanding and indeed a respect for children as "small adults". Each corner of the room, provides an element of the outside environment, which for the child is a challenge and an insight into the outside world.

Before 5 years of age, the child "absorbs" everything and loves to explore and experiment. Montessori was specifically developed to cater for all the tendencies which are present in the young child and each piece of equipment has a specific aim for the child to discover. Through learning the child learns to enjoy, to become independent, and face what ever challenge or task later on is demanded of them.

Maria Montessori was an Italian scientist and a doctor who observed children and devised the method and put it into action. Nowadays there are Montessori schools all over the world.

Born in Italy in 1970, Maria Montessori graduated from the University of Rome in 1896 with top honours becoming the first female doctor to qualify in Italy. In 1897 she began to volunteer in a psychiatric hospital attached to the University of Rome and she stayed there for 2 years, developing her teaching method based on the ideas of Jean Itard and Edourd Sequin, encouraging the children to learn through their senses.

In 1901 she left to study Anthropology, psychology and educational psychology and in 1906 she began working with the children of working families in San Lorenzo, Italy, where she opened the first Casa Dei Bambini (Children’s House) in 1907. Her methods quickly gained recognition and in 1913 she toured the world. Alexandra Graham Bell and his wife had opened a Montessori Institute in Washington USA and among her followers where Thomas Edison and Helen Keller.

The Montessori system is structured and based on observations.Maria  Montessori produced what she called her Didactic materials which were designed to teach through using the senses. Didactic means to teach. The idea of these materials is that they are self correcting and the children can easily work from the simple to the complex.

Montessori firmly believed that the children learn best from making their own mistakes and the information was more likely to be retained if they worked things out for themselves.  Her emphasis was on the developing of the whole child, spiritually, physically, emotionally and socially. Montessori believed that children preferred to work with real objects and when given the choice chose these over toys.

Montessori believed that all children have characteristics in common whatever their culture or upbringing. She believed these characteristics where, that children have an absorbent mind, that they went through sensitive periods to learning, that children want to learn, that they learn through work/play, that they all pass through stages of development and that they want to be independent.  She encouraged children to work alone in order to develop their concentration and self confidence.

Montessori for Newcomers