Harbour Montessori curriculum is designed in a holistic approach for early years with understanding the importance of nurturing the three quotients. They are Intelligence Quotient (IQ), Emotional Quotient (EQ) and Social Quotient (SQ). Children should become multifaceted human beings able to do things independently of the adults.
Early years (age 2 to 6 years) is called the sensitive period of the children because of their absorbent mind. The children grow at a truly remarkable rate, with more than 80% of their brain development taking place at this period of time. It is called the absorbent mind, it is the mind that beliefs they can do/ be anything they want to be, they open and expand their horizon to explore new skills and environment, without kicking in of logical mind. At Harbour Montessori, with holistic curriculum with planned and structured appropriate developmental play, we trust each day can be a remarkable explorative experience for the child.
At Harbour Montessori, we are aware that not all children will process the information in the same way. Every child will have their very own dominant learning ability style in processing information. Our method of teaching is simply designed to cater for all learning ability style of the children. They are Visual learning style, Auditory learning style and Kinesthetic learning style. At Harbour Montessori, a child undergoes a VAK (Visual, Auditory & Kinesthetic) assessment before the curriculum level is assigned. Have you ever wondered, why a preschooler squirm and gets fidgety after sometime on the chair; when a child does not have eye contact, lacks focus and starts to dream in the class; and why do some child absorb information faster through music and songs etc. When the learning method matches the preferences/style of the child, we have won the 90% of the battle, assuring learning journey without killing the spark of the child.
Our pedagogy incorporates three learning approaches – thematic, proficiency and experiential with skill level progressive curriculum. The lesson plan is assigned to the child not because it is age appropriate, but to suit the skill level and pace of the child. At Harbour Montessori, we are not interested in mass production or factory model, we are interested in personalized education – each child defines his/her own experience.
Literacy – Language Skill:
Literacy learning is an important study for the early years. Literacy means language competencies. At this age (2 to 6 years old), a child is able to master 7 different languages. At Harbour Montessori, literacy skill is just not about learning to read and write alphabets, it is about mastering and understanding vocabularies leading to effective communication by the child using the language, then mastering the foundation of reading fluency and writing skill.
Therefore, phonetics awareness or phonics language is taught to build a strong foundation of Child’s reading, instead of “whole word language teaching.” We guide children to learn 45 sound of letters and stages of blending and connecting the alphabet sounds into words. Eventually the child is able to read any materials given, but not just the words which had memorized by him/her. At Harbour Montessori, we understood Phonics is an integral part of our curriculum. Learning alphabets in chronological order does not help the child to read, whereas learning sound of letters is the crucial foundation to build first road to reading. And we believe, literacy learning should also be explorative with our thematic and experiential learning approaches to suit all learning styles (VAK). We have run and tested the literacy curriculum, and we achieve near to 100 % of our kids mastering fluent reading and writing skill before they embark into primary school.
Numeracy learning is just not about knowing and memorizing numbers. At Harbour Montessori, children learn numeracy/mathematics concept by visualizing and experiencing it. Mathematics materials are designed to give the child a sound understanding of numbers and their relationship. Learning numeracy is always introduced in a simple and sensorial way so that the child can see, hold and feel a number or a concept and gradually be led to an abstract understanding. For example, we introduce not only primary and secondary shapes, we introduce the importance of learning polygons and quadrilaterals in fun way. The children learn the concept by building their own 3D polygons. It looks like a play, but it definitely draws their concentration. We also incorporate role play for children, like setting up stalls, becoming shop keeper and customers to enhance their mathematics knowledge and money intelligence.
Cosmic Education studies help the child gain knowledge and understanding of the world. This covers botany, zoology, geography, science, biology and history. Children are exposed through creative activities and practical work such as modeling, painting and collage, play dough and clay, and safe woods. At Harbour Montessori, we incorporate periodic experiments to encourage children to develop their imagination and ability to communicate and express ideas and feelings in creative ways. For example, making and experimenting volcanoes, learning and understanding life cycle of a butterfly, and periodic field trips like visiting and exploring farm animals and floral. Also participating in school montessorial activities like making your own pizza & sushi, saving the earth, recycling day, jumble sale, orphanage home visitation, our children are well exposed to all beneficial external element in molding their character towards future. To launch the child’s exploration of the world’s physical environment, children are introduced to the various continents, states and cultures, land and water forms like lake, bay, isthmus, gulf and island, etc. Their learning is enhanced through sensory materials and practical work.
Early Years Environment Sustainability Program:
At Harbour Montessori, “Early Years Environment Sustainability Program” is introduced and it is the best age to bring awareness and to produce and nurture responsible citizens to take care of our environment and the ecosystem for better future. This curriculum connects the child to the nature and it assimilates into daily work cycle of the child in Harbour Montessori. For example, every child in Harbour Montessori will learn and understand the value of 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), composting of waste, re-growing food, seedlings and propagating, interaction with nature and so on.
With this program, we will encourage parents’ engagement with Harbour Montessori to materialize and to cultivate the good habits in daily work cycle of the children to produce a responsible and enthusiastic global citizen in the future.
Sensorial activities are designed to reinforce the five senses to help guide the children in learning to discriminate, clarify and compare. Sensorial exercises help prepare for intellectual development in an orderly manner. This experiential study is vital for the youngest of the early years (Nursery 1). Sensorial materials introduce the concept of colour, weight, height, shape, texture, size, sound and smell in an enjoyable way and are great fun for the children. These materials teach knowledge and understanding of the world. The Sensorial materials lay a solid foundation for Mathematics, Geometry, Geography, Botany, Art and Music. At Harbour Montessori, we incorporate 8 Sensorial Exercises below in our curriculum. The purpose and aim of these exercises are for the child to refine all of their senses, which will further enhance and organize their intelligence in academics. They are;
Practical Life / Life Skill:
Practical Life provides the opportunity of purposeful work and will assist children in their physical, emotional and social development underlined in the foundation stage curriculum. The Practical Life exercises provide a wholesome range of activities that allows your child to develop control and coordination of movement, awareness of his/her environment, good work habits, responsibility, concentration, attention, independence, order and positive self-image, which can be attained by spontaneous and purposeful work. At Harbour Montessori, the child is equipped with various self-regulate work in his/her work cycle to nurture independence and instill natural discipline, which also helps the child to concentrate and eradicate disruption behavior if there is any. For example, the first routine work introduced to a child in the classroom by the educator is rolling and unrolling mat – each Montessori material used (one at a time) by the child need to be place the material on the mat and ensure placing the material to the respective shelf after completing the work cycle. Order, structure and organization skill is cultivated during early years to help kids engaged in the classroom expeditiously.