St Ann’s uses a combination of Montessori as well as Play-based teaching methodologies. Montessori focuses on building on a child’s natural drive for independence, self-esteem, imagination, polite behaviour and curiosity. While Play-based technique, also called child-centered and developmental technique, believe that children learn best through play.
Key practices in Montessori are:
- Montessori experts feel that kids learn best unassisted by adults and by learning by doing themselves and from their peers.
- The learning environment is self-paced. Most times the children chose their activities or ‘works” as they are called in Montessori method.
- Focus, depth and completion of activities or “works” are encouraged.
- Montessori also has special methods and materials to teach children writing, reading, mathematics, geography, sciences and practical life (eating, wearing clothes etc.)
- Many Montessori preschools also focus on cursive writing and the kids learn cursive writing first.
- Emphasis is a lot on hands-on learning and learning with all the senses.
- Children are encouraged to be independent and responsible. For example children will be encouraged to:
- Eat their food and fill water in their glass by themselves.
- Kids are taught to tie their shoelaces and put on their clothes themselves at an early age. There are special materials and methods to teach these.
- Clean up the mess they make or put away the toys they play with. Different schools do this differently. For example, some schools might want kids to put the toys in the right basket and some might want the toys to be in a common basket.
Key practices in Play-based method are:
- Children are encouraged to learn through activities appropriate for their stage of development.
- Kids have lots of unstructured time to play and opportunity to choose when, what and who to play with.
- Most of the time the children have choice of activity but there might be times when children get together for story-time, circle-time or to focus on some activity.
- There may be theme-based activities for children. The themes can be both teacher and child initiated.
- Reading and mathematics readiness skills may be learnt by informal play-based activities.