We at Banksia believe that certain things are instrumental in the holistic and natural development of our children. The more we work with our children, the more convinced we are – as Maria Montessori once was – that children have precise inner guides and that our work as parents and teachers is to help them be all they can be.
Children go through natural periods of sensitivity during which they learn new things at an intense rate, using all their senses. If left to follow their natural interests, children achieve much more than would normally be expected. Order and guidance play a primordial part in this. It makes children feel safe and confident and allows maximum freedom within our structured environment.
The mixed-age group in our classroom is not accidental. It is natural and very easy for younger children to learn by watching and listening to older children, while one of the best ways for older children to internalise knowledge is to explain it to others and to be mentors to the younger ones. This opportunity to lead also helps them build confidence and self-esteem.
Our 21st century approach of the Montessori Method harmonises well with the NQS (National Quality Standard) and EYFL (Early Years Learning Framework). There is no question that children can profit from play based and guided learning as well as direct instruction attuned to the individual child. At Banksia our children are seen as capable active participants, therefore we allow for enquiry based learning that follows the child.