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Oliver's Montessori Nursery and Pre-School in Hampstead, Belsize Park, North London

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Olivers Montessori Nursery Philosophy 

We believe that Independence  develops when children have the liberty and freedom to act and learn within a structured and prepared environment, where they can make creative choices and their education is based on self-directed activities, hands-on learning and collaborative play whilst the classroom and the teachers guide the process. 

We strongly believe that during this learning process we should follow the child's own pattern rather than impose the idea that what the child should learn at the moment.

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Practical Life Activities


These are designed to build skills in everyday activities with which the child may be familiar at home.  Practical life activities promote independence, coordination and fine and gross motor skills.  They also prepare the child for later mathematical and language work, whilst developing the child’s concentration span.

Examples include:


Dressing frames, pouring, spooning, sorting, dusting, threading, 

Pegging, sweeping the floor and carrying a chair.


Sensorial Activities:


These attractive materials are specially designed to heighten the child’s awareness of the world around, by broadening and refining each bodily sense.  They help prepare the child for many later Montessori activities, especially the Maths and Cultural work.  


Examples include:


Pink tower, red rods, cylinder blocks, sound boxes, rough and smooth boards, smelling bottles and colour boxes.


Language Activities:


Early language experience is gained through books, storytelling, poems and songs with actions.  When interested in letters and reading, the child is introduced to Montessori language materials.  First the sounds and shapes of the letters are taught a few at a time in individual lessons.  Then reading and writing are introduced through various structured activities.

Examples include:


Sandpaper letters, moveable alphabet, object boxes and the farm box.


Maths Activities:


Early number experience includes counting, sorting, weighing, matching and pairing – particularly in the Sensorial activities.  When ready and interested in numbers, the child is introduced to five sets of maths activities, progressing from the simple to the complex and from the concrete to the abstract.  Arithmetic, for example, is learned through the use of beads that come in ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands.


Examples include:

Number rods, sandpaper numbers, numbers and counters, spindle box, teens and tens boards, decimal system beads, addition/subtraction beads, fraction circles.

Cultural Activities:


These activities are usually conducted as group work, to promote social interaction.  They cover all the aspects of learning that make a culture rich and interesting.  Each term special projects are run in nature, science, history and religious studies.  There is also on-going work with the large puzzle maps of all the countries of the world.


For art, an easel is always up in the classroom so the children can paint when they like and there is a daily art lesson such as painting, sticking, printing, modeling, collage and sculpting.

Professional dance and music teachers visit the nursery once a week.  For dance, the children are encouraged to join in on movement to music which promotes body awareness, gross and fine motor control, rhythm, balance and coordination.  In music, the children are encouraged to join in songs, rhythms and use different instruments.  We also use children’s natural performing skills to produce a play or concert twice a year which helps children to build confidence and voice projection techniques for performing in front of an audience.

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