"In our nurseries we all respect each other, adults and children alike and we work hard to create an environment where learning is fun. Little Orchard is somewhere where your child can grow knowing that they belong and are special; and through our carefully planned activities we ensure that we satisfy the early learning goals as required by Ofsted."
TRACEY BRUCE – DIRECTOR OF LEARNING
Tracey is a fully qualified childcare professional holding the International Montessori Diploma, BA Honours in Early Years, Certificate in Early Years Practice, ILM Business Management level 5, with a wealth of experience and knowledge in a variety of child care settings. Tracey began her career as a nanny in the local area as well as Bristol and London for media professionals. Tracey gave up work to start her own family, and fell in love with the Montessori philosophy when seeking the best for her children. It has been her lifelong ambition to own her own Montessori nurseries.
CAROLINE LUCAS - DIRECTOR/BUSINESS MANAGER
Caroline is a fully qualified childcare professional holding the International Montessori Diploma, Certificate in Early Years Practice, NNEB Diploma and ILM Business Management Level 4. During her college education, Caroline became inspired by the Montessori philosophy and its benefits for children. Caroline has worked in the local area as a nanny for professional families and at a Montessori nursery. She is now very proud to be the owner of her own Montessori nurseries.
“Maria Montessori and her ground breaking educational methods fascinate, amaze and inspire, and we are delighted to be able to offer this education philosophy in our nursery.”
Maria Montessori (1870 to 1952) has been and still is one of the most influential pioneers in early childhood education. The Montessori approach to education is an approach that allows the children to develop in a natural way.
Dr. Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and educator, pioneering her own philosophy of giving children freedom in an environment as an alternative method of learning and teaching. She believes this helps unlock “the child’s true normal nature.” We aim to adhere to this method, to provide the best possible conditions to promote physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development.
montessori at little orchard
The Montessori curriculum for the over threes is introduced at Little Orchard as follows:
The first area that your child will be introduced to is called Practical Life. In this area, your child will be given the opportunity to practice developing his/her skills in looking after him/herself and the surroundings. For example, children can practice pouring, transferring, sweeping, mopping, washing, folding, cooking, etc to develop co-ordination and dexterity skills.
Equipment in the Sensorial area helps to refine each of the five senses. For example, the sound boxes help to develop listening and music skills, colour boxes help develop observation and perception skills. The sensorial equipment also indirectly prepares the child for later mathematics and language work, as they help the child to order, grade, classify and describe their sensory impressions.
Maria Montessori, before working with children, studied Mathematics and through her observations of children she designed the mathematical equipment used in our classroom. Our children gain a physical impression of concepts such as numbers, counting skills, simple sums, measurement, fractions etc.
Language and literacy is enriched within the environment through the use of phonetic games, songs, rhymes, stories, books, and writing through the introduction of the sand paper letters. Language is also present throughout the classroom in labels, posters, books and visual signs to encourage an interest in reading.In our classroom we try to promote cultural awareness through our Cultural area.
We encourage children to explore and investigate their environment, using the equipment that Montessori developed for this purpose. Biology, geography, history and simple science activities are included in this area.
We, like Maria Montessori, feel that it is very important that the children are able to express themselves freely in the Creative area. Various materials are available for the children to use to make, draw, cut, glue, model, etc. Light classical music is also played to promote musical appreciation. Drama, singing, role-play, yoga and playing musical instruments are encouraged.