We are guided by both the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum (Te Whāriki) as well as the Montessori philosophy. We see our classrooms as a community of children. Children aged two-and-a-half up to six learn alongside each other which enables the older children to be role models for their younger peers. 

 The environment is designed to empower children’s independence. Children participate in preparing meals or tending to the garden. When helping with food preparation, the children use real utensils. We try to create a “homely” atmosphere in our classrooms so that children feel a sense of ownership over their space. Learning in the outdoors is viewed as important and beneficial as learning inside. The children are free to move between the classroom and the outdoor area.

Bays Montessori Nelson's Longest Serving Provider Of Montessori Preschool Education To Children Aged Ten Months To Six
montessori programme

Children are offered 2.5 to 3 hour blocks of time to concentrate on the activities they have chosen without interruption.

For her time, Dr Maria Montessori had revolutionary ideas about the importance of the early years for human development. She believed that between the years of zero to six, children’s brains were like sponges. Montessori proposed that young children experienced “sensitive periods” for learning language, refining their senses and developing their motor coordination. For example, young children can effortlessly learn a second language whereas adults must dedicate hours of deliberate study to be bilingual.  In our classrooms, you will find materials and activities that specifically nurture these sensitive periods for learning.

Below, you can read more about the different curriculum areas of our Montessori curriculum.

Our Curriculum

As most parents know, young children often insist on doing things for themselves. Practical life activities satisfy children’s innate desire for independence by mirroring real life activities. Practicing pouring from a jug or learning to manipulate clothes fastenings satisfy their innate need to do things for themselves. 

Children are free to choose any of the activities on the shelf but are expected to return them when they are finished so the activity is available for one of their friends. This gives them a sense of responsibility for their environment.

Through her careful observations of child development, Dr Montessori discovered that between the ages of 3 to 6, children are refining their five senses. Having learned the names of the primary colours, they are beginning to appreciate that the world can be appreciated in a myriad of shades. 

The fine-tuning of a child’s sight, taste, sound, smell and touch is the focus of the sensorial curriculum area. Here, you might observe children feeling different textured materials and grouping pairs that feel the same or building a tower from the largest to the smallest cube. 

Sensorial activities help a child develop their:

  • Perception
  • Logical thinking
  • Concentration
  • Early mathematical skills as they group similar items together 

Children are encouraged to refine their senses in playful, informal ways at Montessori too such as picking herbs from the herb garden. 

At Montessori, children indirectly prepare their language skills through artwork, singing, poetry and listening to stories. 

In the classroom, language is formally presented to the child through touch and feel. For example, children learn to trace sandpaper letters, write letters in the sand tray or use the “movable alphabet” for early spelling.  This familiarizes the child with the sound and formation of each letter, later enabling them to write their own words and sentences. 

Our classrooms have a range of interactive, hands-on materials that assist children grasp the concepts of:

  •  Quantities.
  •  Number families.
  •  Basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Through their studies of botany, zoology and cultural studies,  children gain an awareness of their place within the community. They develop an understanding of their neighbourhood, community, country and the wider world. Through these studies:

  • Children also learn Te Reo Maori and Tikanga Māori. 
  • The child begins to discover similarities and differences in cultures around the world. We welcome families sharing festivals or cultural traditions with the school community.
  •  A respect toward others and feeling proud of their own cultural background.

Children’s meals are prepared onsite in our classrooms. This enables the children to contribute to the preparation of their meals. Eating together fosters a sense of community as well.
At all three preschool sites (3-6 years), children are served morning and afternoon teas as well as a cooked lunch every day. The meals served at The Bays Montessori Schools have been awarded a Healthy Heart Award from the New Zealand Heart Foundation.
Some of the vegetables and herbs are harvested in our Montessori gardens. Children peel vegetables and fruit for their meals as well as set up the table with mats and real crockery. They take turns serving the food to their peers.
Cooking incorporates so much learning! This includes counting out ingredients but also experiencing different types of foods and sitting with friends for a meal.
Before they eat, children recite a Māori karakia (non-religious prayer) to express their respect and gratitude for the meal.

Bays Montessori Over 2 Years Programme Curriculum Practical Life
Practical Life
As most parents know, young children often insist on doing things for themselves. Practical life activities satisfy children’s innate desire for independence by mirroring real life activities. Practicing pouring from a jug or learning to manipulate clothes fastenings satisfy their innate need to do things for themselves. Children are free to choose any of the activities on the shelf but are expected to return them when they are finished so the activity is available for one of their friends. This gives them a sense of responsibility for their environment.
Bays Montessori Over 2 Years Programme Curriculum Practical Life
Bays Montessori Over 2 Years Programme Curriculum Sensorial
Sensorial
Through her careful observations of child development, Dr Montessori discovered that between the ages of 3 to 6, children are refining their five senses. Having learned the names of the primary colours, they are beginning to appreciate that the world can be appreciated in a myriad of shades. The fine-tuning of a child’s sight, taste, sound, smell and touch is the focus of the sensorial curriculum area. Here, you might observe children feeling different textured materials and grouping pairs that feel the same or building a tower from the largest to the smallest cube. Sensorial activities help a child develop their: Perception Logical thinking Concentration Early mathematical skills as they group similar items together Children are encouraged to refine their senses in playful, informal ways at Montessori too such as picking herbs from the herb garden.
Bays Montessori Over 2 Years Programme Curriculum Sensorial
Bays Montessori Over 2 Years Programme Curriculum Language
Language
At Montessori, children indirectly prepare their language skills through artwork, singing, poetry and listening to stories. In the classroom, language is formally presented to the child through touch and feel. For example, children learn to trace sandpaper letters, write letters in the sand tray or use the “movable alphabet” for early spelling. This familiarizes the child with the sound and formation of each letter, later enabling them to write their own words and sentences.
Bays Montessori Over 2 Years Programme Curriculum Language
Bays Montessori Over 2 Years Programme Curriculum Mathematics
Mathematics
Our classrooms have a range of interactive, hands-on materials that assist children grasp the concepts of:
● Quantities.
● Number families.
● Basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Bays Montessori Over 2 Years Programme Curriculum Mathematics
Bays Montessori Over 2 Years Programme Curriculum Knowledge and Understanding of their world
Knowledge and Understanding of their World
Through their studies of botany, zoology and cultural studies, children gain an awareness of their place within the community. They develop an understanding of their neighbourhood, community, country and the wider world. Through these studies: Children also learn Te Reo Maori and Tikanga Māori. The child begins to discover similarities and differences in cultures around the world. We welcome families sharing festivals or cultural traditions with the school community. A respect toward others and feeling proud of their own cultural background.
Bays Montessori Over 2 Years Programme Curriculum Knowledge and Understanding of their world
Bays Montessori Over 2 Years Programme Curriculum Healthy Meals
Healthy Meals
Children’s meals are prepared onsite in our classrooms. This enables the children to contribute to the preparation of their meals. Eating together fosters a sense of community as well.
At all three preschool sites (3-6 years), children are served morning and afternoon teas as well as a cooked lunch every day. The meals served at The Bays Montessori Schools have been awarded a Healthy Heart Award from the New Zealand Heart Foundation.
Some of the vegetables and herbs are harvested in our Montessori gardens. Children peel vegetables and fruit for their meals as well as set up the table with mats and real crockery. They take turns serving the food to their peers.
Cooking incorporates so much learning! This includes counting out ingredients but also experiencing different types of foods and sitting with friends for a meal.
Before they eat, children recite a Māori karakia (non-religious prayer) to express their respect and gratitude for the meal.
We take food allergies seriously and can cater for many food allergies. If your child has food allergies, teachers can work with you to ensure your child is included in the lunch programme but most importantly, is kept safe at mealtimes.
Bays Montessori Over 2 Years Programme Curriculum Healthy Meals

The Outdoor Programme

We offer an Outdoor Programme that enriches our children physically, socially, culturally and spiritually. Children have the freedom to move from the indoors to the outdoors throughout the day. In our outdoor “classroom”, you might see children tending to the worm farm, planting seedlings or doing some carpentry. 

The Outdoor Programme nurtures children to develop a responsible relationship with our land and its resources. Children learn about sustainable practice by:

●      Composting

●      Recycling and reusing

●      Use of natural materials in the classroom

●      Collecting rainwater

●      Harvesting vegetables for snacks and meals

Montessori Bays The Outdoor Programme 3

Our Outdoor Curriculum

The Outdoor Programme draws from three main threads and it is the interweaving of these threads which gives it its unique character.

These threads are:

 

We take a view of ourselves as being kaitiaki (guardians) of the earth and its resources and as being protectors of the environment.

Maria Montessori saw our natural world as a source of inspiration and learning for children. She believed that fostering a connection with nature helped children develop respectfulness, cooperation, a sense of wonder and a love of learning.

The outdoors is very important in our culture. It is a place to socialise, to relax, and a setting to develop the core values of reliability, resilience and interdependence.

Kaupapa Māori
We take a view of ourselves as being kaitiaki (guardians) of the earth and its resources and as being protectors of the environment.
Montessori Philosophy
Maria Montessori saw our natural world as a source of inspiration and learning for children. She believed that fostering a connection with nature helped children develop respectfulness, cooperation, a sense of wonder and a love of learning.
Kiwi Outdoor Values
The outdoors is very important in our culture. It is a place to socialise, to relax, and a setting to develop the core values of reliability, resilience and interdependence.