Montessori Philosophy

“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.” Dr Maria Montessori

In 1907, Italian physician and educator Dr Maria Montessori opened her first classroom in Rome - the Casa dei Bambini or ‘Children’s House’. It was in this very classroom, after years of observations and experimentation with the learning environments, materials, and lessons, that the Montessori approach first proved its effectiveness. It was proven to transform students into critical thinking, independent, and well-balanced individuals. It is now estimated that the Montessori educational method is practiced in over 20,000 schools worldwide, educating students from birth to 18 years old.


The Montessori notion is one of learning to balance responsibility with freedom of choice. It offers students the opportunity to realise their potential in a non-competitive environment and seeks to promote:

  • Self-confidence and self-esteem 
  • A sense of achievement and self-worth 
  • A sense of responsibility for self and actions 
  • Independence and adaptability 
  • Cooperation and sense of community 
  • Respect for the rights and needs of others 
  • Initiative and self-motivation 
  • Concentration and persistence in completing a task.


  • Life education is based on respect and love for self, others and the environment  
  • Educating in the context of the whole child, taking into account the social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual aspects  
  • Developing human potential and making the connection between life and the universe  
  • Embracing home, school and the greater community as part of the educational approach  
  • Offering a learning environment of minimal interruptions and interferences  
  • Nurturing relationships that satisfy the true needs of the child.


  1. The prepared environment 
  2. The children  
  3. The adult. 


Montessori education is characterised by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits and respect for a child’s natural psychological development. The Association Montessori International cite the following elements as essential:

  • Mixed-age classrooms 
  • Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options 
  • Uninterrupted blocks of work time 
  • A constructivism or ‘discovery’ model, where students learn concepts from working with materials rather than by direct instruction 
  • Specialised educational materials. 

  • From a young age, we encourage students to look after their belongings and care for themselves. 
  • This is demonstrated by students managing their own time and work responsibilities. 
  • A student learns to make sure they are doing a variety of age-appropriate work and learns to evaluate their work. This stands them in good stead for high school and tertiary education – a life skill that you don’t get a grade for but is critical for achievement. 

    • Allows for deep concentrated work. 
    • Allows for concentration at different times – some students concentrate first thing; others take some time to warm up. 
    • Encourages critical thinking – students need to make work choices and follow through with their decisions. 
    • Allows students who are advanced or work faster to move ahead in the curriculum; while allowing students who need more time to work at their level. 
    • Allows younger students to observe older students, setting expectations of work in the future. 
    • Students start in a classroom as a youngster, observing and becoming safe and secure in their routine. In turn, this allows them to develop their own leadership skills and develop empathy by helping younger students. 
    • Allows older students to give presentations and become mentors to the younger students. 
    • An older student then transitions to the next age group and the cycle begins again when they are the youngest in the group. 
    • This results in students who are socially very capable, who are not afraid of talking to older students because they are regularly interacting with older and younger students.