Children's House

“It is true that we cannot make a genius. We can only give to each child the chance to fulfil his potential possibilities.” Dr Maria Montessori
About Children’s House

Our Children’s House program is a Pre-Prep, Prep to School-Readiness learning environment that caters to students from 3 to 6 years of age.

Our Children’s House classrooms are co-educational and multi-aged, which result in greater social cohesion, a respectful community, and a richer learning environment. Grouped in an important three-year work cycle, the multi-age academic environment offers students the space and time to develop, explore, integrate, and master their learning before moving on to the next phase of their schooling journey.

One major advantage of our Children’s House three-year work cycle is allowing our students to gain exposure to a diversity of talents, skills and interests, and a wider academic and holistic curriculum beyond a single year. Our multi-age environments also allow our younger students to be exposed, by observing the older students, to more sophisticated work and look forward to working with other materials as they develop their skills.

Similarly, our older students can choose from a range of academically challenging and age-appropriate materials designed to build upon their learning. The three-year learning cycle is also designed to give our older students an enhanced sense of self-esteem and a greater understanding of community responsibility from roles as leaders in the group. The academic and holistic skills gained throughout their three-year work cycle prepare our students for a seamless transition into their Years 1 to 3 Montessori environment (Lower Primary 6 to 9 years of age).

The Curriculum

Brisbane Montessori offers the Montessori National Curriculum, as recognised by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). The Montessori Early Years Learning Program offers our Pre-Prep, Prep to School-aged students an enhanced program that aligns with The Early Years Learning Framework as required by the National Quality Framework. Simply put, this means our students learn a similar curriculum to their peers nationwide, just in a non-competitive and non-pressurised environment – allowing them to fully grasp, understand and embed their work.

The Children’s House Program is organised into four main areas: Practical Life, Senses, Language and Mathematics. Also incorporated into these areas are resources and activities that introduce our students to: Visual arts, Music, Science, Geography and History.

Practical life

Practical life provides activities that support our students in becoming independent and is the link from home to school. In younger years, students often start developing their concentration skills as they become engaged in work from this area. These concentrated work events are usually characterised by quiet internal satisfaction and joy.


The sensorial (tactile) curriculum includes exercises through which students learn to differentiate between finer and finer variation using the following senses:

  • Visual (dimension, colour, shape)
  • Tactile (texture, mass, temperature, stereognostic)
  • Auditory (pitch, timbre, rhythm, style, intensity of sound)
  • Olfactory (smell)
  • Gustatory (taste)


Students within this age group are also in their sensitive period for languages. It is before the age of 6 years that students, when provided with the opportunities, experience a need to explore reading and writing. The Children’s House curriculum offers students the opportunity to really delve into their language with specific Montessori materials and carefully designed, age-appropriate activities.


Through a range of exciting Montessori materials, students in Children’s House sensorially explore mathematics in an engaging way.

Physical Education

Students also take part in a daily and age-appropriate Perceptual Motor Program. Providing students with physical, social, and emotional regulation, the program’s activities are designed to meet students’ sensory preferences and introduce them to the concept of health and physical education in readiness for Years 1 to 3 (Lower Primary 6 to 9 Years Old). The activities are also carefully selected to assist in the preparation of the body for refined movements, which are required when undertaking fine motor activities, such as handwriting. The movement-based Perceptual Motor Program also assists students in developing skills such as:

  • Eye/foot and hand/eye coordination
  • Fitness
  • Locomotion
  • Eye-tracking

The program is designed to leave students feeling calmer and happier within themselves, which in turn results in enhanced concentration on their classroom work.

Forest School

A unique learning opportunity, Forest School is a student-led learning program that takes place in Brisbane Montessori Schools own on-campus ‘Eucalypt Woodland’ facility. This program promotes the holistic development of Children’s House students, fostering resilient, confident, independent, and creative learners with an underpinning message of respect for the environment. Taking place in a natural environment means that Forest School supports the development of a relationship between a learner and the natural world.

While there are specific activities incorporated into Forest School studies, much of the program is based on careful consideration of students’ interests. Through these activities, students learn valuable life skills like teamwork and perseverance. Students also learn specific skills such as knot tying, balancing on a log without assistance and colour matching leaves to paint charts.

Forest School is a program that allows for student’s ingenuity to shine while learning from an early age the importance of leaving natural materials to their true environment. The program is run by our highly qualified Forest School Practitioners who hold a Level 3 Certificate for Forest School Leaders and continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.

Extracurricular Offerings

Yoga assists our students in this age group to recognise, regulate and connect to their inner core to maintain a calm and peaceful state. Taught in a way that is fun and engaging, students learn about their growing bodies, feelings, and emotions as they move around, stretch, and express themselves – culminating in a better sense of self-awareness. Yoga is offered as an extra-curricular activity for students’ after school and is run by a Brisbane Montessori School approved external contractor – and is paid for on top of school fees.

Little Kickers

The Little Kickers football program is run at the Brisbane Montessori School campus on Saturdays. At Little Kickers the focus is on fun, with play-based football classes for girls and boys aged 18 months to 7 years. The aim of the program is to provide students with a fun introduction to football (soccer), improve confidence, social skills, and physical development. Little Kickers is offered as an extra-curricular activity for students outside school and is run by a Brisbane Montessori School approved external contractor – and is paid for on top of school fees.

Classroom and Learning Facilities

Each classroom is purpose-built to cater for twenty-two (22) students. Our Children’s House classrooms are located around Nganbirra Hall and are composed of six distinct but also interconnected learning environments, the classroom, the verandah and the garden.

Each classroom, or ‘Prepared Environment’, is designed to meet the physical and psychological needs of each student’s stage of development. The Prepared Environment is one of the most important components of a Montessori education and takes form as a carefully designed and sequenced range of hands-on learning activities and materials. The Montessori materials located in our Children’s House classrooms stimulate our students into logical thought and discovery, with the order and accessibility of the classroom assisting to entice them into an activity. The Prepared Environment deeply engages our students with their activities. In addition to the Montessori materials, other activities are carefully designed by our teachers to be in keeping with learning modules, appealing to an individual students’ interests – at their own pace. In this way, your child’s learning becomes highly personalised.

Students are also treated to a secure and expansive play area, featuring a large sandpit and explorational playground and jungle gym. Children’s House also employs a secure electronic sign-in/sign-out system that is utilised by a student’s registered and authorised parent/caregiver at both drop-off and pick-up.

Transitioning from Children’s House into Lower Primary

While we refer to Children’s House as being for students aged 3 to 6 years, the timing of the transition into the next plane, Lower Primary, is flexible. This transition occurs around the time of a student’s sixth (6th) birthday but can be when they are younger or older than this. Transitioning into Lower Primary can happen at any time during the year and the decision regarding timing is made in consultation with the parents/carers, the teacher, and Senior Leadership Team. Transitioning between cycles happens when the student is academically, socially, physically, and emotionally ready to join with older students and may sometimes not necessarily be on a student’s sixth birthday.

The transition schedule for a student is individual to the child and is carefully facilitated by the Head of Children’s House. It begins with the student participating in a tour of the Lower Primary environment, then gradually increasing the time spent visiting their appropriate Lower Primary classroom until they fully transition. This is a gradual process and ensures the student is familiar with all aspects of their new classroom before completely transitioning into this new phase.

Transitions are an exciting part of a student’s Montessori educational journey and are eagerly anticipated and celebrated by their cycle groups.

A Deeper Understanding of the 3 to 6 Year Old

Dr Maria Montessori’s research suggested that between 0 to 6 years, students operate with an absorbent mind; literally taking from their environment to construct who they are to become. We find our students focus on a tactile exploration and classification of the world and share in similar characteristics including:

  • High levels of concentration – Dr Montessori was amazed to observe the length of time that very young students would choose to attend to tasks which interested them.
  • Desire to read and write – Dr Montessori was astonished by how students seemed to ‘burst spontaneously’ into writing and then reading if provided with the right materials and sufficient stimulation.
  • Love of order – Dr Montessori found that young students have a natural inclination for organisation and orderliness. This natural inclination can be helped and developed if we foster it.
  • Freedom of choice – Students like to choose the things they do. If materials are set out within easy access, they will choose, use and return them without assistance from an adult.
  • Students prefer work to play – Dr Montessori found that play was a substitute for what the students really wanted to do but could not do. For example, many children outside of a school environment like to play ‘house’, pretend to cook, bake pies, clean the house etc. Dr Montessori deduced that, if given the choice, they prefer to be in the real kitchen with their families, learning how to prepare real food. In fact, children have a natural drive to work in order to develop. In Children’s House students are provided with these real experiences, for example, preparing a snack or cutting the fruit to serve. The child’s great task is to create an adult.
  • Love of repetition – Students choose to practise things they are trying to master.
  • No need for reward and punishment – Dr Montessori discovered that students are intrinsically motivated to work. They do not need external rewards and punishments. What they need is help. The adult can help by carefully showing a student how to do what he or she is trying to accomplish. Accomplishment, competence, and being a contributing member of society are the rewards that each of our students attain in a Montessori learning environment.
  • Lovers of silence – Although it is easy to think of children as noisy, Dr Montessori discovered that young children enjoy finding out how quiet they can be. Our students like to listen to silence and to soft sounds. It is a game to see if they can move a chair without making a sound. Many of the visitors into our classrooms are struck by the orderliness and calmness of our students. There is a buzz of conversation and activity, but not to the extent that one student or group disturbs another. Maria Montessori found that this calm atmosphere arose naturally when students were provided with an environment appropriate to their needs.
  • Sense of personal dignity – Just like adults, Dr Montessori found that children have a deep sense of personal dignity. They want to be capable and held in high regard. They want to be able to do things for themselves, for example, a child would rather tie their own shoelaces than have them tied. This sense of personal dignity is highly encouraged and promoted throughout every Children’s House classroom, with our students given the tools to develop and succeed.
A Day in a Children’s House Classroom

When a 3 – 6 year old child joins their classroom of a morning they will put away their belongings independently, then choose what they would like to work with. Having freedom of choice is one of the important pillars for any Montessori environment and for a child’s development. Having choice available to the students allows them to develop critical thinking skills, be more committed to the learning experience and supports the developing will of the student.

All students will have a presentation on materials before working with each piece independently, and on any given day there are first presentations occurring. Once a piece of material is chosen, or after it is newly presented, a student will work with that material, independently of the adult for as long as they need to. It is then packed away on the shelf and another choice is made.

Students are able to eat their mid morning snack when they are hungry. They are shown how to use the Practical Life area and are able to set up their own eating arrangement. Once the students return to work after their snack, it is often at this time that children experience their deepest concentration. It is the specific design of the three-hour work cycle that children can move into this time of deep concentration and engagement.

Students are able to take their work out onto the verandah or into the garden if they prefer those work areas. Outside the students can also engage in gardening, cutting flowers, collecting leaves and outside cleaning. All this type of work, when it is purposeful, has a place equal to traditional academic work in the Montessori environment.