Te ara o te aroha
–The way of love in the Beginners Nest–
The Beginners Nest is a very special space designed with the needs of the youngest in our community in mind. Our program is for children who are comfortably walking to age three, in a small and intimate group. The environment provides opportunities to support a young child’s developing independence, concentration and language skills. It offers the best beginning for infants and toddlers, giving them the opportunity to grow in independence and confidence
“Believe in the Child”Dr Maria Montessori
The Journey to Independence
Our Montessori Beginners Nest program for children aged 1-3 years runs every day from 7.45-5.15pm. We look forward to showing you around and talking to you about your child’s needs and how we can support your family.
One of the most meaningful aspects of Montessori is the understanding that from a very young age children want to act independently and do things for them themselves.
Our safe, home environment provides the opportunity for a child to take charge of their self-care, developing their independence and self-esteem. By designing an environment that facilitates the journey towards independent eating, resting, moving, toileting, dressing and socialising we meet a child’s needs to help them to help themselves, from the youngest child to the oldest.
Care of Self
Sitting at the table and eating with a friend is a social skill that the children will enjoy practicing during their time in the Beginners Nest. Your child will be able to choose when they would like to eat their snack, shown how to lay the table and wash up after they have eaten – please be assured that this will be closely monitored by the Directress. Your child will also learn how to pour a small glass of water to drink. Do not be concerned that your child may eat all of their snack in one sitting, learning to regulate what they eat with support is all part of their journey towards independence.
The children are free to move around the Beginners Nest environment, both indoors and out in the garden. A range of age appropriate activities in the nest and out in garden help develop your child’s fine and gross motor skills and supporting their need to concentrate. Social skills are also developed as they take turns with equipment in the nest, and out in garden. As an extension of the classroom, your child will have contact with nature through watering and planting flowers and looking at insects as well as taking care of our animals.
Care of the Environment
As well as learning to look after their own needs your child will also learn to look after the world around them. From watering the plants, weeding and sweeping, children love to do what they see adults around them doing. Washing up their own dishes, dusting, cleaning windows – these are just some of the activities the children in the Beginners Nest love to do!
Painting and other art and craft materials are provided to enable your child to express themselves creatively in the Beginners Nest. When painting the children are encouraged to take turns at the easel and clean up before another child has a turn. As well as painting, your child will have the opportunity to use glue, crayons, pencils and scissors with support.
having Fun together
Music is an integral part of the curriculum expressed through dance and singing. The children will have the opportunity to listen, dance and sing along to a various selection of music and play musical instruments. Going on walks around the Historic Village are also a regular part of our time together.
OUR BEGINNERS NEST GUIDE
Your child’s first days with us
Before your child joins us In the Beginners Nest at Little Sweethearts Montessori they will be invited to come along for a number of small visits with you, usually lasting an hour. One of these visits will include a visit when they may sleep. With regards to your child’s routines, we aim to work in close partnership with you to ensure that the transition is as happy as possible for both you and your child. If you have any concerns regarding your child settling into the program, please speak to us. Our Settling in Policy can be found in the Policy Handbook in the Parents Area.
Children show the need for quiet time and a quiet area is provided for your child to sit and read. If your child requires a rest as part of our Beginners Nest Montessori program, children can rest on a mattress, in a quiet space or in our sleep room. This is to give each child their independence and freedom of choice on the length of their rest in the Montessori environment.
What to Bring
Your child’s time in the Beginners Nest can be very busy and clothes do get dirty. As some children will also be learning to use the toilet it is important not to send your child to school in dungarees or other clothes with difficult fastenings. A complete change of clothes must be kept in your child’s school bag, all clearly named. Shoes that are easy for your child to take on and off are also a good idea so please avoid laces or hard to do up buckles. A pair of slippers are also required for indoors during the colder months and a sunhat and sunscreen in summer.
Taking their first steps!
When your child arrives at The Beginners Nest you can help your child develop independence and responsibility by encouraging your toddlers to walk into school, find their name, choose a peg, hang up their own bag and remove and put on their own shoes.
The Montessori Way
The teachers at The Beginners Nest will be referred to as Directresses. This describes their role in the classroom perfectly, as it is the Montessori teacher’s role to direct your child towards learning opportunities through maintaining the physical, intellectual, and emotional environment to suit your child. The Directress will not teach facts or concepts but lead a child to fall in love with learning. A Montessori Directresses role in the classroom is to be responsive to the needs of individual children in a calm unhurried manner, moving around the classroom quietly and unobtrusively, with every child shown respect, listened to courteously and thoughtfully. To do this effectively the Directresses need time to get to know your child, their likes, dislikes and develop a sense of their uniqueness. Your child also needs uninterrupted time to focus their full attention on an activity and master a skill. The strength of our Montessori programme relies on children attending no less than two sessions a week. This helps to create the consistency that young children yearn for. The success of the children’s community relies on the relationships between them which can only be built with children attending regularly and consistently.
Your Child’s Progress
At the Beginners Nest the Directress will follow your child’s development closely, direct them effectively within the class and work in partnership with you. The Directress will also complete observations and present activities. These are kept in your child’s Individual Profile, which records the Montessori activities your child is working with at The Beginners Nest and can be viewed at any time. We also use EDUCA, a secure web-based profile to share your child’s journey online and give you a chance to provide feedback on their development. You will be asked to give permission for your child’s information to be loaded, and only people you give permission to will be able to see their profile.
Each day offers your child new experiences and opportunities to learn and develop skills. Maintaining communication with you is the key to your child’s success in the classroom. It is also important for us to know what your child enjoys doing at home or if you notice a sensitive period, so please let u know so we can continue to follow these needs.
At the Beginners Nest we feel it is important to maintain open communication about your child’s needs at school and at home so please feel free to discuss any concerns or questions regarding your child’s progress with us. If you would like to talk about your child on a more formal basis, a suitable appointment may be made. We hold Parent/Teacher interviews on a regular basis throughout the year.
How You Can Help
You are you child’s first and most important educator and no-one knows your child as well as you do. How your child responds to language and songs, their likes and dislikes and how they play are all vital pieces of information that the Directress needs to know to help your child make the most of their learning experiences. If you would like to spend some time with your child in the Beginners Nest, please let us know. In the Beginners Nest your child will be given many opportunities to make their own choices. You can back this up in many ways at home by letting your child choose their own clothes or helping with simple household tasks. Working together to make the most of your child’s potential is essential and will also minimize frustration for both you and your child as they begin to practice skills, they are learning at school with you at home.
Moving onto the LSM Preschool Garden Room The Beginners Nest is a Montessori foundation program. There is no set age when a child must move on from the Beginner’s Nest, and a child will show that they are ready when they are able to use the toilet, choose their own activity and are familiar with the work cycle. We will let you know when we observe that your child is showing signs that they are ready so that we can work together to make the transition from the Beginner’s Nest as smooth as possible for you and your child. If your child has a sibling in the Garden Room, there is every opportunity for them to visit the Beginners Nest and share experiences.
Nappies and Toilet Training
Toilet training is a big step in a young child’s life and the Directress is happy to support your child in the transition from nappies to using the toilet. If your child is using nappies, the Directress will change your child’s nappy, but we ask that you please provide nappies for your child together with a full change of clothes. It is important that we support your efforts when helping your child’s desire to toilet train so please inform the Directress of the routine you use at home and update us as your child’s toileting needs change.
If your child requires medicine while they are at school, please inform the Directress who will provide a Medicine Sheet for you to record the details. We are only permitted to give medicine with your written permission so for children’s safety at school please do not leave any medicine in your child’s school bag but hand it to the Directress. Any medicine that we have permission to administer during school hours must be stored in our First Aid cabinet during the session.
Please become familiar with our Illness and Infectious Disease Policy. Any children who are not well are advised not to attend the school until they return to full health. If a child is suffering from an infectious disease, they are not permitted to attend the school until they are well. If your child becomes ill while at school, we will contact you for them to be collected.
On occasion a child may take a piece of equipment home that belongs to the school, please do not be alarmed if this happens. As some of the Montessori materials are expensive and difficult to replace, an amnesty basket is provided in the class to return such items.
These are held on a regular basis throughout the school year and offer the perfect opportunity to share thoughts and ideas. Our aim is to support one another and work in partnership at The Beginners Nest with evenings discussing Montessori at home and in the classroom and learning about the materials through formal and more informal get-togethers. Love Parenting is a course which is run twice a year and information is available from the Office
Please check our information board which is updated daily with school notices. At the entrance door is where you will find the IPAD to sign your child in and out and school forms. Each family has a named pocket in the Beginners Nest room room for parent communication, newsletters and bills, so please check this on a regular basis. If anyone but yourself will be collecting your child from school, please let us know and write it on a Change of Details Form as we will not let your child leave the school premises without this notification. If you are unable to let the school know in writing, please telephone us before your child is collected. Thank you for your co-operation.
These are issued each term and contain important information regarding school events and other notices. If you would like to contribute in any way, please let us know.
Your child’s birthday is a special celebration and if you would like to mark the occasion please let us know. In our Beginners Nest we will celebrate with a Montessori Birthday Walk and a healthy snack.
Please name all items that your child brings to school, as any unnamed items will be gathered into the lost property basket which we ask you to check on a regular basis. Unclaimed items will be donated to charity at the end of each year.
The Beginners Nest is licensed so it is possible to receive a childcare subsidy, which is based on parents’ income. Application forms are available on request.
You will receive a school t-shirt, sweatshirt and sun hat. We request that your child wears their school uniform when attending The Beginners Nest
During the school year the children will be taken on trips away from the school for a morning or afternoon. This is a great opportunity to widen your child’s horizon and for you to help. Before embarking on the trip, you will be given plenty of notice and we will rely on your participation as parents for adult/child ratios to be met. We require written consent for your child to attend such a trip, for full details please ask to read our Excursion Policy.
To confirm the hours your child attends school and in case of an emergency, please ensure that you sign your child in and out on the IPAD Sheet every time they attend. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter as it is a safety issue as well as a requirement of the Ministry of Education.
Our fees are payable fortnightly in advance. The preferred method is via automatic payment. A weekly statement will be emailed to you or put in your child’s named pocket at school. Please refer to the Charges Schedule.
Notice of Leaving
Four weeks’ notice in writing is required if your child is withdrawing from the school.
Love ❤ Laugh ❤ Grow ❤ Montessori