The Junior Primary Class provides a caring and enriching environment incorporating a variety of experiences. Children progress steadily from simple to complex, from concrete to abstract. Through the experience of Practical Life the child engages in tasks he/she naturally enjoys doing (pouring, sweeping, polishing, etc.) at the same time developing coordination, concentration, order and confidence.
Children increase their awareness of qualities in the environment as they manipulate the Sensorial Apparatus (comparisons of sound, shape, colour, discipline and texture, etc). These exercises help the child to order their life and classify the myriad of sense impressions they receive daily.
At the Junior Primary Level (3-6 years), the children work to develop themselves as independent people, to grasp reality and to acquire a fund of facts and impressions. They are primarily interested in what and where.
The prepared environment structured to aid this development, provides five areas of activity:
- Practical Life Exercises
- The Sensorial Apparatus
- The Language Programme
- Number Work
- The Culture Area which includes elements of Geography, Biology, History, Art, Music LOTE
Characteristics of the 3-6 Classroom
- Teacher operates as Director, not as a provider of all information
- Teacher’s attitude towards children shows respect and love for the child, warm and approachable, clean and neat presentation
- Specialist teachers in afternoon program
- Whole group lessons, about half an hour per day total or less
- Strong emphasis on personal responsibility for order in work area
- Appropriate behaviour toward material and others
- Grace and Courtesy – not interrupting others, not running, etc.
- Care for one another
- Children demonstrate independence, self-discipline and choice
- Completion of a 3 hour Work Cycle
- One set of materials per class
- Desks arranged individually or in pairs with some group configuration
- Prepared Environment – clean and orderly
- Individual and small group lessons are the primary means of instruction
- No use of workbooks and worksheets
- Individual work with materials 3 hours per day
- All materials directly support the Montessori curriculum
- Child sized furniture