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
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