Essence of the 3-6 Child

By Ava Szabo – Principal

Kia ora e te whānau.

Welcome to the final week of Term One. It’s hard to believe Easter is almost here.

I recently attended my second Montessori Education evening of the term, hosted by the Preschool. These evenings are held across each sector every term and are always interesting and informative.

The Preschool education evening presented by Amy and Tara focused on the ‘Essence of the 3-6 Child’. Maria Montessori was the first female physician in Italy and she spent much of her time understanding, assessing and reassessing her ideas of child development through observation, looking at the attributes of the child at different stages of development.

Maria Montessori broke down the development of the child into four distinct stages.  These are 0-6, 6-12, 12-18 and 18-24.  The first three years of each phase are for developing and forming and the second three years are for crystallizing and cementing e.g. Walking – 0-3 the child is beginning to move the body to be upright, the 3-6 child is refining this movement.  It was also explained that the Montessori materials are specifically designed to assist in this development.

During the education evening we explored and explained the absorbent mind, the sensitive periods and the development of the will. The latter is a child with their own mind who has the freedom to act in the world. Whānau were offered practical advice for home to help and support the development of their tamariki. This very brief summary is but a small portion of the evening.

I would strongly encourage you to attend these evenings as they are a great way to catch up with others in the community and learn a little more of our Montessori philosophy.

You may remember that next term (Term 2), I will not be at school. I will be taking my Principal’s sabbatical that was awarded last year. During my absence the following staff will step up to take on additional responsibilities:

Katy Cottrell who is our DP in the High School will step up as Acting Principal.

Tania Gaffney will take on some additional responsibilities in the Primary School

Anna Mclean will take on additional responsibilities in the Preschool.

Hilary Asquith will take on additional responsibilities in Kawakawa.

I wish you all a wonderful Term One holiday break and I look forward to seeing you all in Term Three.