Transition to Stage 1
The Transition to Stage 1 program is a chance for the child to prepare for the move into Stage 1, Montessori Pre Primary. It is an invitation-only program and each child is considered for placement based on specific criteria relating to a confirmed offer in Stage 1. There are two groups hosted each week – one group that runs every Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:45am – 12:15pm; and the other every Thursday and Friday from 8:45am – 12:15pm. Children enrolled in this program attend both days each week in their respective group. Children may attend both groups and therefore attend for four days (morning sessions) each week.
Children experience freedom in the classroom to choose the materials they want to use and work independently. Three trained staff act as guides, presenting work when necessary and ensuring the prepared environment meets all their needs. It is the Director’s role to observe the child and then guide them to achieve their full potential.
How is the Transition to Stage 1 classroom physically prepared to support each child’s learning and independence?
The room in which we meet is a “Montessori prepared environment”. The activities inside and outside the room meet the developmental needs of the toddler. This means that each activity is specially chosen to appeal to the children to aid the building of their cognitive development, motor control and language enrichment.
The program also supports the child’s growing independence, self-esteem and developing confidence as they prepare for the transition into a five mornings per week program. The room is generally set up the same each week to provide consistency and respect for the child’s love of order. The Directors observe the child and introduce them to new work as they see their need for extension.
The room is divided into the following areas:
- Care of self
- Care of environment
- Food preparation
- Sensorial development
- Hand-eye coordination
- Gross motor movement
- Language enrichment
- Arts and crafts
- Natural science experiences
- Social relationships
As much as possible materials are arranged on the trays from left to right. This assists the child in returning materials in the same way each time, assisting their sense of order. Activities also have a particular sequence and are colour coded or are arranged in matched sets to help all follow the process with a logical sequence. The Director presents and explains these activities to the child as required.
Many of these activities are found in the Stage 1 environment, which helps for a smooth transition with the child being able to source and work with materials they are comfortable and familiar with.
What is the general schedule of Transition to Stage 1?
|Arrival||On arrival at 8:45am a Director greets the child and parent/carer at the gate. A quick hug and goodbye, with the reassurance of returning after song time, is all that is required to minimise distress. The Director takes the child through the gate where the child sits to take their shoes off before placing them on the rack along with their bag.|
|Toilet||After removing their shoes the child goes to the bathroom to use the toilet, changing if needed into training pants and washes their hands before entering the classroom.|
The child brings a piece of fruit, vegetable or flower of their choice to the community.
|Work inside and outside||There are lots of activities to be done in both inside and outside areas and the child chooses where they would like to be. When they enter the classroom there are carer’s jobs for the children to do such as filling the sinks, making pasta, preparation of fruit and vegetables for lunch.|
|Lunch||At 10:30am pack-up starts and the children are involved in setting up the tables ready for a group lunch.|
|Song time||Some songs are shared towards the end of the session. It is a way of assisting the child to understand that the session is about to end and it is also fun; a chance to come together and share the experience of music and movement.|
|Farewell||The Directors assist as necessary with dressing for departure, saying farewell with a handshake and addressing the adult only briefly.|
“We must clearly understand that when we give the child freedom and independence, we are giving freedom to a worker already braced for action, who cannot live without working and being active.” Maria Montessori