The Montessori Method, named after its founder, an Italian physician, Maria Montessori, stresses the importance of the development of a healthy self- concept. Education, she believed, is a preparation for life, not merely a search for intellectual skills. Children have one inner aim, their self-development. Children who are able to satisfy their inner needs will move in harmony with their world, becoming well-balanced, independent adults. The Montessori method pursues the fact the young child has an “absorbent mind” and thus the environment should be prepared to develop their skills, refine their senses and equip them with knowledge of the world around them. Montessori’s philosophy and the psychological principals upon which she devised a carefully graded series of self-teaching materials are now commonly accepted and supported by current child development experts.
“I M Smart” Montessori Preschool is an environment committed to serving and respecting each individual that forms part of the school. We encourage and develop tolerance for all races, cultures and religions.
“I M Smart” Montessori Preschool provides an environment that is specially prepared to foster satisfaction in learning by self-discovery and joy in achievement. The entire environment from furniture to the work is child friendly and protects them from unnecessary failure. As Dr. Montessori says, “Never let a child risk failure until he has a reasonable chance of success.” The environment is equipped with special materials, designed by Montessori, that are sequenced from easy to difficult. The child begins with concrete exercises, manipulating materials and gradually moves to more abstract exercises. The materials have a control of error that allows the children to correct themselves as they work. This concept of self-teaching is known as auto-education.
The Teacher / Directress
The directress observes and assists the child according to the child’s individual needs and interests. She is trained to recognise periods of readiness and demonstrate the correct use of the materials to the children. To reinforce in a positive manner, at all times she will encourage a hesitant child; at other times, she will divert a child who chooses materials beyond their ability. She protects the child’s integrity and allows the child to have freedom of choice and to make appropriate decisions – the child’s decisions are meant to reflect a sense of responsibility. The child is helped by the directress’ manner, which is firm and consistent, yet gentle and kind.
Young children are in the process of forming first impressions of their own nature and ability, of other people, and life in general – impressions that last a lifetime. To reach the highest potential possible, children must develop a healthy self-concept, wholesome attitude and values, desirable skills and habits, independence and self-reliance; the ability to adjust and to think reflectively as well as reach a sensitivity in human relationships and a curiosity and appreciation of nature and the world around them.
Pre-requisite for Admission
Enrolment is open to all children 3 months- to 6 years old. Children with physical or learning disabilities will be accepted, unless the seriousness of their situation demands specially trained staff and/or individual attention more than the norm. The school requires all relevant immunisation to be completed before enrolment and will require an update during the year. Pre-requisite for admission is the acceptance of our Code of Conduct. Please supply these with your application:
- 2 recent colour photos of the child.
- Copy of ID of Passport for BOTH parents/guardians
- Copy of birth certificate/ID or passport of the child
- Copy of the child immunisation Card
- Completed Enrolment Form
- Completed Indemnity Form
- Completed Emergency Details Form
- Proof of payment of the non-refundable registration fees asdescribed in Fees Document.
- Refundable deposit
Please note that proof of payment without the supporting documents does not guarantee acceptance in the school.
School opens at 6:30 and the work cycle begins at 8:30. It is in your child’s and others best interest to be punctual. School work cycle includes free play outside, ending at 12:30. Half day collection is at 13:30 and the full day collection time is at 17:45.
What to Pack for School
Please pack a change of clothing daily. All children belongings need to be marked clearly.
Please bring blanket or a sleeping bag. These will be sent home for washing from time to time.
Kindly provide comfortable clothing that the child can open and close independently, during toilet time. Clothes should not hamper messy play so please avoid fancy clothes. Please provide a hat (not a cap) which is clearly labelled, that can be left at school for outside play as well as sunscreen – to be applied at home by the parent.
7:30 – 8:30 – Breakfast
8:30 – Line Time, Calendar, Show and Tell, News Time and Theme presentation. – Work Cycle allows a child to develop a cycle which promote independence and concentration. The child moves around freely to where their interest, needs and abilities take them, finding work that they have been presented by the directress. It is a time where the directress may present new work and reinforces exercises which the child has not yet mastered.
10:30 – Snack time and outdoor play.
12:30 – Lunch time
13:30 – Story time/bed time and half day collection.
14:00 – Nap time, for those children who still need and enjoy an afternoon nap. Creative arts time for those who do not nap.
16:30 – afternoon snack. Playtime. Daily outdoor play is an important part of the program that contributes both to physical and social development. Children will play outdoors daily, except on rainy or extremely cold days. On these days, they will play indoors.
17:45 – School closes.
In the toddler’s environment, the routine of the day is as predictable as the young children allow it to be. Each baby or toddler has their own routine for bottle feeding, playing, sleeping, eating, changing nappies and/or potty-training. Qualified staff is there to attend to each child’s needs of the day.
Meals at “I M Smart” are at additional cost.
We currently offer R 670 for full day care (4 meals) and R 550 for half day care ( 3 meals)
We at “I M Smart” Montessori Pre-school are passionate about healthy and nutritious food.
Breakfast will be provided and served at 7:45. Lunch will be provided and served at 12:30. Further to this, we will provide two snacks – mid morning and mid- afternoon.
Please do not pack any sweets or other treats during school time. Children have the opportunity to enjoy a few treats when a child has a birthday.
For the children that are not in the “I M Smart” meal plans:
Please bring a cooler bag with 4 meals – breakfast, snacks x 2 , lunch
Please make sure the containers are clearly marked with Breakfast/Snack 1/Lunch/Snack 2. Children will be assisted and supervised at meal and snack times. All left overs will remain in the cooler bag, as well as your marked containers and utensils. Please note, we will only warm food for children up to the age of 18 months, the older children must provide picnic lunch that doesn’t require warming.
Withdrawal from “I M Smart” Montessori Preschool
Withdrawal for any reason requires one month’s written notice. Should this notice period is not given you will be liable to outstanding school fees.
Non payment, late payment
All fees are due on or befofe the 1st of every month including December. Late payments ( after the 7th) will incur late charge fee of R150. Non payment and failure to reach amicable arrangement will result to your account being handled for collection. All charges ( 20% of the amount due ) will be for parents account.
Holidays and Absences
The school calendar will follow the government terms and public holidays except in the last term when school closes in the second week of December. There is no discount for holidays, absences or closures due to unforeseen circumstances. With regards to absences, unless your child is ill, they are encouraged to attend school regularly. Young children need a consistent routine for development of essential skills and to ensure a successful adjustment to the school environment.
Collection of Children
The safety and security of our children is paramount, and only duly authorized persons may fetch the children. Their names and certified copies of their IDs must be supplied with the registration forms. Authorization MUST be provided in writing.
School Equipment and Materials
A considerable amount of time, energy and money has gone into purchasing and making the equipment and materials. It is quite common and normal for children to want to take something home, so it is vitally important to return anything belonging to the school, no matter how unimportant it may appear to be. Any item from beads to blocks is important to our environment. Be assured that we will thank your little one for returning it safely.
Sick children belong in their bed. For their health and safety as well as others, they are not to attend school if they have symptoms of:
-Diarrhea or vomiting within 24 hours prior to the start of the school day.
-A raised temperature within 24 hours prior to the start of the school day.
-An undiagnosed rash.
-An exceptionally heavy cough or cold. -Hair lice.
-Any other infectious diseases.
If the child becomes ill during the day, they will be allowed to lie down and if the problem continues, we will contact the parent to fetch the child. General medication will not be administered at school, unless a regular dosage is required, by which a written consent by the parent is essential. (Any medication, whatsoever, should be given directly to the teacher, not to be placed in a child’s
bag!) Please complete the medical history form accurately that we may know of any threatening illnesses or allergies. Any accidents where vomit or blood needs to be cleaned, gloves will be used and all soiled clothing will be placed into a sealed plastic bag and sent home.
Birthdays in the Montessori environment are fun and educational. It is a wonderful introduction to the concept of time. Parents are requested to provide a photo for each year of your child’s life – from 0 to the child’s latest photo. Some information on the child will be requested from the parents on the day of their “birthday ring”. It is optional for the parents to provide muffins, pizza, popcorn, etc. on their special day. No party packs or cold drinks please.
The Montessori environment allows the child to develop at their own pace. Reports can therefore not be seen as a means to measure the child’s ability, but rather be seen as a progress report. Parents will be given an oral report at the end of the 1st- and 3rd terms and a written progress report at the end of the 2nd term. A written end of year report will be given the last week in December.
As a parent your input is valuable as you know your child better than anyone else. Communication is most important to ensure that your child’s school life and home life is not in opposition, but in balance. You can phone, whatsapp, sms or write an e-mail or note to us, should you have any concerns. All communication will be kept confidential.
No child or adult will hurt another in any way. No child or adult may disturb the work of another. Discipline will be conducted in a constructive and positive manner. In a situation where the children knowingly demonstrate inappropriate behaviour, they will be given the opportunity to talk about what they have done and a chance to rectify and apologise.
Daily Routines at home for the Children
For a child to enjoy and rely on routine to get their day started, try to follow a pattern daily. Start each day with a nutritious breakfast. If the child is at a
stage where they want to wash their own faces and brush their own teeth and hair, allow for these wonderful steps to independence. Be sure to apply sun block! Check the school bag with your child – to make sure they have extra set of clean clothes. Please remind your children that bringing toys to school is not allowed and they can enjoy them at home. A quick and positive goodbye is encouraged. Long draw-out goodbyes cause unnecessary anguish. After school time, check your child’s school bag with them.
We know your stay with us will have a positive effect on your little one’s life. We endeavour to create an educational, yet loving environment in which your child can discover the wonders of our natural world.
For any concerns or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us:
“I M Smart” Montessori
347 Vine Avenue cnr Dover Str Ferndale
Tel: 011 886 0170
Owner – Ivana Savov – 082 456 7887
Head Teacher – Michelle Wareham – 076 839 3427 Deputy Head Teacher – Daisy Ramosepele – 083 586 3007