Irish Montessori Education Board - Bord Oideachais Montessori Eireann

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Primary Class Materials

  • Practical Life Materials - These activities in daily living help the children become independent in the environment, in personal care and in social skills.  Many of the activities are familiar to the children at home and therefore bridge the gap between home and school.  They develop an ability to concentrate, to become independent and give a sense of enjoyment and achievement.
  • Sensorial Materials - These materials are concerned with the refinement and development of the senses.  Through exploration and discovery with the sensorial materials the children learn about the qualities of things in the world around them such as colour, size, shape, texture, sound and their interconnection.
  • Mathematics - Children are introduced to the numbers 1-10, the decimal system, and the operations in mathematics.  Through use of concrete materials the children are involved in activities that guide them in mathematical concepts.  Working with concrete materials the children are led to abstract thinking.
  • Language - Language development is fostered through continuous encouragement of self-expression and communication.  The emphasis initially is on vocabulary enrichment. The phonetic alphabet sounds are learned individually by sight and touch and are then combined to make words leading to writing and total reading.  Irish and other languages are introduced because of the young child's particular sensitivity to language.
  • Cultural - Children are introduced to activities and exploration in areas that will enrich and enhance their learning experience including arts, crafts, drama and music, history, geography an science.  The children learn about other cultures, the natural world.

"To influence society we must turn our attention to childhood.  Out of this truth comes the importance of Nursery Schools, for it is the little ones who are building our future, and they can work only on the materials we give them".

Elementary Class Materials

Montessori gives students a picture of the whole curriculum, as a frame of reference, before introducing individual subjects. For example, students learn about the creation of the universe before going onto study topics such as the solar system, the physical features of the earth, weather patterns, the countries of the world and their inhabitants, their customs, flags and so on.

The Elementary subjects include:

  • Mathematics - the world of elementary mathematics opens with the story of why humans need mathematics and how we learned to calculate. This leads on to the reinforcement of skills gained in primary in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Fractions and decimal fractions, laws of arithmetic squaring, square root, multiples and factors, divisibility, cubing, cube root, velocity, simple interest and problem solving are all basic to the mathematics programme.
  • Language (English and Irish) - this is studied in a wide variety of contexts such as novels, stories, poetry, drama, letters, articles and debates. The programme includes a comprehensive study of grammar and because of the unique method Montessori uses to teach grammar, students are genuinely enthusiastic!
  • Geography - having been introduced to the origins of the earth, students go on to study how the earth is made up and to examine its elements - with a major study on the physical features of the earth.
  • History - Montessori curriculum includes covers natural history and cultural history studying areas such as prehistory, the concept of time and civilizations.

  • Science - this subject is divided into four main categories: Botany, zoology, the human body and ecology.
  • Music - includes music history, literature, instruments and work with the Montessori bells
  • Art - this is studied through a variety of processes such as hand development, beginning tools, advanced tools, painting techniques, and design, history of art and aesthetic awareness.
  • Physical Education - the aim is to acquire both fine and gross motor skills. Games selected in the sports programme are designed to develop locomotor and non-locomotor skills, hand-eye and foot-eye skills.


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