Video: Charlotte's Montessori Experience

The Montessori "prepared environment" - The Classroom • The Montessori classroom is designed specifically to meet the needs, interests, abilities and development of each child in the class. The focus is on children learning - not teachers teaching. The classrooms are designed as a large diverse and multifunctional spaces. Multi-age grouping of children provides an atmosphere of community and allows children to learn from one another. Generally students work individually or in small, self selected groups. There are very few whole class lessons. Children learn and progress at their own pace, moving on to the next step when they are ready.

Freedom within limits • Although Montessori children enjoy considerable freedom of movement and choice, their freedom always exists within carefully defined limits. They are free to do anything appropriate within the ground rules of the school community, but are redirected promptly and firmly, if their actions interfere with the freedom of others.

Co-operation not Competition • Montessori students are free from one-up-man-ship and needless competition for attention and prestige. Each child learns at their own pace and the teachers refrain from comparing students against one another through testing, examinations and the like. Montessori students are encouraged to treat one another with kindness and respect. Insulting and bullying tends to be rare. Instead we find children have a great understanding and fondness for each other.

Universal values • Dr. Montessori saw children as far more than scholars. Along with the rest of humanity, even the youngest child shares hopes, dreams, fears and the need to belong. From her perspective, this goes far beyond knowledge and mental health to the very core of one’s spiritual existence. Montessori consciously designed social communities and educational experiences that cultivate the child's sense of independence, self respect, love of peace, passion for self chosen work and the ability to celebrate the individual spirit of people of all races and ages. The value of all life.

All Montessori schools are largely international schools. They not only tend to attract a diverse student body representing many ethnic backgrounds and religions, but they celebrate their diversity. The curriculum is international in its heritage and focus, and consciously seeks to promote a global perspective.
The ultimate aim of all Montessori education is to promote world peace through fully developed people imbued with respect for all life.

Community service • Community service is a very important part of an IB Montessori school and Lilima has established partners in the community to facilitate student participation. The students have initiated their own community program called “Paint the world” and will be carrying our various activities with orphan and vulnerable children at care points and other organisations in Swaziland. All the students will be required to participate in community service.

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