MSA Region 12 Event

In the middle of June, 25 members of  MSA Region 12 met at Grantham Farm Montessori School. We were blessed with beautiful weather which certainly helped, as much of the day was planned to be outside.

We were very lucky to have Gini Trower to present her Nature Workshop. She started with a power point presentation about her Montessori experiences and the background behind her workshop. This was extremely interesting and showed Gini’s great passion for nature and the world around us. Following this, we all went outside where we found 10 activity boxes which included lesson plans, objects, ideas and extensions. In groups we tried the activities, one person taking the role of the teacher and the others the children. Having explored the boxes which were really interesting and fun, we came together to discuss how we had found each one. This led to lively discussion and a sharing of ideas using natural materials in unusual ways. All these activities could be adapted to suit nursery as well as primary aged children, even the adults present learnt so much from these activities.

After lunch, which we were able to have in the garden, the children in Grantham Farm gave a presentation on ‘How to become an Eco School’. Having achieved the Green Flag Award (the highest award, following bronze and silver) last summer, the children gave an enthusiastic description of the 10 areas of the Eco curriculum and how it has enhanced the experiences at their school. The children also sang the Eco songs they have learnt with gusto, sharing the Eco message in a fun way.

We were then shown around the school grounds by the children, who pointed out the Eco developments and changes on the way. These included wormeries, bird boxes, a new hedge and a large pond and 10 mallard ducklings. The excitement of the day was to find hundreds of tiny frogs on the grass around the pond. Having found the frogspawn, watched the tadpoles emerge and grow, this was perfect timing!

The day concluded with a presentation by Lucy Morrison from ‘My Montessori Child’. This is a digital record keeping system/Learning Journal which cross-references the EYFS and the Montessori curriculum, with the opportunity for parents to contribute to their child’s records. At Grantham Farm we have started to use this system with great success. Not only does it save time but it puts an end to the printing of hundreds of photographs!

Many thanks to Gini Trower, Lucy Morrison, the pupils and all the teachers at Grantham Farm for helping to make the day such a success and to inspire us all to look at the world with a more informed approach.

 

Shaunagh de Boinville