Montessori School Association January 2015 Event – Region 12

 

In November 2014, 35 members of MSA Region 12 met at Grantham Farm Montessori School for a day exploring The Prepared Environment with Dawn Nasser. The morning consisted of looking at the elements that make up the Prepared Montessori Environment (remembering independence, freedom and respect) and the impact upon the child. After much discussion we agreed that the ability of the adult to prepare the environment has a profound effect upon each child’s experiences.

 

We then thought about the environments at our own schools in relation to children in a specific age band of the EYFS. This was most interesting as it made us all reflect upon the way the environment is planned and what is found there from a child’s perspective. This was followed by further discussion in relation to the importance of observation, reflection and evaluation in order to keep our environments positive and stimulating places for children. This led onto the next activity which was to imagine being a specific child in our own school, how the experiences he/she encountered throughout the day would impact upon his/her well-being and learning experiences. Everyone found this incredibly interesting and really helpful, as by looking at the environment and the adults in it from a child’s perspective we were able to evaluate our provision with greater insight.

 

After lunch we looked at some floor plans of schools that members had brought with them and some of the ‘problem areas’ of their environments. This led to a group discussion with ideas and advice being shared amongst us all. Since then, several schools have told me how changes they made following this day have had a very positive impact upon the children, their behaviour and their learning outcomes.

 

I would like to thank Dawn Nasser for such an enjoyable and thought provoking day. Also, the team at Grantham Farm as without their support, these days would not be possible.

 

Shaunagh de Boinville