At Little Oaks Preschools we help shape young people that are “equipped in their whole beings for the adventure of life, accustomed to the free exercise of their own will and judgment, illuminated by imagination and enthusiasm”.
This was how Maria Montessori described her vision, and it’s a vision we share. Integrated with Te Whariki Early Childhood Curriculum, Little Oaks is based on the Montessori philosophy of a "Prepared Environment" allowing children to work, move and develop freely.
Director Jo Macfarlane says, "We aim to create a Montessori environment that is supportive, respectful and happy; an environment which allows us all to be the very best that we can be."
Our Montessori environment empowers the child to develop their independence, high self esteem, respect for self and others, self motivation, curiosity, a sense of community, creativity, social, cognitive, gross motor and fine motor skills.
Little Oaks aims to develop each child's whole personality while cultivating their natural desire to learn. It is the ability to seek knowledge at the child's pace and capacity, free from pressures, but with individual attention and guidance of a qualified, caring adult that makes our centre unique.
The main concepts we have adopted from the Montessori philosophy, is the way in which the classroom is set up. We have shelves of equipment and resources, which is determined by the current interests expressed by the children. So when you come into our environment you will see that the children have unlimited choices, where they can choose to work independently, in a pair or in a group. When children have the choice of activities, they are empowered to take control of their learning and extend themselves, creating confident, collaborative, and competent learners.We have set aside half an hour each session of inside time; this is where children are encouraged to extend their current ideas and beliefs around their current interest. This has been seen as an necessity for children to ease the transition to school.