A Vibrant Learning Environment
At Green Hills Montessori Preschool, you’ll find our prepared environment with a homely feeling, offering your children the freedom of choice and stimulating their independence. Located in Muizenberg, offering views of the ocean, our Preschool is a much anticipated addition to this family-friendly gateway into Southern Peninsula.
With a team of dedicated and nurturing educators, committed to enhancing life development of their students, we are excited to welcome you at our beautiful school in this historical home built by Sir Herbert Baker. Conveniently located for families living in Kommetjie, Simon's Town, Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay and Muizenberg commuting north, it will take you seconds to drop off your kids in the mornings with ample on street parking right by the building. Nearby areas of Marina da Gama, Lakeside and Ocean View are also well served by our Preschool.
Visit us to have a look around yourself - we will be glad to speak to you in detail about our values and approach to education.
Who we are
With varied experience, including living overseas for more than a decade, it took our Principal/Head Directress returning to South Africa to finally find her true calling in life. The plan to open a Montessori school had born about 3 years ago and intensive preparations towards this goal have been under way ever since.
Green Hills Montessori School's aim is to foster the child's love for learning and educate children to be caring and socially responsible citizens of our community and the world. Our educational philosophy is based on the principles of Dr. Maria Montessori, whose methods have been applied to early education for more than a century.
Our dedicated, nurturing and trained teachers create a safe and beautifully prepared environment where children can feel at home, secure in the knowledge that they are loved and cared for.
Following the Montessori principles, we aim to nurture the children's quest for independence, understand their individuality and support each child's love of learning.
Maria Montessori believed that children are capable of educating themselves, a term she phrased Autoeducation. Through careful preparation of the environment to the needs of the child, and the child's free choice of work they begin to practice self-education.
Montessori classes are designed around the needs of the children, allowing them to explore and learn at their own pace. You might often hear the term “follow the child” when reading or talking to a Montessori teacher or parent. Rather than taking it literally, this means that each child is treated as an individual and a Montessori guide's role is to observe and prepare for each child individually.
Everything in the classroom is child sized, giving them a sense of freedom to choose and develop their own independence. Multi age groupings allow for children to learn from their peers, where younger children learn the skill of observation and older children that of knowledge sharing, in turn enhancing their confidence and leadership.
There are numerous benefits to the Montessori educational method, but perhaps the greatest benefit is that it teaches the child how to learn instead of what to learn. It instills in them a life-long love of learning, preparing them to one day go wherever their hearts desire!
The success of these methods has proven over and over again, and the more consistently this is practiced, the better are the results. We strongly urge our parents to commit to the Montessori philosophy, and to aid in this we will be holding parent seminars throughout the year.
For further information on the Montessori method, feel free to read the FAQ on South African Montessori Association:
Typical Day at Green Hills Montessori Preschool
Specially prepared environment
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that children learn best in a prepared environment, a place in which children can do things for themselves. The prepared environment makes learning materials and experiences available to children in an orderly format. Freedom is the essential characteristic of the prepared environment and the appropriate role of the educator is to remove obstacles to this natural development and provide opportunities for it to proceed and flourish. Since children within the environment are free to explore materials of their own choosing, they absorb what they find there.
By working independently, children can reach new levels of autonomy and become self-motivated to reach new levels of understanding. One of Montessori philosophy’s central beliefs is that acknowledging all children as individuals, and treating them as such, would yield better learning and fulfilled potential in each particular child. Maria Montessori was a master at creating environments for young children that enabled them to be independent, active, and learn, highlighting independence as the aim of education.
Freedom of choice
Children are given freedom to choose and carry out their own activities, at their own paces and following their own inclinations. We observe great concentration in the children and spontaneous repetition of chosen activities, as well as a strong tendency in the children to organize their own environment - straightening tables and shelves and ordering materials. Montessori called this observation a "spontaneous discipline”.
When asked to summarize Montessori with a word, many educators will say it’s “respect”. Respect is at the center of everything that stands out as different and exceptional in the Montessori classroom. Respect is being both taught and caught in the culture and practices of the classroom through appreciation of each child's work, instilling reciprocity within the whole classroom.
Practical life is an area in the Montessori philosophy that encompasses skills that are practical to everyday life. These activities benefit the child because it develops control of movement and hand-eye coordination that form the basis for writing and cognitive skills. They are a series of fine motor skills that include basic practical life exercises such as pouring, spooning, transferring, lacing, buttoning, carrying equipment, washing hands, caring for the environment (sweeping, wiping a mat, watering plants), and so on.
Montessori sensorial materials are materials used in the Montessori classroom to help a child develop and refine his or her five senses.
Like many other materials in the Montessori classroom, sensorial materials have what is called "control of error", meaning that the child not only works with the material, but has a way to check their work rather than seeking out the teacher if they have a question on whether or not they did it right. This is done to help promote independence and problem solving on the part of the child.
When the child arrives in the Montessori classroom, he has fully absorbed his culture's language. He has already constructed the spoken language and with his entry into the classroom, he will begin to consolidate the spoken language and begin to explore the written forms of language.
The child will need to be spoken to and listened to often. They will need a broad exposure to language, with correct articulation, enunciation, and punctuation. Most importantly, the child needs to feel free and be encouraged to communicate with others.
By means of the Montessori Practical Life and Sensorial activities, children experience the concepts of order, sequence, measurement, calculations, and exactness.
In order to fully advance the developing mathematical mind, Montessori teachers and parents acquaint the child with order and exactness by the intentional way we set up and organize the shelves and trays and how work is laid out on a work mat in the Montessori environment. Work is displayed in a progressive and sequential fashion and each activity is broken down into logical and sequential steps.
The activities heighten the child’s awareness of the mathematical relationships found in the natural world.
Montessori cultural activities for the preschool level typically include geography, history, general science, botany and zoology, music, and art.
Art & Movement
Maria Montessori felt that it is of utmost importance for children to be given the opportunity to express themselves freely. She was fully aware, however, that they can often get frustrated by the fine motor skills they need for such things as gluing and cutting, using play dough etc. She therefore developed many indirect exercises that help children develop these necessary skills. Our Montessori classroom is full of opportunities to experiment with new different and exciting materials. Whether involved in different types of painting, foam play, singing nursery rhymes, playing instruments or dancing and marching, children are allowed show their individuality, free to express their feelings and emotions.
News and Events
Saturday 9 February 2019
We still have spaces left in our 3-6 year old class.
Come visit our school and see why you should also join our Green Hills family! :)
Please find downloadable documents below for registration and general information
Call us today to find out more about our admissions process.