First Cycle of Primary Education

The prepared environment

Montessori-Palau Montgrí has a 45 m2 classroom for the youngest students and until they are 2 ½ years old, and a 100 m2 classroom from 1 ½ years, with its natural outdoor environment, equipped with materials tailor-made for the child, arranged in a specific and precise order, with a design that arouses their interest and sensitivity. This environment is similar to that of a home. Classrooms include all Montessori Pedagogy material. The opportunities for movement within the classroom are aimed at refinement, which helps in the acquisition of abstract concepts of knowledge of the environment and all other areas of the curriculum.


The role of the adult

The role of the adult is to guide the child. To be able to perform this task, with all the complexity that this entails, the first thing adults have to do is to train themselves, both from a technical and a personal point of view. Another role of the Guide is to design and prepare the most appropriate environment for the developmental stage and to create a link between the child and the environment and the child and the group, promoting initiative, autonomy, creativity and individual and social responsibility. Within this environment, every adult must act as a role model for the child, being aware of every detail, since the child will imitate them. Through observation, the Guide will discover the child’s individual needs and interests, both cultural and psychological, taking into account human trends and the psychological characteristics of this age. The information gathered will help them plan the most appropriate presentations at any given time, and decide which groups of children will carry them out, in order to guide the child to his/her full development.


The work of the child

The student builds neural connections in their brain through the realization and repetition of the materials presented and their sensory exploration, which will allow them to express human tendencies for their psychic and physical self-construction. It is the stage of the creation of the person. The children choose the tasks and the Guide assists them with whatever they don’t know how to do. In the First Cycle of Primary Education, the child can work with material even it hasn’t been presented to them by the Guide. Group activities arise spontaneously in language activities, singing, physical activity, games and dancing, among many others.


The curriculum and its extensions

At this stage, the curriculum, i.e. what children should learn, is centred on certain areas which are designed based on the psychological characteristics and sensitive periods of children under two and a half years of age. These are the development of movement as a basis of neuro-sensory-psychomotor development or, in other words, neuronal development and language development.

In the 0-3 or Nursery stage, based on Montessori Pedagogy and recognized materials, each student is attended to individually, allowing the development of their potential, attending to their sensitive periods and developing personal autonomy. Throughout the school day, multiple intelligences are specifically worked on, achieving early stimulation and work in three languages: Catalan, Spanish and English with native teachers.


  • The practical life area

The practical life area is based on materials that the child can find in real life in order to help them adapt to the classroom. At the same time, it provides them with an increase in personal autonomy and a wealth of situations in which the child must solve problems and difficulties on their own. In addition to acquiring specific learning relating to a daily life task, the design of the materials and the presentations is aimed at the development of movement, involving both fine and gross motor skills. For this reason, it is an essential area for the development of intelligence.

Within this area, the kitchen is especially important due to its demands and error control. Work in this area is aimed at the development of executive functions, fundamental for learning.

Psychomotor skills and physical activity are also included in this area since Montessori Pedagogy considers freedom of movement as the major basis for development. At Montessori-Palau Montgrí, we enrich this program with a program that works on neuro-sensory-psychomotor organization. The goal is to build a good brain organization based on physical exercises to streamline neurological connections. The program covers all areas of natural motor skills during the evolutionary stage and includes regular contact with nature.

The importance we attach to movement is recognized as the foundation of development by the best neuroscientists. Thus, the aim is to offer the child a great wealth of movement that involves gross motor skills - walking, running, jumping, climbing, playing with balls or with various objects - and those activities which involve fine motor skills.


  • The language area

The child is in the sensitive period of language acquisition. For this reason, we expose the children to experiences in three languages: Catalan, Spanish and English. The groundwork in the three languages is the enrichment of vocabulary, auditory stimulation and phonological awareness, all aimed at the development of verbal communication. In addition, we provide auditory stimulation with other languages to aid the development of phonological awareness. Musical language, which also forms part of this area, is worked on through experiences with different instruments, rhythms, etc., and with a hearing program that takes a journey through the entire history of music. Mathematical language is worked on as part of the area of practical life and with sensory experiences. Also included within the area of language is intellectual stimulation based on the philosophy of Dr Glenn Doman and Dr Carl H. Delacato.


  • The sensory area

The main objective is the stimulation of the senses and the identification of the different sensations, which is why it begins with rich and varied sensory experiences that will be deepened and refined in the Second Cycle of Primary Education.


  • Personal development: emotional and affective

Although personal development is not an area itself, Montessori Pedagogy allows each child to develop in their entirety, taking into account both cognitive and psychological elements. The work methodology and the structure of how the classroom operates, allows children to grow up in an environment that will enhance their personal autonomy and, therefore, their self-esteem and initiative and emotional self-awareness so that they are able to evolve general maturational development. For this reason, within the curriculum itself, children carry out both vocabulary and emotional self-awareness activities in order to initiate the process of knowledge and its application in their own lives.


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