Childhood » Age Six to Twelve » Elementary » School environment

School environment

There is an Elementary Community at each of our two sites, one in Hove and one new Lewes at Eason’s Green. At both sites the Elementary rooms are beautiful, inspiring spaces that offers thousands of opportunities to connect to the world and the universe.  The bright and spacious rooms are carefully prepared to meet all of the child’s developmental needs, and are set up to support maximum independence practically, socially and academically.

At both sites, light floods in through large windows facing all aspects. Uncluttered walls are hung with original paintings from a variety of periods. An eclectic mix of modern and antique wooden tables and chairs are spaced out around room, while shelves are filled with materials that call the child to all aspects of culture.

At The Montessori Place we understand that we can’t directly transfer knowledge, that instead each child learns through their own efforts and at their own pace.  Rob (at Eason’s Green) and Pete (in Hove) give lessons, tells stories and offers instruction, but learning takes place when the child is working; perhaps discovering the process of long division using the Test Tube Division material, studying the differences between flower types or discussing with a friend the reasons why a civilisation arose in a particular time or place.  Our priority is to give a lesson in how to do use a material or carry out a task, connecting the child to the environment so they can explore culture with increasing independence.

For the Elementary child, the world beyond the main room also has many places we prepare for them to use. In Hove, the building as a whole – the Infant Community, Children’s House, kitchen, Family Room, office and garden are all part of the prepared environment for the Elementary Community children.   A child’s foray beyond the class may be to help the Infant Community children get dressed to go home, to record bee movements in a patch of the garden, to give a presentation to the children in the Children’s House or to collect food waste from the kitchen to put in the wormery.

At Eason’s Green the neighbouring communities of the Children’s House and Young Peoples’ Community are frequently visited by the Elementary children. So to are the woodlands and grounds that surround the Eason’s Green Elementary. Here the Elementary opens onto ancient woodland on one side and the horticultural garden on the other. These environs are as familiar to them as the main classroom.