Children from the age of 3.8 years to primary school starting age may attend the pre-school. The premises consist of spacious, bright classrooms and include separate rooms for music and movement, languages and indoor play when the weather is adverse. A large outdoor play area is also provided.
With effect academic year 2012-2013, at Foundation Stage we offer the Montessori curriculum within the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, and at Year 1 we offer the Integrated Cambridge Primary with Montessori curriculum.
The children are taught by qualified Montessori staff in a fully equipped Montessori environment.
The Montessori Method of education is designed to produce a well-rounded individual. Children are taught essential concepts in a concrete way - by handling carefully designed materials.
For example, the child is taught the difference between a sphere and a circle by holding each of them in his/her hands. Children learn sensorially in a Montessori classroom. By following a carefully planned programme, the child will be well prepared to move on to primary school.
The curriculum consists of:
Practical Life: Here the child learns to perform basic skills independently such as pouring a drink, tying a shoe lace and sharpening a pencil. He/she will develop independence, confidence and self-esteem. Aspects of grace and courtesy, care of self and the environment are deeply imbedded in this part of the curriculum.
Sensorial: Here the child will refine his/her senses i.e. his/her sense of sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste. He/she will be introduced to many mathematical concepts through these materials, for example when working with the Pink Tower (a set of ten cubes graded in size) he/she is learning about size and dimension. The Geometric Solids teach the child about geometry and the Long Rods will introduce the child to length and indirectly, to the decimal system.
Mathemathics: Mathematical concepts are introduced in a concrete way. The child is taught to recognize quantities and then the numerals. Working first from 1-10, he/she then moves on to working from 11-20 and beyond to hundreds and even thousands. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions and measure may all be taught. As always, concepts are taught through the carefully designed Montessori materials which ensure that the child has a thorough understanding.
Language: The Montessori Method uses a phonic approach to teach the child the basics of reading. As the child gains more confidence he/she is introduced to sight words and high frequency words. We have carefully graded sets of reading books available to the children at all levels. The child is taught to form letters correctly from the start, using the Sandpaper Letters.
Cultural:This is the area of the curriculum that introduces the child to an understanding of the world, science, geography and history. The work is theme based and again there are beautifully designed materials for the children to use.
In addition to these subjects we also include music and movement, art and craft, P.E. and Arabic.
With the EYFS framework, the Montessori curriculum sets out what children are expected to achieve by the end of Foundation Stage. It is organized as seven areas of learning:
Personal Sound and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Understanding the world
At Raffles International School we believe that every child is different, therefore every child receives his/her own individual learning programme based on his/her needs, interests and skills. Our entire curriculum uses a holistic approach and teaches children to be independent, enquiring and enthusiastic learners. A Montessori education prepares a child for life and is the best start you can give your child.