Sunshine Montessori School in Cookham

About our Nursery in Cookham

Maria Montessori

Dr Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was an Italian physician, educator, philosopher and humanitarian. She is best known for her philosophy and method of education of children from birth to adolescence. She was the first female doctor of medicine in Italy, and through her interest in paediatrics, psychiatry and educational theory, she proposed her own philosophy of child development. This forms the basis for the successful and enduring teaching method known as Montessori method.

The main principles of the Montessori childcare method are:

All children have absorbent minds
Children have an inborn drive to learn
Children learn through being active
Children pass through ‘sensitive periods’
All Children Have Absorbent Minds


They have a phenomenal inborn ability to learn with ease, especially from birth to the age of 6 years, but to reach their full potential their environment must be rich with learning opportunities. On entering the Montessori classroom, your child will instantly be able to choose from a great range of activities appropriate to his stage of development.

Children Have An Inborn Drive To Learn

Hence the barrage of how and why questions. In the Montessori classroom the teacher does not impose learning on your child but harnesses this desire to learn, guiding your child within a carefully structured environment designed to help him reach his full potential.

Children Learn Through Being Active

Few young children are good at sitting and listening. They learn in an active, concrete way. Most activities are self-correcting, so after being shown once, your child learns through exploring and experimenting with this unique material. From their earliest days in school, children are introduced in a fun and practical way to a far-reaching curriculum including numeracy, literacy, science, history, geography, music, art, games and dance, languages and social skills.

Children Pass Through ‘Sensitive Periods’

These are phases in a child’s life when he becomes particularly interested in certain skills, and learning is therefore especially fast and acute. An obvious example is the sensitive period for language development from birth to 4 years. In the classroom your child is given the freedom to choose his activities and therefore can focus on his particular interests until he moves on to his next sensitive period.

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