Garden Grove Montessori Preschool is for children aged 2–6 years. It is open Monday to Friday 8.15am to 4.00pm. The centre is open all year with the exception of closing for Statutory holidays and approximately 2 weeks over the Christmas/New Year period. The school is located at 20 Barnes Street, Timaru, South Canterbury, New Zealand.
The philosophical foundation of the Montessori approach is based on the understanding that learning is a process. In order to develop a child’s physical, intellectual and spiritual being to the fullest, children must have the freedom to develop in an environment that has been prepared and designed specifically for the purposes of achieving concentration, exploration and understanding. This means that teachers observe children’s interests and extend their learning through their interests supported by the Montessori philosophy.
Teachers at Garden Grove Montessori Preschool promote the respect for children, adults and the environment. The philosophy promotes a supportive community where children look after one another. Teachers promote gentle and caring interactions. Children are supported to learn at their own pace and in their own way. Teachers are committed to supporting parents and families to promote children’s co-operative learning. Teachers encourage children to attend regularly so that they get to know the teachers, so that children begin to form strong friendships with one another and that they establish a sense of belonging.
Garden Grove opened in 1998 and provided South Canterbury with it’s first Montessori school. It is set up in a lovely garden environment in a spacious outdoor area. The attractive classroom area has child sized furniture and equipment. Specially designed Montessori materials have been imported from overseas. Real life tasks and academic materials promotes children’s interest in reading, mathematics, science, botany, biology, geography and history.
Individual work with Montessori materials is supplemented with group music, art and outdoor play. Visitors and trips to local events link the children with the local community.
Garden Grove have highly trained early childhood and Montessori teachers.