A Unit of Ashok Hall Group of Schools
The youngest children community. Little Gems Play-school is a venture of the Ashok Hall Group of Schools, yet another milestone in bringing quality education closer to your homes. Little Gems Play-school is a gathering of children from eighteen months of age to three years who have established independent walking. Within a nurturing environment, Montessori-trained Guides foster the development of gross and fine motor skills, independence and language. These most profound and fundamental early years of life are protected and enhanced according to their characteristics and needs. The following will give you a flavour of Little Gems Pre-school...
Great care is given to provide an environment that is safe both emotionally and physically, that invites extensive exploration, offers hands-on activities, and engages the child in receptive and expressive language.
The environment is designed for the child of 18-months (and walking) through the age of 2½ to 3-years. The child of this age is a sensorial explorer facing important developmental issues of separation and attachment, autonomy, and functional independence.
Activities concentrating on food, clothing, language, movement, the senses, and the hands are given utmost care in their provision because they are both of primal interest and core importance to the children.
The environment for toddlers has been meticulously prepared because, at this age, the child's absorbent mind functions unconsciously, taking in everything whole, without a filter, and making it an indelible part of the child's deepest self. Every object, material, book, and picture has been chosen with care and deliberation for placement in the environment. Every piece of furniture, container, dish, and artefact is lovingly selected. Nothing in the environment is cartoony and no screen of any sort video, television, or computer is allowed in the children's environment. Nothing broken or with pieces missing is allowed to be a part of it either.
The physical, temporal, and interpersonal environment are flexibly predictable. Adult roles, sequences of events, and processes are sensitively planned to provide the child with the security and stability that foster their deep level of trust and sense of well-being. The child's ability to confront the challenges of human development rests on this foundation.
The environment is organised into areas of activity that support exploration in areas of development, including sensorial and motor skills, language, food preparation and sharing, practical life, nature, gardening, and creative expression.
These activities allow the children to express their distinct individuality and to create in their own unique way. Materials for scribbling, painting, and modelling clay are presented for the children's exploration.
Listening to music of different composers and different instruments awakens and develops specific areas of the brain and stimulates emotional responsiveness.
Singing songs together is a daily activity that strengthens the emotional bonds of the community.
Children learn through experience, not through teaching. At lunch time, children sit together, with an adult joining them at each table. After the adults offer to serve them a tiny portion of their food, the children eat. They may then serve themselves tiny portions of seconds from the serving dishes, if they like.
The children who are still pre-verbal spontaneously make sounds with appropriate intonation, facial expressions, and hand gestures for requesting that dishes be passed to them, for responding to a request, and for acknowledging the receipt of the dish. Very young children understand one another and respond in kind. In this way, they build their receptive language and prepare for the explosion into verbal language.
Models and replicas of classified sets of objects, (each in an attractive box, basket, or tray), such as furniture, transportation, animals (farm, jungle, forest and sea), and musical instruments are rotated on the shelves and presented to the children for intellectual and language development.
Sets of classified models that match to pictures are rotated on the shelves to stimulate the child's understanding of the step from the third dimension to the second, and to give the experience of classification.
A vast number of sets of picture cards representing objects in many different categories are rotated on the shelves in sets of ten. These sets are presented to the children as an introduction to the objects in their world and the words that name them.
Every day the children gather together for stories, poems, songs and chants. The richness of the children's receptive language is seeded and cultivated so that the harvest of spoken language will be rich when it emerges.
The guides and assistants listen with rapt attention to the babbling of pre-verbal children and encourage its extension, knowing that the intention of meaning, intonation, and inflection practice will transfer to spoken language. Young children who are really heard during their pre-verbal communication explode into employing more sophisticated speech patterns and vocabulary. Even more important, their emotional development is supported by the experience of an interested and caring ear.
Sets of real-life objects, such as different types of fruits and vegetables, tiny baby clothes, and varieties of containers, are assembled in baskets, trays, and boxes that are rotated regularly. Various activities introduce these materials to stimulate language development.
The children enjoy having all the time in the world to wash their hands, wipe their faces, hang up their wraps, change their shoes, clean their noses, button, snap, zip, and buckle their clothes. They receive as much or as little assistance as they need. From the beginning, the children wear training pants instead of diapers and start using the toilet in imitation of their peers.
Activities such as arranging tiny vases of flowers, give children of this age great pleasure and self-esteem. Authentic self-esteem comes only from within the child through meaningful action and experience in the world.
Language is the joy of life both as communication and art. The guides model rich, precise, consistent, and clear language. They listen to the children with full attention.
Children use their hands and their senses together to develop their intelligence. They construct themselves and their human characteristics. Children self-develop through direct, three-dimensional, sensorial and motor experiences. The shelves have a regularly rotating supply of manipulatives that challenge the child's hands and senses, such as various types of puzzles, varieties of locks and latches, different types of containers that open and close in a variety of ways, and many distinct sets of objects to fit into containers.
Thus, at Little Gems Pre-school, the infant (toddler) years are given the recognition and respect that their profoundly formative role in human development demands.