Welcome to Smart Start
Smart Start is an exciting education program for children between
the ages of 2 1/2 yrs and 5 1/2 yrs. In Shenton Park and Swanbourne, children start when they are 3.
In Scarborough and Floreat,we take a few children per day who are between the age of 2 1/2 yrs and 3 yrs.
The program has been running at the
Onslow Park Tennis Club in Shenton Park
since 2004 and at the Allen Park Tennis Club in Swanbourne since 2010. We started our program
at the Scarborough Tennis Club in Deanmore Road, Scarborough, in February 2012.We are now starting our program in Floreat
in the St Nicholas Anglican Church hall, 84-86 The Boulevard, in May, 2013.
We follow Maria Montessori's motto,
"follow the child", and are always looking for opportunities to enrich each
child and recognize their individuality. We are dedicated to creating a
learning environment, which encourages the child's natural curiosity,
independence, and intellectual development, so that they will develop
their full potential and grow into capable and confident, well rounded children
with high self-esteem.
Having fun while learning
We provide a stimulating environment,
based on Montessori and Accelerated Learning principles.
Whilst having fun and socialising, the activities provide
an instant attraction. The children are allowed to choose activities
they like from the shelves and can concentrate on their job without being interrupted.
At the same time, if they don't know what to get on with next, there is always
organising the next little group game to shown them something new
and they can join in
if they are interested. There are very few rules: the children
are expected to be busy and to respect each other and the equipment.
We organise our program so that the children get a taste of many different things,
and it is therefore worthwhile to bring your child in for 2 days,
rather than having to take them to many separate events.
The regularity helps your child to feel at home and build a circle of friends.
Apart from learning the basics of reading, writing and mathematics, biology and
geography, the children also have daily group activities doing brain gym, yoga,
sports, French or German, music and movement and learning about gardening.
Benefits of a mixed age group
The mixed agegroup provides a very stimulating environment
because children always see someone else do something they have not yet done,
thereby motivating them to gain the necessary skills to be able to do these
tasks as well. It also means that no child ever feels that they are not as
capable as someone else, because the mixed agegroup ensures that there are
always other children at the same level for any particular task.
The equipment and toys are very practical and hands-on. First, there
are the practical life activities, which allow the child to practise basic skills, such as
pouring, spooning, using tweezers, doing up buttons and buckles, creating beautiful bead necklaces, sewing etc.
These activities improve
their fine motor skills as well as their concentration and allow them to become more independent
as they will be able to do things by themselves and thereby it also improves their self-esteem
There are puzzles and matching activities of increasing difficulty, which introduce geography
and biology concepts. There are also many different activities with shapes, which
provide a good preparation for mathematics. Then there is also the Montessori educational
equipment, which provides the children with the opportunity to finetune their senses, and to
develop mathematical and reading skills. Children are shown how to do a task, then are
encouraged to have a go by themselves. Every piece of equipment prepares the way for the next step
in their learning, so that they can learn a big task by doing little steps. This always spells
victory for them, so they learn quickly and easily and are excited about learning.
Afternoon sessions also introduce topics to do with science, biology and geography to extend the
children's knowledge base. They then use their skills to do craft activities, related to the
French and German vocabulary is also introduced, taking advantage of the children’s incredible ability
to learn languages at this age.
We also want to encourage each child to learn to play an
instrument and give the children the opportunity to learn to play the violin or keyboard as part of
the daily sessions.
Each session concludes with music and movement. Brain gym activities
are also incorporated in the movement activities as well as small group P.E. sessions during
the morning period.
Educational equipment and art activities are introduced and
then remain available for the children to repeat and perfect the particular skills,
so that they develop self-confidence and concentration.
Learning social skills
Many of the activities which are displayed on the shelves,
are for use by one child at a time. This way, children learn to take responsibility for
their work, tidying it back up and putting it back on the shelf. It also gives them the
freedom to experiment with it and know that someone else cannot just come and take it away.
Even though they may be doing their own job, they are all constantly interacting with each other.
They sit around the table and will be looking and commenting on what others are doing. The children
are also encouraged to show each other how to do certain activities, so the classroom is a very
cooperative little community. Some activities can be done by two or more children. There are also
many small group activities
that take place during each session. There are memory games, little groups that are learning letters,
doing some number game, etc. Each activity attracts different children and this way, the
children are constantly involved with different children in the group and get to know everyone.
Small groups are also taken outside to practise gross motor skills such as using the
balancing beam, doing obstacle courses
and practising ball games.
By doing group activities, they also learn to take turns and to consider the others in the group.
During the morning, the children work according to their individual interests,
whereas the afternoons are focused around group activities.
- 9:00-9:10 Story time
- 9:10-12:00 Individual work time with children working with Montessori
equipment and small group activities
- 12:00-12:30 braingym and yoga, followed by discussion on day, weather, season.
- 12:30-1:00 lunch followed by rest time or silent reading
- 1:00-1:15 group game to improve skills such as counting
- 1:15-2:15 story time and discussions, related to topics, e.g. science, geography,history,
environment. This is then followed by activities related to the topic, thereby
giving the children the opportunity to use and improve the skills they have learned
during their individual lessons.
- 2:10-2:30 Group outside play time and gardening
- 2:30-2:55 Music and movement
- 2:55-3:00 Good bye song and farewell
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