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Cycle One | 3 to 6 Years Old Program

Program Overview

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Each Cycle 1 classroom is a happy mix of kindergarten and Prep-aged children from 3 – 6 years and every classroom is spacious, airy and naturally lit. There is a sense of calm and order as the children engage enthusiastically in a huge range of activities.

The classroom is purposefully designed to allow children to be self-sufficient and to work at their own pace with developmentally appropriate activities and resources they have chosen, guided by two Montessori trained educators. They lead the highly methodical teaching of activities from real-life cooking and gardening to division and multiplication. The children learn mathematics, language, science, geography, history, sensorial and practical life lessons. Specialist teachers also introduce Italian, Performing Arts and Sport.

The Montessori Learning Environment

In the Cycle 1 classroom your child will start to become aware of the power of choice. The teacher will invite them to explore the different materials and begin to give them jobs (lessons) so that they can start their life of learning for themselves.

Every job is educational in purpose so that a Practical Life job like ‘Washing the table’ is not only a useful skill – handling water, suds, bucket, sponge, determination to persist and complete the task – but it is a pre-reading activity which teaches the child top to bottom, left to right and lateralisation across the centre line of the body.

They begin to explore and learn about:

  • World maps
  • World cultures
  • History of Australia
  • Counting and early processes
  • Reading and writing
  • Scientific description of parts of creatures and life cycles
  • Cooking and providing for others and self
  • Using the 7 senses to carefully differentiate
  • Performing Arts
  • PE
  • Italian

Areas of Study

Practical Life

The Practical Life component of the Montessori approach is the link between the child’s home environment and the classroom. The child’s desire to seek order and independence finds expression through the use of a variety of materials and activities which support the development of fine motor as well as other learning skills needed to advance to the more complex Montessori equipment. The practical life materials involve the children in precise movements which challenge them to concentrate, to work at their own pace uninterrupted, and to complete a cycle of work which typically results in the feelings of satisfaction and confidence. Practical life encompasses four main areas:

  • Control of Movement
  • Care of Person
  • Care of Environment
  • Grace and Courtesy


Maria Montessori did not believe that reading, writing, spelling and language should be taught as separate entities. Pre-primary children are immersed in the dynamics of their own language development and the Montessori approach provides a carefully thought-out program to facilitate this process. Oral language acquired since birth is further elaborated and refined through a variety of activities such as songs, games, poems, stories and classified language cards.

Indirect preparation for writing begins with the practical life exercises and sensorial training. Muscular movement and fine motor skills are developed along with the ability of the child to distinguish the sounds which make up language. With this spoken language background the directress begins to present the alphabet symbols to the child. Not only can children hear and see sounds but they can feel them by tracing the sandpaper letters. When a number of letters have been learned the movable alphabet is introduced. These cardboard or wooden letters enable the child to reproduce his or her own words, then phrases, sentences and finally stories. Creativity is encouraged and the child grows in appreciation of the mystery and power of language. Other materials follow which present the intricacies of non-phonetic spelling and grammar. Because children know what they have written, they soon discover they can read back their stories. Reading books both to themselves and others soon follows.


From an early age children are developing a sense of order and they actively seek to sort, arrange and classify their many experiences. The sensorial component provides a key to the world, a means for a growth in perception, and understanding that forms the basis for abstraction in thought. The sensorial materials give the child experience initially in perceiving distinctions between similar and different things. Later the child learns to grade a set of similar objects that differ in a regular and measurable way from most to least. Each piece of equipment is generally a set of objects which isolate a fundamental quality perceived through the senses such as color, form, dimension, texture, temperature, volume, pitch, weight and taste. Precise language such as loud/soft, long/short, rough/smooth, circle, square, cube and so on is then attached to these sensorial experiences to make the world even more meaningful to the child.


Mathematics is a way of looking at the world, a language for understanding and expressing measurable relationships inherent in our experience. A child is led to abstract ideas and relationships by dealing with the concrete. The child’s mind has already been awakened to mathematical ideas through the sensorial experiences. The child has seen the distinctions of distance, dimension, graduation, identity, similarity and sequence and will now be introduced to the functions and operations of numbers. Geometry, algebra and arithmetic are connected in the Montessori method as they are in life. For instance the golden bead material highlights the numerical, geometrical and dimensional relationships within the decimal system. Through concrete material the child learns to:

  • count
  • add
  • subtract
  • multiply
  • divide

The child gradually comes to understand many abstract mathematical concepts with ease and joy.


Children begin to understand and use Italian within the world of their own experience and imagination with some topics drawn from familiar areas of learning including common animals and objects and the exchange of simple personal information. They are taught about many of the colourful cultural differences in the Italian way of life.


3 year Old
Progressively Children will stay from
8:45am to 12pm
Monday to Friday

4-6 year Old
Gradually extended
8.45am to 3pm
based upon a child’s readiness, not chronological age.

Excellence Rating

MMS is proud the Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) has rated MMS Brighton Campus as Exceeding National Quality Standards in all 7 Quality Areas that are important outcomes for children.