Order as a guiding principle
The work in the primary school continues the work of the children's house in a natural way. Our primary school has an age-appropriate learning environment that is bright, friendly, systematically organised and stimulating. It offers orientation, because the materials are clearly arranged in open shelves according to subject areas and here again from the simple to the complicated, from the concrete to the abstract, and each material has its specific place. This clear order helps the children to work independently and to put the materials back in their place when they have finished their work.
Concrete materials as the basis for abstract knowledge
Imagination is supported by means of concrete materials, picture boards and experiments that are built up step by step and systematically and can be presented individually according to the child's interest and capacity for abstraction. These include, for example, numerous wooden and bead materials for mathematics, the movable alphabet or the grammar boxes for the types of words in the area of language, experimental materials, a small library, timelines for the history of life, plants, animals and much more. The children have the opportunity to arrive at abstract concepts through concrete work with the materials; Montessori therefore also called them "materialised abstractions". Most of the materials offer opportunities for self-monitoring; the teachers are, of course, there to support the children as learning guides.
The materials developed by Montessori and her co-workers are called developmental materials because they meet the child's personality development in a special way. The Montessori materials are not illustrative materials. The aim of working with the materials is rather concentrated work, the promotion of the child's self-activity and independence through the exercise of the senses, movement and active interaction. The developmental materials are intended as "keys to the world", i.e. they form the introduction to the skills to be learned and become superfluous as soon as the child has abstracted the learning step. Each material is usually present only once. In this way, the children learn to wait for their turn, to communicate with others and to plan their work process. Each material has a fixed place on the shelf and is always complete and intact.
Free choice of workplace
In the prepared environment, the children can move freely; they can work at tables as well as on work mats on the floor. So care is taken to ensure that there is enough open space. The tables are arranged in such a way that communication is made possible. At the same time, individual tables are also available so that the child who wants to work undisturbed alone has this opportunity. There are no fixed seats, as the groups are always rearranging themselves.
Three hours of uninterrupted working time
The children have the opportunity to repeat the work they have chosen as often as necessary and at their own pace in order to eventually master it, but also to delve into their own topics. The prerequisite for this is uninterrupted working time of at least three hours a day - no 45-minute cycles.