Mareike Espinoza, Director 9-12 Environment
During the second plane of development ages 6-12) Dr Maria Montessori recognised the child’s need for dual environment: one is a prepared environment to help children practice skills and organise their intellect and the other is exploring and working outside a Montessori classroom.
“Going out” is an opportunity for children to awaken their imagination, to experience what is out in the community and an opportunity of learning independence.
To allow the children to absorb the sensorial experience more fully it is our duty to provide them with the tools to master the world around them, therefore we must involve the children skills to question, plan, organise, co-operate, appreciate and encourage their sense of adventure. To provide the experience without providing the framework may not encourage the independence that is desired from the going out experience.
This year we have had many “going outs”. One of them was last term with the children from 9 to 12 who went camping at The Somerset Outdoor Learning Centre on the Colo River for 3 nights and 4 days. The location was fantastic, with many different outdoor facilities and activities which challenged the children in different ways as individuals and as a group. They learned how to: set up and pack up a tent, kayaking, hiking, cook for the group, rock climbing and many other amazing activities.
By the end of the four days the 9-12 children had developed a sense of team work, responsibly and adventure. They all learned to adapt to the new environment and to bring out the best in every situation
On our last night we had a camp fire and all the children had a chance to express what their favourite thing about camp was and what learning experience they would take home with them. There were lots of lovely comments about their own personal pride and how they had pushed themselves outside of their comfort zone, adopted new challenges and were happy to see their classmates though multiple lenses in a different environment.