Helsinki English Montessori Preschool
|Preschool teacher & Head teacher||Päivi Kuutsa|
Helsinki English Montessori Preschool, established in 1993, is an English-speaking Montessori playschool in the heart of Kamppi.
Helsinki English Montessori offers daycare to 2-6-year-old children. Alongside the daycare, Helsinki English Montessori has a small preschool class for 6-year-olds in the same facility. Altogether, we have spots for 46 children at Helsinki English Montessori. We use English in our daily activities and as our language of instruction: we offer your child the possibility to learn English in a Montessori learning environment with a highly professional staff. Don’t worry if your child does not know English yet – we’ll assist him or her in transitioning from their mother tongue to English at their own pace!
The Montessori Approach
Our main goal is to provide early childhood education and care in an individual manner that supports the development of each child in our playschool. Montessori is based on the idea that children have an innate instinct to learn. Children want to learn! In Montessori schools, we help children to learn, play, and do things on their own by creating opportunities for learning and creativity. We promote respectful behavior towards others and give children room to work on their own, but we also encourage teamwork and collaboration with others. We have a highly professional staff that is devoted to their work and supporting the development of the children in our playschool.
Our days consist of both Montessori classroom activities and free playtime. We also have a refreshing outing in the Lastenlehto park nearby the playschool. Additional activities include music groups, physical education, field trips, library visits, as well as other fun seasonal activities, such as ice-skating and attending swimming school.
Between 3 and 6 years of age, children go through multiple sensitive periods. The term ‘sensitive period’ refers to a special phase in a child's life when the desire to learn and the ability to absorb particular skills is especially strong. This means that the early years – before entering actual school life – are an ideal time for positive learning experiences in the fields of mathematics, letters, shapes, colors, social skills, and language, among others.
Our learning environment – including the classroom, the materials used, the social setting, and the atmosphere in general – is specially designed to help children in their own learning processes. Children are encouraged to express themselves by choosing amongst the learning tasks offered by the teachers. We think it is very important that every child enjoys learning new skills: this will build self-confidence and contribute to continuous learning during the years to come.
In the classroom, children are guided and encouraged to use special learning materials and techniques. These include objects and exercises that teach practical skills needed in everyday life (from task organization and care of the environment to tying shoelaces, cleaning the table and courtesy towards others). Sensorial materials help children to learn how to order, classify and describe their sensory impressions in relations, length, width, temperature, mass, and color, etc. The math materials support children in developing their mathematical thinking through concreteness and internalizing the concepts of number, symbol, sequence, operations, and memorization of basic facts.
The role of the teachers is to motivate children in their individual learning processes. Teachers encourage children to choose tasks and activities matching the child’s ongoing sensitive period and guide them in using the learning materials with the help of the Montessori pedagogical approach. In our school the working language is English, but rather than being taught as an isolated subject, it is used as a natural tool to enhance learning in other fields. The international school spirit also contributes to learning respect for other cultures.
Please do not hesitate to contact us to inquire about a position for your child – they can start at any point in the school year if there are vacancies. Our spots are primarily for 2–6-year-old children, but you can enroll your child in the queue even before they turn one.