Every child is born unique. People generally forget that children have a particular talent and try to fit them in the regular world. When children are at this age, they need proper attention as it moulds their future. Teachers and parents need to observe the children and then decide what suits them the best.
Keeping this concept in mind, Montessori International Preschool was started in August in 2011. With the growing demand for preschools in English in Copenhagen, Montessori became parents’ choice of selection of preschool for their children. Being located in the capital region, there is a constant rise in the number of children from 3 to 6 years old. In October 2014, they opened their doors for children at their second branch of Montessori International Preschool in Frederiksberg in Copenhagen itself.
Vision, Mission and Values
As Denmark has a rich culture and ethics, the vision of Montessori has a unique philosophy which is in line with the local needs, that is to provide the most valuable education for early childhood. While the mission is to develop and nurture the intellectuality, creativity and human potential of the children by providing them with a warm, safe and stimulating environment.
The Head Personalities of Montessori International Preschool
Isabelle Valentine is the Director and the Founder of this prestigious international preschool. She is a half-French and half-Filipino who was born in Canada. She has travelled to various countries in Europe, North America and Asia for her work. In 2008, Isabelle along with her family moved to Copenhagen. Being a mother, she understood that parents wanted a well and safe nurturing environment for their little ones. This is why she is devoted to helping children develop independence, an open mind and acceptance of other cultures and customs. She believes that it is one of the building blocks to developing a flexible attitude to properly face the ever-changing world.
Choosing the Montessori philosophy for the preschools was obvious for Isabelle as she believes it is the best way for children to experience hands-on learning, to explore their creativity and to discover the knowledge of the world while developing their maximum potential. Through the Montessori method of education, children develop a true love of learning. Isabelle is committed to giving this opportunity to every child who attends Montessori International Preschool.
Along with Isabelle, Kristine Høj Johnson, the Head Teacher at Montessori International Preschool, has been a major contribution to the success of the preschool. Kristine holds a Danish Bachelor’s degree. As a social worker, she worked at Prehab in Arizona, USA for 5 years. She is also a qualified yoga teacher and teaches yoga at the preschool.
Kristine became an AMI Montessori Teacher in 2005, graduating from the Montessori Education Centre of Arizona. She worked as the Head Teacher at a Montessori school in Arizona until she moved back to Copenhagen in January 2008. She joined Montessori International Preschool since the very beginnings when it opened its doors in August 2011.
Personal Attention for Individual Growth
Located in a beautiful villa surrounded by a green neighborhood near the Carlsberg district in Copenhagen, Montessori International Preschool ensures that their students grow up in the best environment. It has a big natural garden with rabbits and hens that provide eggs for daily meals. Being an international preschool, there are students from around 25 nationalities and 15 distinct languages spoken by 35 children. This diversity is one of the main advantages of attending this preschool. It helps the children embrace all the cultures and develop an attitude of acceptance and tolerance which they take with them as they grow into independent individuals.
- To provide quality Montessori education for the children
- To develop the overall potential of each child
- To allow children to work at their own pace and their level
- To nurture the creativity, curiosity, and imagination of every child
- To create a life-long love of learning
- To provide a loving, safe and caring environment that fosters happiness, confidence and responsibility
- To be accessible, flexible and responsive and to demonstrate a sense of urgency in our resolve and decision-making
- To inspire academic excellence
- To ensure Montessori International Preschool is a desirable place to work.
- To ensure the long-term sustainability of Montessori International Preschool
Every child is a unique person with creative potential, the drive to learn and the right to be
treated with respect as an individual is looked upon by Montessori. As children are profoundly affected by society and their immediate surroundings, we create an environment in harmony with the child’s natural development. Children must be given the freedom to work and move around, within guidelines that enable them to see themselves as both independent and part of a group.
Montessori materials help children to explore and master their environment through activities that aid the development of the whole personality. Children are encouraged to work at their own pace, either individually or in cooperation with others.
Children are carefully observed regularly, both individually and as a group, to assist their full development.
To ensure this, the preschool promotes the holistic development of each child individually by emphasizing on:
- Establishing self-confidence and self-esteem
- Self-determination within respective age limits
- Learning to form own opinion
- The building of self-assurance and assertiveness
- Encouragement of social development
- Learning responsibility in small steps
- Learning conflict resolution
- Respect for the developmental rhythm of each individual.
Unique Teaching Methodology
The approach of the school is to enhance the intelligence, curiosity, creativity while sowing the seeds of imagination. Isabelle believes, “The goal is not to control, but to inspire our children to learn voluntarily. In its essence, Montessori is designed to teach children to think deeply, to think for themselves and to think about others. We believe that learning how to think for oneself (in effect, learning how to learn) will get a child through both school and life. Children are natural learners and little teachers. Children work for the joy of the process rather than the result, and children are excited and energized through work. A child may repeat activities over and over until an inner need is fulfilled.”
For understanding the needs of the children, the team in Montessori has kept a few points for their development such as:
Children are inherently kind-hearted – if allowed to develop freely, they feel connected to everything. They will inculcate a caring nature towards each other and the world around them.
Certain periods of particular sensitivity occur while children are developing. During these periods children can learn the activity that they are focused on with ease and at a particularly intense rate. Montessori keeps this in mind and indulges in the refinement of the senses, language acquisition, walking and movement, small objects and involvement in social life. Children learn through their senses and a true foundation of understanding is developed through the whole body – touch, manipulation, hearing, speaking and observation.
Freedom is the single most important factor in allowing children to develop as spontaneous, creative individuals. Children are bound to be mischievous and playful and the teachers and parents mustn’t suppress this natural behaviour.
Children Absorb Their Culture
When children are allowed to work in the freedom they display love and care towards others.
Children absorb the world around them. True discipline and harmony come from within.
Teachers as Guides
As teachers, their role is to sensitively guide, rather than control, the children’s activities. She asked that they be “more psychologists than teachers” and considered that success lies in the ongoing nature of each teacher’s personal development as well as on the sensitivity of observations of individual children.
At Montessori International Preschool, children are encouraged not to compare themselves with others but to do their very best every day. It is ensured that there is a calm atmosphere as children can concentrate on what they are doing for long periods. Children are allowed to work individually, or in a group with a friend. Groups occur spontaneously rather than at fixed times every day. The morning session lasts for a full three hours in which there is no fixed time-table.
Activities cover all aspects of child development, intellectual, physical and social. Each activity is complete in itself, and activities are interrelated. The preschool provides their children with achievable challenges throughout their time at the preschool, so that self-esteem is nurtured and they are encouraged to even greater exploration and learning.
Children at Montessori International Preschool are exposed to various fields of art, science and culture which include:
- Practical Life
- Sensorial Exploration
- Cultural Exploration
- Language and Literacy
- Outdoor Activities
- Social Skills
While the preschool conducts various extra-curricular activities like:
- Science Experiments
Montessori International Preschool’s Achievements and Future Goals
Completing its 8th anniversary, Montessori International Preschool is the only global preschool in Copenhagen offering such distinct facilities with enormous personal growth through the Montessori philosophy. Due to the dedicated team and exceptional record of excellence, Montessori International Preschool has reached this position. Montessori would like to open preschools all over Denmark. According to local needs, they are happy to open either English or Danish preschools.