Back to Derry Preschools

Montessori School of Derry

65 East Broadway
Derry, NH 03038

(603) 432-8345


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Montessori

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"The basic idea in the Montessori educational philosophy is that children carry unseen within them the persons they will become. All the seeds are there. They need only water, nourishment and sunlight. Our classrooms, staff and curriculum are the water, nourishment and sunlight. We believe that children have an intrinsic desire and motivation to achieve their full potential and to fulfill their purpose in life, with integrity and joy. In order to develop their physical, social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual potential to the fullest, the child must have freedom. This freedom is developed through opportunities in an ordered and loving environment, rich with intellectual stimulation, guidance and plenty of opportunities for developing personal responsibility, order and self-discipline.
Prepared Environment: Our prepared environment, has a full complement of learning materials, is rich with cultural materials, an expansive curriculum, and positive role models, and provides a warm loving environment where the child begins to experience the joy of lifelong learning. The world of the child, say Montessori educators, is full of sights and sounds, from which children must gradually create order, learn to distinguish among the impressions that assail their senses, and slowly but surely gain mastery of themselves and their environment. This is achieved through a balanced exchange between the teacher, the child, the family and the school environment. We hold our relationships with our families in high order, and treasure the partnership we share with them in both witnessing and supporting the evolution of all children, in their process of becoming world citizens…. responsible, respectful and happy.

Character Socialization: Our goal is to prepare the child to be a consciously responsible citizen of his/her community, nation and world. In essence our goal becomes that of working with each child as an individual in developing character and socialization, intellectual curiosity, self-motivation and social responsibility. The majority of this character development happens in the early years, and we treasure the opportunity to work with the families in our community in achieving these goals.

Independent Thinking: Social adjustment is a necessary condition for learning in a schoolroom. It lays the foundation for patterns of concentration, "stick-to-itiveness" and thoroughness. If these elements are established in early childhood, they will produce a confident, competent learner in later years. Montessori teaches children to observe, to think, to judge. It introduces children to the joy of learning at an early age and provides a framework in which intellectual and social discipline go hand in hand.

Mixed Age Groupings: Our goals are achieved through a classroom with mixed age groupings, a hands on learning environment, a thoughtful, creative and individually paced curriculum, as well as a strong partnership with the home & family. These elements help to create consistency for the child in the critical years when character, socialization and intellectual and spiritual guidance are essential to the development of the whole child. Montessori classrooms gather together children in three consecutive age groupings (3-6, 6-9, 9-12) where children can remain together for several years, with only the oldest group moving into the next level each year. This model provides each child with an opportunity to learn and grow within the context of being mentored to being mentored, a much wider spectrum of learning than the homogenous style classrooms.

Individualization & Expansive Curriculum: The structure of Montessori learning involves the child in self-direction, the use of inductive and deductive reasoning through the use of many materials with which the children may work individually or in small groups. The mixed age grouping, provides the children with older role models and as they grow older of being the role models for younger children. The age groupings span a 3-year period in the child’s life. I.e.: 3-6 yrs, 6-9 years, and 9-12 years. At every step of their learning, the teaching material is designed to test their understanding and to correct their errors. The curriculum is expansive and non-limiting. The child learns at his/her own pace and can take the time necessary in mastering each concept. Many of the materials are self-correcting and are characteristic of a Montessori environment. All learning styles, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal, intuitive, and the traditional linguistic and logical-mathematical are nurtured. Our classrooms support the work of Dr. Howard Gardner and his theories of multiple intelligence.

Co-Teaching Model: Additionally, our school utilizes a co-teaching model for education, where two trained Montessori teachers guide each environment. This model gives us an added opportunity for individualized and small group presentations that are more appropriately geared to the specific developmental stages that your child is emerging into. Our staff have the ability to set clear and consistent limits while being able to respond to children"s feelings, and to be empathetic. They encourage "Freedom with Responsibility" by providing many opportunities for learning through natural consequences. At Derry Montessori we feel that these are the most important years of your child’s life. Spending time and effort in the proper environment with emphasis on character and socialization in these early years will be worth its weight in gold in the years ahead.
Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

"Daily Schedule
8:30 Arrival: Can include a short outdoor play time, in good weather
8:45 Group Time: lessons, singing, discussion, calendar, weather, leader or special presentations
9:00 Work Cycle: This is where the children choose activities in the
classroom and go from one activity to another. Based on interest. This is also the time where the directress will do individual and small group presentations with the children.
* Music: Children enjoy the fun and exitement of working with our music specialist at least one day each week, more often is possible.
* French Program: The children also enjoy the regular visits of Caillou the puppett, learning much about the family, school and life in French. Learning a second language is a wonderful extension to the cultural arts, peace education and community building work.
* Storytelling: Another area of enrichment is the special program on environmental education and storytelling that occur on a regular basis. Adding this interpretive and spontaneous art form to the repertory of school experiences adds to the fun and the ingenuity of the classroom experience. The children always enjoy and look forward to our storytelling days.
* Group Lessons: Often the teacher will take a group of students who are ready for a particular presentation and give it to them in group format. This provides the students with opportunities for refining their social skills, their patience, and their ability to cooperate with one another.
* Field Trips: Usually the students have an opportunity to go on field trips that support the studies of the month.
11:00 Clean up: The children work together in restoring order to their learning environment by sharing jobs, and taking responsibility for returning their work in an orderly fashion.
11:15 Outdoor play: Our students enjoy the development of gross and fine motor skills in the outdoor playground on a daily basis.
11:30 Dismissal for half day students.
11:30 Lunch Program for Extended Day Students: Our Lunch Bunch enjoys the down time to refresh and socialize with one another about all the important events in their lives.

Excerpted from the preschool's website