Rocks Lane Montessori - Our Curriculum


Our Curriculum

The Montessori curriculum is structured into seven areas of Learning and Development. Each area has a carefully curated learning zone in the indoor and outdoor classroom. These areas align perfectly with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which is the statutory requirement for all early childhood education in the UK.

Each area of the Montessori curriculum holds joys to discover. To learn more, read on!

Practical Life:

Practical Life acts as a familiar ‘bridge’ between nursery and home, packed full of familiar and appealing activities that a child can master. This area represents real life skills, for example baking bread, preparing snacks, pouring, polishing, doing up buttons, sewing, nuts and bolts and more.


Young children learn about the world through what Montessori believes is their ten senses, absorbing and making sense of the countless details of the world around them. Here, children investigate gradation of colours, weights, textures, temperatures, smells, volumes, lengths, shapes, sounds and tastes, both in and out of the classroom. This includes matching fabrics, grinding spices, differentiating the pitch of bells, and describe the innate warmth of natural materials.


We find literacy a joy, and place it as a cornerstone of a child’s education. Children are constantly learning from birth onwards in this area, acquiring language, and beginning the early process of reading and writing through stories, poems and activities. We teach literacy based on the phonics approach, focusing on letter sounds and their written shape. Pre-literacy games help a child to distinguish sounds, with children moving to more advanced literacy when they are ready, using moveable letters to word-build before they are introduced to reading. We love reading stories, and bring stories to life through story sacks, drama and role-play.


Montessori described a child’s ‘mathematical mind’, and that the nursery environment from the very start should encourage a child’s innate understanding of mathematical concepts, making numeracy an instinct and a joy. Numeracy has a foundation in other areas of the classroom, where a child practices concepts of sorting, matching and pairing. It is supported by songs and games, with for example, “5 little ducks” being a fun way to count to five, and to gain an initial concept of addition and subtraction. Numeracy then moves on to a full sequence of activities, where a child is able to understand quantities, equations and fractions through working with concrete materials.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World (KUW):

Montessori brings to life the truly remarkable world around us in a way that children can understand. KUW is divided into biology, geography, history and science, and provides children with first hand sensorial experiences of their world. Some children become passionate experts on dinosaurs, or diggers, or planets, and the curriculum makes a special place for those interests to flourish. We experiment with what sinks and what floats, what dissolves, what is magnetic, what is old and what is new. We learn about flags and continents, countries and cultures using beautiful artefacts. We have a particular focus on our natural environment, and our role in protecting it.


This is not limited to the art corner, but weaves across all areas of the classroom and the curriculum. Children are innately creative, and we let their own imagination take us on their journey, rather than defining a prescribed end product of learning. We never reward with stickers, homework or test results, but instead we celebrate the process of a child’s own learning. Children have extensive opportunities for creative expression in and out of the classroom.

Physical Development:

Physical development is core to our educational philosophy. Children inherently crave movement, both gross and fine motor movements integral to their activities in the classroom and their play, and through movement they interact and comprehend their world. We build mini-multi sports games and activities into the daily life of the setting, helping each child to build agility, balance and coordination.

A final point:

Finally, a critical area to mention, across all areas of the classroom, is personal, social and emotional development (PSED). We observe and carefully track a child’s progress in terms of their self-esteem, self-awareness, confidence, social interactions, and care for their friends and the environment. Through all activities, we role model the values we aspire to, and teach with love and clear boundaries. The ultimate success of our work is to see children gaining confidence and self-esteem in their abilities.