Frequently Asked Questions
What curriculum does Neev follow?
Neev largely follows Montessori curriculum. The primary and the elementary environments are designed to meet the needs and characteristics of their ‘plane of development’. It is based on Dr. Maria Montessori’s research and extensive work in the field of child development and education. However our approach is also deeply inspired by Waldorf education.
How is Montessori system different from traditional system?
Montessori curriculum is developmentally designed. It takes into consideration the developmental powers and the characteristics of that plane of development. Montessori classes are organized to encompass a three-year age span. All the children are not seen as a part of a whole class but as individuals. They are free to learn at their own, individual pace by planning their day according to their choice of activities from numerous options available to them.
Children engage in individual or group activities with materials that have already been introduced to them by the adult (teacher). The adult gives new presentations based on her observation of each child’s interest and/or readiness. The aim here is to make learning a process of self development and discovery through their inner motivation and drive towards learning.
Will my child be able to adjust to other schools after Montessori?
The curriculum in Montessori schools is often more enriched than that taught in traditional schools. However the style of learning may differ from being self-driven to adult-driven. Also the values and attitudes of the children and teachers may be quite different.
However with some support during the transition period, most children adapt to their new setting fairly quickly. Nevertheless, once enrolled, it is most beneficial for the children to complete the three-year period (3-6 years, 6-9 years and 9-12 years) based on their developmental planes.
In Montessori system what does ‘4 Planes of Development’ mean?
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that child development occurs in four successive stages viz.
- 1st stage: 0 to 6 years
- 2nd stage: 6 to 12 years
- 3rd stage: 12 to 18 years
- 4th stage: 18 to 24 years
In each stage, the child exhibits different needs and characteristics, essential for the self development of an individual. Hence, the Montessori education comprises of different programs, each for a different age group of children.
- The Primary Program – 3 to 6 years
- The Elementary Program – 6 to 12 years
- The Erdkinder Programme – 12 to 18 years
Is Montessori good for children with learning difficulties?
Each child is unique. In the Montessori system students learn at their own pace and a lot of emphasis is given to multi sensorial learning. Therefore in many cases, children with mild developmental delays or learning disabilities may do well in a Montessori classroom setting.
However each situation has to be evaluated carefully to ensure that the program meets the need of the child in question.
What is the advantage of mixed age classes?
Instead of moving to a new class each year, working in the same environment for three years allows students to develop a strong sense of community with their classmates and teachers.
This arrangement allows younger students to observe the older children and learn from them. The older children benefit by being role models and leaders of the classroom community.
What do you mean by Waldorf-Inspired?
In a Montessori system, children are given the time and space required in order to engage deeply with their work. However inspired by the rhythm of ‘Breathing In and Breathing Out’ used in Waldorf kindergarten curriculum, at Neev we intersperse deeply engaging work (breathing in) with relaxing activities (breathing out) such as uninterrupted free play, music, art activities etc. This rhythm helps children take in a new experience during the focused period of work, and create a rich inner experience in the following period of rest.
Is Neev opposed to competition?
Many education reformists have observed that competition is an ineffective tool to motivate children to learn and excel. In Neev we encourage students to collaborate with each other rather than compete with each other. While learning at their own pace, and motivated by their own inner curiosity, children discover their own innate abilities, independence and self-confidence. In an atmosphere where success is not measured in terms of marks/grades, children realise that ‘making mistakes’ is a process of learning. At Neev children are encouraged to complete only with themselves.
Do you offer regular physical training and/or sports lessons at Neev?
There are no formal classes for sports or physical education. However the indoor and outdoor environment is organised in such a way to ensure a lot of physical movement, balance, control and coordination. A lot of group games and relays are planned for Primary children to improve their basic physical skills which is more important at this stage than learning a structured sport.
For elementary children we offer an open space to play team games. We also offer a very challenging outdoor play area to help improve their muscle control and strength. Children who enjoy sports and other structured physical activities are encouraged to pursue private lessons after school working hours.
What do you mean by freedom with responsibility?
At Neev Children are free to move around in the environment, choosing work or observing others at work, however they are aware of certain ground rules to be followed such as:-
- They can observe other children working but without disturbing them.
- They can choose only those activities that have already been presented to them.
- Gentle and careful handling of all the materials in the environment.
- How to organise their space and the materials well before they can start an activity.