Why do we do NAPLAN in Paper format?

There now exists an extensive body of research which highlights the inferior comprehension experienced by students reading on a screen to those reading in a hard copy (paper) format.[1] The Beehive Montessori School strongly believe that to undermine any student’s potential performance in a testing situation by providing an inferior mode of delivery is not in the interests of our students.

Montessori pedagogy has a strong basis in learning by doing and puts particular focus on using the hands to experience learning in order to reach abstraction in concepts. It is now well understood that a strong foundation in working in this way provides important development of neural pathways[2], with superior results not just in terms of academic understanding, but also in terms of mental health[3].

Students in our primary schools do not have extensive or prolonged access to computers, but continue to work primarily by doing, manipulating Montessori materials and recording their findings in a paper and pencil format.

[1] Singer, L & Alexander, P (2017) Reading on Paper and Digitally: What the Past Decades of Empirical Research Reveal https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.3102/0034654317722961
2 Ekwueme, C et al., (2015) The Impact of Hands-On-Approach on Student Academic Performance in Basic Science and Mathematics Canadian Center of Science and Education https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1086006.pdf
3 Twenge, J and Campbell, W (2018) Associations between screen time and lower psychological well-being among children and adolescents: Evidence from a population-based study Preventative Medicine https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211335518301827?via%3Dihub


What about the transition to ‘traditional’ schooling?

Experience shows that Montessori children cope very well in other school settings. They make the transition well, both emotionally and academically. This is not a random outcome but something for which they have been well prepared. The Montessori approach aims to encourage children and young adults to be responsible, well-organised, inquisitive, self-motivated and adaptable. These qualities play an important part in successful transition.


Why do we start at 3 years old?

Children between birth and six possess what Montessori described as ‘an absorbent mind‘. The child learns more in this time period than in any other time of their life. As seen in the Dr Montessori’s planes of development, this amazing ability to learn in this way ‘peaks’ at age 3, and then begins to decline.

Our Junior Primary classrooms are equipped with a rich variety of Montessori teaching materials, each especially designed to meet the developmental needs of the child at this age.


How do you know the children are achieving without exams and tests?

Beehive ensures that all students’ progressive achievement in all learning areas of the Montessori National Curriculum is monitored consistently within and across the years they attend. This includes detailed observations of student mastery of skills and knowledge during lessons; evidence of understanding during follow-on activities; evaluation of work samples; observations of students’ independence and engagement; and annual testing of each student from the age of 5 years.

Beehive does not directly compare children or grade them against their peers however, as this could be be seriously detrimental to their development and self-esteem. Further information is available in the Assessment and Reporting Policy.


Why is a child not told that their work is wrong?

The joy of self-correcting is much more effective than being corrected by others. In some instances the materials being used will guide children to self-correct. The teacher will also provide the lesson again and ensure children repeat the activity to provide the opportunity to correct their own mistakes.


Why is the child doing the activity over again?

Children learn by repetition. At Beehive the children know they have time to repeat the activity as needed, and there is no pressure to move on to something else until they are ready.


Why do young children attend 5 days per week?

The Montessori philosophy encourages consistency and routine. Children settle into the classroom community much better with the consistency of 5 days per week. Three year olds attend half days until they are ready for full time.


Does my child need to arrive at a particular time?

Yes, as a school we have set start and finish times. The day starts with the teacher greeting each child as they arrive between 8.30 and 8.45 am. Then lessons begin and continue for what we call the ‘three hour work cycle’. This provides the opportunity for children to fully engage in their work with minimal interruptions.