Discipline

A Montessori classroom has freedom within limits. The freedom exists for children to choose their own work, follow their own interests and work at their pace.

The limits are those necessary for the harmony of the community. The children are expected to be caring, considerate and courteous; aggression, bad manners, swearing and destructiveness are not tolerated.

The children are always encouraged to consider the other person’s point of view, respect his or her rights, and solve problems with discussion and reason.

As a School, we do not believe in physical punishment, but rather endeavour to ensure that the children develop self discipline and not be controlled by the power of the adult. We use the logical consequences of a child’s misbehaviour to change that behaviour.

The children have “Grace and Courtesy” lessons. These give the children the chance to practise appropriate ways of behaving and also to see other children model various responses to situations.

With older children, class meetings are held regularly to give the children opportunities for discussing grievances, solving conflicts and being exposed to how other people feel in given situations.

If a child’s behaviour is such that it must be dealt with immediately, then they are isolated from the group. They are placed in a situation where there may be books to look at but no real work to do, on the understanding that they return to the group whenever they are willing to behave in an acceptable way.

Kindness, but firmness, and the example of the other children in the class avoid most problems and ensure a happy and harmonious classroom.