Got Questions?

1 How is a Montessori school different from a conventional
           school?

ANSWER: A Montessori school is different in some very fundamental ways.
Children learn by doing: Since children receive information through their five senses via active engagement, each classroom is meticulously designed for optimal learning and contains developmentally appropriate materials, aesthetically pleasing arrangements and a structure that supports independence and nurtures each child’s natural curiosity. Using Dr. Montessori’s scientifically designed materials, the child achieves first perceptual and then cognitive understanding of concepts, building their competence and confidence.
Children learn at their own pace: Those of us who subscribe to the Montessori education recognize that learning is natural and innate, that children have a natural desire (intrinsic motivation) to know about their world. Our classrooms are designed to promote engaged exploration and discovery. Students joyfully learn at their own pace, making choices that are right for them, with the support and guidance of their teachers. Because students are always curious and excited about what they are learning, they build a strong foundation of concentration, inner discipline, and joy of learning.
Children see the connections: Due to our fully integrated curriculum, students see how our various curriculum areas are connected, leading to greater understanding of how our complex world works. They learn about why we count not just what or how we count. The spiraling nature of the Montessori curriculum, with each experience building toward successively complex experiences, scaffolds learning for the child. As an active participant in one’s education, with the teacher as a guide, each child becomes the builder of meaningful knowledge helping one learn how to learn.
Children collaborate: Our multi-age classrooms support collaborative learning, where children not only learn from the teachers but also learn from each other. The students hone their cooperation and negotiation skills when working through choices with work partners, recognizing the strength of working together toward a common goal.
Children are responsible: Autonomy and freedom are balanced with responsibility, preparing students to follow their passions, yet understand how their actions impact the larger community (including our earth community). Students develop empathy, cooperation, and personal responsibility within the context of being an actively engaged member of the community.
Children are peaceful: From the youngest to the oldest child, our students learn to interact with others with respect, compassion, and kindness. Awareness that every living thing has a meaningful role in the larger system leads children to define for themselves how they will contribute toward creating a more peaceful world.

2 What are the origins of the Montessori philosophy of
           education?

ANSWER: Montessori education has a rich and long history. Founded by Italy’s first female physician, Dr. Maria Montessori devoted her life to understanding human development/universal needs, with a keen interest in how children learn. After years of scientific research, she founded a philosophy of education that is over 100 years old, with schools all over the world. Modern science is validating what Dr. Montessori knew intuitively, that children learn through their senses, that children have an innate natural desire to explore the world around them and that a properly prepared environment is critical for optimal learning and the development of independence and autonomy.

3 Why are your fees appear to be higher than other
            preschools in Zvishavane?

ANSWER: One thing that drives fees for all Montessori schools the world over is the teacher to pupil ratio. In Zvishavane we are the only school with a 1:10 ratio most schools range 1:20 to even 1:40. What this means is that 40 children are paying one teacher so obviously the fee per child will be very low. A Montessori school requires a lot of hardware and care for the various Montessori areas, and these are mostly imported as Montessori education is still a new concept in Zimbabwe. Montessori teachers require specialised training which is mostly found overseas therefore Montessori teachers become too expensive to hire. Montessori schools in other towns like Harare and Bulawayo actually charge 3 times our fees for half day lessons! We at Little Bees have chosen to serve the child rather than make money from the child. We honestly feel one teacher can not attend effectively to 25 two -year old children! We believe a Montessori education is the way to go and the community will soon appreciate the efforts we are putting in it and advocate for more Montessori schools in Zvishavane if not Zimbabwe

4 Why do parents choose your school?

ANSWER:Usually parents seek out our school because they have heard good things about us from a friend or colleague. Unless they have prior personal experience with Montessori, they typically do not know a lot of details about the qualities of a Montessori education or the child-centered education that awaits their child. After parents tour our school, they comment about our:
  • high-quality academic programs individualized to each child’s developmental needs
  • a very low teacher to pupil ratio 1:10 allowing teachers to attend to individual issues
  • engaged and focused students who exhibit curiosity and a joy for learning
  • We offer an internationally approved Montessori education.
  • peaceful, calm, and safe classrooms where children cooperate and collaborate
  • caring teachers who provide just enough help – intelligent help – so the child can learn to “do it all by myself”
  • beautiful, ¼ -acre campus in a serene environment setting where children daily explore and connect with the natural world
  • Very clean playground and equipment
  • Very groomed and polite
Beside we are also member to the following Montessori International Organisations:
  1. Southern Centre Montessori Group of Schools (Zimbabwe, Formerly MCI UK)
  2. Association Montessori Internationale (Netherlands).
  3. Kindercare Zimbabwe Group of Schools

5 How are your teachers trained?

ANSWER:As we all know, the teachers make all the difference at a school. At our Montessori school, all of our lead directors (our teachers are called “directors”) have earned Montessori certifications for their particular level. For example, our Toddler lead teachers have attended a Montessori-certified training center and have successfully completed a rigorous training program specifically geared to the Toddler-aged child. Our teachers are graduates from Montessori Centre International (uk). The teachers join our school with an in-depth understanding of child development and Montessori philosophy, as well as mastery of a comprehensive, fully integrated Montessori curriculum. Our locally trained directors attend staff development seminars every year with a Certified MCI Tutor. The school is now a recognized training school site for Southern Centre Montessori Schools

6 How well do Montessori children manage in the ‘real
            world’?

ANSWER: Our classrooms are ‘real world’. In the ‘real world’ people work together to solve problems, resolve differences, make contributions to the larger community, follow their passions, and make choices and learn from their mistakes. Our students’ practice, nurture and fine-tune these same qualities in our school community. Our students are becoming confident collaborators, independent thinkers, knowledgeable about their strengths and weaknesses, intrinsically motivated, and responsible global citizens and embody these qualities when they graduate from our school.

7 How are assessments handled at your school?

ANSWER: Assessments are an integral part of a Montessori setting and are viewed as a means to support continual learning and development. In a Montessori school, assessment is an on-going continuous process that manifests in several ways:
Teacher Observations: Dr. Montessori knew that observation was key to being able to serve the child. Our teachers are meticulous in observing each child’s behavior and keeping detailed assessments of each student’s progress. The information gleaned from these observations guide the teacher in preparing and presenting lessons, knowing when to move to the next concept in the sequence or when a child needs additional reinforcement on a current concept. Depending on the age of the child, teachers guide the students in self-assessment through regularly scheduled teacher/student conferences, use of work portfolios and projects which culminate in presentations, dioramas
Parent/Teacher Consultations: Consultations are held once a year, it is held at the end of the 2nd term and is preceded by comprehensive written progress reports. Consultations are an opportunity for mutual sharing between the parents and our directors, with the directors providing parents with detailed information about their child’s progress in all developmental areas.

8 How well do students transition out of a Montessori setting
            to a more conventional school?

ANSWER: Students do very well when they transition out of our school. We remain in contact with our alumni to hear about their post-graduation experiences. Alumni believe they possessed the skills - confidence, independence, motivation - to adapt effectively. They are loving souls, and can express themselves freely without fear, very sensitive to hate/hurting words. Since these former students developed self-awareness, were self-directed and took responsibility for their learning while at our school, they were well-prepared and adjusted quickly to their new school setting. As with all transitions, there is an adjustment period and our alumni mention things like: They receive assignments from multiple teachers who do not talk with one another or that they are required to sit in one place for stretches of time.

9 Where do your students go after graduation?

ANSWER: Many students choose the local private schools. No matter the school, our graduates excel in their new environments, drawing on their solid academic foundation, intrinsic motivation, ability to adapt and self-confidence.

10 What happens if there is no vacancy in a program applied
           for?

ANSWER: When the number of applicants exceeds the number of spaces available, a child is added to our waiting list. Waiting list remain active throughout the school year as unexpected circumstances may arise at any time. When a place becomes available, all applicants for that program are given full and careful consideration by the school Admin. They consider several factors (e.g., age balance, gender balance, diversity, learning styles and needs) in determining placement.

11 Can one pay in monthly installments?

ANSWER: Whilst this is not encouraged, However the Administration considers the parents’ circumstances and can allow a monthly installment though it will attract some interest.

12 Is the there a discount for paying the annual fee at once?

ANSWER: Yes, there is a 10% discount for annual payments done at the beginning of the year

13 Do you give discounts for siblings?

ANSWER: Yes, a 20% discount is available for every sibling that joins the schoo

14 Does the school arrange transport for the children?

ANSWER: No, the school does not offer transport for the children. It is the duty of the parent to ensure that their child is brought and collected from school

15 What measures have been put in place to ensure non spread
            of COVID 19 ?

ANSWER:
  1. Parents will purchase Masks and Splatter caps/Visor from the school
  2. School has purchased automatic dispensers to be placed by each entrance and main gate and spray guns to sanitise the playgrounds, furniture, and gadgets
  3. Water points have been provided in the playground
  4. All classrooms/furniture and equipment/gadgets will be sanitized every 2 hours.

16 What are LBUs units?

ANSWER: LBUs units are units that are used to reign in the everchanging exchange rate. This rate is anchored to some of the most stable currencies. When parents want to pay, they will just get the equivalent rate from the school of the LBUs to pay in local currency

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