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Cycle 1


3-Year-Old Kinder

Progressively children stay from 8:45 am to 12:00 pm
Monday to Friday

4-Year-Old Kinder and Prep

Children’s attendance is gradually extended based on readiness, not a child’s chronological age, from 8.45 am to 3:00 pm.

CYCLE 1 Overview

Cycle 1 is a comprehensive three-year program for children aged three to six that encompasses kindergarten and Foundation (Prep). It is rooted in the Montessori curriculum that seamlessly integrates the Australian Early Years Learning Framework and the National Montessori Curriculum, providing a cohesive educational experience.

The Cycle 1 and the three to six years mixed age group is considered as the first Plane of Development where the absorbent mind thrives and the joy of learning takes hold. Between three to six years, children continue the process of self-construction, consolidating, refining and adding to the skills and knowledge accumulated before the age of three.

From the age of three, children become conscious of what they are learning through their own freely chosen activity, especially activity with their hands.

During the formative years up to the age of six, children possess what Dr Maria Montessori called an ‘absorbent mind.’ Research consistently demonstrates that a child’s capacity for learning is unparalleled during this period and children effortlessly and enjoyably acquire knowledge and develop essential skills.

The Program

For this age group, Montessori environments provide children with motives for activity through which they refine perception, movement and language, and become independent in everyday life.

The extensive repertoire of meticulously designed Montessori materials and exercises offered to children represent a learning programme with an incremental progression of activities. Within this framework, children are free to choose their own work, once they have been shown how to use the materials and do the exercises.

The Learning Environment

Each Cycle 1 Montessori environment for preschool children from three to six years of age is called the Children’s House. The Children’s House is homelike, welcoming, aesthetically pleasing, and orderly, so children think of it as a ‘mini community’ where they learn skills they can apply at home and in the wider community. Cooperation, rather than competition, is encouraged.

The ordered Children’s House environment provides structure and predictability and helps children orient themselves to the physical Montessori classroom and to the multi-age ‘mini-community’ within the environment.


Resources and activities

There is a strong emphasis on children developing independence, cooperation and skills for daily living that enable each child to become a valued and independent member of the Children’s House community.

Resources and activities in the Children’s House are designed to:

  • develop coordination of movement
  • develop independence
  • develop the ability to make informed decisions
  • lengthen the amount of time a child can engage in deep concentration
  • refine the use of the senses
  • encourage exploration
  • build social skills
  • develop oral communication skills
  • develop written communication and the foundations of joyful reading
  • develop an understanding of mathematical concepts.


Materials in the Cycle 1 Montessori classrooms are displayed on open shelves and are always accessible. Children work with these materials during work sessions that ideally last for a minimum of three hours with no fixed breaks. In this way, children develop and follow their own natural rhythm of activity and rest without unnecessary interruptions.


‘Experts’ in the room

Lessons are usually given to individual children and once children have been given a lesson, the activity is added to their repertoire of possible activities, so they are free to choose that activity whenever they wish. Small group activities include games used to extend earlier lessons and language games. Children are invited to join group activities but can choose whether to take part.

In a mixed age group, older children validate their learning by becoming the ‘experts’ in the room. Through peer teaching, older children share their knowledge and skills, become the caretakers of the classroom and provide role models and help to the younger children.

Younger children are also inspired and motivated to learn as they see older children working on the next step in the progression of lessons. Children learn collaboration, kindness and respect and teaching others also reinforces learning.

Freedom of choice

Freedom of choice is a central feature of the Cycle 1 Montessori environment. Children learn that free choice carries responsibilities and consequences and these understandings become increasingly important as they move through the later school years towards adult life.

Montessori educational philosophy and practice recognises that students may achieve at different times and stages. The three-year age range or cycles in Montessori classrooms correspond to developmental stages and provide students with experiences in the Montessori curriculum.

Experiences are not based on an expectation that all students will achieve at the same time or by a specified end point. Instead, teachers use their knowledge of the child, the curriculum and suggested achievement bands within their state or country to support and monitor student progress.

Teachers lead the highly methodical teaching of activities from real-life cooking and gardening to division and multiplication. Children learn mathematics, language, science, geography, history, sensorial and practical life lessons. Specialists also teach Italian, performing arts and sport.


Multidimensional tasks

Every job is educational in purpose so a Practical Life job like washing the table is a useful skill – handling water, suds, bucket and sponge and having a determination to persist and complete the task, and it is a pre-reading activity which teaches the child top to bottom and left to right.

Children begin to explore and learn about:

  • World maps and cultures
  • History of Australia
  • Counting and early processes
  • Reading and writing
  • Scientific description of parts of creatures and life cycles
  • Cooking and providing for others and self
  • Using the seven senses to carefully differentiate
  • Creative Expression
  • Physical Expression includes perspective
  • Italian language and culture.

Areas of Study

Practical life activities are part of the indoor and outdoor environments. They are a bridge between the child’s home environment and the classroom, focusing on movement control, personal care, environment care and social graces. Through materials and activities, children develop fine motor skills, concentration and a sense of satisfaction.

Children can choose from activities such as preparing snacks for themselves and others, laying and clearing the table and cleaning up. Under adult supervision, they learn to use child-sized tools, including knives and glassware, safely and effectively.

Language development in Montessori integrates reading, writing, spelling and oral language. Children engage in activities such as songs, games, poems, stories and classified language cards to refine their language skills. The process begins with practical life exercises and sensorial training, leading to alphabet introduction, sandpaper letter tracing, and reading and writing.

Sensorial materials support children to perceive and understand the world, allowing them to classify, sort and order their experiences. Each material isolates a sensory quality, such as colour, form, dimension and texture, fostering precise language and meaningful connections.

Mathematics in Montessori is a concrete-to-abstract approach. Building on sensorial experiences, children take part in mathematical activities that begin with early counting and matching experiences progress towards increasing understanding of number patterns, the four operations, number facts and two- and three-dimensional shapes.

French lessons draw from children’s familiar experiences and imagination. They learn about French culture, common animals and objects, and exchange simple personal information to appreciate cultural differences.

Through these areas of study, the Montessori approach provides a holistic education that nurtures independence, critical thinking and a love for learning.

Enrol today!

Join us in Cycle 1, where the absorbent mind thrives and the joy of learning takes root. Embark on a transformative educational journey that shapes the lives of our children and inspires a lifelong love of learning. Click below to enrol today!

Start Your Journey

If you are looking for small classes, individualised learning and a nurturing school, contact us now.