Outstanding education is what they stand for: Katholischer Montessori Kinderhaus St. Lambertus Kalkum – Düsseldorf

The Montessori Kinderhaus St. Lambertus in Kalkum is founded on the educational philosophy of Maria Montessori, aimed at fostering children’s independence and personal development through self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. The center is designed to enhance children’s growth through a curriculum that includes sensory materials, language development, mathematics, cosmic education, creative design, and practical life skills. These activities are carefully structured to encourage personal growth and respect for others.

While the center operates with a Catholic ethos, embedding Christian beliefs and values within its educational practices, it is inclusive of all children, regardless of their religious background. The ethos emphasizes the dignity of every individual and the importance of social responsibility. This inclusivity aligns with the broader educational goals of fostering understanding and respect among diverse community members.

Brief History

Founded in the late 1970s, Kath. Montessori Kinderhaus St. Lambertus has been a cornerstone of early childhood education in the Kalkum community. The kindergarden was established with the aim of providing a comprehensive Montessori education to children, enabling them to develop their potential in a holistic and supportive environment.

In 2009, the facility underwent significant renovations to update the infrastructure and expand the learning spaces, reflecting both the growing demand for Montessori education and the need to adapt to modern educational standards and needs. These enhancements included the addition of new learning rooms, an expansion of the outdoor play area, and the introduction of updated Montessori materials and resources.

Throughout its history, the Kinderhaus has maintained a commitment to the core values of Montessori education while evolving to meet the needs of its children and their families. It remains a beacon of progressive education, deeply embedded in the local community and dedicated to fostering an atmosphere of learning, respect, and independence among its young learners.

Rooms Concept

The Montessori Kinderhaus St. Lambertus has been operational for over 40 years, with significant expansions and modernizations in 2009, including a roof extension and redesign of the entrance area. This concept is designed to foster independence and self-directed learning among children, providing spaces that encourage exploration and engagement.

The facility offers various specialized rooms beyond the basic group rooms, side rooms, and bathrooms. These include:

  • Movement Room: A dedicated space for physical activities and motor skill development.
  • Spacious Hallway with Wooden Play Area: This area serves as a transitional zone and offers various play opportunities.
  • High Platforms and Small Workshop Room: These areas provide children with the chance to engage in more focused and craft-oriented activities.
  • Group Rooms: Each group room is equipped with a kitchenette, allowing practical life activities to take place within the group setting.
  • Common Use Areas: Beyond the group-specific rooms, the facility features areas used across groups for smaller project groups, enhancing the communal and collaborative learning environment.
  • Outdoor Area: The extensive outdoor space is surrounded by greenery and equipped with varied play structures that promote physical activity and interaction with nature, including climbing frames, swings, a slide, a soccer field, and a vegetable garden.

This thoughtfully designed space supports the Montessori philosophy of providing a “prepared environment” where children can choose their activities based on their interests, helping them to develop self-regulation and respect for others’ workspaces .

Staff Overview

The team at Kinderhaus St. Lambertus is dedicated to providing a nurturing and educational environment. The staff consists of highly qualified professionals who bring a wealth of experience and specialized training to their roles.

  • Leadership: The facility is led by Birgit Keil, a state-certified educator with 29 years of experience, and her deputy, Katharina Polit, another seasoned educator .
  • Educational Team: Includes two state-certified educators as group leaders, two educators working across groups, and several specialized staff, for example educators with Montessori diploma, certified in language promotion, specialized in musical early education, etc.
  • Training and Development: All staff members regularly participate in professional development, including external training and team training days, to stay updated with educational methods and child care standards.
Enrollment and Group Structure

The kindergarten serves about 65 children, divided into groups that ensure a close-knit and supportive environment. This small-group structure allows educators to focus attentively on the needs of each child, consistent with Montessori’s philosophy of personalized education.

  • Kobold Group: This group consists of about 21 children aged from 3 years to school entry age.
  • Wichtel Group: Similarly, this group also hosts approximately 21 children within the same age range.
Core Teaching Method
  • Individual Acclimatization in Four Phases: Describes the four stages of acclimatization for children entering the Montessori environment, focusing on gradually integrating them into the setting with support from caregivers.
  • Participation: Emphasizes involving children in decisions affecting their daily lives, reflecting Montessori’s principle of respecting children as individuals with their own voices and choices.
  • Free Play: Children choose their activities and play partners, promoting independence and responsibility for completing chosen tasks.
  • Practical Life Exercises: These activities mimic daily tasks, fostering children’s independence and practical skills.
  • Prepared Environment: The setup is designed to encourage autonomous learning and exploration, with materials that are regularly updated to meet children’s developmental needs.
  • Three-period Lesson: A specific instructional approach used in Montessori education to introduce new concepts in three phases to enhance understanding and retention.
  • Language Promotion: Activities integrated throughout the day to support language development, emphasizing spontaneous and natural language use among children.
  • Projects: Project-based learning is used to integrate education across various domains, allowing children to engage deeply with topics of interest.
  • Cross-group Space Offers: Facilities and materials are shared among different groups, promoting a community environment.
  • Nutrition and Food: The approach to meals is educational, teaching children about nutrition and encouraging them to try new foods while respecting their preferences and dietary needs.
  • Hygiene Education: Teaching children personal hygiene and cleanliness as a part of their daily routine.
  • Perception of the Human Body: Educating children about the human body and integrating age-appropriate sex education into the broader educational context.
Daily Schedule and Activities

The children experience a balanced schedule of free play, guided educational activities, and rest. Activities include:

  • Practical Life Skills: Developing care for the environment and self, and coordination.
  • Sensory Education: Children use Montessori materials to enhance sensory perceptions and cognitive development.
  • Creative Expression: Through arts, crafts, music, and movement, children explore creative and emotional growth.
Daily Routine
  1. Morning Reception: Children are welcomed and transition into the day’s activities.
  2. Midday Activities: After breakfast, the day continues with free play, crafts, outdoor activities, and guided educational tasks.
  3. Lunch and Quiet Time: Following lunch, children engage in quiet activities to rest and rejuvenate.
  4. Afternoon Session: The day concludes with structured educational tasks and free play until pickup times.
Key Information for Parents
  • Opening Hours: 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM to accommodate working parents.
  • Parental Involvement: Strongly encouraged through various events and activities that help them understanding the pedagogical strategies.
  • Communication: Parents can participate in hospitations and other forms of involvement.

Kath. Montessori Kinderhaus St. Lambertus Kalkum offers a holistic approach to early childhood education, grounded in the Montessori methodology. It provides a nurturing environment where children can explore, learn, and grow at their own pace, supported by dedicated educators and a supportive community.

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