At Tír na nÓg we use the Montessori method to teach. Montessori education is characterized by an emphasis on
independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological development.
We introduce children to Montessori, not when they reach a birthday, but rather when they have the ability to sit at a desk and concentrate for a period of time, usually between 1 ½ to 2 ½ years.
Montessori teachers introduce one piece of equipment to one child at a time. Therefore children are free to progress at their own set pace, and are never put under pressure to ‘keep up’.
Children then get to choose their own activity within a range of specialized Montessori equipment, and are allowed to proceed without interruption.
Using Montessori equipment allows children to learn otherwise abstract concepts such as, adding numbers in a very practical manner.
In addition, at Tír na nÓg we have designed our program with reference to Montessori’s model of human development and use materials found in everyday life. For example a mirror and polish, shoe laces, and dustpan & brush to name a few.
Montessori education is fundamentally a model of human development, and an educational approach based on that model. The model has two basic elements.
- Children engage in psychological self-construction by means of interaction with their environments.
- Children, especially those aged under six, have an innate path of psychological development.
Based on observations, we at Tír na nÓg believe that when children are given the liberty to choose and act freely within an environment prepared according to the Montessori model they act spontaneously for optimal development.
At Tír na nÓg we believe there are human tendencies which are seen as driving behaviour in every stage of development, and our curriculum responds to and facilitates their expression:
- orientation to the environment
- the “mathematical mind”
- work, also described as “purposeful activity”
- manipulation of the environment
The Montessori method calls for free activity within a “prepared environment”, which means creating an educational environment tailored to basic human characteristics and to the specific characteristics of children at different ages. We have created an environment at Tír na nÓg which allows the child to develop independence in all areas according to his or her inner psychological directives.
In addition to offering access to the Montessori materials appropriate to the age of the children, the environment at Tír na nÓg also exhibits the following characteristics.
- construction in proportion to the child and his/her needs
- beauty and harmony, cleanliness of environment
- an arrangement that facilitates movement and activity
- limitation of materials, so that only material that supports the child’s development is included
Our class sizes are small, and our teachers are qualified and experienced in using the Montessori method of teaching. Our Montessori school is celebrating its 15th year this coming September. Our success is evident in the confident, independent teenage past pupils who return to Tír na nÓg to boast of their educational successes and how it all began at Tír na nÓg!
Check out reviews from parents and past pupils at