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Montessori Early Childhood Practice - FdA

Why study this course?

This vocationally based level 5 qualification delivered at Montessori Centre International (MCI) in central London, combines the expertise and international reputation of MCI with the best of the London Metropolitan’s Early Childhood Studies programme. Studying full-time over two years, new entrants gain a full and relevant qualification that fully meets the current Early Years Educator requirements and allows them to work as Montessori early years practitioners. 

MCI Diploma graduates benefit from direct entry to year 2 (Level 5) of the foundation degree and attend over one or two days per week.

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The foundation degree in Montessori Early Childhood Practice, validated by London Metropolitan University, has been developed to meet the demand in the work place for well qualified Montessori Early Childhood specialists who can demonstrate high levels of professional competence and apply knowledge and skills effectively in practice. It provides a degree level qualification for the Montessori community.

The focus and context for the study of early childhood is the distinct philosophy and pedagogy of Montessori practice, with the aim to develop reflective practitioners who are forward thinking, responsive and ready to engage in contemporary early years discourse.

The foundation degree is offered full-time over two years to new entrants. Full time students attend MCI 2 or 3 days per week and are in professional placement in a Montessori setting 2 days per week.  

Applicants who hold the former MCI International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy or the current MCI Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy – birth to seven (Early Years Educator) are awarded university credits (APL) and gain direct entry to Year 2 (Level 5).  Modules can be studied over one or two days per week and students must also be based in a group setting for an additional two days per week. 

The FdA provides a platform for students wishing to progress academic routes to full BA (Hons) Early Childhood with scope to develop as graduate leaders and Early Years Teachers.
Employability and work-based learning is a key aspect of the training. Students, who are new entrants to the field, study on the full-time mode and combine academic study with practical experience on assessed professional placements in Montessori settings. The vocational nature of the course fully meets the Early Years Educator requirements and enables students to practise as Montessori early years practitioners.

The course also allows  graduates of both the former MCI International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy and the current MCI Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy – birth to seven (Early Years Educator) to develop their careers and study further to access a degree level qualification. This allows practitioners to contextualise their initial training and to further consolidate their professional practice by integrating academic and work-based learning.

MCI is dedicated to promoting Montessori education in the context of the twenty-first century and working together with the early years community.

Assessment

A range of assessments are used throughout the course to allow students to demonstrate their skills, knowledge and understanding. This includes essays, child studies, reflective accounts, oral presentations and collecting evidence in portfolios, linking practical experience and theoretical understanding. 

There is a strong emphasis through all assessments on the relationship between practical, work related tasks and theoretical perspectives – which is in itself an important practical professional skill.

  • You must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
  • You should have GCSE Maths and English (grade C or above) or equivalent.
  • Requirements are two A Levels, one of which must be at least a grade C or above (combined 48 UCAS points or above).
  • OR an equivalent stand alone subject (CACHE Level 3 Certificate/Diploma, BTEC, International Baccalaureate, etc).
  • Candidates with English as an additional language must hold IELTS 6.5 (Academic).
  • For direct entry to Level 5, applicants must hold either the former MCI International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy or the current MCI Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy – birth to seven (Early
    Years Educator)

Please note that this course is not suitable for Tier 4 (international) students.

Accelerated study

Holders of the MCI Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy are awarded 150 credits towards the FdA and study for a further 90 credits at Level 5 over two semesters.

Holders of the MCI Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy – birth to seven (Early Years Educator) are awarded 120 credits towards the FdA and study for a further 120 credits at Level 5 over two semesters. This includes a additional work-based module.

The focus of the Foundation degree is the interplay between theory and practice. Knowledge, understanding and skills are integrated by learning in a work context, leading to the development of professional as well as academic skills and competence.

The course offers a holistic approach to the study of Early Childhood, incorporating multiple perspectives and a multi-disciplinary approach drawing on a range of disciplines such as psychology, sociology, education and health. Child development and observation are studied progressively throughout the programme with an emphasis on play as an integrating mechanism in young children’s development. Within the core construction of professionalism, perspectives such as children’s rights, children’s health and well-being, including child protection and disability, diversity and inclusion will be considered and applied.

Emphasis is placed on active learning with a gradual transition from more supported and guided study to more independent and self-directed learning. A variety of teaching and learning strategies are used, including workshops, lectures, seminars, guided reading, individual tutorials, independent study and opportunities for reflection on practice. Full-time students participate in timetabled weekly practical workshops to develop competence and understanding in the use of the Montessori learning materials.

At level 5 full-time students are joined by working professionals who are holders of either the former MCI International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy or the current MCI Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy – birth to seven (Early Years Educator). This facilitates peer learning, with all students benefitting from the professional experience brought to the group.

At intermediate level full-time students are joined by working professionals studying part-time. This facilitates peer learning, with the full-time students benefitting from the professional experience brought to the group and the part-time students supported in developing academic skills through the experience of the full-time students.

Teaching and learning strategies also focus on workplace skills and professionalism. Observations, work-related tasks and the use of development planning tools support the growth of practitioners’ professional competence. Students, for example, develop an increasing range of observation skills and techniques; they handle curriculum materials and make evaluations of curriculum approaches and resources. They practise and reflect on techniques to promote effective interactions with parents/carers and other professionals.

FdA Montessori Early Childhood timetable  >

Year 1 (Level 4) topics include:

  • Montessori Early Childhood Curriculum 1 (30 credit)
  • Montessori Early Childhood Curriculum 2 (30 credit)
  • Perspectives on Children’s Development and Well-being (30 credit)
  • Professional Studies and Practitioner Placement 1 (30 credit)

Year 2 (Level 5) topics include:

  • Approaches to Pedagogy and Curriculum in Early Childhood (30 credit)
  • Supporting Diversity in Early Childhood (30 credit)
  • Creative Thinking and Representation (15 credit)
  • Personal Social and Emotional Development (15 credit)
  • Professional Studies and Practitioner Placement (2) (30 credit). Please note: holders of the former MCI International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy are exempted from this module.

“Doing the Montessori Foundation Course was the best thing I could have done. It gave me the foundations and philosophy of teaching and what I believe in, which has supported me through my early childhood studies degree and now my PGCE. I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher training course and tutors. It truly was an amazing experience.” (Lucilla Critchley, FdA student)

The majority of students continue their studies on completion of the Foundation Degree using it as a platform to gain a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood, with an option to study further towards current relevant qualifications in Further and Higher Education such as Early Years Teacher or PGCE.

The course also allows practitioners to develop their careers and access a degree level qualification which can allow them to move up to more senior roles as room leaders, lead practitioners or managers.   

The international nature of the qualification allows graduates to work as Montessori teachers in this country and abroad.

Some students have opened their own Montessori settings or aspire to do so in the future.

Some students choose to specialise in an area such as Special Educational Needs, or Montessori primary education.

MCI maintains strong collaborative links with the Montessori community and all students are invited to join the Montessori Schools Association and attend the annual MSA conference.  The regular consultation regarding the needs of the community leads to bespoke course development and continuing professional development training.

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How to apply

UK/EU applicants for September full-time entry must apply via UCAS unless specified otherwise.

Applicants who hold the MCI International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy or the MCI Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy – birth to seven (Early Years Educator) and are seeking direct entry to Level 5 must apply to Montessori for this course. Please email: admissions@montessori.org.uk

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accept applications for full-time courses starting in September one year before the start of the course.

Our UCAS institution code is L68.

Visit UCAS for more details.

Fees and key information

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