SCHOOL REPORTS | MYSTIC MONTESSORI
(Photography was not permitted by the Principal. I have substituted my documentation with
quick sketches and notes.)
Mystic Montessori is a small preparatory school set in large bungalow in Yelahanka New
Town. The students can join from 2 and half years and complete the course by the time
they are 6 when they have to join a regular school in the 1st standard. There are probably
a maximum of 30 students in total at the school with around 6 teachers including the
Principal who also teaches full time.
In a Montessori, the atmosphere is a lot more informal and personal than a regular
school. There were 4 teachers including the principal working with around 20-25 children.
Everyone sits on the floor and children are encouraged to sit cross legged and each child
has their own working space with a mat and small table. A lot of attention is paid to what
each child is doing and yet they are allowed to take their own time to do their activities. As
everyone is not doing the same activity they are allowed to choose what they want to do
in compliance with the teachers.
The students come from a variety of backgrounds. They aren’t forced to speak in English
in school and if a child speaks and understands better in his or her mother tongue then the
teachers also converse with that child in the language they are comfortable with. I spent a
few hours with the younger children who were of a mixed age group, and sat together in
small clusters in one large room.
The children were curious and friendly even though I couldn’t talk to quite a few of them
as I don’t speak any south Indian languages. They were enthusiastic to show me around
their classroom and explain the different activities that they were doing. The students
aren’t reprimanded for any sort of misbehaviour (messing about with their tools, hitting
each other, etc) but spoken to in calm but strict voice. Neither are they mollycoddled if
they cry or ask for extra attention from the teachers.
Mrs Alzira | School Principal
Maria Montessori observed, after years of study that children have more of an appeal
for hands on activities and understand better through sensorial learning. Also younger
children (2 to 5 years) learn better indoors as they need a secure environment, which is
why we have a very intimate indoor setting and each child gets individual attention. Older
children (6-9 years) prefer outdoor activities and learn better through them.
We do make them do quite a few activities with food, we make them cut and grate firm
vegetables like carrots, cucumber, beetroot and beans. The children usually always eat
what they cut or grate- even beans even though we try to tell them they aren’t eaten raw.
It makes them really curious and excited. We also teach them to mash boiled potatoes and
peel hardboiled eggs. The younger kids also learn to spread butter or jam on toast.
• If I have to make my narrative appealing to a much younger audience (3-5 year olds),
it will have to have sensorial, physical activities that they can easily follow through the
illustrations; and therefore enjoy and like the character who (mainly by imagery as the
prose might be difficult to follow) showcases fun activities that they can be a part of
along with older children.
• For the older audience (6+) the main character will have to be adventurous and do
things outdoors as well so that the narrative is exciting for them. The character will
also probably have to have an offbeat personality that they find entertaining (as seen
in a lot of children’s books- Roald Dahl’s characters), so that they don’t get bored by
the prose and feel inspired by the character. The character and narrative should make
older children feel compelled to imitate his activities, but also understand their value.