L’ Albero Azzurro, as a pre-school, opened in 1994 in Siracusa, from an idea of Angela Mondo, in via Filisto. The school is open from September to May, Monday to Friday from 7:30 to 17:30 and on Saturdays from 7:30 to 13:30 (at Grottasanta).
In June the summer camp begins, which is a mix of educational and fun activities indoor and outdoor!
In 2002 l’Albero Azzurro splits in two: introducing the new location dedicated to the crèche and pre-school. The new location, at vic. II di via Grottasanta, with child sized designed large spaces, offers a calm and stimulating atmosphere.
In 2017 the “Casa dei bambini” Montessori bilingual (Italian-English) “Il Melograno – The Pomegranate Tree” (a school within a school) was opened in the same building.
The crèche is open all year round (expect for 20 days in August), Monday to Friday from 7:30 to 16:30 and on Saturdays from 7:30 to 13:30.
School hours are from 8:30 to 16:30, early entrance and late stay are considered breakfast club and afterschool. Children have snack at scheduled time and they have dinner at 12:00.
Applications for both locations are available all year round, until the end of vacancies.
In 2014 l’Albero Azzurro became the first eco-school in Siracusa, signing a school-city agreement with Rifiuti Zero.
We contribute to the ecologic education of children in our care, by differentiating wastes, using the composter for fruit and vegetable wastes, hosting artificial nests and food dispenser for birds in our garden.
At Grottasanta, it’s 300mq big and this is how it is organised:
- A classroom for the “Blue Fishes” (up to 18 months) with areas for educational activities
- Two classrooms for the “Red Fishes” (up to 3 years) with areas for educational activities
- Play area, library, music area
- Lunch room
Equipped area for naps and relax
- Toilets with changing table
- Big, private outdoor garden, dedicated to educational activities (play area and green path), with composter
At Grottasanta there is also a Montessori inspired classroom (3 to 5 years), bilingual: (“a school” in the school) “Il Melograno – The Pomegranate Tree” , and the “Cyclamens” a mixed class of primary school.
Montessori inspired pre-chool
At via Filisto, it’s 200mq big and this is how it is organized:
- A classroom for the “Tulips” (3 years)
- A classroom for the “Poppies” (4 years)
- A classroom for the “Sunflowers” (5 years)
- Play area/ lunch area
Private outdoor garden, dedicated to educational activities with:
- Outdoor toys
- Vegetable garden
- Artificial nets
- Food dispenser for birds
Bilingual School “Il Melograno” – “The Pomegranate Tree” – (Italian – English)
The Montessori Method
It is a dream come true for me as a manager. Where to start from? From an enjoyable environment, carefully prepared and full of “scientifically” appropriate materials. An environment with no requirements from children, who are free to manipulate a discover the materials under the vigilant and thoughtful eyes of Martina Zimmitti, bilingual pre-school teacher come back from Ireland: she observes and guides but she doesn’t substitute the child. She helps and directs children to become responsible and independent through the use of almost invisible equipment that guide children to auto education. It is the “indirect” education, the perfect education to freedom.
The Montessori method was initiated by Maria Montessori in the early ‘90s. The Montessori Pedagogy respects the uniqueness of each child and provides the tools necessary to thrive in an unpredictable world. The aim of the Montessori education is to prepare the child for life. This method as a whole embraces the learning and developmental needs of children. Children in a Montessori environment will only move on to the next stage of their learning when they are developmentally ready and at their own pace. The curriculum is appropriate to the child’s stage of learning rather than focusing on age related outcomes to be achieved.
The teacher introduces to him the skills and qualities necessary to live life to the full in an independent, safe, happy way. It also develops the child to his full potential, the whole child. It is based on the child’s innate need to develop intellectual and physical abilities and provides a carefully prepared environment designed to meet and direct this need. The environment is carefully thought and created with beauty, to attract children and encourage them to explore, learn and develop.
Montessori is about learning to balance responsibility with freedom of choice, it offers children the opportunity to realise their potential, in a non-competitive environment.