Located at the seat of the institute at Sojerjeva 9 in Ljubljana it houses two groups of children from one to six years of age (maximum 38 children).  The unit Oranžna hiša otrok Dravlje (Orange Children’s house) at Bravničarjeva 8, Ljubljana, also houses two groups of children from one to six years of age (maximum of 33 children). The third unit in Podutik (Ul. F. Kozaka 49) also houses two groups of children from one to six years of age (maximum of 33 children).

Preschool has the all-day Montessori program and has been noted in the state register of preschool units on 29th October 2008 under the number 140. It was upgraded on the 22nd of August 2012 by noting the second unit of the Montessori inštitut.

The Ministry of Education and Sport cast a decision that Hiša otrok Dravlje fulfills all requirements for program co-financing from public resources (the municipality contributes 85 % of their contribution for the child enrolled in the public preschool at the municipality of the child’s residence).

Preschool Hiša otrok Dravlje is also accredited by the Montessori Association of Slovenia and certified that the work in our preschools is done according to Montessori principles.

If you are interested in enrolling your child, write to office and we will send you the application form.

Famous people, that believe the Montessori education played a vital role in their success: co-founders of  Googla, Amazon…

Basic characteristics of the Montessori program in Hiša otrok Dravlje

  • Encouraging self-discipline, self-recognition and independence of children
  • Encouraging the enthusiasm to learn
  • Encouraging self-respect, respect toward other people and environment
  • Developing competence to recognize needs, to make decisions and solve problems
  • Acquiring knowledge and other competences for successfull learning at school
  • World peace is the key aim in montessori pedagogy. This happens as a consequence of happy peope that know how to cooperate with others to make the world a better place.

The preschool is open five days of the week from 7.15 a.m. to 4.15 p.m. We are closed on the last week in July and the first two weeks in August and during the Christmas holidays.

Principles in our work:
Every child is born with their own character and abilities. These abilities are far greater than their ability to realize them. The child has an absorbent mind which enables them to absorb everything around them, including language and culture.
Child’s development in the first years is focused on learning to become independent. An appropriate environment supports this natural need of the child and enables them to become competent and consequently confident.
To the child, the Montessori preschool is a home, a place where they are the most appreciated guest and so all the best is prepared for them: the best materials for play and development in all areas, personnel, food, the rhythm of life that is adjusted to children – as a group and individually.
The Montessori approach includes the whole being of the child and all aspects of the development of the child: namely, the physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and spiritual.

Cognitive development
A child is in the preschool stage when the connections in the brain are made and being enforced. Maria Montessori noticed that the child at this age is in a sensitive period for language, at the oral as well as writing  stage. For the child of this age the environment is rich in possibilities for spoken language (listening to stories, rhymes, songs, conversation) as well as starting literacy. Children start to recognize the letters with the help of the sand letter tablets and the movable alphabet, they start writing and gradually reading.
Numbers are very attractive to children. To know the quantity or the name of the number opens the door to another dimension of understanding the world to the child. Montessori materials for math help the child to understand mathematical concepts. Using the conrete mathematical materials children build strong foundations for mathematical principles, develop skills and abilities for problem solving they will need when tackling with the matematicals problems.

Science (history, geography, biology) and art (visual art and music) are intertwined in the preschool curriculum of the montessori pedagogy. They are presented sensorially with the real life experiences. At geography children do not only learn the names of the countries but about the life in them as well. This way they develop respect toward different cultures.

Small children are scientists by their nature. When they observe or care about plants or animals, they start to wonder about the scinetific explanations and wish to learn about life. Visual and musical arts enable the children to happily and creatively express themselves and get to know the artists.
Materials in the montessori enviroment are designed to isolate one concept, one characteristix in a very concrete way.  Children work with materials that have a built-in control of error and so enable the child to recognize theirown mistakes. »Errors« are a vital part of the learning process that helps the child to grow. Montessori materials are the bridge between the knwon and the unknown. They enable the child to gradually develop from concrete, based on real-life experience, to more abstract thinking.

Social, emotional and spiritual development
In the carefully prepared montessori environment we have children of heterogeneous age groups that consist of at least three different ages. In these groups the older socially more developed children get the opportunity to become role models for younger ones. They develop an awareness of being part of the group as they help younger ones and as the older learn to be patient, care for the young and respect other perspectives of the group, with the help of their experience. In heterogeneous gropus the children can choose friends based on the group interests, not only age.
Caring for the self, others and the enviromnent is the basis for all rules that exist in the preschool unit. Children learn to be respectful toward themselves and others by observing adult as they work with the children respectfully. Children have an innate feeling for receiving and understanding the spiritual. From the beginning they feel joy and peace meditating about natural phenomena. They appreciate occurances of silence and the opportunities to become aware of the things that surround them and the things in their souls. For this reason the montessori programe give opportunities for silnce in their everyday life. Children from ages 3 to 6 have »Catechesis of the Good Shepherd«, which by the help of special materials enables the understanding and experiencing the catholic religion. Catholic values are the basis of the activities in the house of children in Dravlje.

Physical, and locomotor development
To become independent the children need to develop good coordination and control of movement. Freedom of movement that children have in early childhood enables them to learn to control their bodies in space. Activities in practical life include attention, care of the self, others and the environment. The activities are transferring liquid, food preparation, dishwashing, polishing shoes, washing the mirrorr, etc. And practise of grace and courtesy. With these activities and experiences, they learn concentration, movement coordination, order, work cycle from preparation to cleaning up and fine motor. Exercises in practical life are the ground base for all future learning.
Sensorial materials are designed for children to identify and classify information they receive from the environment with their senses and consequently sharpen their senses. With vision, hearing, touch, smell amd taste they explore the characteristics of the material and learn to classify and gradually name the characteristic in their environement. Awareness of and naming the basic dimensions of life is the key to the environment the child lives in.

How do we work
The Montessori classroom is usually a large space that feels very open. There are low open cupboards with shelves, and tables of various sizes by which comfortably sit one to four children. Traditional Montessori groups consist of at least three age groups at all times.
The classroom is divided into areas of language, art, sensorial, etc. which are usually separated by shelves. Every area has »materials«. This is the Montessori expression for tools with which children develop. Montessori’s view was that deep concentration is key for the child’s better formation of their personality.
Deep concentration comes when the child uses their hands to work, namely when the child works with the materials. Materials are placed on the shelves and children always put them back in the same place, where they sit ready for the next child. We appreciate the sensibility toward the group and respect for others’ needs.
Children can choose their own work or they can work in groups they form. The assistant teacher makes presentations (lessons) when the child is ready (individual or small group presentations).
The usage of materials is very structured, and so is the curriculum. The assistant presents the materials of the specific curriculum area in a hierarchical sequence. Materials of different areas of the curriculum are connected in various and complex ways.

Nutrition, health, safety
Meals are simple, balanced and an important experience of social life. Children help set the tables, serve and prepare everything else to have a nice meal together. They receive four meals: breakfast, snack, lunch and afternoon snack. Water and tea (without sugar) is always available.

Every day we try to set good conditions for a healthy life: we ensure the rooms have fresh air, appropriate temperature, humidity, light, and sufficient activities outside that involve movement. Children may follow their need for movement, work, and rest.
To ensure a healthy time in our preschool, we make sure the child that has a high temperature or other signs of illness has a place where they wait for the parents to take them home and provide home health care.

Enriched program
Teachers will mostly speak with the child in the Slovene language. One of the teachers speaks English or Spanish. Depending on the year, they have more or less time with English/Spanish speaking teachers, but never less than twice a week.

The price for this program for older children includes the catechesis of the good shepherd and the music lessons