Toddler or Young children’s community (2-3 years)
Our toddler community classroom has been created especially for our youngest children between the ages of 2-3 years. Our facilities include open space classroom (with very minimal furniture), sunlit rooms, a large courtyard for indoor/outdoor activity, spacious garden, and a playground.
Our Montessori guides/teachers are AMI trained in “Assistants to Infancy” (birth to 3 years) who recognize children’s special developmental needs and have created environments to foster the incredible intellectual, emotional, social, and physical growth occurring during this developmental phase in a child’s life.
The environments offer the beauty, order, and predictability necessary for young children to feel comfortable to spontaneously explore.
Our young children’s classroom soon becomes a second home to our toddlers with activities that address their quest for independence within a safe and secure environment. We invite their participation in activities ranging from cooking projects to stories and songs to the development of self-help skills.
As the children explore their surroundings in the Young Children’s Community, they absorb every aspect of the environment, language, and culture.
Our toddler teachers give the children their first experience of a children’s community, where each member is respected and loved, and where each child’s natural curiosity leads to real learning. The ratio of students to teachers in our Young Children’s Community classes is 6:1.
Our Primary classroom community offers a rich variety of opportunities for children to experience freedom within a secure, attractively structured, and welcoming environment. Maria Montessori recognized the spontaneous interest that arises within each child at this age. It is through the child’s interest and active engagement that the love of learning arises. Our Montessori guides/teachers are AMI trained in “Primary Montessori” (3-6 years), they observe and record each child’s individual progress, knowing when to allow a child to work with genuine interest, or when to introduce a new challenge or point of interest.
The Primary environment offers an integrated and developmentally based approach to educating the whole child:
Practical life —Promotes: Independence, body control, coordination of movement, concentration, sense of order, healthy work habits, character development, grace and courtesy through activities such as gardening, cooking, self care, care of the environment including plants and animals, to name a few.
Sensorial exercises — Promotes: Refinement of senses (size, dimension, form, color, texture, temperature, weight, sound, taste, scent), constructing relationships based on sensory information and perception, gross and fine motor development, language skills, promotes analytical and logical thinking, visual and auditory discrimination, developing hand-eye coordination, increased attention span, geography, geometry, biology, botany, zoology, to name a few.
Language development — Promotes: Vocabulary development, classification, writing, reading, oral language skills, grammar, self-expression, to name a few.
Mathematics — Montessori manipulatives for introducing numbers, shapes, mathematical operations, and the decimal system. It promotes counting, sorting, patterning, matching, to name a few.
Culture Studies – Promotes: finding patterns in nature, knowledge of human evolution (timelines and civilizations), knowledge of world history, knowledge of astronomy, understanding the truth in the natural world, learning their place in human culture, gaining appreciation for all living things, to name a few.
Music – Sometimes called “the universal language”, music adds a sensory dimension to life like nothing else. Children have an innate capacity to appreciate music of all types, and an uninhibited inclination to move, dance, and make music. Music provides plenty of opportunities to perfect children’s movements and refine coordination. Music is fostered in the Montessori environment daily by the teachers in the classroom in the form of songs, finger plays, music appreciation, and through specialized weekly lessons with our music specialist.
Movement — Dr. Maria Montessori observed that movement enhances learning. She wrote: “One of the most important practical aspects of our method has been to make the training of the muscles enter into the very life of the children so that it is intimately connected with their daily activities.”
The Prepared Environment allows children to move freely around the classroom. They do not have an assigned seat, nor are they expected to ask permission to move about. A student from a Montessori school said it best: “I like school because you can walk around the classroom and not sit in desks all day. You make your own snack…We can choose our own work.”
Montessori based her method of education on the premise that learning is linked to movement. Children discover themselves and the larger world by moving about. Children have multiple opportunities throughout the day to engage in various activities involving movement, and also through specialized weekly lessons with out movement specialist.
Both music and movement can provide children with a way to express their own unique spirits.
Art — Promotes: a balance between skill instruction and free exploration, natural desire for self-expression, non-verbal method of expressing opinions (perceptions, feeling, and history), connections between art and the child’s daily lives (in areas such as math, nature, cooking, and sports), a way to express their own unique spirits, children begin to see themselves as members of the fabric of the world, a way to humanize another culture and extend the process of peace. All this creative expression is fostered via individual and group projects, both in class with our Montessori guide/teacher, and through specialized weekly lessons with our art specialist.
Foreign Languages (Spanish) — this is introduced via our bilingual assistant teachers in each Primary class and through specialized weekly lessons with our foreign language specialist.
Each Primary class has a Montessori-trained guide/head teacher, and an assistant teacher, and between 14-20 children.
Elementary Community (6-12 years) – Lower Elementary (6-9 years); Upper Elementary (9-12 years):
“Everything invented by man, physical or mental, is the fruit of someone’s imagination, and when we propose to introduce the universe to the child, what but imagination can be of use to us?”
Our Elementary classroom provides an environment for children to continue to develop their reasoning, and imaginative minds. Our teachers guide elementary students as they contemplate all aspects of the world around them, the universe, and their responsibilities as part of a society.
Elementary aged children are typically characterised by their questioning minds, their ability to abstract and imagine, their moral and social orientation and their unlimited energy for research and exploration. They move from the concrete through their own efforts and discovery to the abstract – thus greatly expanding their field of knowledge.
In a research style of learning, elementary children work in small groups on a variety of projects which spark the imagination and engage the intellect. Our Montessori trained guide/teacher direct the children toward activities which help them to develop reasoning abilities and learn the arts of life.
Children, at this age, are driven to understand the universe and their place in it and their capacity to assimilate all aspects of culture is boundless. Elementary studies include geography, biology, history, language, mathematics in all its branches, science, music and art. Exploration of each area is encouraged through trips outside the classroom to community resources, such as library, planetarium, botanical garden, science centre, factory, hospital, etc. This inclusive approach to education fosters a feeling of connectedness to all humanity, and encourages their natural desire to make contributions to the world.
The Elementary classroom provides a wide variety of carefully designed Montessori materials to bring the children into contact with practical and concrete means of exploring and mastering a rich curriculum. Students study the interdependence of life; the development of civilization, language, and culture; and their roles as contributors to and stewards of life on Earth.
The elementary program provides a developmentally based and integrated approach to the child’s studies, which include:
Language — Speaking, self-expression, writing, grammar, and reading.
Art and music— Expression, individual, and group projects.
Mathematics — Montessori manipulatives for arithmetic, geometry, and algebra,
Science — Biology, chemistry, geology, geography, physics, astronomy.
History — Study of the development of human cultures within a framework of the fundamental needs of humans.
All of these are available every day.
Specialty teachers work with the children on a weekly basis in the areas of foreign language, art, music, and physical education. Students study drama and participate in cultural activities throughout the year.
In class, students are allowed to pursue a project in depth without interruption, under the guidance of the teachers who keep careful records on each child’s progress and needs. Multi-age groupings at the elementary level enhance social development, learning, and a sense of belonging.