The aim of Montessori education is to foster competent, responsible, contributing and flexible citizens who are lifelong learners. At the elementary age, children are specifically sensitive to the acquisition of knowledge and are very interested in the world at large.
A vast curriculum is offered, giving young students the beginnings of all subjects including aspects of physics, chemistry and geometry. As one parent commented while attending an elementary open house class exhibit, “I didn’t do this until I was in Secondary!”
The teachers are in the position to work with smaller or larger groups, introducing new concepts, revising previously taught lessons, rehearsing needed facts, or exposing the children to another aspect of the world surrounding them. By making study plans, timelines, draft readings and establishing deadlines, the teachers help the children to work and study in a conducive manner.
Due to the multi-age range, children do not see each other as competition but as supporters and team members, thus simulating the real world and creating the skills necessary in the future work place. Some of the children who have already participated for one or two years in the group, automatically take on the role of leader under the guidance of the teachers, based upon the previous years where they have experienced positive role-models.
The 5 Great lessons, a cornerstone of Montessori education, are presented for the first time in the lower primary classroom. They consist of a series of stories that expand children’s understanding of, and ignite excitement for, subjects ranging from man’s fulfillment of needs throughout time to the creation of the universe. These lessons branch out naturally into a multitude of related fields which the children can choose as projects where research, organisation and presentation skills are developed.
As children enter this intellectual period, they are presented with a rich academic curriculum that includes geography, science, botany, zoology, history, language, mathematics, science, music and art. They explore each area at their own unrestricted pace.
The academic programme of the upper elementary classroom is grounded in language arts, mathematics, science and geography while enhanced by the integrated features of music, physical education, visual art, drama and spanish language. Lessons are delivered by guides in a layered approach, which blends hands-on learning using Montessori materials with abstract conceptual work, internal class discussions and project work to create a multifaceted learning experience.
In 2017 Island Montessori school registered with Cambridge International to deliver the Cambridge curriculum to our Upper Elementary Classroom. We have recognized a need to integrate this program into our grade 5 and 6 curriculum in order for our students to complete their primary education in the caring and supportive environment that they have come to know and love at Island Montessori School and to prepare them for the transition to our Lower Secondary Program.