A broad and balanced programme of study is planned using the Montessori Primary Curriculum
The Montessori approach puts the individual child’s potential and interests in the centre of its curriculum. To instil in each child a lifelong joy for learning through building an inquisitive, critical and creative mind, aiming to equip them with the skills to meet challenges and to reach the potential of the adult they will become in the future.
Based on Montessori principles, we provide an environment which serves children’s developmental needs at different stages of their development.
For children from and to year 1 to year 6 – we provide an environment which fosters the child’s growing mental independence and gives them opportunities to research the world with ever growing skills and more refined tools. Children’s development will be assessed against our vision of holistic development, ensuring we provide an environment which fosters each individual child’s skills and personality. Each child’s development and learning will be assessed against the Montessori Elementary Curriculum.
The following procedures are in place and form the basis of development and learning: All children are free to move around the indoor and outdoor classroom, selecting activities they feel attracted to. For each age group, we provide areas with activities specifically adapted to the developmental needs of each age group.
Children are guided and supported towards organising their own learning. They are free to work alone, in pairs or small groups and are free to choose the activities they engage with during the day. The teacher ensures that all lessons of the core curriculum are given. As part of their teaching teachers constantly monitor and assess each child’s achievement by updating records daily.
Being based on a careful balance between freedom and responsibility, the Montessori curriculum acknowledges that being an independent learner is a skill that needs to be learned, a skill that needs guidance to flourish.
We have tools to assist the child in their path of accountability and self-construction: The work plan written by the teacher, guided by evaluations of previous weekly plans and teacher journals. The children are free to come up with additional ideas to fulfil this responsibility.
Once a week, the teacher meets with each child. This is the time when the child’s journal and work is looked at by the teacher and together they help the child evaluate themselves. This includes a conversation with the child about their progress with their work. Together with the teacher each child will evaluate whether they have spent their time effectively, what they have learned and which aspect they want to focus on next to help the child gain an understanding the essential connection between freedom and responsibility.
At the beginning of the school year the Primary class children agree on the ground rules for their classroom under guidance of the teacher.
During the Primary School years our emphasis is on self-directed, challenging, joyful learning within a secure environment. Activities provided will extend children’s knowledge and skills within all areas of the curriculum. In addition to Montessori materials, a wide range of additional materials will be provided, following the research projects chosen by the children. Such materials include:
– Books and artefacts connected to current research topics
– Science experiment materials
– Fiction and non-fiction literature
– Maps and artefacts from around the world
– Art & crafts resources
– Resources for music and drama
– And many more, following the children’s interests and research projects.
As they grow and mature, the individual child will learn to gradually take ever more responsibility for their own learning under the guidance and mentoring of a teacher.
Throughout the year, all children will receive lessons and be working with the activities from the core curriculum; these are:
English, Mathematics, Science, Art and Design, Computing, Design Technology, Geography, History, French, Music, Physical Education
Children are not assigned homework by teachers, but are encouraged and advised on how to continue their research at home. There is an expectation they should read to their parents and practice weekly spellings. Parents are informed about current projects via letters, email and our Facebook page.
All schemes are adapted by the teacher to take account of the previous experience of each year group and to ensure continuity and progression across the curriculum.
The five stories
There are five stories told in Montessori primary education. They are called the Great Lessons: The story of the Universe, The Coming of life, The Coming of Humans, The story of writing and the story of numbers.
From this core of story frameworks, emanates the detail of the disciplines: science, mathematics, social studies, and language. The story provides an overview, the children investigating the areas in detail.
After hearing the story the children in small groups or individually explore their own questions prompted by the story. Some with timelines, some perform experiments, some using their mathematical knowledge to answer the question the list is endless.
These stories provide the children with an understanding of the earth’s beginnings, human progress and the effects on the planet.