Love of God
Characteristics of Our Learning Environment
The Montessori curriculum varies at the three levels of our school, but the principles and certain characteristics are consistent throughout the levels.
From Concrete to Abstract
All concepts are learnt using a diverse set of Montessori materials, activities and experiences designed to build cognitive structures and social development rather than rote knowledge. This is to ensure understanding and mastery. In the words of Dr. Montessori, “The hand is the instrument of the mind”.
Our classrooms are multi-aged classrooms. A child spends three years in each classroom. Each child is the youngest child at some point and the oldest child at some point. Each of these roles has immense benefits to the child’s development.
The child is his own teacher. There is at least one teacher with Montessori Certification for the age level he/she is teaching, who acts as a guide, rather than the source of all knowledge. Most of the child’s lessons are individual. As the child grows, he/she learns to work with peers.
Work Period, Not subject periods
The work cycle is a large block of uninterrupted time (2.5 to 3 hours) during which the children work independently on developmentally appropriate concepts of interest. At the elementary level, students have planners and work diaries as tools to aid self-regulation.
We do not assign any worksheet- based homework for children under 6. Elementary students may get some homework, but they are usually on-going projects in the classroom. We do not give math homework before age 9.
Hiring lesson teachers to work with your child at home is counter-productive and delays understanding because the approach is different.
Assessments are based on observations. The students do not have termly examinations and tests to assess learning. Reports contain an assessment of the skills expected to develop and how the child is working in these areas. They are not percentage scores on tests. We teach test-taking skills to our elementary students. Our children aged 5 and older take external standardized tests annually.
Moving to a traditional school is best done at the end of a three-year cycle. Parents are encouraged to dialogue with the child’s current and new teachers to make transitions as smooth as possible. The child will be very well prepared academically for any environment, but will thrive better in an environment that values creative thinking above rote learning. Partnership with the child’s family is critical for success.