Montessori Programs

Since its inception in 2006, Kingswood Academy has always strived to offer the best early childhood education programs in Moncton.

After several years of providing an exceptional and academic pre-school, a natural progression for Kingswood was to introduce a traditional Montessori Program with impeccable standards and classically trained teachers.

In September of 2009, our first Casa class opened with Ms. Leslie Steeves who is an AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) certified educator. Since 2009, we have successfully added Toddler and Elementary classes up to and including Grade 8. After moving to our new centre, we now have over 100 students occupying 9 classrooms.

Detailed below are descriptions of the history of the Montessori Method development, and the key disciplines of this education style for both the Casa and Elementary Programs:

Toddler Program (Ages 2-3)

Dr. Maria Montessori, physician, anthropologist, pedagogue, for over fifty years studied children of all racial, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Her intense scientific observation of the human being from birth to maturity allowed her to distill a complex of philosophical, psychological and pedagogical principles. These, together with a vast range of auto-didactic materials, came to be known as the Montessori Method of Education.

The Montessori approach offers a broad vision of education as an aid to life. It is designed to help children with their task of inner construction as they grow from childhood to maturity. It succeeds because it draws its principles from the natural development of the child. Its flexibility provides a matrix within which each individual child’s inner directives freely guide the child toward wholesome growth.

Montessori classrooms provide a prepared environment where children are free to respond to their natural tendency to work. The children’s innate passion for learning is encouraged by giving them opportunities to engage in spontaneous, purposeful activities with the guidance of a trained adult. Montessori taught her teachers to guide and inspire the children and not to force or lecture. Determining the needs of the child through observation, then guiding the child accordingly to appropriate learning activities and materials was the key to cultivating the child’s natural desire to learn.

Through their work, the children develop concentration and joyful self-discipline. Within a framework of order, the children progress at their own pace and rhythm, according to their own individual capabilities and choices. Montessori observed that sensitive periods are periods of time when children are absorbed by and focus their attentions and energies on one thing, seemingly driven to develop a certain skill. This skill is easier to learn during this corresponding period than at any other time in their life. Therefore, allowing a child the freedom to choose activities that are of interest to them greatly enhances their ability to learn.

From birth to age six, young children are capable of absorbing huge amounts of information through their senses. During this rapid growth in intelligence it is important that children are exposed to an enriched environment to facilitate their optimum intellectual growth. If placed in the proper environment, children will “normalize,” which means they will develop into whole, peaceful adults with a love of learning.

In 1929, Dr. Maria Montessori and her son Mario contracted Albert Neinhuis who accomplished to perfection the construction of Montessori learning apparatus. To this day, the Montessori materials constructed by Neinhuis perpetuate in concrete form the demand for excellence which is the cornerstone of the Montessori philosophy. Kingswood Academy has filled the classrooms with the Neinhuis Montessori materials.

In order for the materials to be of optimum benefit they must be presented to the child at the appropriate stage in his or her development by a trained Montessori teacher. The materials then allow the child to engage in self-directed, purposeful activity. The materials are beautiful and enticing and are displayed in an orderly and accessible way.

“All the apparatus must be meticulously in order, beautiful and shiny, in perfect condition. Nothing must be missing, so that to the child it always seems new, complete and ready for use.” – Dr. Montessori

The Kingswood Montessori children will enjoy a vibrant living classroom where materials offered are of the highest quality, plentiful and constantly rotating.

Exercises of Practical Life, which are the foundation of a Montessori environment, provide a wholesome range of activities which allow children to develop control and coordination of movement, awareness of their environment, orderly thought patterns, independent work habits, responsibility, and many other human characteristics which can only be attained by spontaneous, purposeful work.

Practical life activities help the child to learn social skills and personal independence. The child will learn to respect and to take care of themselves and their environment, and to respect others. The gross and fine motor skills that the children develop doing these activities will be the foundation for successful future learning. As the child imitates adult work, the child’s self-esteem grows as they realize they are valuable contributors. The children enjoy learning to use real tools and it is important to present more complex practical life activities when the child is ready. The practical life activities also serve as a link between home and school. Teachers serve as a guide in the classroom.

The Montessori classroom is child centered and designed to foster maximum independent learning and exploration. The classroom is beautiful, with quality learning materials arranged in an orderly manner. There is a great deal of variety and movement in the classroom. The materials can be seen and touched and meet the child’s need to learn through the senses and movement. As the children learn to master life skills, they become more independent and have a more positive self-image. The children learn to interact with each other in a peaceful classroom community. While working on practical life activities the children develop: a high level of concentration, a sense of order, pride in their work, responsibility for necessary cleaning, independence by caring for themselves and their environment, respect for their classmates, teachers and community; gross and fine motor movement.

“Work” is defined as enjoyable activities in which the child takes pride. Adults must model joyful respect for all kinds of work and encourage it to be done well. If you maintain a clean, orderly and attractive classroom, the children will learn to care for and take pride in their own environment. The child will become self-motivated and want to do well for themselves.

Practical Life is divided into 6 categories. Preliminary Activities are the foundation of all other activities and include maintenance of the learning environment. Care and Respect for Self helps the child to become physically independent. Care and Respect for the Environment activities can include watering plants, cleaning the easel, or wiping the table. Social Graces and Courtesies are introduced and modeled by the teacher. Fine motor skill building activities will help develop the children’s eye hand coordination. Life Skills activities like washing dishes, using a stapler and slicing bread will help the children achieve independence.

Montessori’s approach is centered on all children’s natural impulse to explore their world through their senses. The reason for the success and popularity of the Sensorial Materials is that they allow the children to undertake such activities as all children undertake spontaneously. Given the opportunity, with or without specialized materials, children will sort things by size, shape, colour, touch, sound, temperature and weight. They will grade from dark to light and from large to small. The Montessori sensorial apparatus allows them to classify sensorial impressions in an organized, orderly and scientific manner.

The Sensorial Materials are mathematically graded, they isolate one quality only, keeping the remaining characteristics identical and are limited in both scope and quantity. Moreover, they have a built in control of error. The Sensorial Materials allow for individual work and for repetition. This makes it possible for the children to abstract the concept made concrete in each piece of material, to name it, and to then apply it to the environment, thereby perceiving their universe with greater awareness.

Because of the clarity of the concepts abstracted, the Sensorial Materials lay a solid foundation for Mathematics, Geometry, Geography, Botany, Art and Music. Being wide in scope, they invite the children to explore all the possibilities they have to offer.

Thanks to the control of error inherent in Sensorial Materials, the children acquire the habit of working independently, unafraid of making mistakes, becoming comfortable with the fact that errors are essential to the process of learning.

Visitors came from all over the world to see Maria Montessori’s “miracle children,” the children in her first Casa dei Bambini in Rome. The miracle that attracted public attention was that children of illiterate families had begun to write and read spontaneously after working with very simple materials: the Sandpaper Letters, which gave them the shape of the letters; the Movable Alphabet, which allowed them to arrange these letters to form words; and the Metal Insets, which made it possible for the children to control a writing instrument. The Montessori Language Materials provide the keys to the fascinating world of language and are highly effective in their simplicity.

Children have a boundless capacity to expand and enrich their language and, as a natural consequence, the desire to write and read. In addition to the Language Materials, the Montessori teachers facilitate the process by providing rich, precise and abundant language for the children. The Language Arts program is dynamic and enriched with a broad range of activities such as active listening, public speaking, singing, reciting poetry, chanting, rhyming, reading and writing.

The Montessori materials offer a clear example of indirect preparation, a principle that is rooted in the child’s natural manner of learning. The logical order of the Practical Life activities has been complemented by mathematical order inherent in the Sensorial Materials. These materials allow the children to work with the quantities 1 to 10 in several dimensions and with the Math materials, they are given their numerical value.

With the mathematical apparatus, every piece of material isolates one concept, and these concepts integrate to form the basis for a further step in the development of the child’s mathematical understanding. When doing addition, multiplication, subtraction and division, they literally carry and borrow and change the quantities involved. As they put the materials together and apart, they perceive unconsciously the interplay of numbers, which prepares them, to explore and learn mathematics.

Several studies indicate that music training significantly enhances child development. Active music training can improve problem solving skills, physical coordination, poise, concentration, memory, visual and language skills, self-discipline, as well as self-confidence and the ability to learn. Playing music also provides children with a creative outlet for self-expression and can help relieve stress.

The purpose of the Montessori musical program is to develop the children’s non-verbal affective communication, to increase their understanding and enjoyment of music within our culture, and to enhance their ability to express themselves through music.

The act of moving to music nurtures a child’s sense of self-worth and allows her creative nature to shine. Movement involves the cultivation of good listening skills and allows the child to better coordinate and understand the workings of the human body.

Children are taught the French language as a regular component of their day. The French classes are very comprehensive and the children will explore many aspects of the French language including the alphabet, shapes, colours, counting, calendar, weather, animals, families, parts of the body, words, phrases, songs, etc. Lessons are 30 minutes per day. In the classroom, books will be offered in both official languages.

Casa Program (Ages 3-5)

Dr. Maria Montessori, physician, anthropologist, pedagogue, for over fifty years studied children of all racial, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Her intense scientific observation of the human being from birth to maturity allowed her to distill a complex of philosophical, psychological and pedagogical principles. These, together with a vast range of auto-didactic materials, came to be known as the Montessori Method of Education.

The Montessori approach offers a broad vision of education as an aid to life. It is designed to help children with their task of inner construction as they grow from childhood to maturity. It succeeds because it draws its principles from the natural development of the child. Its flexibility provides a matrix within which each individual child’s inner directives freely guide the child toward wholesome growth.

Montessori classrooms provide a prepared environment where children are free to respond to their natural tendency to work. The children’s innate passion for learning is encouraged by giving them opportunities to engage in spontaneous, purposeful activities with the guidance of a trained adult. Montessori taught her teachers to guide and inspire the children and not to force or lecture. Determining the needs of the child through observation, then guiding the child accordingly to appropriate learning activities and materials was the key to cultivating the child’s natural desire to learn.

Through their work, the children develop concentration and joyful self-discipline. Within a framework of order, the children progress at their own pace and rhythm, according to their own individual capabilities and choices. Montessori observed that sensitive periods are periods of time when children are absorbed by and focus their attentions and energies on one thing, seemingly driven to develop a certain skill. This skill is easier to learn during this corresponding period than at any other time in their life. Therefore, allowing a child the freedom to choose activities that are of interest to them greatly enhances their ability to learn.

From birth to age six, young children are capable of absorbing huge amounts of information through their senses. During this rapid growth in intelligence it is important that children are exposed to an enriched environment to facilitate their optimum intellectual growth. If placed in the proper environment, children will “normalize,” which means they will develop into whole, peaceful adults with a love of learning.

In 1929, Dr. Maria Montessori and her son Mario contracted Albert Neinhuis who accomplished to perfection the construction of Montessori learning apparatus. To this day, the Montessori materials constructed by Neinhuis perpetuate in concrete form the demand for excellence which is the cornerstone of the Montessori philosophy. Kingswood Academy has filled the classrooms with the Neinhuis Montessori materials.

In order for the materials to be of optimum benefit they must be presented to the child at the appropriate stage in his or her development by a trained Montessori teacher. The materials then allow the child to engage in self-directed, purposeful activity. The materials are beautiful and enticing and are displayed in an orderly and accessible way.

“All the apparatus must be meticulously in order, beautiful and shiny, in perfect condition. Nothing must be missing, so that to the child it always seems new, complete and ready for use.” – Dr. Montessori

The Kingswood Montessori children will enjoy a vibrant living classroom where materials offered are of the highest quality, plentiful and constantly rotating.

Exercises of Practical Life, which are the foundation of a Montessori environment, provide a wholesome range of activities which allow children to develop control and coordination of movement, awareness of their environment, orderly thought patterns, independent work habits, responsibility, and many other human characteristics which can only be attained by spontaneous, purposeful work.

Practical life activities help the child to learn social skills and personal independence. The child will learn to respect and to take care of themselves and their environment, and to respect others. The gross and fine motor skills that the children develop doing these activities will be the foundation for successful future learning. As the child imitates adult work, the child’s self-esteem grows as they realize they are valuable contributors. The children enjoy learning to use real tools and it is important to present more complex practical life activities when the child is ready. The practical life activities also serve as a link between home and school. Teachers serve as a guide in the classroom.

The Montessori classroom is child centered and designed to foster maximum independent learning and exploration. The classroom is beautiful, with quality learning materials arranged in an orderly manner. There is a great deal of variety and movement in the classroom. The materials can be seen and touched and meet the child’s need to learn through the senses and movement. As the children learn to master life skills, they become more independent and have a more positive self-image. The children learn to interact with each other in a peaceful classroom community. While working on practical life activities the children develop: a high level of concentration, a sense of order, pride in their work, responsibility for necessary cleaning, independence by caring for themselves and their environment, respect for their classmates, teachers and community; gross and fine motor movement.

“Work” is defined as enjoyable activities in which the child takes pride. Adults must model joyful respect for all kinds of work and encourage it to be done well. If you maintain a clean, orderly and attractive classroom, the children will learn to care for and take pride in their own environment. The child will become self-motivated and want to do well for themselves.

Practical Life is divided into 6 categories. Preliminary Activities are the foundation of all other activities and include maintenance of the learning environment. Care and Respect for Self helps the child to become physically independent. Care and Respect for the Environment activities can include watering plants, cleaning the easel, or wiping the table. Social Graces and Courtesies are introduced and modeled by the teacher. Fine motor skill building activities will help develop the children’s eye hand coordination. Life Skills activities like washing dishes, using a stapler and slicing bread will help the children achieve independence.

Montessori’s approach is centered on all children’s natural impulse to explore their world through their senses. The reason for the success and popularity of the Sensorial Materials is that they allow the children to undertake such activities as all children undertake spontaneously. Given the opportunity, with or without specialized materials, children will sort things by size, shape, colour, touch, sound, temperature and weight. They will grade from dark to light and from large to small. The Montessori sensorial apparatus allows them to classify sensorial impressions in an organized, orderly and scientific manner.

The Sensorial Materials are mathematically graded, they isolate one quality only, keeping the remaining characteristics identical and are limited in both scope and quantity. Moreover, they have a built in control of error. The Sensorial Materials allow for individual work and for repetition. This makes it possible for the children to abstract the concept made concrete in each piece of material, to name it, and to then apply it to the environment, thereby perceiving their universe with greater awareness.

Because of the clarity of the concepts abstracted, the Sensorial Materials lay a solid foundation for Mathematics, Geometry, Geography, Botany, Art and Music. Being wide in scope, they invite the children to explore all the possibilities they have to offer.

Thanks to the control of error inherent in Sensorial Materials, the children acquire the habit of working independently, unafraid of making mistakes, becoming comfortable with the fact that errors are essential to the process of learning.

Visitors came from all over the world to see Maria Montessori’s “miracle children,” the children in her first Casa dei Bambini in Rome. The miracle that attracted public attention was that children of illiterate families had begun to write and read spontaneously after working with very simple materials: the Sandpaper Letters, which gave them the shape of the letters; the Movable Alphabet, which allowed them to arrange these letters to form words; and the Metal Insets, which made it possible for the children to control a writing instrument. The Montessori Language Materials provide the keys to the fascinating world of language and are highly effective in their simplicity.

Children have a boundless capacity to expand and enrich their language and, as a natural consequence, the desire to write and read. In addition to the Language Materials, the Montessori teachers facilitate the process by providing rich, precise and abundant language for the children. The Language Arts program is dynamic and enriched with a broad range of activities such as active listening, public speaking, singing, reciting poetry, chanting, rhyming, reading and writing.

The Montessori materials offer a clear example of indirect preparation, a principle that is rooted in the child’s natural manner of learning. The logical order of the Practical Life activities has been complemented by mathematical order inherent in the Sensorial Materials. These materials allow the children to work with the quantities 1 to 10 in several dimensions and with the Math materials, they are given their numerical value.

With the mathematical apparatus, every piece of material isolates one concept, and these concepts integrate to form the basis for a further step in the development of the child’s mathematical understanding. When doing addition, multiplication, subtraction and division, they literally carry and borrow and change the quantities involved. As they put the materials together and apart, they perceive unconsciously the interplay of numbers, which prepares them, to explore and learn mathematics.

In the early years of life, children have absorbed many elements of the world around them. Among these are a multitude of plants, trees, flowers, shrubs – an infinite variety of growing things.

The children are given the opportunity for sensorial exploration through Montessori botany materials. These provide basic leaf shapes, parts of the leaves, parts of the plant, parts of the flowers, and help to classify and refine the child’s perception, enriching the purely sensorial experience thereby creating the foundation for scientific knowledge to be acquired in the years to come. Kingswood students will enjoy a living classroom where growth and exploration are encouraged.

Introducing Botany to the child helps enrich their understanding of the world in which they live. The children also learn the significance of the delicate balance of nature.

The child coming into casa is interested in language, in facts, in sensorial exploration, and also, in his universe. With the geography materials, the child is given the facts of his physical world – that it is a sphere, that this sphere is composed of land masses and bodies of water, that these have different forms and that these forms have names. Then the facts that these land masses are called continents and that the bodies of water are called oceans. And, again, that the oceans and continents have names.

The child at this age is also in a sensitive period for order, and the geography materials provide him with the opportunity for exploring the many levels of order established as we perceived and classified our earth over the ages, organizing it into countries, provinces, states, each with their own particular shapes, their intriguing names, their capitals and their flags.

Several studies indicate that music training significantly enhances child development. Active music training can improve problem solving skills, physical coordination, poise, concentration, memory, visual and language skills, self-discipline, as well as self-confidence and the ability to learn. Playing music also provides children with a creative outlet for self-expression and can help relieve stress.

The purpose of the Montessori musical program is to develop the children’s non-verbal affective communication, to increase their understanding and enjoyment of music within our culture, and to enhance their ability to express themselves through music.

The act of moving to music nurtures a child’s sense of self-worth and allows her creative nature to shine. Movement involves the cultivation of good listening skills and allows the child to better coordinate and understand the workings of the human body.

As we chart the days of the week, the months and seasons, time awareness becomes part of daily life. By examining their own time line from birth to present, then looking at their family tree, children gain their first sense of history.

In the traditional Montessori celebration, the child carries a globe around a candle that represents the sun. Each time the child takes “the earth” around “the sun” another year has gone by and the child is a year older. Classmates are shown pictures of the birthday child as she gets older. Telling the children her life story and showing them what the sun and earth were doing is a group lesson in both history and science.

Children are fascinated with stories of famous people who lived before their time. These concepts all bring to life the concept of time stretching way back, and the possibility of it going forward to the unknown.

Children by their very nature are interested in animals. They will study vertebrates and invertebrates, animals of the world, fish, frogs, turtles, birds and horses etc. They will learn about the parts of the animals, habitats, food and habits. The child will become aware of man’s dependency on, as well as responsibility for, the myriad of other forms of life in the world.
Children are taught the French language as a regular component of their day. The French classes are very comprehensive and the children will explore many aspects of the French language including the alphabet, shapes, colours, counting, calendar, weather, animals, families, parts of the body, words, phrases, songs, etc. Lessons are 30 minutes per day. In the classroom, books will be offered in both official languages.
The Elementary child is significantly different from the Casa child. He now has a “questioning mind” which drives him to search for answers to the “how” and “why” of things. Learning “what” or “where” no longer satisfies his thinking, as it does with the younger child.

As the elementary child moves towards being an independent thinker, he will willingly engage in discussions, enjoying the exchange of ideas this activity brings.

Social interactions are important to the elementary child and he is drawn to social situations. He wants to work alongside a peer or participate in a study group and is concerned with other’s thoughts and feelings.

Our goal is to help each child achieve their full potential.

The learning experiences from our Casa Program provide the foundation for the Elementary years. Each child progresses at their own pace by initiating their own learning through the exploration of the Montessori Elementary material or through various child-directed researches.

The child’s use of their intelligence and imagination plays a key role in their learning. The child is able to study the facts of a certain subject, such as the rainforest, and understand it without having seen it. This thinking, on a more abstract level, allows the child to explore beyond the classroom and results in an open ended curriculum.

All our presentations are used to ignite the child’s imagination and awaken their interest.

There are 5 Great Lessons which are impressionistic stories presented every year – The Universe, The Timeline of Life, The Timeline of Man, The History of Numbers and The History of the Alphabet. Through these lessons the child is introduced to Montessori’s idea of a Cosmic Education, where the child explores the universe and their place in it.

Presentations may be given to a large group, small group or individually.

Our classrooms are fully equipped with traditional Montessori Elementary materials. Our classrooms are a child centered environment that reflects beauty, simplicity, and order. It is designed to welcome students, encourage them to interact with the people and objects in the environment, and helps them to develop physically, intellectually, and socially.

This is based on Montessori’s ideas about the prepared environment, which refers to how everything is carefully designed and chosen to facilitate the children’s learning. This care applies not only to the classroom and everything it contains, but also to the building and its immediate natural surroundings. The Kingswood prepared environment is designed to help children develop the skills they will need to enjoy personal and academic success.

The Montessori trained Elementary teacher acts as a guide; observing, monitoring and presenting material when appropriate. The maximum number of children per class is limited to 15, so each student is given opportunities for individual interactions with their teacher.

The 3 year age span in each classroom contributes to the idea of creating a miniature society for the children to be a part of where they are encouraged to form the rules for the class and be respectful of the needs of each individual. The younger children are motivated by the older students and the older ones are helpful to the younger children. By working and being accepted as part of a community, the children develop a positive self-esteem at an early age.

“The children learn from one another and throw themselves into the work with enthusiasm and delight. This atmosphere of quiet activity develops a fellow- feeling, an attitude of mutual aid, and most wonderful of all an intelligent interest on the part of the older children in the progress of their younger companions.” Maria Montessori

Language is a part of all aspects of our curriculum and not limited to a set time for study.

The children are reading or writing while working on any subject being studied. Both the follow-up activities and their own researches give them an opportunity to reinforce their language skills.

Along with continuing the phonics based learning presented in the Casa Program, the elementary child studies the structure of language or Grammar. Parts of Speech (nouns, verbs) and Parts of a Sentence (subject, predicate) are both introduced to the child with Montessori Elementary material. This material offers the child an opportunity to explore an abstract subject with interesting, child directed, hands-on activities.

The children gain an appreciation of our language with the History of the Alphabet study and the etymology of words. For example when studying prefixes such as “re”, the child learns the meaning of the prefix (“again”) which helps them decode a word (“redo”). Vocabulary enrichment is also achieved through dictionary and thesaurus work.

Literature is a part of our Language program as the children are read classics and learn about the plot, theme, setting and characters of a story. This work helps them with their own literary style in their compositions.

The Word Study Program is a formal study of sounds. Each week the child is introduced to a sound, relevant to their learning, and then participates in activities to reinforce the sound.

The Montessori math materials provide the best means for the elementary child to explore mathematical concepts.

The impressive quality of the materials and enjoyable activities they offer, attract the children and result in many opportunities for learning. As the child works with the material they acquire a solid understanding of the mathematical concepts so the child understands the “why” of the mathematics rather than just the “how”.

In the Elementary Program the story of the History of Numbers is presented. Here the child learns of early man’s need to create numbers and the different notations of numbers by different cultures. Through this work the child becomes aware of the value of numbers and mathematics.

In Montessori the children are used to working with large numbers. The Casa math material works with 4 digit numbers and many of the Elementary materials use numbers up to 6 digits. The Wooden Hierarchical Material introduces these large numbers and the children are encouraged to pursue even larger numbers in their work.

For learning the four operations Montessori provides a variety of Elementary materials so the child remains interested and has ample opportunity for repetition. For example the Stamp Game, Large Bead Frame and Checkerboard are all used for multiplication.

Many of the Elementary Math materials are designed for the child to work alone or in a group. The child begins working with a piece of material alone, acquiring the skills necessary to manipulate the material correctly, then the child may choose to use the material with a classmate. This is a greater challenge as the children must cooperate and communicate while they complete the work.

Given the ease in which the Montessori math materials present concepts, many subjects such as fractions or multiples, that are traditionally introduced later on, can be offered once a child is ready.

Montessori presents Geometry as a study on its own rather than just a division of our math program.

The Sensorial material in our Casa Program introduces the child to Geometry. The Pink Tower, Broad Stair, Red Rods and other such materials offer the child an opportunity to explore Geometry sensorially. Along with this work, the geometric terms are given to the child through language enrichment.

The Elementary child continues their geometry study by first learning about the History of Geometry. This sparks their interest and gives them an appreciation of the subject. The children are introduced to the works of Thales, Pythagoras and Euclid. From this point the child works with the Elementary material which encourages the child to develop his own understanding of the concepts, rather than presenting formal rules. For example the child uses the Box of Cubes to build various prisms and explores the relationship between the length, width and height (volume).

In our Biology Program we want the child to appreciate the interdependence of plants and humans.

Real objects are used for our Botany studies so the child is able connect their learning to the real world. For example with the leaf study, many samples are available for the child to examine so they can see for themselves the differences and understand the reasons for the differences. Experiments are also a large part of this study so the child can seek out the answers rather than just learn the facts.

The Elementary Zoology study continues the Casa work with a more detailed look at the anatomy of animals. The child is encouraged to relate the anatomy of the animal to its environment or its needs. The human body is also studied with an emphasis on the advantages of a healthy lifestyle.

The child draws on their knowledge from their botany and zoology studies to learn about ecology. The child is encouraged to think about their role in protecting nature and field trips are arranged in all seasons for the child to explore nature further.

Geography in the Elementary class serves to expand the child’s knowledge of our world.

The Story of the Universe is presented to the child early in the year and from this the child is encouraged to think beyond what they can see to find their answers to “why” and “how”. Impressionistic charts are used to spark the child’s imagination.

Maps are an important part of the Casa Program where the child learns the names of the various continents or countries. Now the Elementary child can research a faraway country and explore the culture based on how man satisfies his needs (History Program).

Physical Geography is introduced to the child in our Casa Program with the landforms. In the Elementary the child continues their study but now relates their learning with real examples. For example a child initially learns the parameters of an island, then finds real examples in the world (Hawaii), in their country (Vancouver Island) and finally in their community (Deer Island).

Other areas of study include the solar system, movement and composition of the earth, nature of the elements, work of wind and water, spread of vegetation and people, all of which help the child to understand the world around him.

Music is a daily part of our Elementary Program.

Our circle time involves singing along with a song, hand clapping rhythms or creating actions for a song. With such an informal setting all children are eager to participate and this activity leads to more serious study.

Our formal music study includes a study of the orchestra, various instruments, musicians (past and present) and classical music. Music theory is introduced and the children use their knowledge to compose their own songs. A chance to perform their songs with an instrument comes with our various school concerts. Ms. Doris Sabean teaches our Music classes once a week.

Throughout our History curriculum an appreciation of mankind and his accomplishments is recognized.

The Fundamental Needs of People study is a key component and is used as a point of reference for other studies. It introduces the idea that man has five basic needs to satisfy – food, shelter, transportation, clothing and protection. The child learns that man uses, and has used, his environment to fulfill these needs. The child also becomes aware that different cultures satisfy these needs differently, thus establishing a respect for other cultures.

The Timeline of Life and the Timelines of Man serve as an outline for the children to begin their study of history. Child directed researches are encouraged so the child can explore further.

Much of the History work appeals to the child’s imagination and many of the activities allow for group work.

The goal of our Art program is to foster artistic creativity in the child.

An art table is set up in the class for the child to have access to various mediums such as paints, pastels or watercolours. The basics of drawing, shading and perspective are also presented to expand each child’s skills.

Our art program also includes a detailed study of the masters. The children learn about the different styles, periods and various mediums used by the artists. From this each child is encouraged to develop their own style of art. Their creations are proudly displayed in our class or placed in the child’s yearly portfolio.

The children receive French classes daily for half an hour per day. These elementary students will cover grammar, vocabulary, writing, reading, phonics, comprehension and expression. The children will work during the year on diverse sounds and pronunciation of words. Our students engage in daily oral dialogue with their French teacher. Once the children have mastered their sounds, they will begin to read simple sentences. When the child is ready, they will continue their studies by reading basic French books.

In the study of grammar, the children will learn: Nom feminine et nom masculine (introduced; the noun tells the gender), le pluriel et le singulier (plural endings in French s or x). Students will learn about singular personal pronouns, (Je, tu, il, elle) and plural pronouns (Nous, vous, ils, elles). The children will also explore verbs and adjectives.

The goal of our Gym Program is to offer the child an opportunity to be active and to stress the importance of an active lifestyle.

Various sports and activities are used to encourage movement, cooperation and skills building. Each child works within their own personal level of physical fitness where their efforts are recognized.

As the child participates in the activities, they are reminded of the body systems studied in class and are able to connect this knowledge to the health benefits of being active.