Montessori Elementary Program

Boundary Bay Montessori School is proud to be one of the few schools in the Metro Vancouver area to offer Montessori education all the way through grade 7.

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The Prepared Environment for students aged 6-9 is characterized by much more social conversation between children as age 6 marks a developmental shift in social and emotional growth. The child now engages in much more verbal communication with peers during both work and play. The older students benefit from helping the younger and through teaching and working together knowledge is reinforced.. Empathizing with the needs of children who are smaller and more expressive can be conducive to humanizing a child’s character. While classroom lessons are still given to individual children, it is more common that small groups of children receive lessons based on their developmental standing within the curriculum. Because of the open-endedness of the Montessori curriculum there is no ceiling as to what a child can do.
Because there is a wider program for varied levels, there are a greater range of options for the student’s individual pace.

Cognitively the Primary child is repeatedly engaging their imagination asking the questions “Why? or How? or When?”, and the Montessori curriculum uses the child’s natural sense of wonder and awe to explore universal questions of scientific, historic and cultural significance. The manipulative learning materials and experiences of the Preschool classroom have provided the foundation for the many hands-on learning opportunities of the Primary class. Concept presentation using a diverse assortment of learning materials is a resounding theme at this level as repetition and novelty are the keys to learning and mastery.

Various learning styles are engaged through the child’s use of a range of materials that teach each Math or Language concepts. Almost every lesson contains an opportunity for multi-intelligence experiences for learning. As early as age 6 our students begin the personal practise of daily homework and undertake accountability for their learning through partnership in 3-way conferences and through leadership during student-led conferences with their parents and teachers.

The Prepared environment for students aged 9-12 years is characterized by encouraging students to “go out”; to move beyond the walls of the classroom to fulfill their desire for learning. Service opportunities to others both in and outside of the school are encouraged and personal research is developed using the Internet and library in addition to classroom-based material. Socially and emotionally this child has developed the art of reason, and practices the use of this skill throughout each day.

This is the only level in our program which contains a 4 year age span. We include Year 7 students to remain in and graduate from our Intermediate program. This final year has a particular emphasis in the area of Personal Planning and Life Skills as these students experience graded evaluation of their classroom work in addition to using a criteria-based evaluation profile. This practice prepares them for the experience of the graded system of evaluation used in traditional high school programs.

Montessori Curriculum Areas

Social-Responsibility education includes lessons that teach ways in which students demonstrate and learn practical skills to become a responsible, caring and accountable member of the classroom and community. Students learn about social-emotional literacy and leadership by understanding the basic needs of all people, defining their class values and beliefs, as well as developing skills to self-manage their behaviour, as defined by William Glasser and the principles of Choice Theory. Students engage in lessons, group work, role-plays and discussions and are supported to use the tools presented whenever there are conflicts or misunderstandings with peers. Students develop leadership skills and perform service in order to become leaders in the school and in our community.
IMG_9896bLanguage lessons consist of a variety of writing, reading and communications experiences, as language is fundamental to thinking, learning, and communicating. Lessons include oral presentations, writing, reading, spelling, penmanship and grammar. In each area, we incorporate thinking and reasoning, group discussion and individual work.
mathematicsMathematics lessons are first presented using materials so that students experience math concepts using concrete, highly visual, self-correcting manipulatives.   The Albanesi math system provides a sequentially-leveled series of exercises, which enable students to work at their own pace.  An initial assessment determines the appropriate Work Plan and is a benchmark for monitoring progress. Each Work Plan has a number of cards to complete.  Once mastered, an assessment is given and a new Work Plan is begun.  Concepts are cycled through the program so that review and new lessons are balanced.  Math work is supplemented with other practice and review work from workbooks based on the students’ work level.
Geometry is taught using a variety of Montessori materials and traditional geometric tools. The main purpose is to provide interactive experiences with geometry through multiple hands-on exercises. Complex ideas are presented concretely, allowing the students to analyze and slowly develop deductive logic.
Culture subjects include botany, science, geography and history and are based upon Montessori’s Five Great Lessons. The goal is to provide students with a global perspective of history, world cultures, and science, and to create an impression and appreciation for all that has come before them, from the formation of the universe through to present day. Students study the story of life on Earth, through the geological eras to the emergence of the earliest humans. Finally, students examine the beginning of civilization through the stories language and mathematics.
Art is taught by our Artist-in-Residence specialist, Alii Wright, who was awarded Delta’s “Mentor of the Arts” distinction in 2012.  Children develop skills in drawing, paper craft and other media, while increasing their skills in hand-eye coordination, concentration, patience and working towards high quality outcomes.
French is taught by a French-language teacher once per week, from kindergarten through to Year 7.  Students are introduced to the French alphabet and phonetic letter sounds, nouns and pronouns, basic verbs and verb conjugation, sentence formation and grammar, and oral conversation skills.  Games, art, music and drama exercises are incorporated into instructional activities to make learning fun!
Physical Education takes place at various community facilities throughout the school year. Students receive specialized instruction in activities such as gymnastics, ice skating, martial arts, yoga, swimming, and track and field.  Intermediate students help to define their own P.E. activities as part of their increasing independence. Their activities have expanded the program to include bike-riding day trips, rock climbing, hip hop dancing and fencing.
Music is taught by a music specialist once per week.  Curriculum covers choral singing, music theory, rhythm, instrument instruction (guitar, recorder, melodic and non-melodic percussion, Suzuki tone chimes), and music history. The entire study body is involved in performing in two concerts every year, just before Winter Break and at the end of the school year.
Special Activities occur throughout the school year in the form of special event days, such as Peace Day, United Nations Day, school concerts, Earth Day, Sports Day and various field trips and community service-oriented activities.  Students are fully engaged in the  planning and participation of these special events, which are designed to introduce the concept of socially responsible citizenship and participation in the life of their school and greater community.