Frequently Asked Questions

What is the classroom environment like?


Our classrooms are full of natural light with large windows. The classroom is bright, inviting and orderly with the traditional Montessori learning materials on the shelves. Children can look outside and see farmland and active birds, animals and insects. The natural world is often brought inside the classroom with plants and animals that receive care from the children.




How does my child actually learn in the Montessori classroom?


In our student-centred classrooms, children are free to develop at their own individual pace that fits their specific strengths, challenges and interests. One-on-one lessons with a teacher and daily activities are targeted to each child's interest making the learning tailored to each student.




Does my child ever work in groups or is it all individual work?


Children choose how they want to work throughout the day. There is time to be together as a whole class group, time to work in small groups or partner groups and also the opportunity to choose to work individually.




Will a Montessori Program challenge my child academically?


Children graduating from the BBMS program not only meet/or exceed the prescribed learning outcomes and core competencies, but also have strong concentration skills, refined work habits, are self-motivated and reflect a true love for learning. These skills will serve them well as lifelong learners.




How much time do the children spend outside?


Preschoolers, who attend a 3 hour program, have a minimum of 30 minutes of outdoor play time daily. Our current preschool has an outdoor extension to the classroom where children can learn about plants and do science experiments. Students who are in K-Yr 7 have 30 minutes of DPA (Daily physical activity) and 60 minutes of PE once per week. In addition, children have 30 minutes of free play before/or after their lunch. Given that we are located in a beautiful rural environment that lends itself to the exploration of nature and all students grow food, the children spend additional time outside.




What specialist classes are offered?


Preschool children receive Music from a trained specialist once per week. They will also participate in our December and June concerts. Children in Kindergarten to Year 7 receive lessons in French, Music and Art every week. They participate in our 2 Concerts throughout the year which may incorporate playing instruments, movement, speaking or a part in a play/skit.




How would you describe a Montessori child?


Children in our classrooms are confident, self-directed learners. They are independent, careful, thoughtful, curious, creative and joyful. Students are constantly learning through discover and inquiry which means that they are asking the big questions and searching out the answers. Montessori classrooms do not focus on reward or punishment as a means of motivation. Rather, they nurture a love of meaningful learning activities and inner focus and discipline.




How well do children transfer to "traditional" classrooms after a Montessori Three Year Program?


Research shows that Montessori children are very well prepared for later life academically, socially and emotionally.




What schools do children usually move on to after BBMS?


Children who graduate from BBMS in Year 7 will move on to secondary schools that may be independent (private) or public. Students who clearly have a passion for the Arts, Sports or IB enrichment may choose schools that have speciality programs. Given that most secondary programs begin in Grade 8, we provide a Montessori education up to and including the Grade 7 year. We strongly support the pedagogically sound practice of children completing a 3 year cycle at BBMS (3-6, 6-9, 9-12) The end of a 3 year cycle is ideally the best time to transition children to a new educational setting. This allows the child to receive all of the foundational skills of each 3 year grouping and experience building leadership skills in their last year.




When can my child start?


You may apply for a September start in the year that your child turns three years old. For instance, if your child will be three in 2021, you may apply for the 2021 September start date. We are allowed to include two children who are between 30 and 36 months in our preschool program. From time to time we have openings through the year. Inquire if you are interested in enrolling at a time other than September.




Does my child need to be toilet trained?


Yes, your child needs to be toilet trained to begin in the preschool program.




When can I submit my child's application?


BBMS is now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year

for children who turn three, four or five years in 2021.




Are there any programs to help with childcare costs?


Boundary Bay Montessori has opted in to the New Child Care Reduction Initiative (CCRI). https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social- supports/caring-for-young-children/running-daycare-preschool/child-care- operating-funding/child-care-fee-reduction-initiative-provider-opt-in-status As a result, families with children aged 5 and under receive a monthly reimbursement based on attendance in our preschool programs. This serves to lower monthly childcare costs. The BC Ministry of Children and Family Development may provide a childcare subsidy for children who attend a licensed preschool. Contact Affordable Child Care Benefit (ACCB) for more information. ​The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is also designed to help Canadian families, as they try to balance work and family life, by supporting their child care choices through direct financial support.




Can my child start when they are 4 years old?


Yes, children can start when they are 4 years old. To give your child a full Montessori preschool experience, attendance for the full 3-year cycle is recommended. All of the skills needed to support literacy are part of the learning environment, as is the development of independence, focus & concentration, and social competence. In the third year, the child has an opportunity to be a role model to the younger children, developing a sense of contributing to their preschool community.