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Maria Montessori

The benefits of Montessori Education

“Education should no longer be mostly imparting of knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentialities.”

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Dr. Maria Montessori

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World class Montessori education now and for generations to come.

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Montessori education has at its core a belief that there are different stages in child development. It recognizes that children do not always learn at the same pace, have different strengths and weaknesses, and possess unique interests.

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80% of a child’s mental development takes place before the child is eight years old, quality education during this period is critical.  In particular for ages 3-5, in the Montessori tradition, the Westmont Montessori Early Primary program:

  • Is for children aged three to five years and includes a Kindergarten program
  • Includes French as a second language instruction
  • Includes weekly music class taught by a certified music teacher
  • Offers choice of full day or morning-only classes for Early Primary and Kindergarten students
  • Is a prepared environment alive with a wealth of intriguing material
  • Encourages the child to move at his/her own pace through all areas of the room – Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics and Cultural
  • Supports each child as his/her natural development unfolds
  • Is developed to meet the specific and changing needs of the children within the room
  • Allows each child to grow with balance, health and joyfulness

Westmont’s Lower Elementary Montessori Program consists of the mixed age group of Grades 1-3 , meeting and exceeding all the British Columbia required curriculum.  The Lower Elementary Montessori curriculum is a three year program which:

  • Inspires students to become independent learners who appreciate and understand their world
  • Expects students to become increasingly responsible for their own learning
  • Allows students to work at their own pace to practice and master goals, using an extensive selection of Montessori materials
  • Begins the move from concrete learning toward abstract understanding
    Integrates curriculum areas through the Montessori Great Stories
    Individual and small group presentations are given by teachers
  • Students choose their work in the same manner they learned in the Early Primary program
  • Individualized work plans allow students to set goals, make appropriate choices, and use their time wisely
  • Includes exploration days with activities such as cooking, sewing, drama, art and cultural experiences
  • Specialty instruction in  French and Music
    Field trips, on-site learning garden and other outdoor experiences

The Upper Elementary Montessori program builds upon the Lower Elementary, and similarly, is a three year program consisting of the mixed age group of Grades 4-6. During the three years, all the British Columbia required curriculum is covered, with extensive enrichment.  The Upper Elementary Montessori curriculum includes all of the Lower Elementary program elements plus:

  • Increased focus on abstract understanding versus concrete learning
  • Greater understanding of the inter-relatedness of all curriculum areas using Montessori’s Great Lessons
  • Individual and small group presentations are given by teachers
  • Students choose their work in the same manner they have in the Early Primary and Lower Elementary Programs
  • Individualized work plans allow students to set goals, make appropriate choices, and use their time wisely
  • Emphasizes the acquisition of community citizenship, virtues and leadership skills
  • Specialty instruction in  French and Art
  • A unique Marimba program in which students learn music appreciation, theory, and performance skills
  • Field trips, on-site learning garden and other outdoor experiences

Westmont’s Middle School consists of Grades 7-8. This program of studies is distinctly different to that found in conventional educational settings, but ideally suited to the needs of the adolescent and the world they will eventually be adults in.

  • Grade 7 and 8 students learn together in a mixed age class, and get a clear break from where they have come from in their schooling. They need their own unique space and a chance to have their own identity.
  • Students participate in 5 week cycles with a focus on overarching questions to be answered in the cycle. The BC curriculum is covered as a bare minimum, but the learning goes far beyond what is required at this age level.
  • At the end of each 5 week cycle there is an “out-week” where students relate what they have been working on in school with real world application. The students are intimately involved in the planning process.
  • Students operate a business which teaches valuable skills, with funds earned going towards the out-week costs.
  • The teacher guides the process and provides the safe environment for students to explore and learn in. The teacher gives guidelines on academic standards to be met and appropriate social behaviour, and feedback to students on how they are doing.
  • The students are involved in community work through the  “Service Learning” component of the program.

Westmont is excited to launch the second year of its Montessori High School, adding Grade 10 for the 2019-20 school year.

The goal of the Westmont High School Program is to graduate dynamic, independent and connected students who are fully prepared for a bright future. Students have unlimited post-secondary options based on meeting vigorous academic requirements established by Westmont School and the Ministry of Education. The program allows students to reach their full potential by experiencing and contributing to a respectful and passionate adolescent community of learners where they can take comfort and pride in being themselves. Westmont graduates are grounded in who they are based on engaging in a Montessori self-construction strand throughout the 4 years of their high school experience. Vigorous academics built on the foundation of community and self-construction are at the heart of a successful Westmont high school.

Montessori education develops self-discipline, sense of purpose and motivation.

Westmont welcomes families who are interested in seeing our programs in action to come past Thursday mornings throughout the school year.

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