Westmont is proud to offer programming from Pre-school all the way through to High School. Conventional models of education treat students of all ages in remarkably similar ways. Students are largely provided information by the teacher, who stands and delivers the information to the whole group. Students may go off and have some group work with classmates, and there may be some field trips, but the goal remains content delivery. 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. See each of the programs below to see how the curriculum is tailored to the planes of development. As an Independent School, Westmont Montessori School’s curriculum is regulated by the Ministry of Education under the Independent Schools Act. The Act ensures that instruction offered to students at Westmont in English, Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science, and the mandatory second language in grade 5 and up meets the learning outcomes set out in the educational program guides. Westmont is able to enhance their students’ learning experiences by augmenting these outcomes with the unique curriculum they offer.
At the heart of the Montessori philosophy is the belief that each person is a unique individual with strengths to contribute to society.
Dr. Montessori believed that children learned best by doing, not by passively accepting the ideas and pre-existing knowledge of others. The Montessori method requires the active personal pursuit of many different experiences: physical, social, emotional and cognitive. Dr. Montessori designed specialized instructional materials that the children could use to learn specific skills. A Montessori environment is carefully prepared so that the children can move independently from one area to another. Each room has a Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics, Cultural and Art area. Freedom, independence, social development and academic learning are all important facets of the Montessori method. Maria Montessori’s vision of world peace began with recognizing, and respecting the importance of, the small child’s contribution to the world.More on Dr. Montessori
What Do Mixed Age Groups Bring to Montessori?
The mixed age group environment creates an atmosphere where children learn to help and be helped by other children, because they interact consistently with children whose age and abilities are varied. Children gain an appreciation for their achievement and the accomplishments of others, and are naturally challenged by the achievements of others.
2. Learning from Each Other
Older children learn to be patient and tolerant, and serve as role models and teachers for the younger children. When an older child teaches a younger one, it reinforces previously learned concepts and is actually an aid in complete mastery of concepts. Younger children learn about courtesy, manners, and conflict resolution by watching the older children in the class.
3. Work at Child’s Own Pace
Because teachers do not have to set the instruction pace by a whole group, each child is given the ability to learn at his or her own pace.
By staying in a classroom for a three year period, children develop a strong sense of community and stability, with 2/3 of a class returning every year. This community aids the development of students as role models for one another.
Being in the same classroom year after year allows a teacher to truly learn each individual child’s learning abilities, style, and developmental level to better be able to set the learning agenda as well as build on strengths and work on weaknesses.