Programs


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.

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.

Montessori Philosophy

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

Early Years

Image

Early Years is a pre-school and Kindergarten program for children aged three to five years.

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:

  • 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
  • Includes French as a second language instruction
  • Includes weekly music instruction

Lower Elementary

Image

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

Upper Elementary

Image

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

Middle School

Image

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.

High School

Image

Westmont is excited to launch the third year of its Montessori High School, adding Grade 11 for the 2020-21 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 Factoids

0
Montessori Schools World-wide

0
First Montessori School Established in Canada

0
Uninspired students in class

The balance of choice and structure both inspires and empowers students to develop self-responsibility.


Enrol Now