Our Elementary program for children ages six to twelve offers hands-on learning that drives curiosity and exploration in each student. Rather than teaching memorization of facts, the Montessori curriculum guides each student from concrete learning, questioning and thinking abstractly. The program provides diverse opportunities for social growth while challenging developing imaginations. At Bright Horizons Montessori School in Orillia, students gain successful work habits such as time management and academic competence.
Computers, French, health and fitness, movement, current events and music are all complementary to the Elementary curriculum described below.
Cultural subjects are all interrelated in a Montessori curriculum and help constitute a truly integrated program. Cultural education presents the child's world far and near, past and present. The students examine the origins and working of earth and the universe, the emergence of humankind, the rise of civilization and the study of history.
We hope to instill an ecological view of life and a sense of responsibility for the environment. We teach that each individual life on earth is fighting for its own survival - while serving the good of the whole universe. Biology lessons are structured to give students a means of classification which can be used to organize and relate the facts of biology.
This subject follows the development of the solar system, life on earth, early civilization, the development of humankind and recorded history. Students learn how the contributions of humankind throughout history have brought us to where we are today.
The study of geography is designed to show how the physical configurations of the earth contribute to history. The study of physical geography forms the basis of the study of economic geography which explains the interdependence of all people.
In this area, the children's natural curiosity is stimulated through discovery projects and experiments, from which they draw their own conclusions. The first science experiments are designed to give the children basic knowledge which will help them understand the development of the solar system, the earth and its configurations, life on earth and the needs of plants and animals.
The sensitive period for language continues through ages five and a half to eight years. At this stage, the child is interested in understanding what constitutes language in relation to words, their function and their relationships. The elementary language curriculum focuses on word study, spelling, grammar, punctuation, penmanship and capitalization. Also, research, reading and creative writing are practiced throughout the curriculum along with daily French lessons.
This area offers a thorough study from concepts to mastery in numeration, arithmetic and problem solving strategies. The use of concrete, sequential learning materials is the foundation of this area and when the time is right, the children move on to more and more abstract approaches.
Elementary students are introduced to geometry on a sensorial level through the manipulation of plane and solid geometric figures where they construct three dimensional forms and artistic drawings of geometric figures. Here students gain a strong understanding of fundamental geometric concepts through sequential lessons that follow the historical development of the subject.
Incorporating Today’s Technology in the Classroom
While we remain faithful to Dr. Montessori’s methods and philosophy, we recognize that today’s children are growing up in a digital world. Therefore we have computers in our classrooms. Computer programs are offered to children who are ready for them in the “Montessori way.” This means they receive a short introduction and are then allowed to work with the computer to achieve their educational goals.