The Montessori Curriculum
All classes, both Elementary and Casa, follow a common set of Montessori curricular guidelines. The Montessori curriculum is an internationally recognized curriculum, currently in place in Montessori schools around the world. Teaching focuses on the child’s experience, characterized by self-directed activity, whereas the teacher’s role in the classroom is more observational. Student progress is discussed regularly with parents and strategies are shared if students are experiencing difficulties. Each classroom has a multi-year age span and individual or small group lessons for core subjects. Uninterrupted work periods allow the children to progress at their own pace.
Casa Program Ages 3 – 5
Children entering the classroom at age three are introduced to “Practical Life” exercises such as pouring, polishing and buttoning, which he/she may already be familiar with at home. They will immediately feel a sense of accomplishment and these tasks will help him/her develop concentration and motor coordination. These skills are necessary for more advanced exercises, along with increased independence and self-discipline. Individual use of different materials allows for a varied work pace that accommodates many levels of ability and eliminates competition. Children are encouraged to move around and work individually or in groups. Socialization is very important at this age and children develop the basics of co-operation and sharing. As the child’s skills increase he/she are gradually introduced, through concrete experiences, to the areas of language, mathematics, culture, music, and art. Through their sensorial work, students are introduced to materials that require the use of their 5 senses which is key to intellectual growth. In keeping with the Montessori philosophy, each day the children can work in each area of the classroom, according to their individual needs. It is at this age that students develop their concentration, coordination, order, and independence.
Children must be toilet trained and are on a one-month probationary period.
Lower and Upper Elementary Ages 6 – 12
This program is a continuation of the basic philosophy and principles of Montessori. Co-operative social interaction among children of different ages creates feelings of friendship, respect for the rights of others, and self-confidence. They are encouraged to achieve their full potential at a creative, imaginative level in all subject areas including mathematics, language, grammar, history, geography, French, physical education, and art. The Elementary Science Curriculum conveyed through visual charts, experiments, vocabulary, and definition materials, weaves principles of physics, chemistry, the earth sciences, botany and zoology together. Our elementary curriculum satisfies the maximum standard set out by the province in addition to our own Montessori curriculum.
The classrooms are arranged as follows:
6-9 years old (Lower Elementary) … (Grade 1, 2 & 3 equivalent)
9-12 years old (Upper Elementary) … (Grades 4, 5 & 6 equivalent)
+ Summer Program (Casa level only)
FMA offers a 6-week summer program for interested Casa parents. This program will only run if there is a minimum of 15 interested parties. The program is only offered to our current Casa students (even those moving to our Lower Elementary level) and incoming fall students, however, space is limited and offered first to our current students.
The Montessori philosophy will continue to be upheld, especially with Grace and Courtesy, while students follow a themed-based program. We will start after the July 1st weekend and continue until the August long weekend. Set dates will be announced by March. Due to the fact that it is only 6 weeks, we will need a full commitment from interested parents to run our program. You may choose for your child to only attend certain weeks, however, our price will remain the same.
+ French and Spanish
Elementary students have French classes four days a week. For the younger elementary students, the French program is based on an oral comprehension of the French language. The children learn vocabulary and conversational skills while singing songs and playing games. As they advance in age, the Elementary program takes a holistic approach to learning French. Its aims are to prepare students for real-life situations by teaching them communication skills, language knowledge such as grammar, vocabulary, and an appreciation for French culture.
At the Casa level, students are introduced to Spanish through 60-minutes a week of enriching activities. Children learn the language through song, socializing, and thematic units of study.
+ Visual Arts
The Visual Arts program is an integral component of our Montessori curriculum. Art History, Appreciation and Art Production provide meaningful experiences for the students and promote their individual expressions and creativity. In addition to art classes, students are encouraged to illustrate their journals and cultural projects on an ongoing basis.
+ Music, Theatrical Production and Performance Opportunities
The music program at the Casa and Elementary level is interdisciplinary and involves the development of the children’s awareness and love of music through the study of beat & rhythm, melody, instrumental technic, expression, and listening skills. Music is taught by a trained Music for Young Children teacher.
All children participate in the annual Winter Concert. In preparation for this performance, students participate in music workshops involving basic choral instruction. Other activities promoting music, drama, and the arts include attending and inviting local performers of both music and theatre.
+ Physical Education
Physical education focuses on conditioning and improving fitness levels rather than athleticism. The students engage in both competitive and noncompetitive activities, from basic skills to game experiences. The program provides key lessons to help develop sportsmanship and fair play.
Yoga is offered one afternoon a week for the Casa class as an extension to physical education.