As a Montessori school, we are different from traditional schools. Our first commitment is to the development of the whole child. Cognitive development and a solid academic foundation are important, yet they represent only one dimension of our aspirations for your child. Equally important is your child’s social, emotional, spiritual and physical development. Children in our classes experience choice and freedom—within limits—during a school day. The Montessori child develops his individual gifts by choosing his own work and having the freedom to shape it and follow it to completion. We treat each child with dignity and respect and expect that she will treat others with the same respect. We see each child as an individual and strive to provide an environment that helps develop each child’s unique gifts. With freedom comes responsibility. In our classrooms, each child learns to balance personal freedom with a sense of responsibility to herself, to others and to the community.
Dr. Montessori said that the first responsibility of the teacher is to prepare the environment. Montessori materials should correspond to the developmental characteristics of the child at each level. Those materials must be attractive to the child, correct in size, aesthetically pleasing, well-maintained and complete. The entire environment must appeal to the child and inspire his work. We strive to make the environment emotionally supportive and safe for every child. That does mean that we will work with every child in developmentally appropriate ways to deal with problems as they arise. The school works according the standards set by Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), license by Ministry of education and science (MON), accreditation by the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board (MEAB), UK, as well as high standards and professionalism among its faculty and staff.
Otkrivatel Montessori School is dedicated to providing an atmosphere in which children can develop at their own pace in a happy, enriched and safe environment of love, creativity and intellectual stimulation. Our aim is to assist the full development of personal characteristics such as self-confidence, independence, initiative, curiosity and a lifelong learning. We serve the spirit of the child by creating an environment that allows for the development of the complete human being. Activities in the classroom allow the children to develop skills, both practical and academic, that will encourage conceptual development and create a firm foundation for further learning. We believe in laying the foundations for the child's future learning, for their sense of themselves, respect and interest in the people and the world around them - an education for life.
Our program for bilingual atmosphere duplicates the conditions in which we all learn our first language—extended contact with a community of fluent speakers — and is by far the most effective method of language teaching. A number of children who come to Otkrivatel Montessori School have English as a second language at school. They are able to benefit by fully bilingual opportunity that our education offers. For this reason we have a full time qualified native speaker teachers who are supporting the english language comprehension. We provide more exposure to English, and ensure that children have the opportunity to develop themselves and be able to speak, write and read in both Bulgarian and English. Students encounter the foreign language and learn it gradually in real situations – in the give and take on everyday life. In these situations, language fills an unambiguous communication goal, which is either clear to the child or easily deducible from the context. Otkrivatel Montessori School creates a learning environment that involves global education - languages, world understanding, interdependencies, and cultures. Our advanced curriculum provides multi-disciplinary way that promotes active learners, critical thinking and creative approach, languages and STEAM topics (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics). At the same time, we ensure that the children have as much fun and movement as possible and offer an additional range of activities depending on their age group.
Our children have the opportunity to play in the fresh air throughout the year. Children’s healthy index is monitored on a daily basis. We strive to educate them in healthy lifestyle and encourage them to be as physically active as possible every day. The Outdoor Program is an integral part of Otkrivatel's curriculum and is designed to provide direct experience with the ecology of this bioregion; develop independence and self-confidence; foster personal responsibility and cooperation; offer challenge and adventure; and encourage environmental awareness and responsibility. As part of the curriculum gardening aims to develop respect to food and culture and attitude to the nature. We also organise nature walks to our nearby parks, excursions and picnics to the mountains, nature trails, horse riding and animal farms. The children learn about the life cycle, living and non-living things, the role of Sun interdependences, ecology, food chain and clarification of healthy and unhealthy foods.
The Montessori approach to teaching is challenging, exciting and rewarding. Our team members are qualified as AMI Montessori Teachers and Assistants with a talent to work with children. Our team members bring a broad range of skills and experiences to their teaching. In additional to their university degrees, all teachers from the Toddler through Elementary level hold diplomas from the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). The Montessori training is the equivalent of Master’s degree coursework. Beyond their academic accomplishments, our teachers come to Otkrivatel for their warmth, commitment to their profession and loving spirit.
It is essential that all Otkrivatel parents attend the parent education events offered throughout the year. The purpose of these events is to strengthen the child-parent-school relationships by offering programs and publications that focus on Montessori educational principles and practice, parenting and child development issues. Open communication is an important aspect of life at Otkrivatel Montessori School, and we believe in maintaining an atmosphere of support and understanding. We encourage parents to talk with teachers whenever they have a question or need clarification on classroom happenings. Children benefit most from our environment if parents and teachers communicate regularly in both formal meetings and informal conversation. By working together we can design a program that will respond to the individual needs of a child. Otkrivatel Montessori School uses written feedback to communicate children’s progress at school. Observations by the teacher are shared with parents through our online platform which parents have access to at all times. Written progress report is received twice annually, in January and June.