The secret of good teaching is to regard the child’s intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be sown, to grow under the heat of flaming imagination. Our aim therefore is not merely to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorise, but so to tough his imagination as to enthuse him to his inmost core.
Dr. Maria Montessori
Using the Power of Imagination and Reasoning
Your elementary child has moved into a new phase of life with a new focus of the mind: the moral-social and intellectual-abstract. Our Elementary program gives a constructive space the children to use their new powers of reason and imagination to continue development. We give grandeur, and also mystery, to fuel the tendency for exploration and abstraction, and to feed the hungry intellect. Then we are precise as we give details so your child will connect the details together with each other and relate them to the whole. Every time the child works with a piece of material or makes observations of nature, the mind is building generalisations based on patterns discovered. The imagination allows the child to travel in time and space. Whether or not a child is interested in the arts, literature or science, the guides encourage each child to create, rather than just consume knowledge.
Learning Freedom with Responsibility
Our elementary program offers your child an unparalleled opportunity for growth in this new period of life. Your highly imaginative, social and creative child needs an environment with appropriate freedom with responsibilities, with an expansive curriculum to support her curiosity and prepare her for the challenges of the future. Real learning occurs when children are engaged practice and study on their path towards self-mastery. Curiosity is championed in our Elementary, and your child is encouraged to explore concepts to a level of detail only limited by his imagination.
The Teacher is an “Enlightened Generalist”
The guide/teacher is a storyteller of the truth. The main task is sowing all the seeds that means presenting the curriculum as a rich and inviting buffet. Our AMI credentialed Montessori teachers don’t have a specific area of expertise, as they have a broad knowledge of all subjects areas to help your child discover interests in any area imaginable and challenge her to deepen the field of study through research. Instead of giving the right answers, the teacher will ask your child the right questions to inspire her to find the answers for herself.
If the child is to find out about the whole world and indeed the universe, this information cannot all reside in the stories, the materials and the books in the classroom. As a result, the children must ‘go out’ beyond the limits of the classroom to find the information or resource that they need. A Going Out is a planned undertaking by a small group of children. The excitement for the going out always comes from something they want to find out about, as part of their research projects. The children find a resource in the community, schedule the outing, arrange for their own transportation and supervision (by staff or parent volunteers), prepare themselves for the experience and conduct themselves with dignity while out in public. Each Going Out is an entire course of study on independence, responsibility and good citizenship together with the intellectual rewards that children get from such experience.
Engagement, Maximum Efforts and Achieving the State of “Flow”
The children plan, monitor and discuss their own work, thereby enhancing their independence and responsibility for their own actions. The learning environment is child-centered and designed to promote the development of organisational and time management skills, conflict resolution skills, concentration, independence, cooperation, and collaboration. It encourages the child’s spontaneous activity, provides community building and leadership opportunities appropriate to each level, allows for a balance of self-directed and collaborative learning. Creating a framework for children to do their best work, our class day consists of long, open ended work periods that respect your child’s curiosity and concentration. She may choose to form or join a group to work with concepts introduced in a lesson. And, because she is free to move around the classroom, it’s not uncommon for ideas to spread; children are stimulated not just by the lessons they receive, but by each other.
Learning in Global Scale
Unlike in a conventional program with a separate time of the day for each subject, your child will gain a much deeper understanding of concepts by learning in context. The starting point for all courses of study is the “Great Lessons”; these impressionistic and scientific stories give your child the “big picture” of astronomy, earth science, geography, physics, biology, history, anthropology, cultural and social studies, language, math, music and art. The cosmic vision gives answers to the wonderment, understanding of the interdependencies, order in the nature, harmony, work, cooperation, dynamic balance. Your child is excited to explore working by himself or in a group, moving from one concept to another, testing is it true and is it always true to fill out the learnings of the ‘big picture’. Meaningful learning happens when children understand the “why” as much as the “what” – and are inspired to learn even more on their own. The curriculum is inter-disciplinary; no subject is taught in isolation.
Supporting Your Child’s Developing Moral Muscles
Your child is in a period of social and moral exploration and now is really interested in testing her understanding to find out how this works in real life. The community of our elementary classroom facilitates this exploration for them. The children group themselves spontaneously for much of the day, sharing responsibilities and allocating tasks on a particular project. Through group discussions the children decide which rules work good for the community. They are given the possibilities to test out what makes a community thrive and reject the things that make it difficult to work fairly and productively together. In the same way they get the opportunity to find out for themselves what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’, not by being told these things by the teacher but through testing them out with their peer group and living the consequences for themselves so that their moral compass is developed from within rather than being imposed from above. We believe children learn to be adaptable by supporting them to solve their own problems, rather than solving problems for them. With the help of a supportive adult, your child can, most often, find the solution that is best for him.
Developing Skills for Resilience, Self-reflection and Grit
Your elementary age child has a strong drive for social connection. She is starting to develop deeper friendships and a connection to the community around her. We embrace your child’s natural need for social exploration by giving lessons in small groups and encouraging children to work with a variety of others on follow up projects and research into subjects of intense interest. In a Montessori elementary program, children support and help each other, resulting in teamwork, independence and a true learning community.
Environment for Great Work
Your child will study both broadly and deeply, covering many subjects not attempted in conventional schools. As the learning is individualised, your child can focus intensely on her self-chosen work, with minimal interruption. At the same time, she will collaborate with the guide/teacher to ensure that her work is challenging and purposeful – and that basic standards are met. In that way, the teacher is in charge of the minimum scope of work – your child is in charge of the maximum.
Ready to Move Up
At the age of about 11-12, your child very often demonstrates greater independence as a student, both in academic skills and in view of his personal responsibility. Academically, your child is ready for complex research and complex mathematical problem-solving skills. Now the child shows a high degree of self-direction to be able to consistently choose challenging work and is able to be a respectful and cooperative member of the classroom community. At this point, your child is ready to move to the Adolescence program for students in 5th – 7th grade.
My child is different, like everybody else’s. For a long time we searched for a school that measure the students’ progress in “happiness” rather than standardised grades. And I believe we have finally found it.
Mother of a 2nd grade student
Feedback for and from our child is paramount to us and everyday we discuss wit Zahari school, new knowledge and skills, adventures and experiences.
Mother of 7 year old student