The Reasoning Mind
A Montessori 6–12 years programme is more than simply a continuum of the 2–6 years programme that you may have experienced.
It is an individualised educational approach, tailored to the changing needs, talents and skills of the child. The 6–12 year olds are at a state of development where exploration of the world, and wonder, are intrinsic to learning.
The stars, nature, technology and social life evoke great questions which are heeded and nurtured, allowing the child to really connect with knowledge.
The fundamentals of writing, reading and math (that were introduced in the 3–6 year programme are continued and become internalised), are the tools the child uses to undertake research, prepare projects and presentations, and go out into their environment with increasing levels of independence. The children become proficient communicators, take a deep interest in matters they choose, think critically and theorise on issues of the world. They are guided to challenge themselves in all areas and master concepts beyond those normally expected of children this age.
Habits of life-long learning become instilled and an entrepreneurial spirit is inspired.
Children who have been in a Montessori Early Childhood programme are usually well-grounded with the basic skills of reading, spelling and mathematics and are ready to move into a more integrated curriculum.
Children want to know the reason why things are as they are found in the world. They are oriented toward intellectual investigation and discovery.
The Montessori basic curriculum therefore also includes access to skills in science, history, the arts, great literature, world culture, politics, economics and philosophy.
An integrated curriculum is used to present these to the children. At the 6–12 years level Montessori students learn to think for themselves. They are encouraged to do their own research, analyse what they have found and come to their own conclusions.
The foundation of a good education is to learn how to learn, Montessori does this and teaches children how to think for themselves using their developing ‘reasoning mind’.
We are not teaching children what they need to learn, we are teaching them how to reason so they can teach themselves what they need to learn for the rest of their life.
Elements of the Curriculum
Mastery of fundamental skills and basic core knowledge.
This includes the realms of mathematics, science and technology, myth and great literature, history, geography, economics, anthropology.
Dr Montessori’s Great Lessons
These are five key areas of interconnected study which explore how the world came to be, the development of life on Earth,
the story of humankind, the development of language, writing and mathematics.
Individually chosen research
Children are encouraged to explore topics using library research and reference materials. They prepare oral and written reports.
Montessori materials and the passage to abstraction
Learning continues to be a hands on experience using advanced Montessori materials. The goal through the 6–12 years period is to lead the child away from dependency on concrete models towards the ability to solve problems by grasping abstract concepts. The background in using the Montessori materials enhances children’s ability to do this as the materials have made the abstract real and helped them visualise the abstraction.
We focus on children as whole human beings, creating a balance between personal development and academics.
The classes are arranged in three-year age spans where students collaborate with each other learning to accomplish
a goal collaboratively.
To inspire the children’s interest and stir up their curiosity we deliver exciting lessons and stories so that they will want to explore further and actively use their developing intellect for great work and big projects.
Our course of study encompasses the full substance of the traditional New Zealand Curriculum, and goes beyond to teach students how to think clearly, do their own research, express themselves well in writing and speech, and to put their knowledge to practical application.
The standards and outcomes of the New Zealand Curriculum will be comfortably met by our Montessori programme. We will monitor children’s progress and report to parents on this.
Team sports are introduced within the formal Physical Education sessions held during the school week. The school participates in inter-school events such as cross country, athletics, hockey and cricket (with parental support) based
on the interest of the children.