The Montessori curriculum is rich at the primary level. Areas of study include math, language, art and culture as well as unique Montessori subjects such as Practical Life and Sensorial actitivities. The materials that are provided in a Montessori environment are:
1. Practical Life
These materials relate to the care of self, care of the indoor and outdoor environment and grace and courtesy. The outdoor environment includes lovely gardens planted and maintained with the help of the children each year. These exercises enable children to develop independence, self-esteem, confidence, coordination and concentration.
The sensorial materials provide the first introduction to the refinement of visual skills such as discrimination of size, height, width and breadth dimensions, as well as aural, olfactory, oral and tactile discrimination.
Ingenious manipulative materials and exercises help the child experience number and operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) very concretely so that they are well prepared to move to the abstract.
The study of language is integrated into all areas of the curriculum. For example, children are exposed to names of geometric shapes, parts of the flower, the names of continents and oceans in the belief that a greater vocabulary enriches the child’s general knowledge but also aids him/her in the quest of learning to read. Children learn to read by recognizing individual sounds in words and associating them with letters and combinations of letters. Children progress through Montessori’s sequenced, phonetic language materials at their own pace.
Children at the primary level are very interested to learn about the world around them. The Montessori classroom provides experiences encompassing the subjects of science, zoology, geography, history and art.
The music program is designed to develop a response to rhythm, tempos and melody, as well as a love and appreciation of music through activities such as group and individual singing, chanting, playing of rhythm instruments, listening excercises and dance. Music takes place daily at group time and is facilitated by a weekly visit from a well trained early childhood music teacher.
The art program is integrated into the regular Montessori environment. Some art projects reflect a current area of study for example the study of bats or the country of China etc. Children explore many materials while learning skills such as cutting with scissors, gluing, painting, drawing.
8. Physical Education
MCH provides much opportunity for movement throughout the day. Lots of outside time is provided for children to hone skills and gain endurance and strength. Activities are generally informal but parachute play, group games or obstacle courses are organized as well.