In our Lower School, we have two classes for children aged five to seven years (parallel mixed Year One and Two groups): Les Etoiles de Mer (Starfish) and Les Baleines (Whales). Each group have around 20 students. Our teachers in Les Etoiles de Mer are Miss Rutter (Head of Group) and Mrs Morton (Montessori teacher). In Les Baleines are Miss Kiernan (Head of Group) and Miss Symington (Year One and Two teacher). All groups work with Mrs Shah (Montessori teacher) who particularly helps children with Life Skills work, as well as Miss Gajewska and Miss Tang who are both Teaching Assistants for Lower School.
In line with the Montessori method, when children reach the Lower School they begin to use a ‘worklist’. Every morning, upon arrival, each child writes a list of tasks to work on during their three-hour work cycle. This list includes maths, writing, reading, language and culture. Children work through their list in any order, working independently, with a friend, in a small group or alongside their Key Person. Each child works their way through a broad curriculum, which includes spelling, grammar, comprehension, reading, maths, science and culture, at their own pace.
At lunchtime children participate in both free play and organised games in nearby Grimaldi Park.
Research plays a large part in the Montessori Primary Curriculum. The children are taught relevant skills by following a research model to allow them to answer their own questions about the world autonomously. All research work is supported and extended with at least two trips each term.
There is an emphasis on Peace Education and we work with children modelling appropriate responses to help resolve conflict and disputes.
There is also a focus on Oral language throughout the year. Children are given the opportunity to conduct their own independent research about a topic of choice and a country which they present verbally to their class.
In the afternoons, children experience a broad range of activities and specialist-taught lessons, such as French, physical education, yoga, music, the recorder and science. Activities change regularly, so that the children get the opportunity to experience a broad range of physical exercise.
Children develop self-discipline, organisation and prioritising skills. The Montessori primary school establishes the foundations for independent, life-long learning. Each child’s key person observes and supports them, and ensures that they are progressing at an appropriate pace.