Montessori observed that children are happiest in a prepared environment where every object has its place and activities are performed in an orderly way. In large, peaceful and attractive rooms, the confusions in a child’s life are minimal and they are freer to learn. Each child may choose their own activity and pursue it for as long as they wish without interference, working alone or with others. When children are absorbed in activities which to them are interesting and constructive, issues of discipline are minimized and there is a spirit of mutual respect.
Each class is a mixed-age grouping. The Montessori three-year cycle allows your child to build upon their experiences each year. Children are able to help and learn from each other and to develop at their own pace, without the pressure of competition. Younger children benefit from example, and learn from the activities of the older children, while the older child gains the self confidence that leads to leadership and responsibility.
The Montessori materials were designed to be self-correcting and can be used by the children with minimum guidance from the teacher. Montessori materials isolate specific concepts, such as size and shape. They help the children to develop their sense perceptions and to learn on a concrete level. Children are free to choose activities from areas, such as Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics, Geography, Science, and Art. Tumblebus, Music, outdoor play, and lessons in grace and courtesy; care and respect for ones’ self, the environment, and each other are also part of the daily curriculum.
There are many open-ended materials in the room as well. Blocks, manipulatives and painting all encourage free exploration of the child's world. The range of exercises extends from the youngest child’s interest in the immediate environment to the older child’s increasing awareness of abstract concepts.
The Primary program, for children ages three to six begins each day at 8:45 am and ends at 11:45 am. The children in the kindergarten program (transition) have an afternoon program until 2:45 pm.
Physical Education for Primary Classes at SCMS
Tumblebus is a “gym on wheels”. A cheerfully decorated bus filled with fun equipment brings fitness to your children while they are at school. The Tumblebus program meets fitness needs without having to transport your child. Each week, a structured lesson plan with wonderful themes children love is offered. Children are taught basic gymnastics with fun-filled physical exercise.
Music for Primary Classes at SCMS
Children at SCMS grow up with the experience that everyone is a musician. The music program is based on the Orff approach to teaching music. Through singing, movement, speaking, body sound rhythms, playing simple melody instruments and percussion instruments with improvisation, children learn the love and joys of music. Our music teacher often brings in an instrument such as guitar, ukulele, fiddle, banjo, or xylophone; students are encouraged to try them.
In music in Primary, we focus most on expression and engagement, encouraging children to sing, dance, chant, play instruments, and play musical games. They learn various concepts, such as loudness and softness, low and high notes, and matching pitch by humming along with a certain note. Children explore rhythm, practice their listening skills, make melodies with voice, and learn the sounds of instruments, with an emphasis on unfolding the natural musical abilities within each child.