The Montessori Elementary Program
Our Montessori Elementary Program encompasses a carefully prepared learning environment that fosters personal and academic growth, independence, confidence, responsibility and a passion for learning. It is designed to inspire and challenge students to discover the best of who they are and to achieve their full potential. Our mission is to guide our students towards success in their own unique strengths and talents.
The Montessori Curriculum
The Montessori Elementary Curriculum is very closely aligned with BC's Ministry of Education's new curriculum. The redesigned curricula are described as concept-based and competency-driven. It places more emphasis on the deeper understanding of concepts and the application of processes rather than on the memorization of isolated facts and information. This goes hand in hand with Montessori pedagogy.
Core Competencies are at the centre of the Ministry's curriculum redesign. They are sets of intellectual, personal, social and emotional proficiencies that all students need to develop in order to engage in deeper learning. The Core Competencies include critical and creative thinking, communication, as well as social and personal awareness and responsibilities.
Our Montessori Elementary program is designed to develop and nurture these core competencies in each student.
A Culture of Community
WMS strives to create a culture of community and belonging among our students and their families through several special family events throughout the year.
These include: the Back to School Social, New Family Evenings, Terry Fox Run, Winter Holiday Concert, Parent Teacher and Student Led Conferences, Parent Education Evenings, Drop Everything and Read PJ Days, Family Field Trips, Charity Bake Sale, Science Fair, Mother's Day Tea, Father's Day Coffee, End of Year School Picnic and so much more!
Family members are also invited into the classrooms to share their special skills or talents whether it be baking, gardening, art, sports, culture or career. These unique presentations contribute to building stronger connections within our community.
There are also many classroom celebrations and traditions throughout the year that the children look forward to. These include a Thanksgiving Feast, Halloween Party, Diwali Celebration, Holiday Baking, Holiday Card Exchange, Pancake Breakfast, Valentine's Day Snack and Card Exchange, Lunar New Year Festivities, Easter Egg Hunt, Earth Day Celebration, Summer Birthdays BBQ and much, much more.
Our Specialist Classes
In a addition to a strong academic program, students participate in several Specialist classes each week led by talented teachers specializing in each area.
The Orff method taps into children’s natural instincts to make music through active participation. The children learn by doing and are constantly creating music: playing instruments, improvising, moving and singing. Early musical training helps to develop areas of the brain involved in language, reasoning and problem-solving. Research shows that the study of music enhances concentration and improves school performance. At the same time, performance art teaches children to overcome their fears and become risk-takers so they can fully develop their potential.
Our French program presents a child-centered, activity-based introduction to the French language and culture. Students have fun interacting with each other with basic French words and phrases as they sing French songs, repeat familiar rhymes and enjoy games, crafts, stories and dramatic play. They become comfortable using basic French words and greetings, show comprehension through gestures and conversations and can easily respond to key directions.
Art is integrated into the program and are extensions of the curriculum. Art materials are readily available in the classroom year round. Much like the Montessori materials, the children are encouraged to use, explore and create with the items on the art shelf. Our Art Specialist Instructor, enriches the program by providing direct instruction on core elements in art. Activities are connected to featured artists, connections to the curriculum or the children’s interests.
Yoga classes are fun with a creative approach to movement. The use of animated poses and stretching exercises promote strength, flexibility, coordination and body awareness. Breathing and visualization techniques teach us how to focus, relax and develop self-control. Children are given time to practice silence and stillness, to stimulate their imagination and to help release energy in a fun, safe environment. Through positive language affirmations the program also promotes inner-awareness, strength, confidence and a positive self-image, a feeling of well-being, respect for others and respect for our bodies.
A Mixed Age Classroom
Our mixed-age classroom is like a family with older students nurturing and motivating younger ones. There is no more effective teacher for a new first-grader than the experienced third-grader who is proud of his or her skills. And, as most teachers know, the best way to improve one’s knowledge or abilities in a subject is to teach that subject to others.
Montessori classrooms allow students the opportunity to learn and grow not only from the adults in the classroom, but more importantly from one another. Growth is often a series of sudden spurts rather than a smooth, linear progression. In a classroom with a large chronological-age span, the norm becomes a wide range of abilities rather than the expectation that everyone is at the same level.
A student may be ahead of or behind his or her chronological peers, but the classroom has teachers and materials available that are appropriate to the needs of every student, regardless of where he or she falls on the spectrum of abilities. There is no skipping or failing of grades because a student remains with his or her chronological peers whatever the academic needs.
It is not unusual to find a student working quickly through one curriculum area but slowly through another. The academic work shown to him or her is always at level. The availability of a wide range of curriculum materials and the variety of a teacher's expertise allows that student to always be working with just enough of a challenge to … not trying to keep up with, or being bored with, the level of an expected norm.
The Montessori approach allows children the freedom to develop at an individual pace while addressing their specific strengths, challenges and interests. Individualized lessons and daily activities are designed to peak each child's interests and abilities. Lessons are perfectly tailored to each student. For example, each student receives 1:1 reading time twice a week and levelled, interest-based books are sent home as part of the Reading Program.
The beauty of our multi-age Elementary classroom is that our students will grow up with our incredible Guide, Ms Victoria. She will know and nurture their strengths and support their areas that need it. Being in the same space during these key years of development allow for trusted relationships to grow and to blossom. Our families cherish this most unique and close-knit relationship.
08:50 - 09:00 Drop Off Window
09:00 - 12:00 Morning Work Cycle
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch Hour and Outdoor Playtime
13:00 - 15:00 Specialist Classes and Project Work
The first part of the day is reserved for the Morning Work Cycle. During this time, students will be engaged with the Montessori materials, receiving and giving lessons and working through their daily learning plan.
Lunch is held at 12 noon daily. The children will have 20 minutes to eat their lunch as a group followed by a 40 minute outdoor playtime. The group walks or scooters to the nearby play spaces in our neighbourhood. Various outdoor games and sports equipment are available to the children for use during this free play time.
Afternoons are when most of our Specialist classes, Physical Education outings and Project Work will take place. Class read alouds and novel study also occur in the afternoons.
The design and flow of the Montessori classroom create a learning environment that accommodates choice. There are spaces suited to group activity and areas where a student can choose to work independently. Parts of the room are open and spacious.
You won’t find the customary rows of school desks. Instead children have the choice to work at tables of various heights or on the floor, rolling out mats on which to work and define their space.
There are well-defined spaces for each part of the curriculum, such as Language, Math, and Social Sciences. Each of these areas feature shelves or display tables with a variety of inviting materials for students to choose from. There are also places to curl up with a good book.
Visual clutter is kept to a minimum. The classroom is warm, well-organized, and inviting, with plenty of room to move, natural light, and plants to help children feel calm, relaxed and at home.
We take great pride in the Elementary space we have created with a very carefully curated and rich selection of exceptional learning materials.
Connecting with the community and exploring our surroundings is an important part of the Montessori Elementary Program. Our students go on several field trips throughout the year to enrich their learning in all curricular areas.
Some highlights have included: the Monet and Picasso exhibits at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, the Blodel Conservatory, H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, the Vancouver Symphony, the Vancouver Playhouse, Carousel Theatre, Southland Farms, the Honeybee Centre, the Vancouver Public Library, the Pacific Museum of the Earth, Van Dusen Gardens, Maplewood Farm and CBC Radio Station.
The children walk or take the school scooters to nearby green spaces daily where the they participate in active play, cooperative games and sports such as soccer, tennis or running. On rainy days, indoor activities are planned such as yoga, dance or martial arts.
The class also travels to specialized venues to engage in physical activities such as ice skating at Kerisdale Arena, swimming lessons at the Vancouver Aquatic Centre or gymnastics lessons at Tumble Town. Activities vary from term to term depending on the interest of the group.
Meet Our Elementary Team
An highly experienced group of educators collaborating in the development and delivery of a Montessori elementary education program of the highest quality.
Garland Lam Turner
Our Elementary Campus
Starting September 2018, our program will be housed in our new location at 3396 Cambie Street in Vancouver on the corner of Cambie and West 18th Avenue. We are looking forward to moving into such a central location in the heart of the city.
Tuition & Application
Tuition Fees are bundled and include an individualized learning program led by a qualified and experienced WMS Montessori Elementary Guide, all curricular materials, student supplies, activity fees, field trips, enriched Physical Education program and Specialist Classes. Upon enrolling, families are asked to provide the school with a series of postdated cheques using one of the payment schedules below.
1. Annual Registration Fee & Lump Sum Payment Totalling $12,000
2. Annual Registration Fee & Four Installments Totalling $12,200
We are currently accepting applications for the 2018 - 2019 school year for Grades 2-5.
Grade 1 is now full.
Our Elementary Program falls under the Westside Montessori School Society, a non-profit organization committed to providing Montessori elementary education of the highest quality.