Children attending our Casa program must be 30 months by August 31st of the enrolling year.
The Casa classroom allows for an individual learning experience utilizing the diverse set of Montessori materials, activities and experiences. The specialized materials are designed to teach the concepts of Language, Mathematics, Science, Geography and History as well as practical life skills and development of the senses. The teachers guide and encourage the children to experiment, discover and self correct in all areas of learning and allow them to move through the curriculum at their own pace. The Montessori Casa classroom is alive with children working independently, embracing order within each activity and eagerly seeking the next challenge.
This area of the curriculum invites the child to work on life skills that encourage independence, concentration coordination and attention to detail. These essential skills support the child in skill development in all other areas of the classroom. The Practical Life exercises are very attractive to the children and are the vehicle for many children to begin to make choices of their own. The exercises relate to daily living tasks that are familiar to children such as dressing themselves and caring for their environment.
Dr. Montessori viewed the senses as the “doorway to the mind.” The Montessori environment provides a wide range of sensorial materials designed to help the child develop the ability to make judgements, to compare and discriminate differences of size, shape, weight, texture, colour, and temperature and to store up impressions in his “muscular memory.” The Sensorial activities provide an opportunity for the child to observe, compare, classify and draw conclusions. These exercises are the beginning of the child’s intellectual development and support future learning in other curriculum areas, especially Mathematics. The Sensorial materials can be used together in more complex ways as the child develops.
The materials for mathematics introduce the concept of quantity and the symbols that represent the numbers of the base ten system. Because the materials are concrete, they allow children to understand Mathematical concepts and to manipulate them in ever more complex ways. This gives the child a strong foundation for later cognitive development and prepares them for abstract thinking. The materials not only teach the child to calculate, but they provide a deep understanding of how numbers function. Because Math concepts are presented concretely; children are able to integrate complex concepts and perform challenging calculations easily and with understanding.
According to Dr. Montessori, the evolution of language begins with the infant’s unique capacity to absorb fragments of language that serve as a basis for her development. The child first discovers that sounds have meaning and then isolates the parts of speech. Finally, the child grasps the use of sentences.
Language development is pervasive in the entire Montessori classroom. All areas of the classroom are designed to foster vocabulary development, writing and reading readiness, and communication skills. The approach is phonetic and sequential. Children explore sounds and compose words using a movable alphabet. They manipulate materials in a simple and supportive way making the road to reading painless and natural.
Art is a physical form of self-expression that engages the imagination to nurture the natural creativity of children. A creative child, one who has been encouraged to develop his imagination and ability freely, is inventive and flexible and will bring these qualities to everything he does. Art helps a child improve concentration and captivates his attention for sustained periods. It improves fine motor coordination and confidence.
In our classrooms children are introduced to a variety of materials and techniques. They learn to mix the primary colours to produce new colours, how to use different types of paints and brushes to produce new results and to create freely. They learn to combine techniques and to explore and express themselves building upon skills learned.
We make a distinction between art and craft, the latter being oriented toward an end product where we have supplied an example of what is possible. Children are free to bring their individual interpretation to the craft.
Children meet with our French specialist in small groups in their classrooms once a week. The goal of our French program is to generate a strong interest in the French language and to provide opportunities for simple communication and understanding. We use The Accelerative Integrated Method (AIM) ; a story based curriculum incorporating gestures to reinforce key vocabulary words. Activities and games are used to keep the program interesting. The young child is endowed with a ‘sensitive period‘ for learning language. Concepts, phrases, words and songs the children learn relate to things in their lives; at home and in the classroom. The nurturing and encouraging atmosphere helps the child to appreciate the concept of communication in French.
Our fees offer competitive tuition relating to other independent schools. We will endeavour to maintain a balance of fairness to the school and its employees and to the parents.