50 Years of Excellence in Education

Curriculum

Practical Life

Through practical life activities, children acquire many daily living skills that lay a foundation for the rest of the Montessori curriculum. Children develop fine and gross motor skills by performing such activities as folding napkins, polishing metals, washing tables, peeling and slicing vegetables and sewing. These activities help enhance coordination and powers of concentration. In addition, students become more self assured, independent and responsible.

Spiritual Life

Dr. Montessori believed the spiritual formation of the child was central to their development. As embodiments of the Christian faith, Episcopal schools are communities that honor, celebrate and worship God and Jesus Christ as the center of life. Each week children attend a chapel service with instruction from St. Peter's rector. Children sing songs and learn Bible stories to increase their awareness of God's love.

Sensorial

Children experience the world through their senses. The presentation of the sensorial materials is vital to understanding the language that is used to describe the physical qualities that we experience in the world we live in. Materials that isolate the various visual, gustatory, olfactory, audio, tactile, thermic, baric and stereognostic qualities are matched, contrasted and compared in order to lay the foundation for future knowledge. For example, the three year old that builds a tower from the largest cube to the tiniest, will in the Elementary, use these cubes to represent the fundamentals of geometry.

Mathematics

A variety of didactic materials are available to the young child in order to present quantity. The concept of numbers is presented in concrete form and move to the more abstract as the child advances. Place value is taught using the Golden Bead Material and the child is able to form quantities through the thousands. Once the child understands the hierarchies of numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are presented. Operations are not performed in isolated groups (just units) and the dynamic nature of numbers is an important experience in the Montessori classroom.

Language

A language-rich environment is what the Montessori classroom aspires to be. Nomenclature is presented in all areas of the curriculum in order to build language skills. Every object and material in the class is introduced to the child as part of the lesson and the child's first reading experience starts with sounding out a phonetic word. The moveable alphabet helps the child spell and read words, phrases and sentences. Pictures and objects with matching labels, books and other prepared materials heighten the child's interest in the written word. Children are also encouraged to write creatively. Poetry and drama are an integral part of the language experience.

Cultural Subjects

History and Geography are introduced through stories, timelines and current events. The seven continents are studied through puzzle maps, the land and water forms and other prepared materials that include artifacts and folders of pictures and articles about cultures of the world. Music enhances our cultural experience as we introduce folk songs and dances and celebrate festivals of the world.

Science

We explore the physical world through observation, research and experimentation. Zoology introduces the child to the animal kingdom, life cycles and children learn to identify and classify vertebrates and invertebrates. Botany introduces children to the plant kingdom and they study plant cycles, germination and nomenclature relating to trees, leaves, flowers, fruit and seeds.

MUSIC AND ART

Music is experienced through movement, games and instrument playing. The Orff Schulwerk is a wonderful way to present the world of music to young children and encourage participation. Dramatic play and musical theater is especially encouraged. Art is also an important means of creative expression in the classroom. We paint at the easel, and have a variety of media available on the shelf for the child to choose from. The older children will be able to work with a wider variety of materials and they will study the history of art and the artists and their works as well.