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Elementary Curriculum

Language | Mathematics | Science | Social and Cultural Studies | Music and Visual Art
Physical Education | Computer Studies | After School Program


At Royal Cachet Montessori School , our goal is to develop self-disciplined, creative, motivated, and independent learners, capable of reaching their fullest individual potential. The learning environment is carefully structured to challenge and stimulate our students while we provide the individualized attention necessary to ensure that every student achieves success. They learn through hands-on experience, investigation, research, and active engagement in their studies as they progress from concrete to abstract thinking.

A Montessori "Lower" Elementary class consists of students nominally aged 6 to 9 years of age (corresponding to grades 1 3 in a traditional classroom). A Montessori "Upper" Elementary class consists of students nominally aged 9 to 12 years of age (corresponding to grades 4 6 in a traditional classroom). The elementary curriculum meets and exceeds the Ontario Ministry of Education requirements with the enhancement of specialized Montessori materials similar to the prepared environment of the CASA classes. These multi-sensory, sequential and self-correcting materials enable the students to “absorb” according to intuitive capabilities through exploration and manipulation, thereby creating their knowledge and developing the abstract concepts.

The class multi-age grouping re-enforces the cooperative learning concept in the CASA program where the younger students observe and are stimulated by the work that their older classmates do, while the older students have an opportunity to develop strong leadership skills within the group. The elementary classroom is an encouraging, student-centered environment filled with hands-on activities that develop academic skills, encourage problem-solving, and improve student concentration.

This multi-age classroom grouping also provides a sense of stability for the students with the subjects offered in an integrated way to enable the students to understand how everything they learn is interrelated. In order to accommodate the multi-age range and to facilitate students of diverse learning styles, the Montessori curriculum is designed to cover a comprehensive range of interests and abilities to be completed over two 3-year periods. The learning environment is carefully structured for challenges and success at all levels. The teacher uses students’ curiosity, imagination and development of social skills as natural motivators for learning. Emphasis is placed on developing strong work habits and responsibility for completing assignments to the best of their ability.

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The elementary Montessori curriculum is based on the following 6 main areas of learning:

  1. Language (English as well as French)
  2. Mathematics
  3. Science
  4. Social and Cultural Studies
  5. The Arts (Music and Visual Art)
  6. Health and Physical Education

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1.  Language

The ability to communicate effectively in English, both orally and written, is valuable for life. Our English Program prepares and equips students with the literacy skills required to communicate in all fashions, whether it is writing a letter or an essay, talking on the telephone or presenting a project. We have divided the program into four areas of concentration: Literature, Language, Writing and Grammar. These subjects are integrated tightly in order to create an exciting educational format for the students.

This language curriculum offers students a carefully structured program of oral, reading and writing skills that build on literacy skills they have already acquired in the CASA program:

  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary enrichment
  • Dictionary usage
  • Sentence analysis
  • Comprehension

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Emphasis is placed on the development of excellent writing skills which are required in personal, academic and workplace situations. The conventions of written language: punctuation, capitalization, spelling and sentence structure are taught as specific lessons and then applied to each student’s own work. Creative writing in all its forms: stories, reports, poetry, journals, letters, advertisements and drama is nourished and valued in the Montessori classroom.

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Oral language skills are strengthened by encouraging students to present their projects and read their stories with confidence, clarity and expression.

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Strong research skills develop as the student learns where and how to locate information, how to classify/organize it appropriately and discovers that knowledge in one area may also be related to other areas. Good literature is always available in the classroom and the student enjoys reading well-written stories and information books in all subject areas across the curriculum.

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On completion of the lower elementary language curriculum the student can read fluently and understand age-appropriate chapter and information books. The student can also gather and organize information from a variety of sources, use the conventions of writing accurately and make clear oral presentations to the class. The overall goal is to offer each student a full range of concepts to become fluent in both oral and written expression with imaginative and creative power. This will be the foundation for a lifetime of learning and communication.

Since French is one of Canada 's two official languages and a language used widely throughout the world, it is notably a key component of our core curriculum. From the moment our teacher steps into the classroom, the students are taken on a journey into what would seem like another country. They expand their knowledge of French words and phrases while progressing with their written and oral work.

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2.  Mathematics

The origins of math arose from the needs of our ancestors. It was used as a tool in practical applications before man gave specific rules to math. Just as early mankind, the student also needs the concrete before the abstract. Our rigorous mathematics program includes learning all the basic mathematical principles plus additional problem solving skills. Expectations for pencil and paper skills in mathematical operations are very high. Students are taught to describe what they are doing in mathematics and to explain why they are doing it. They are able to identify the relationships between mathematical concepts and everyday situations and to make connections between mathematics and other subjects.

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The Montessori elementary math curriculum is based on learning through experience. Students use a diverse set of carefully constructed materials to lead them to an understanding of the mathematical operations and concepts. A systematic series of activities and exercises help the student to discover what it really means to add numbers together, divide a whole into many equal parts, and recognize similarities and equivalencies in two and three dimensional shapes.

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Since mathematics and numbers are used throughout our daily lives for financial planning, shopping, telling the time, driving, cooking, and so much more, mathematics therefore, becomes a powerful learning tool that allows students to become more independent and cognisant of the world around them.

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Over the three-year period students will:

  • Read, write and understand mathematical symbols and concepts such as    =, +, -, ×, ÷, <, >, etc. 
  • Work with the four operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division using whole numbers, fractions and decimals.
  • Explore the rules for factors and multiples.
  • Read data in pictograph, bar graph and circle graph forms.
  • Use one-to-many correspondence, e.g. one tree represents 1,000 trees.
  • Estimate length, capacity and mass using metric and imperial units of measure.
  • Measure time and temperature using standard units of measure.
  • Investigate and identify geometric solids.
  • Identify, measure and construct (using appropriate geometric instruments) angles, triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons and circles.
  • Demonstrate equivalency, congruency, symmetry and similarity.
  • Read, write and spell all mathematical vocabulary used in the 6 to 12 curriculum.
  • Apply math skills to daily activities e.g. baking, weather charts, map-making and budgeting.

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The math curriculum is designed to meet all academic learning styles and abilities. A student who requires additional time to fully understand a particular concept will have that time. A student who grasps the concept quickly and is ready for more challenging work, will move on to new challenges. No student is expected to progress at someone else’s pace. Emphasis is always placed on achieving one’s personal best with the multi-age groups offering a flexible time frame for reaching the advanced academic goals.

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3.  Science

Science is both a body of knowledge and an experimentation process within the natural world. The science program encompasses a set of principles and methods for investigating all aspects of the physical world. At the elementary level, the science program allows students to become aware of scientific accomplishments, both in the past and in the present. In addition, students will have the opportunity to experience scientific study that inspires a sense of wonder and respect for life and the environment as they go through the scientific process of developing a hypothesis, followed by experimentation, evaluation and finally reaching a conclusion.

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Science experiments help the student to understand the laws of the Universe. The curriculum covers:

  • Rotation of the Earth
  • Night, day and the seasons
  • Friction
  • Gravity
  • Environmental water cycle
  • Mineral and energy sources
  • Plant and animal needs and life cycles
  • Interdependence of species
  • Experiment with various growing conditions in school’s outdoor garden available for planting flowers and vegetables
  • Examine trees, wild flowers, animal tracks
  • Identify and classify types of soil and rocks
  • Test pollution levels in snow
  • Measure rainfall
  • Discover electricity, how it is generated and what it can do to a light bulb and a motor

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4.  Social and Cultural Studies

Social and cultural studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic and worldly competence. This program provides study disciplines such as geography, history, anthropology, archaeology, economics, philosophy, the arts, music, political science, religion and sociology. The primary purpose of this program is to help our students develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.

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The social curriculum recognizes each student’s early interest in an ethical value system and social rules in the community.

  • Respect for individual differences.
  • Shared responsibility.
  • Awareness of the unique contribution that every person makes to the community and environment.
  • Students are given strategies for consulting and collaborating with others.
  • Students learn conflict resolution skills.

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It was Maria Montessori's vision to sow the seeds of culture in a way that would reveal to the student the story of the past, present, and future through exploration of key timelines, classification charts and experiments.

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Our elementary curriculum lays the foundation for further growth and understanding. The students move from a carefully structured environment to one that they will construct for themselves with the understanding that they develop between the ages of 6 to 12 years. This cooperative social interaction among students of different ages engenders feelings of friendship, respect for the rights of others, and self-confidence. Therefore, they will achieve greater independence, advanced skills in oral and written communication, respect for self, others and the planet as well as a mature sense of justice and fairness.

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a)  Geography

Geography materials illustrate the planet Earth, its place in the universe, and how it contributed to the history of humankind.

  • The students study land and water forms, composition of the earth and the scientific laws that govern the solar system and continents.
  • They learn the names, locations, capitals and flags of the provinces and territories of Canada as well as other countries.
  • They learn about continents, oceans, rivers, lakes, mountains, deserts and natural resources.
  • They investigate land, air and water phenomena such as volcanoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and tidal waves.
  • They record weather conditions and study their impact on people and the environment.
  • They identify and classify rocks.
  • They read and create their own maps using scales and legends.
  • They use graphs and charts to record information.

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b)  History

History is introduced through the use of large time-lines that give students a visual impression of prehistoric life, the world of early people on earth and the emergence of some of the first civilizations.

  • The students explore many different myths of creation that contribute to our present understanding of the origins of the Earth.
  • Key lessons are used to present the history of emerging languages and numeracy in early civilizations.
  • Fundamental needs of people through the ages and how these needs were satisfied are examined in detail.
  • Causes and means of migration are explored. The histories of shelter, travel, clothing, defence and arts are traced through time.
  • The life styles of the first people in Canada are explored and compared.
  • Early European settlers are identified, and their trade routes charted.

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5.  Music and Visual Art

Extending into the elementary school, the music program develops to include: basic music history, singing (using some pedagogy of educators Zolton Kodaly and Carl Orff), music appreciation, listening, playing instruments and performance.

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Art is an integral component of the school curriculum. The program is designed to guide the students in the discovery of their own potential for artistic expression, through the study of art history and the introduction of different visual art techniques.

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The themes selected serve as a compliment and reinforcement of the academic program, fostering creative thinking in the students as well as their love and understanding of the arts.

6.  Physical Education

The primary goal of the physical education program is to create an environment where students can learn skills, techniques, rules, and physical exercises in a positive, happy atmosphere without having to experience a fear of failure, pressure to succeed or a negative self-image.

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We recognize the importance of physical fitness to the health of our students and we offer them opportunities for movement through dance, drama, and a variety of sports.

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7.  Computer Studies

In addition to the basic Montessori curriculum, we include a computer course as an extension of Practical Life, giving students the age appropriate tools they will need for their future. Lessons are timed and designed to allow students to use digital media as confidently as they would books, paper and pencils.

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Students begin work on touch typing skills using instructional software since fluency on the keyboard is a lifelong skill which facilitates later learning. Then students focus on the basics of documents using MS Word, creating/altering images using Paint, spreadsheets using Excel, drawings using Visio and network navigation on safe, monitored internet access. They are encouraged to transfer their work between applications to take advantage of the tools offered by each and to format their documents to improve the final appearance of their work.

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Students are provided with extensive lessons and opportunities to use various search engines and key words for researching subjects via the internet. They also use writing tools such as Grammar and Spelling Check, Word Count and Thesaurus. The comprehensive computer curriculum focuses on developing fundamental concepts and skills for students to use in their practical life since most jobs today require proficient use of computers.

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8.  After School Program

A variety of extra curricular activities are offered after the normal school day. The activities presented by experienced instructors may include:

French

Computer

Piano

Chess

Drawing & Painting

Sports

Additional activities, such as languages and tutoring, requested by parents will be considered.

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