The primary classroom is a peaceful and ordered environment designed to nurture the learning and development of the 3-6 year old child. Using specially created Montessori materials, each child is allowed to develop at her own pace under the guidance of her teacher. The materials encourage exploration of five major areas: Practical Life, Sensorial experience, Math, Language and Culture. Work in these activity areas supports the child’s growing independence and lays the foundation for literacy and numeracy. In the primary classroom, children develop coordinated movement and the ability to work in an orderly, sequenced manner, persevering at a task with focus and concentration. Functioning as a member of the community, the child begins to build her social skills.
The Montessori primary classroom is built on the understanding that children at this stage of development:
- Have an absorbent mind with a tremendous capacity to take in culture, language and values of their environment;
- Need to explore their environment and understand it;
- Need order and routine to help them orient to their environment;
- Learn through observing and interacting with their environment through touching, feeling, looking, listening and manipulating objects;
- Are learning to function independently in their environment;
- Are mastering and perfecting their movements;
- Are learning to use language to communicate their thoughts and feelings.
All primary children attend school five days a week from 8am to 11:20am until they are ready to transition to a full-day (8am to 3:25pm), usually between the ages of four and five. Around six years of age children transition to the elementary program.