The classrooms at Bayside Montessori School are organized into several curriculum areas, which include everyday living skills, sensory awareness exercises, language arts, mathematics and geometry, geography, history, science, art, music, movement, and foreign language basics. Each area is made up of one or more shelf units, cabinets, and display tables with a wide variety of materials on open display and ready for use by those children who have had proper introduction to that specific work. Others may request a lesson or must be invited to take part in a lesson before choosing these materials.
At Bayside Montessori, we recognize and embrace the need to cultivate the child’s own natural desire to learn. We want each child to experience the excitement and fulfillment of learning through choice. The Montessori materials presented to the child help to facilitate that excitement, in addition to helping the child perfect all of their natural tools for learning so that his/her ability for future learning is able to reach its potential. The school environment includes specially designed materials which are appealing, generally simple, self-correcting, engaging, and child-sized.
A Child-centered Community
Our fenced-in, courtyard playground provides our students with an area to run and play. Our CSA-approved climbing structure allows for the use of gross and fine motor skills. Toys are provided for creative play. We have daily use of the gymnasium. Monday through Thursday morning the students play games such as Red Rover, Simon Says, Mr. Wolf, and Duck Duck Goose. Organized games enhance listening skills, cooperation, and good sportsmanship.
Snack is provided in the morning and afternoon. All snack items are nutritious and follow the guidelines as laid out by Canada’s food guide and the Health Unit.
A nutritious lunch is provided each day. We follow Canada’s food guide by providing meals that contain one serving of each food group. Dietary restrictions are taken into consideration when preparing meals. Parents are provided with a rotating, monthly menu at the beginning of the school year.
Montessori for Preschool and Kindergarten
One of the very important challenges facing our school is its need to retain our students in a full-time Montessori program rather than attending a public school kindergarten.
There are two reasons why this is important to the BMS community.
The first is that the children who grow up in a Montessori school like ours tend to be quite different from students usually found in other schools. This difference is not simply in what they know and what they can do; it lies in their attitude and approach to learning and to life.
Montessori children are normally enthusiastic learners. They look upon their teachers as mentors, guides and friends. They have held on to the curiosity, creativity and imagination that most children bring into the world. Unlike many school children, they don’t see school as boring, or schoolwork as a burden. They are generally not fearful, or sarcastic and cynical to their friends on the playground. I like to call them joyful scholars.
Students like ours simply never can be replaced. Our school clearly needs them, and hopefully, you as their parents can see what they are capable of becoming, and that is why you have chosen to look into sending them to Bayside Montessori School.
The second reason why it is so important that we retain our students for three and four years is that these children will grow up together in an atmosphere of warmth, kindness and respect. Our children bond quite close to our school, their teachers and their friends. We become a community.
Most children watch their friends come and go from their lives. One of our goals is to create a community of substance and depth, to gather together a group of parents, children and teachers who share common values and form lasting friendships.
We are all looking for what will be best for our children, and I imagine that some of you may be concerned whether Montessori will actually prepare your children well for the real world.