Authentic Montessori Academy’s program statement is consistent with the Ministry of Education, Child Care Quality Assurance and Licensing policy statement on programming and pedagogy.
Children are rich in potential and eager to learn. We, the faculty at Authentic Montessori Academy, recognize that and promote respect for children as the unique, competent, capable and curious individuals that they are. The child’s social and emotional development along with academic development and Peace Education are the focal point of our program. Peace Education is paramount to the Montessori philosophy. Dr. Maria Montessori was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times in her lifetime.
At AMA we encourage our students to choose their own work and as long as they are engaged in that work, they may continue for as long as they care to. There is respect amongst the children and respect for one another’s work and work space. Authentic Montessori Academy’s teachers facilitate learning and coach students. Our students learn that mistakes are natural steps in the learning process. They learn to collaborate and work together on major projects. They strive for their personal best in this nongraded environment rather than competing for the highest grade in the class. Our students work together, play together, eat together and rest together. After a family style lunch, the children have a nap/rest for no longer than two hours, while soft music is played in the room. Rest is very important to a child’s development, health and well-being. Children that do not require a nap play quiet games, look at books and/or draw/colour.
One of AMA’s goals is to establish within the children a sound understanding of safety and good health. We promote safety, health and nutrition by setting positive examples and by sharing meals and snacks with our students. Our family style meal time provides the opportunity to discuss safety as well as the health benefits of eating well balanced nutritious meals. At this time, the children learn to embrace the concept of traditional mealtime collaboration, such as setting a table, sharing of a meal and cleaning up after the meal is finished. This is an important part of our program as family is an important part of our environment.
AMA’s classrooms are designed based on the traditional plans of Maria Montessori while being in compliance with the Ministry of Education’s Child Care and Early Years Act. Our environment is home-like and our classrooms are warm and comfortable. This, in addition to Practical Life activities, helps us in supporting positive and responsive interactions among the children, parents and our staff. Practical life activities include but are not limited to washing a table, caring for plants, folding cloths and dressing one’s self. The children learn to care for and contribute to others through their experiences in our classes.
Special events throughout the year that include all of our families are planned and executed through collaboration. We build a float and participate in our local Santa Clause Parade (we were awarded Best School Float, Winter 2015). We also host a Mother’s Day Tea, a Father’s Day BBQ and an end of the year Graduation Ceremony. In addition, we offer Parent Information sessions with Q & A opportunities. AMA is a member of the Whitby Chamber of Commerce and utilizes community partners to support our special program and our events and we make our resources available to students, families and staff.
In our Toddler classroom the children range from 18 months to 3 years of age and in our Casa classroom the children range from 2 ½ to 6 years of age. The range of ages in a classroom gives us opportunity to promote the importance of communicating in a positive way, and we encourage interaction among peers which supports the children’s ability to self-regulate. Older children mentor while younger children are motivated to learn by seeing the older children engaged in their work. All children develop close and long-term relationships with teachers and classmates.
The Montessori Method assumes that children are born intelligent, they simply learn in different ways and progress at their own pace. At AMA students are free to explore, play and enquire as our classrooms are child focused as opposed to teacher focused. Children initiate and adults support their experiences. Students develop leadership skills as well as independence and self-esteem and multiple intelligences are recognized and encouraged. The multi-age classroom encourages a strong sense of community. Teachers come to know each child’s learning style and students move ahead as quickly as they are ready
Text books and workbooks are rarely used because many of the skills and concepts are abstract and a text book simply doesn’t bring them to life. The time tested Montessori Method relies on hands-on, concrete materials to introduce new concepts. Investigation and research are experiences that actively engage the student. Learning is based on experience rather than on rote drill and memorization.
Outdoor education is a very important part of the Montessori curriculum. Our students learn to care for the outdoor, as well as the indoor, environment. Our outdoor program plan includes utilising riding toys, playing gross motor games and playing with balls, sand and water. Our large playground with both a patio and a grass area provides plenty of space for active and dramatic play.
In accordance with an authentic Montessori program, we set high expectations, and challenge all students. Our students develop self-discipline and an integral sense of purpose and motivation.
At AMA we promote diversity in faculty and in our student body, creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and global
Authentic Montessori Academy is a wonderful environment for learning!