Junior Primary & Senior Primary
Junior Primary (6-9yrs) & Senior Primary (9-12yrs)
Children are encouraged to develop strong, creative, cognitive and thinking skills while maintaining strong ethical and moral values so that they can develop into the kinds of adults the future will need if this planet is to be sustained for generations to come.
We offer the Montessori curriculum for 6-12 years, (not the NCS CAPS curriculum used in traditional schools). The general education pedagogy of the Montessori system best serves the interests of accepted developmental norms of children as they grow and develop.
Montessori’s track record over the past 100 years, in use all over the world, and the thousands of successful men and women the system produced will stand as our guiding light as we guide the children in our care.
Second Plane of Development
About the Second Plane of Development (Age 6-12)
The first six years of life lay down the foundation for all future development of the human being. During these years children experience extraordinary development in all facets of their lives. The distinguishing features of the Montessori approach continue to underpin the Montessori curriculum for children from six to twelve years.
On the basis that children are active information seekers and need to be active in their own development, they are given the freedom to learn through their own activity and exploration, and, in the process, to become increasingly independent.
The curriculum aims to develop in children, the qualities of:
- self-discipline and persistence, in tandem with the ability to concentrate,
- to move with co-ordination,
- to interact with others with courtesy and
- to take responsibility for the order of the environment and for their own learning.
Dr Montessori saw education as a means through which children had the possibility of eventually arriving at a mature, independent adulthood. Her philosophy is not limited to ‘school learning’ while at the same time she considers education as a fundamental aspect of the formation of humans.
Characteristics of the Second Plane of Development
- The second plane of development is characterised by physical stability and steady growth. This increase in physical stamina can also manifest itself as a capacity for sustained intellectual work.
- Children in this plane of development are more receptive to intellectual learning than at any other time in their lives.
- Children begin to use reason and logic to learn about their world consciously. This is the time when children are developing great intellectual powers.
- Beyond the age of six the imagination becomes an important intellectual tool. The imagination becomes the basis for abstraction, a mental tool developed by children during the second plane of development.
- The continued manipulation of concrete materials i.e. concrete representations of abstract concepts, helps children build images of these concepts in their minds. These images, gained initially through sensory experience with concrete materials, help children in the second plane of development to understand and work with, patterns, sequences, algorithms and theorems. These images become tools for thinking, enabling children to use and strengthen their powers of logical reasoning across the discipline area of the curriculum.
- Children of this age are developing and honing their conscience, the ability to tell right from wrong. Beyond the age of six children want to work this out for themselves. They earnestly want to know what is right or wrong, good or bad, fair or unfair, but they also want to know why.
- Children of this age broaden their horizons beyond the confines of family and into the wider society, most specifically into a new level of social life with their peers. They exhibit great loyalty to their peer group, and the evaluation of the group becomes paramount. During this time children are beginning the process of becoming independent from the family, a step they must take if they are eventually to make mature attachments beyond the family.
- Children in the second plane of development like to exert maximum effort; they often initiate a great work, in other words, a work that completely absorbs them for an extended period of time. During such work children develop their ability to cooperate with others as well as to concentrate for longer periods of time. They also build and expand their understanding, repeating the original lesson in a variety of ways. With each new level of understanding the children appear to enjoy ‘flexing their muscles’ with their peers. They love to share and discuss ideas with their friends. This helps children develop their reasoning, the reasoning mind being a distinguishing characteristic of this plane of development.
The Cosmic Education Curriculum
The Montessori curriculum for children in the second plane of development has evolved over the past one hundred years as, first Dr Montessori, and later, educators within the Montessori movement, experimented and observed;
- What children of this age want to learn
- When they want to learn it
- How they learn it
- What materials and activities can best help them to learn.
It is called by Montessori educators, Cosmic Education. This curriculum presents children with a full range of educational disciplines, including mathematics and languageas well as the arts, sciencesand social sciences. The materials and exercises for each discipline help children construct a mental order. The educational disciplines,however, are not presented to children as discrete areas in defined blocks of time, but in the form of interconnected, interrelated and open-ended curriculum. The children are shown how each topic is related to other topics in the same subject area and to other subject areas.The interconnections between disciplineshappen at different points of time and in different ways for different children.In this way, the curriculum is experienced as a coherent whole, individualized to each child’s interest and learning style, rather than as an assortment of unrelated pieces of information.The approach can be adjusted to match the learning styles of both global and linear thinkers and helps individual children to relate their predominant style of thinking to the thinking styles of others. The range of the Cosmic Educationcurriculum is very broad, and covers topics not offered in [traditional] primary school.
The Cosmic Educationcurriculum begins with the great lessons. Instead of giving children tiny, disconnected details, these stories give them the broad vision their expanding intellectual power demands. They become the framework for all subsequentlessons and activities, ensuring the coherence of the curriculum. In response to thechildren’s interests sparked by the great lessons, the teacher prepares lessons to harness those interests. The environment is designed to provide children with space anduninterrupted timeto follow theseinterests, forexample, in a great work.
The Cosmic Education curriculum for the second plane of development covers the following interrelated discipline areas:
- Mathematics with Geometry and Measurement as distinct areas of study
- Science with Biology as distinct areas of study
- Creative Arts
- Physical education
- Languages other than English
The Montessori environment prepared for the second plane of development, The Cosmic Education curriculum, reveals to children the gifts they have received from the natural environment and from human society. The curriculum is designed to develop a sense of gratitude and of responsibility in relation to the care of the earth and to the care of people on earth. Through their engagement with this curriculum some children may discover their own life’s vocation, for example, preserving the natural environment, or attending to the needs of others. As children increasingly understand how richly they are blessed both by the natural world and the work of other human, their response is often an ambition to offer service of their own.
Junior & Senior Primary School Hours
The school gate is opened at 07:00 and a supervisory staff member is on duty from this time.
The Junior Primary school hours are 07:30 to 13:30. This includes time for snacks, lunch, and play time.
The school does not assign schoolwork as homework unless in particular circumstances that will be discussed with the child’s parents beforehand.
After care from 13:30 to 17:00 is available at an additional fee.
Primary Intra & Extra-mural Activities
During school hours there are compulsory intramurals comprising:
- Physical Education (daily)
- Thinking Through Philosophy
The fees for these are included in the school fee for billing purposes but may be shown separately on the Fee Schedule for information purposes.
Extra Mural - After Hours Music
Learning to play an instrument such as recorder, flute, piano, guitar, and other instruments are optional and are charged directly to the parent by the service provider.
Aftercare in the Primary School
The afterschool programme operates from 13:30 to 17:00 with several children leaving at 15:00. The latest collection is at 17:00.
Aftercare is staffed by 3 staff members until 15:00. There are 2 staff members on duty until 16:00 and then 1 staff member 17:00.
There is a separate charge for after school care up until 15:00 and an additional charge up until 17:00.
FINES FOR COLLECTION AFTER 17:00 ARE SEVERE
Sport in the Primary School
Schools in residential areas have many advantages, one being proximity convenience to the community that they serve. Available space for sports fields are in short supply. We have attempted to overcome this by the provision of a mini, all-weather, multi-sports field and an ample swimming facility.
Sports such as those listed are offered after school and form part of the regular daily activities for all children.
- Recreational swimming in terms 1 and 4 of each year
- Running/Hiking Club
- Table tennis
Many children who have real interest play sport at club level, dance or take part in acrobatics outside of the school environment.