From preschool to high school the Montessori way
Our schools expert and founder of Top Schools, Ruth Benny, provides a helpful guide to schools that teach the Montessori curriculum. Click through our slideshow to find out more.
The goal of the Montessori method is to develop a child’s senses, character, practical life skills, and academic ability. Founded by paediatrician and psychiatrist Maria Montessori in 1907, the Montessori approach emphasises nature, creativity, and hands-on learning with gentle guidance provided by the teachers. Children learn about other cultures, animals, and plants in addition to reading, language, and mathematical skills.
Teachers or “guides”, as they are called, take their lead from each child, allowing children to learn at their own pace. Montessori programs encourage a child’s sense of independence and expect a high degree of parent involvement.
The Montessori curriculum focuses on five areas: Practical life, sensory awareness education, language arts, mathematics and cultural subjects (geography, zoology, time, history, music, movement, science, and art). All the disciplines tie together in complementary ways.
Toys and other developmentally appropriate learning materials are laid out in the classroom so a child can see what their choices are and then pick a task — called “work” — according to their interests. Work options include books, puzzle games, art projects, toys that test spatial relations, and more. When they’re done, children put their work back on the shelves and move on to something else. The daily schedule allows time for children to play alone and in groups.
Guides work with children as a group and one-on-one, but most of the interaction is among the children. In a Montessori school, teachers aren’t the only instructors. Older kids often help younger ones learn how to master new skills. That’s why each class has mixed ages. Casa classes are for children aged 3 to 6.
For advice and guidance on whether Montessori is right for your child, please get in touch: [email protected] or 3565 5865
Established in 2002, The International Montessori School offers an individualised and enquiry-based educational programme using the Montessori curriculum.
Educating students from toddler to primary years, IMS Stanley, the only accredited Montessori Primary School in China offers an integrated and concept-based curriculum delivered through a dual-language programme in English and Putonghua. With multiple campuses on HK Island each catering to children of different ages, IMS provides an inclusive education where the individual potential of each child is valued and nurtured.
Sai Kung Montessori (SKM) is located in beautiful Sai Kung Town. Surrounded by nature and wildlife the school provides a bilingual Casa Dei Bambini program to children aged 2.5-6 years. SKM’s learning environment extends beyond the classroom into the natural world and surrounding community to foster a true sense of interconnectedness and global citizenship within its students. The school is owned and operated by an Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) accredited teacher and strictly adheres to the Montessori pedagogy.
With 9 schools across 8 locations on Hong Kong Island, The Woodland Group have been offering the HK community a choice of ‘traditional’ and Montessori teaching methods for over 39 years. Woodland Montessori Academy in Mid-Levels and Repulse Bay Montessori offer Montessori teaching methods that are fully approved. The schools have just recently been re-accredited for a further four years by the Montessori Evaluation & Accreditation Board. The schools are the only group of Pre-schools to be accredited in the Greater China region.
Head Office: Suite 2405 Universal Trade Centre, 3-5A Arbuthnot Road, Central, 2559 4885, [email protected], www.woodlandschools.com
Montessori Campuses: Mid-Levels 2813 0290, Repulse Bay 2803 1885, [email protected], www.woodlandschools.com
Island Children’s Montessori, founded in 2010 has four campuses on Hong Kong Island offering Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) recognised programmes for children aged 18 months to six years, as well as playgroups for toddlers aged 16-36 months. Providing a skilled Montessori trained teaching team, children are encouraged to learn at their own pace and develop social skills, positive work habits, confidence and independence.
Main campus: Units B & C, LG/F and UG/F, 16 Tin Hau Temple Road, Tin Hau, 3188 9266, [email protected], www.icms.edu.hk
Other campuses: Shop GC, 19 – 21 Suite C, 35 Tai Hong Street, Lei King Wan and Podium Level, Commercial Centre, Bedford Gardens, 151 – 173 Tin Hau Temple Road, North Point, 3188 9266, [email protected], www.icms.edu.hk
Montessori for Children in Hong Kong is part of a group of schools offering a genuine Montessori education, with schools also in Singapore and Canada. Operating since 1986 the School offers Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) recognised classes for children aged 2.5 to 6 years old. Students at Montessori for Children remain in the same class throughout their time spent in the school. English is the medium of instruction with Putonghua as an additional language.
Infinity Montessori School, located in Kowloon Tong provides trilingual Montessori programmes for children aged one to six years. Affiliated with the Hong Kong Montessori Research and Development Association (HKMRDA), and Infinity Children’s World, there is a heavy emphasis placed on educating the parents on Montessori methodology in order for them to implement similar strategies at home.
With two locations in Hong Kong – Central and Discovery Bay, Discovery Montessori Kindergarten provides a bilingual immersion curriculum for children aged 12 months to six years, implementing the pedagogy as outlined by the Association Montessori Internationale.
In 2015, Discovery Montessori Academy opened in Discovery Bay providing the opportunity for students to continue Montessori study through the primary years. DMA implements the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program and the International Montessori Educational experience as outlined by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) where Montessori teaching principles and equipment remain at the heart of the school with a programme designed to give opportunities in all aspects of a child’s development. The school embraces diversity and supports students to become independent, self-motivating and responsible citizens.
Main Campus: Shop 102, 1/F, 92 Siena Avenue, Discovery Bay, 2987 1201, [email protected], www.childrenworks.net
Other Campus: Mandarin Building, 35 – 43 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, Central, 2850 8006, [email protected], www.childrenworks.net
Brought to you in partnership with International Montessori School, Sai Kung Montessori and Woodland Preschools
Featured image sourced via Pexels