Toronto, ON | Grades NS - 6 | Shortlist
Academic is a strong focus at CMS, which is often demonstrated in the students CAT scores (a provincial test given to both public and private school children). CMS consistently ranks in the top decile of schools, a tradition that is the school is proud of. Pedagogically, the Montessori method has, in our opinion allowed a deeper understanding of the material that is taught. For example, multiplication is not taught as rote memorization of times table charts, but rather as an aggregation of like objects. My demonstrating this method, our children have learned what multiplication actually is and means. This is but one example. Another example is that students have been required to produce projects in class - geography, STEM, sciences. The act of studying and researching something on their own, producing a project (on Bristol board, a power point or a scale model) then presenting that to their classmates reinforces a deeper understanding and hence learning.
CMS and the Montessori philosophy allow the children to develop and learn at their pace. They are exposed to many materials and curriculum early on, I recall my 3 year old working on phonics, and singing french songs. The curriculum is generally 1 year ahead of the public system, and there are math contests should your children wish to participate in them. The concepts are taught and explained in-depth and laid out in a logical way to provide for understanding of the concept. The practical life aspect of the curriculum was insightful as this was not what I had experienced as a child. After observing the Casa classroom during Montessori week, we adapted our kitchen such that the items they needed (cups moved to lower cabinets, milk placement in the fridge) were accessible and let their independence develop. This was applied to other areas of our home life and now that they are older, they might see a problem and take the initiative to tackle it themselves or would start a project in their free time researching the topic that sparks their interest.