REVIEW OF École Montessori BY parent, Tina Cox
- Date of Review
August 05, 2022
Gr. 2 - 3
(5) Student Experience
My daughter started attending École Montessori in grade 2 during the Fall of 2020 and has now completed grade 3. Her experience has certainly been enjoyable and beneficial. My daughter likes the smaller class sizes and the attention she receives from the teachers. Our main goal was to ensure that my daughter would learn French as a second language and eventually become bilingual within a few years. I was extremely surprised and amazed at the end of the first year, to see that my daughter was able to communicate in French and had enough of a vocabulary to understand conversations in French. During the online learning process due to the recent pandemic, I was able to observe first hand the level of achievement that my daughter had reached with her French language skills, based on her in-class participation and completed assignments. Her teacher has also confirmed the tremendous level of academic progress.
(5) School Leadership
At the beginning of each school year, the administrator for École Montessori will meet with the parents to provide an outline of the academic goals for the new school year. Throughout the school year, there is constant communication (phone calls or video chats) on the progress of your child's achievements. There is a lot of praise and encouragement for the children when personal goals are achieved. The children are encouraged to work as a team as well as independently. Positive behaviour is most certainly encouraged. During conflict situations, the teachers will communicate directly with those involved and will ask them for input on how best to resolve the issue. At other times the teacher may use scenarios as a conflict resolution option.
École Montessori provides a very high level of quality instruction for the students. I am very happy with the level of education that my child is receiving at this school. The teachers are very knowledgeable about their subject. The Montessori classroom structure allows each child to be challenged at their own level and receive the required teacher support independently of their peers. The teachers are all bilingual and Montessori certified. When my daughter started attending École Montessori she was unable to speak in French. The teachers worked with her and got her to the grade 2 level of reading and writing in French, within a one-year period. The hard work and dedication of the École Montessori staff made a big difference in my daughter's confidence level.
The concept of Montessori education believes that every child should be given the chance to learn at their own pace. This is the reason why children are given uninterrupted time for individualized learning where they can discover their passion and develop their natural curiosity. École Montessori is still required to follow the Ontario curriculum which outlines what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. The children are taught to complete their academic requirements and are provided guidance in achieving their goals. The children not only work independently but also as a team to achieve common goals. The younger students are given the opportunity to learn from the older student as well. École Montessori has a reading buddy system where the older students read to the younger ones. My daughter who is still at the lower elementary level in grade 3, looks forward to reading to the younger Casa students. The academic Francophone program offered by École Montessori will definitely enhance and prepare my daughter for life's next steps.
École Montessori offers its students many opportunities to participate in various physical extracurricular activities such as (karate, dance, soccer, gymnastics and ice skating). This school also provides the students with after-school clubs (spelling bee, debate club, sewing club, chess club). The extracurricular activities and clubs help the students to stay active, foster new skills and allow them to socialize and have fun within a safe environment. The school curriculum also includes art and music classes which also contribute to the development of well-rounded students.
The students at École Montessori work together on a daily basis to support each other in every possible way, this includes the creation of projects and experiments. The students' support for each other is tremendous and rewarding. Throughout the school year, the teachers post pictures of projects completed by the students who are often partnered with students from various grade levels. All of the students also participate in extracurricular activities as a group. The students also represent their school in regional spelling bee competitions, which also strengthen their team-building spirit. Group sports such as soccer allow the students to be competitive and at the same time help to build their confidence. The students get along well and are constantly helping and supporting each other.
(5) School Life
École Montessori represents a warm caring friendly educational environment, which is very welcoming to everyone. The administration works very hard to create a well-rounded curriculum that includes both academics and athletics for the students. In addition to the required academic subjects, they have introduced the after-school clubs, to maintain the interest of the students as well as give them the opportunity to peak new interests. Class presentations on various topics (scientific and nature) are always educational. Drama is another area where the children got to express themselves through school plays. Dance classes are always interesting as the children learn various cultural dances. The parents got to view the results of our children's hard work and educational projects and activities through posted pictures and videos.
At École Montessori parents are certainly welcome to be involved in the life of the school. The administrator welcomes suggestions and is certainly open to feedback. Communication is open between the administrator and parents. Phone calls and messages are returned immediately, and parents are kept up-to-date and informed of any changes or new information. Parents are introduced to teachers and are given the opportunity to get to know the teachers. At the beginning of the school year, there are the initial introductions to the teachers. During midterm and holiday breaks the parents get to speak with the teacher and at year-end, there is the end-of-year social. The above process has been my experience, however, the recent pandemic may have affected some of the processes due to social distances and restrictions.
(5) School Location
École Montessori is located on the border of Scarborough and Pickering in the Durham region. The school itself is located in the Altona Community Church. The neighbourhood consists predominantly of family dwellings. The students sometimes take nature walks to observe bugs, birds and small animals in their natural habitat. The students usually take weekly trips to specific venues for their extracurricular classes such as karate or gymnastics. Teachers normally accompany the students on the private school bus to the venue and back.