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Westmont Montessori School:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades Preschool TO Gr. 12 — Victoria, BC (Map)

Westmont Montessori School:

REVIEW OF Westmont Montessori School BY parent, Michelle McClure

  • Date of Review
    February 14, 2022
  • Grades
    Preschool - Gr. 2

(5) Student Experience

My children love this school. They adore their teachers and have a sense of pride and ownership of their educational experience. My eldest loves that he gets to choose which work he completes in a day, mostly leaning towards math. He also finds it natural to work with another person to solve problems and likes to choose someone with similar interests to work with. My daughter loves to challenge herself and try new things. She likes that she can ask for more complex work when she wants and her teachers are happy to help her change herself. Both kids understand the importance of kindness and community and when the children get together in the community, their behaviour with other kids really shows that kindness is taught at such a young age that it comes naturally to them, with all children. I love that they are smarter than me in lots of areas already and are continually teaching me things.

(5) School Leadership

In my experience, the school leadership has been consistent and fair. My children enjoy chatting with the head of school and respect and appreciate their teachers. I have had nothing but good experiences with communication from the teachers and I have found that they address issues promptly and fairly. If my child has been disciplined in the classroom they understand what they did, what they could have done differently, and most importantly, why their behaviour affected other students negatively. One time my son felt there was an injustice in his classroom, so he spoke to his teacher and she was happy to speak with him and clear it up so that he fully understood and agreed with her.

(5) Teaching

The teaching at Westmont is unlike anything I have ever known before. The students take accountability for their learning from an early age. They have great respect for their teachers and the teachers seem to respect them as individuals too. The teacher speaks to them quietly and at eye level. They teach individually or in small groups, and often I find students from older grades helping the younger students. It is truly amazing to me that the students seem to learn better from each other than they do from adults. The teachers really foster an amazing learning environment that I wish I had when I was in school. Also, the classrooms are so quiet while the students are working. It's amazing to see a whole classroom of children, all working on different tasks, doing it quietly, happily, and cooperatively.

(5) Academics

I think the academic program at Westmont school is far superior to the experience I had growing up. I think that the children are taught to be thoughtful, and productive, and generally internally motivated. My father-in-law is an astrophysicist and when my Grade 2 child came home with his solar system project to proudly show him, he was blown away. He told me that he didn't learn those things until 2nd-year university. I absolutely believe that the children will be very well prepared for post-secondary education. More importantly, I believe these children are learning life skills and coping mechanisms to support them in all areas regardless of what path they take when they finish their educational journey. My children learn complex mathematics in a tangible way at first, then learn the language and equations later, enabling them to truly understand concepts, instead of just memorizing and regurgitating facts.

(5) Extracurriculars

I think this is an area where the school is growing, and while it has certainly had its challenges in this pandemic life, I think we have seen some great activities. My son is loving participating in the chess club and soccer club. He is really looking forward to a coding camp coming up and loves to stay after school and play with his friends either in the playground or the forest. He is looking forward to trying basketball when he is a little older too.

(5) Students

The number one thing that comes to mind when I think about the student body is community. It amazes me that middle school students know my kindergarten students' names. I love that the students interact with one another in meaningful ways and they are all there to support one another. Sometimes students go into others classes to practice doing surveys, or the older kids will include younger kids in kicking a soccer ball around the field after school. Honestly, the way the students interact with one another is one of my favourite things about this school. Of course, there are problems between individuals, but in my experience, the school has handled them quickly and fairly leading to positive outcomes. I think it's really important for the students to understand that they can impact each other with their words as well as actions, and the school really supports this.

(5) School Life

My children love this school. When there have been closures they have been quite upset. They are always excited to get back to class after any scheduled breaks. My children also talk about school a lot when they are at home. They play "school" and one is the teacher, the other is the student. This is very eye opening, they use such kind supportive language and they love to clearly explain tasks that they have set up for each other. They also encourage each other when trying new tasks. This is a very clear indication of the environment in the classroom and that is absolutely what I want for them. As far as improving the quality of life for students, I honestly don't know. I have truly been blown away by the classroom experiences that I have seen.

(5) Community

Prior to COVID, parents were absolutely encouraged to participate in the school as much as possible. I felt that there was a great parent community and that all parents were welcome. It has definitely shifted a bit since the pandemic, yet I still see parents helping out where they can, volunteering where possible, and building relationships. I think the parents being able to socialize outside of the school while the children play is a huge part of the school culture. There are other activities outside of school hours organized by the PAC that allow for socialization for those who want to participate and those have always been welcomed in my family also. My closest friends are now parents from the school, and that is even in a pandemic so I think the school community is pretty great!

(5) School Location

I LOVE that the kids go to school in a forest. They get to climb trees, learn about nature, walk to the beach and generally exist in a peaceful place. It is safe, it is away from traffic and city noise. My children have a deep appreciation for nature and really stop to admire things on our walks and teach me things about the environment that we live in. The outside is an extension of their classrooms and I think it's phenomenal.


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THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Westmont Montessori School

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