On this page we cover private schools in the St. Catharines area that offer Montessori programs and support. This includes schools in Western Hill, Oakdale, Brockview, Haig, Fitzgerald, Lancaster, Orchard Park, Bunting, Glenridge, and Facer. There are also schools in the nearby areas of Beamsville and Grimsby.
For a more complete guide to Montessori education, including a discussion of philosophy and pedagogy, read our introductory guide.
There are lots of private Montessori schools in St. Catharines. These schools vary in terms of their classroom practices, curricular approaches, program offerings, and special needs support. The schools listed below reflect this diversity. They can be filtered for a wide range of features.
Wheatley School (est. 1986)
Wheatley School offers programs from nursery to grade eight in St. Catharines. Its average class size is 15 students. [View profile]
|$5,900 to $13,500|
Beyond Montessori School (est. 2008)
Conveniently located near downtown St. Catharines, BMS offers Toddler to Grade 6 Montessori education with class sizes of 8 to 20 students. Extended Care. New facility and acreage. [View profile]
For general advice on how to choose and evaluate private schools, check out our choosing a school guide and our expert advice guide. For advice on choosing Montessori schools (including preschools), see our main Montessori school guide. You can also check out our preschool choosing guide.
Private school expos are a great starting point for finding a school, at any level. We have annual private school expos in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, and Halton-peel. These expos allow you to speak with lots of private schools in Canada, many of which are Montessori schools, all in one place. Find a Montessori school near you.
Another great resource in your school search is the Our Kids parent discussion forum. The forum is an ideal place to discuss options and debate topics related to Montessori schools and preschools. Our community of parents, educational experts, school officials, and alumni can help answer your questions and stimulate your thinking.
Attending open houses is a great way to learn more about eschools. For general advice on open house visits, check out our guide on school visits.
The cost of Montessori schools in St. Catharines tends to be lower than the cost of other private schools in St. Catharines. In fact, Montessori schools are usually on the lower side of private school tuition in general.
Private school tuition can range from $5,000 to over $30,000 per year for day students. There are no public Montessori schools in St. Catharines, though some public schools use certain Montessori principles and materials.
Many schools offer needs-based financial aid, such as bursaries or tuition relief. Other schools, though not as many, offer scholarships, which are given based on merit—for instance, in academics or athletics. You can learn more about need- and merit-based financial aid in our dedicated guide. If you're interested in preschools, read our dedicated guide.
Below, you’ll find the range of costs for Montessori private schools in St. Catharines:
|Tuition (day school)||Students receiving financial aid||Grade eligibility for financial aid||Avg. aid package size (annual)|
|$9,750||20%||1 - 4||$3,000|
Average class size
Special needs support
|Montessori||International Baccalaureate||Student-paced||Supportive||15 to 18||Indirect Support|
|Montessori||Student-paced||Supportive||8 to 15||No support||Light integration|
Montessori schools, in St. Catharines and other cities, often have large mixed-age classes with high teacher-to-student ratios. They also tend to have lots of interaction, student-to-student teaching, and group and independent work. Below, the Montessori philosophy and teaching approach is discussed in more detail. For more comprehensive coverage, see our main Montessori school guide.
The Montessori philosophy of education is unique. Some of the main principles of this philosophy are the following:
Student-centred: Students are free to move around the class, choose their own work, and determine the pace of their studies. There is no pre-planned curriculum. Kids often choose work that’s engaging and stimulating, in this setting, which can give rise to a love of learning.
Uninterrupted work time: Montessori schools give kids lots of uninterrupted work time, especially at the elementary level. In many schools, they’re given at least one 3-hour, uninterrupted work period to focus on their chosen work, free of interruptions. Uninterrupted work periods are believed to improve children’s concentration, self-discipline, and work habits.
Concrete learning: Learning tends to be concrete and hands-on. At the primary and elementary level (and sometimes at the secondary level), kids work with lots of different concrete materials, including “manipulatives”—or self-correcting puzzles. They also work with blocks, rods, spindle boxes, and many other materials. Concrete learning engages many of the senses. And, research has shown that it can speed up learning, especially for younger kids.
No external rewards: In primary and elementary school, kids aren’t given tests or assignments, or graded on any of their work. Kids also aren’t praised very much, and when they are praised, it’s for effort—not outcome. Progress is assessed informally, through observation and developmental rubrics, rather than formally, through grades or report cards.
Montessori teachers rarely provide direct instruction. They almost never stand at the front of the class and lecture to all the students. And when they do lecture, the lectures are usually short, interactive, and engaging. This can be very effective for children with special needs.
More often, though, teachers move around the class, and give lessons to or guide students. They usually work with students one-on-one or in small groups. They often encourage students to repeat and practice activities, and they plan projects to meet each student’s learning needs. Their primary role is to connect students with their work, rather than to impart knowledge to them. Teachers are thus viewed more as “guides” or “mentors” than “teachers” in the traditional sense.
Montessori schools, in St. Catharines and other cities, have mixed-age classes, with kids aged 0-3 (toddler), 3-6 (primary), 6-9 (lower-elementary), 9-12 (upper elementary), and so on. The mixed-age classroom informs the teaching approach and learning environment.
Most Montessori classes have lots of group work. Kids work together in small groups on projects and tasks, with some guidance from the teacher. Montessori students help each other, and older kids often mentor their younger classmates, by helping with them with their work and modelling appropriate behaviour. This can reinforce knowledge and skills learned in the classroom, for both older and younger kids.