GLOUCESTER MONTESSORI PROGRAMS
Our Montessori classroom for toddlers safely supports your child’s drive to do things alone, developing confidence and a sense of competence. The environment is language-rich, with adults using proper nomenclature rather than baby talk so that the children are exposed to and develop a broad vocabulary.
In this learning environment, children work independently, observe others, explore freely, and express their curiosity and creativity. A self-care area fosters toilet awareness and independence in maintaining personal hygiene (such as learning how to wipe one’s nose and wash hands independently). A sleeping area with individual floor beds/mats that allows toddlers to exercise autonomy in preparing for rest and allows them to get up independently once rested. There is also an area for gross motor activities to help children coordinate their movements, and low tables that enable them to help prepare, serve, eat, and clean up their snacks and meals.
The Montessori Primary program is a mixed-age classroom that includes children from two and a half through six years of age. Students access a broad curriculum that includes language, mathematics, science, geography, cultural studies, Spanish and art. Activities are carefully sequenced to allow each child to progress at his or her own pace. Through the three-year cycle, the child’s role in the classroom changes as he or she grows – from new learner to leader and role model.
All Day Montessori Instruction
GMS offers full day Montessori instruction, meaning that children are supervised by certified Montessori teachers throughout the day. A half-day option is available for two and a half through four year olds. The day begins at 8:30 and ends at 3:15. Half-day preschoolers are dismissed at 12:00. The daily schedule includes an extended three-hour work period during which children are given individual instruction and time to work independently with the Montessori materials. This work cycle is followed by playground time, lunch and a rest period. Another work cycle is next, and students end the day by performing simple chores that prepare the classroom for the next day.
Students in the Kindergarten program engage in more advanced academics as well as field trips, swimming lessons and music. They also partner with the Lower Elementary students for research, reading practice and joint field trips. The kindergarten year provides valuable opportunities for students to act as leaders and peer teachers, building their intellectual understanding and self esteem. Research has shown that these experiences have positive and long lasting effects on children’s learning and development. Kindergartners also end their day at 3:15.
In this program, children in 1st through 3rd grades build upon completed kindergarten work with concrete materials. As a result of this early work, students progress into more abstract learning. Language, mathematics, history, geography, and science combine to form the basis of the program. Virginia's Standards of Learning are met and, in many cases, exceeded for the appropriate grade level. Students are tested in the fall and again in the spring, allowing the progress of each child to be carefully tracked. The elementary program is conducted from 8:30 a.m. until 3:15 p.m. Children are instructed in Spanish and also engage in a daily physical education program including weekly swimming instruction, organized activities and recess. In this program children also experience their first overnight study trip. Students and parents go on a two-night excursion to a location that is relevant to their current course of study. Recent trips have taken students to Luray Caverns and Washington, D.C.
The Upper Elementary program for grades 4-6 builds upon the skills and content of the Lower Elementary. Children continue to progress academically and begin to take a more active role in their own learning process. Students learn about the significant historical contributions of individuals and great civilizations of the past as they begin to understand the relationship of past to present. They learn that their actions can have global impact through work with local charities as well as organizations like the Heifer project that address world hunger. In their language studies, they deepen their knowledge of grammar. The history of language and linguistic expression is explored through Latin studies. In addition, the students’ activities include drama, art and music. Students meet growing academic challenges while building a foundation of organization, self-discipline and cooperation
Before & After School Care
GMS offers both before and after school care to meet the scheduling needs of our families. Before school care is offered from 7:00 to 8:15am. Students who remain at the school after 3:30 participate in the After School program. Children enjoy additional playground time, arts and crafts, games, nature club and other extensions of their morning Montessori work. After School care ends at 6:00 pm.
Before/After School Care is available at a drop-in hourly rate or monthly rate.