High school students face a unique challenge; as growing adolescents they often find themselves bridging the gap between being an adult and the childhood they have just left behind. At MMA, we recognize this and have designed our school experience to address this crucial stage of development. Our customized curriculum allows adolescents to continue to build upon academic and real world skills in a program designed to meet their intellectual, social, emotional and physical needs as young adults.
Academic coursework develops along thematic lines, in which a single idea or question is explored, and connected to, in a variety of subjects. For example, as a student studies the English Civil War in Social Studies, they may also be reading a novel set in the Chinese Revolution, and in Science studying the revolutionary new world of genetics. Group work continues to be an important part of the learning experience. Groups of students collaborate on ideas, delegate responsibilities, and hone their presentation skills. Flexible blocks of uninterrupted individual work time allow students to prioritize, thereby developing responsibility and independence as they select the projects to complete. Most importantly, an emphasis on creating a socially responsible world view, with an eye towards global interconnectedness, while still covering all learning outcomes mandated by the BC Ministry of Education, is at the forefront of Maria Montessori Academy’s curriculum.
Multi-age groupings are an essential component of Montessori education. As in life, so the classroom reflects individuals at various stages of development. The Secondary Program at Maria Montessori Academy is a composite of four grades. The benefit to the young adult is that interpersonal, communication and management skills are developed in a natural way, with older students mentoring younger ones.
Real world skills are garnered from a variety of sources throughout the year. Aside from our Daily Physical Activity plan, a variety of out of class opportunities will help students meet the necessary physical engagement which is such a dominant factor to students in their teen years. In addition, each five week cycle of study culminates in a multi-day outdoor excursion. These out trips challenge students to develop inner resources while living in a supportive community environment. Volunteer and community building activities occurring throughout the year help students establish a strong sense of themselves as individuals, but also as world citizens. One week each year is devoted to a placement in a real world employment situation. Students refine employment skills and explore career considerations. Learning in the real world, in a safe, supportive manner, exposes young adults to the opportunities available to them post secondary.
Maria Montessori Academy is committed to providing young adults with a solid academic foundation, challenging physical opportunities and the resources to develop into well rounded, contributing members of the global community.