WHITE LIGHT MONTESSORI SCHOOL
White light Montessori School
No 7a Akin Ogunlewe Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
.....Strong foundations last forever
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At WLMS, we prepare our students for life by offering them a rigorous academic program that develops important skills for success such as creativity, communication, critical thinking, independence, confidence, and resilience. Dr. Montessori referred to this approach as “Educating the Whole Child,” that is, catering to each student’s academic, physical, emotional, spiritual, and moral development. Montessori’s developmental approach recognizes that each child reaches certain milestones at different stages. As such, the Montessori lessons are presented to students when they are developmentally ready and have mastered certain prerequisite activities.
We hope that this Curriculum Scope and Sequence document also provides you with a common language for Montessori exercises to better communicate and understand the work your child is doing in the classroom, leading to more robust conversations between students, parents, and faculty.
Dr. Montessori’s Five Great Lessons
Dr. Montessori uses the Five Great Lessons at the elementary levels as an introduction to all topics, providing a “big picture” to demonstrate how the sciences, art, history, language, and geography are interrelated. Students are then introduced to increasing levels of detail and complexity within these broad areas.
THE STORY OF CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE describes how minerals and chemicals formed the elements; how matter transforms to three states of solid, liquid, and gas; how particles joined together and formed the earth; how heavier particles sank to earth’s core and volcanoes erupted; how mountains were formed and the atmosphere condensed into rain, creating oceans, lakes, and rivers. Students are introduced to lessons in physics, astronomy, geology, and chemistry. For example, they learn about light, heat, convection currents, gravity, galaxies, planetary systems, Earth’s crust, volcanoes, erosion, climate, and physical geography.
THE STORY OF THE COMING OF LIFE explains how single-cell and multi-cell forms of life became embedded in the bottom of the sea and formed fossils. The Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic periods are traced beginning with the kingdom of trilobites and ending with human beings. A timeline shows the beginning of invertebrates, followed by fish and plants, then amphibians, reptiles, and birds and mammals. This is the basis for lessons in chemistry, nutrition, categories of animals and plants, care and requirements of different animals, and their interrelationship within an ecological system. Students are introduced to formal scientific language of zoology, botany, and anthropology.
THE STORY OF HUMANS introduces human beings and their unique endowments of intellect and will. The aim is for the children to imagine what life was like for early humans. This is the basis for lessons in prehistory and the emergence of ancient civilizations. Students are introduced to an analytical tool to compare cultures, and how climate and topography influence culture and political geography.
THE STORY OF LANGUAGE describes the origin, structure and types of writing and speaking. It begins with a discussion of the Egyptians, who had two kinds of symbols – one for ideas and one for sounds. The story goes on to describe the Phoenicians, who used the Egyptian’s sound pictures but not their idea pictures. Next, it describes the contributions of the Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans. Students use grammar materials which help them examine how language is put together and to refine capitalization and punctuation. They are introduced to the study of the origin of English words from other languages, the meanings of prefixes and suffixes, and different forms of writing such as poetry, narratives, and plays. Older children may study Egyptian hieroglyphics or American Indian picture writing.
THE STORY OF NUMBERS emphasizes how human beings needed a language for their inventions to convey measurement and how things were made. The story describes how the Sumerians and Babylonians had a number system based on 60, which is the reason for our 60-second minute and 60-minute hour. Greek, Roman, and Chinese numbers are introduced, and how Arabic numerals are similar to numbers found in a cave in India from 2,000 years ago. The Indian numerals had something that no other number system had, the zero. This is the basis for learning mathematics, which is integrated into all studies. For example, large numbers are needed when measuring time and space in astronomy, negative numbers are needed when measuring temperature changes, and triangulation was needed to reestablish property boundaries after the Nile flooded Ancient Egypt.
Infant/Toddler (6-36 months)
First Plane of Development
During this stage of development, children have a unique ability to absorb knowledge quickly and effortlessly. Maria Montessori referred to this as the “absorbent mind.”
These children are sensorial explorers and learn through the senses; therefore all experiences within the classroom are hands- on. This concrete experience of learning by doing is essential to the child’s development as it enriches his understanding of new concepts.
Also during this stage, the child has a natural passion to want to be engaged in activity that will be meaningful and purposeful. The child wants to be an active participant within his community of family and classmates.
Children's House (3-6 year-old)
First Plane of Development
In the 3-6 classroom, the ultimate goal for each individual is to achieve concentration, self-regulated behavior, independence, confidence, and an interest in learning about his/her world.
During this time of development, children continue to be in the stage of the “absorbent mind,” what Maria Montessori referred to as a child’s unique ability to absorb knowledge quickly and effortlessly. Children take great joy and pride in real and purposeful work, and in their ability to contribute to their community as active and helpful participants.
These children continue to learn through the senses. All experiences within the classroom engage use of the hands, are purposeful and are accompanied by mental concentration.
Social development is fostered in the Montessori environment with children of at least three ages (3- 6 year olds), allowing them to develop helping, caring, and sympathetic relationships with others in natural, real-life situations.
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