Bowen Island Montessori School
At Bowen Island Montessori School (BIMS), we offer an inspired style of child care by blending key points of Montessori and play-based philosophies to create a calm atmosphere for children between the ages of 30 months and 6 years of age. Our primary intention is to provide a lively, dynamic and joyful place where children engage in a variety of activities while encouraging socialization and cooperative play. Our integrated program offers art, music, numeracy, literacy, science and creative play. BIMS’ peaceful and non-competitive setting believes in “I can do this” while nurturing each child’s natural love and sense of wonder. Small by design, BIMS is a place where children of different ages, interests, and abilities share the same loving, home-like setting. Our childcare is flexible by nature and is able to adapt to a family’s needs. BIMS is an enriched place to grow, discover and learn.
Our goal is to provide an enriched environment where children are encouraged to reach their full social, emotional, physical, and intellectual potential through a hands-on learning experience.
Our school’s peaceful, collaborative atmosphere promotes autonomy, critical thinking, and strong character building, while nurturing each child’s natural love of learning.
To provide a caring, safe, and nurturing social environment where all children are respected and learn to be respectful of themselves, their peers, teachers, community, the school environment, and the world around them.
To provide children with the opportunity to learn, work, and play in large and small groups, as well as individually.
To observe each child’s readiness for and interest in learning new skills, and to offer activities that are not only interesting and challenging, but are also set up to ensure a successful experience.
To provide an experience and understanding of caring for our world and all living things.
To provide a wide variety of carefully designed Montessori materials that bring children into contact with practical and concrete means of exploring and mastering a rich curriculum.
The BIMS classroom offers space for movement, individual play and large group activities. There are quiet places to play and large tables where children can chat and share. Children are offered opportunities to learn about Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Geography through multi-sensory, sequential Montessori materials to facilitate this type of learning as well as other typical aspects of Early Learning including puzzles, blocks and other toy-like activities. Montessori materials are designed to intrigue children and encourage them to explore, discover and learn. Activities are designed so that each new step is built upon what a child has already mastered; a carefully planned series of successes builds and nurtures inner/self confidence.
The mixed ages and widely varied achievement levels of the children greatly minimize comparisons and competition. Our goal is not to ensure that a child will develop at a predetermined rate but to ensure that whatever they do, they do well and with pride and confidence. One key concept at BIMS is a child’s interest and readiness rather than age; most children will absorb a tremendous amount of information, understanding and skills at their ideal time through practice and experience instead of by rote and memorization.
This area of the classroom provides a child with real life activities, which in turn give each child a feeling of dignity, accomplishment and self-confidence. These are fundamental for a child’s development by giving children a chance to care for themselves and their surrounding environment. Practical life activities are simple, can be successfully accomplished by any aged child and include daily living tasks such as pouring, spooning, sorting and sweeping. To a child, theses are meaningful activities, which encourage increased concentration; more focused attention and improved eye-hand coordination.
Numeracy and Mathematics
Numeracy from 1 to 1000 and mathematical operations are offered through the manipulation of concrete materials and allow a child to internalize the concepts of quantity, numeral, sequence, operations and memorization of basic facts. Specific materials and activities such as the spindle boxes permit a child to see what “nothing” or zero looks like and the bead bars can show a child how to add or multiply then to count the beads to find the answer.
Language activities and materials increase vocabulary and conversational skills; develop writing and reading skills plus an understanding of simple grammar. These language activities include objects and pictures to be named, matched and classified to aid in vocabulary enrichment. Textured letters permit a child to feel and see the alphabet. Phonics and the moveable alphabet lead a child towards spelling and reading.
The sensorial activities allow a child to use their senses to learn about the world by isolating defining elements: colour, size, shape, sound or texture. These activities help to develop and refine a child’s visual, auditory and tactile senses.
A child is offered an introduction to physical and cultural geography through the use of wooden puzzles/maps of the Earth and its 7 continents. Through the focus upon specific continents or countries, a child will be presented with culturally significant objects and snacks from each particular area, international and cultural celebrations will also be recognized and honoured as we cover the world map.
Painting, scissor cutting, collage, play dough and colouring with various media are always available activities. Colour mixing, printmaking and finger painting are just some of the art-based activities incorporated to present new skills and media, to encourage creativity and just to have fun. Art appreciation activities may also be introduced based upon the study of a particular artist.Some art experiences are open ended; developing imagination, exploring textures and media, while others are product structured; to show a beginning and an end to a particular project.
Science is all around us so these activities are nature related. This area is broad so a child may be introduced to the study of plants and animals, their parts and specific characteristics. An observation table is often present for the children to explore.
“The best instruction is that which uses the least words sufficient for the task” - Maria Montessori