Cycle 2 Primary School (6-9 years)

Primary aged children are much more social beings than they were in the Montessori pre-primary. They enjoy working collaboratively and sharing their discoveries with each other. After all, the laws of the universe are too incredible not to share!

The primary classrooms are vibrant in activity and children often like to work in small groups. Following on from their experience in the Cycle 1 classroom, the primary children in Cycle 2 continue to use Montessori materials to develop their academic skills and knowledge. The materials now help them to move from concrete concepts towards the abstract.

The classroom environment and specific Montessori learning materials support each child to meet their individual developmental needs for academic growth, self confidence and independent thinking and learning. The multi-age groups foster positive role modelling and support all children in their journey to independence.

The children continue to be able to make work choices and are encouraged to plan their day by keeping a Work Diary. This starts to develop time management and planning skills early on and will be a well practiced skill by the time they reach high school.

Curriculum: Key Learning Areas

The primary curriculum broadens to appeal to the child’s imagination and reasoning mind. The curriculum is completely integrated across all subject areas through the Five Great Lessons, a unique part of the Montessori curriculum. These lessons are bold, exciting, and are designed to awaken a child's imagination and curiosity. All other areas of the syllabus such as reading, maths and science are drawn out of these 5 Great Lessons.

The 5 Great Lessons

Montessori uses its unique Five Great Lessons as an introduction to all topics, providing a "Big Picture" to demonstrate how the sciences, art, history, language, geography are interrelated. Through the Five Great Lessons, children become aware that the universe evolved over billions of years, and that it is based on the law and order through which all the plants, animals, and the rest of creation is maintained. With this philosophy in mind, we want the child to feel a sense of interconnectedness and gratitude about the world in which he lives. It is this understanding which leads to an intrinsic love of learning and contribution.

The 5 Great Lessons are:

  • The Coming of the Universe and Creation of Earth
  • The Coming of Life on the Planet
  • The Coming of Human Beings
  • The Story of Communication, Signs and Symbols, and
  • The Story of Numbers

The Five Great Lessons are first presented early in Cycle 2 and are represented every year so that children see them more than once and their understanding grows and deepens with each presentation.

NSW Board of Studies Syllabus

The Montessori curriculum meets and often exceeds all outcomes of the NSW Board of Studies Syllabus. We see that learning experience of the children is significantly enriched by the specific Montessori materials and approach to lessons and assessment.  

Language

The Montessori reading & writing curriculum is extremely comprehensive. In Cycles 2 & 3 it includes a study of the history of language through the Great Lesson on the Story of Communication. Early reading activities are often presented to small groups of children or individually and range from the development of phonetic and comprehension skills and understanding to a focus on the more advanced skills of prediction, characterization, and author's language.

Grammar: The children work through the “Grammar Boxes”, a Montessori material where each specific part of speech is isolated. Later in Cycle 2 the children begin Sentence Analysis.

Word Study: The Word Study unit is presented to children in Cycle 2 and continued in Cycle 3. The topics include: Suffixes, Root words, Prefixes and Compound Words.

Spelling: The spelling program in the Cycle 2 is an individual and self-paced program. The materials in Cycles 1 & 2 prepare the children with a sound basis of phonological and visual knowledge through word study and grammar boxes. Parts of speech and parts of the sentence are also taught.

Computer Work: Computer work, beginning with keyboard skills, is initiated in Cycle 2. Children in Cycle 3 use computers frequently for their written work, research and presentations.

Communications Skills: Listening, storytelling, shared literature, oral presentations

Writing Skills: Handwriting is practiced and developed using many manipulative Montessori materials. Children continue to refine and develop fine motor control general progression from chalkboard to paper and pencil. Handwriting (print and cursive), fiction and non-fiction writing, the writing process (drafting, revising, editing, publishing).

French Language: The children learn French with a native French speaker.

Mathematics

Students explore relationships and properties of numbers through the use of “hands-on” Montessori materials such as the Golden Bead Material to teach early maths concepts (place value, quantity/symbol association, and concrete addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division).  The children learn through trial and error, self-discovery, and teaching from other children.  The materials quickly move the child to an abstraction of maths concepts, including problem solving, fractions, borrowing and carrying, graphing, measurement, long division, and algebraic equations.

Geometry & Measurement

Geometry is a fascinating area of Montessori.  The Montessori geometry materials and the lessons that accompany them permit children to discover important principles and relationships.  New knowledge is always applied to the environment (e.g., finding right triangles in the floor, walls, and furniture) and often extends to the creation of a piece of handwork as well.  

History & Geography

Geography and history include the study of civilizations and countries.  History begins with the study of time, including clocks, calendars, and timelines.  As various fundamental needs of people (like shelter, transportation, food, and clothing) are explored, the children research and chart changes in these needs over time and across cultures.

Montessori primary students also learn about human society and community.  Children “go out” into the world to experience and acquire culture through personal experience.  Montessori believed that the world had the ability to serve as the child’s classroom and that real-life experience superseded what could be taught using materials and books. 

Science & Technology

The primary aged child enters what Dr Montessori called the age of the “reasoning mind”. They now ask questions which begin with “How” and “What if…?”  This is the beginning of the development of scientific thought.  Montessori students’ questions become their hypothesis and through the power of observation, they come to their own conclusions about the laws of the universe.

Children are introduced to a wide array of scientific principles including zoology, botany, the human body and matter.

Personal Development, Health & Physical Education

Personal Development, Health & Physical Education (PDHPE) develops the knowledge, skills and attitudes students need to lead healthy, active and fulfilling lives.  The study of nutrition and the human body are included in this part of the curriculum.  Physical exercise is incorporated into the day and after school activities are also available.

Creative & Practical Arts

Music, Art and Drama are seen as an important form of self¬≠expression and a part of the daily life of the class.   Since these subjects, like all other work, are not limited to short “class” periods and projects, children’s creativity has a chance to truly grow and bloom as a part of everyday activity.  Music and art history and appreciation are also included as a part of the children’s study of human culture and can lead to “going out” to attend a performance or visit a gallery.

Social / Emotional Development

At Montessori East the classroom is a warm community: a multi-age, stimulating environment with highly trained teachers and materials that invite exploration and research. Children learn to face challenges with confidence, and begin to find their own place in the world around them.

The curriculum includes activities that foster the community/family feeling of the school whilst also aiding the children in the formation of values and social development.


Isabella 6 yo