A core aspect of this environment is that students learn to tackle the challenges that come with real learning, to persist in a way that enables them to learn about what they love, and that their appreciation for themselves is not based on empty praise but is really earned.
Systematically developing the inner discipline within each student comes primarily from a structural approach to our elementary classrooms.
At the elementary level, students have tremendous responsibility for their work, and learn to hold themselves accountable with specific tools and techniques. The result is a classroom in which each student is busy achieving a high level of ambition and self-mastery, even as they pursue—indeed, through their pursuit of their schoolwork.
Culture of work
An overall culture of responsibility. In addition to being encouraged to develop independence and choose her own work, each child is also responsible for being prepared with all materials for lessons, for completing all follow-up tasks and independent work, and for keeping accurate records of work completed. Active stewardship is a part of the class culture, inclusive of care of the class environment and other jobs that need to be done on a daily basis to keep the class running smoothly.
The study of mathematics offers gifts far beyond numeracy and calculation. It allows children to develop and exercise their reasoning mind. It teaches students how to evaluate situations, mentally test hypotheses, employ problem-solving strategies, derive conclusions, and articulate them clearly. By manipulating these scientifically designed examples of abstract ideas, students build a library of experiences that develop into mental models of mathematical principles. A set of developmentally and mathematically refined hands-on Montessori learning materials, along with unique learning materials developed by our pedagogy team, forms the backbone of the math curriculum.
In our Montessori curriculum, the subject “history” is not a series of historical dates and facts. It is a holistic story of the development of human civilization. It is a broad and rich chronology of the world of arts, inventions, of the great people and events and their ideas.
Language and literature
The language classes combine Bulgarian and English language. Our elementary classrooms foster a culture of literacy, where students write frequently, read each other’s works, receive continuous individualized guidance and feedback from teachers on their writing, and challenge themselves and each other to take risks, reading difficult works, and articulating their most complex thoughts and feelings in writing. The studying of English language is in conformity with the British syllabus and Cambridge International curriculum which is a passport to international education accepted for college/university admission in over 160 countries.
Our approach to science reflects the above priorities: to give students a framework of scientific understanding, and to do so in a way that fosters their internalizing the powerful cognitive tool that is the scientific method. The child's direct experience of the natural world, namely, observation and hands-on exploration, forms the basis of the elementary science program. In cooperation with Science center STEAM students develop their knowledge in physics and chemistry through experiments and hands-on experiences.
The music is an universal language which is much appreciated by children and adults all around the world. Children have natural desire to move, dance, create music and have an innate ability to appreciate different genres in music. Music lessons are incorporated in the Montessori curriculum and time devoted to music is equal as to the other subjects.
Most approaches to arts education, as with typical approaches to literature, are relatively technical. They offer students historical context to help make sense of a painting or sculpture. Ultimately, they often try to teach students something about the technique of the art, such as principles of composition, of materials, or of schools of aesthetics that may have informed the artist. Our approach to art appreciation minimizes these appeals art history, technique, and aesthetic schools. Instead it teaches students to approach the fine arts in the same way that they can approach books and movies: by directly experiencing the excitement and poignancy of the content of the artwork.
Kung-fu provides a number of physical, mental and social benefits for children: self confidence, physical fitness and coordination, concentration, discipline and respect.
Yoga is non-competitive. In today’s world, we hear so much about being the best and achieving the most. Yoga teaches kids that their bodies are different; different bodies do different things and all of them are okay. There is no one better or worse at yoga than anyone else; we are all just exploring our bodies and learning from them in our own way. Yoga encourages healthy habits. Any exercise program begun in childhood helps kids to remain physically active and healthy as a lifestyle. However, yoga takes that further by teaching a healthy approach to eating and the ability to calm oneself and focus the mind.