The stage of reasoning, imagination and intellectual and moral development
Elementary education, based on the innovative Montessory pedagogy, attends each student individually, respecting the capacities and learning styles in order to foster talent, construct self-confidence and consolidate autonomy and the capacity of initiative. This pedagogy allows the child to develop creative capacities, leadership and teamwork.
To achieve these goals, we rely on the infrastructure of spacious classrooms with original and self-designed Montessori material. In this stage, we work three languages: Basque, Spanish and English, with prepared teachers.
We recommend that the child possesses previous knowledge of the Montessori classroom environment, moving up from the Children’s House, where autonomy, initiative and independence was already being stimulated. In this way, the child enters the new level with previously acquired knowledge and can enjoy the change of classroom and the new challenges.
Between 6 and 12 years, the child finds himself in the stage of reasoning, imagination, culture acquisition and intellectual and moral development.
The prepared environment: A space with spacious classrooms with Montessori material as well as self-designed materials, laboratories (experiments, microscopes…) and multimedia material that allows access to all disciplines, with specific areas for personal and educational development. Part of the class environment is the school’s vegetable garden, the common school space and society at large which, through cultural outings, also help understand how the world works.
The child’s work: Consists of self-construction based on experimentation and exploration of the environment through independent work with presented activities and its extensions, both individually and in groups. In this way, the child develops initiative, independence and creativity: the bases of leadership.
The child works with three languages (Basque, Spanish and English).
The adult’s role: To design and prepare the environment, accompany the student towards language learning, and give him / her time. Other roles of the Elementary teacher is to offer experiences and opportunities to explore different disciplines, following the child’s interests, and provide help with group work for social and moral development, favouring individual attention.
Evaluation is done continuously, each student meets with the teacher-guide both daily and weekly to organise the week’s work and look at what he / she has learnt, evaluate evolution, explore knowledge and resolve doubts.
The Elementary teaching plan and its extensions: The Elementary teaching plan parts from the characteristics of children between 6 and 12 years, who show great interest in the acquisition of culture, intellectual and moral development. This base, fundamental in the Montessori pedagogy, leads to a curriculum that includes all subjects in an interdisciplinary manner, and in this way follows each student’s interests. Dr. Montessori called this global vision of the learning plan “Cosmic Education”, as the child has the necessity and interest to know the whole world, with a clear script on how to study the environment.
In order to be able to carry out this program, the students have intensive school days that enable them to explore, develop their own ideas and experiment with different disciplines. In this way, the students are able to develop their creativity, initiative and personal autonomy at the same time as the official program requirements are met.
The prepared environment and the role of the adult inspire the work of the child through presentations of both Montessori material and self-designed material. The students choose which activities they want to work with and construct their own learning through repetition. The goals of each area are very ambitious, which provides a great richness of contents, experiences that helps each child to grow following the process that Dr. Montessori called “normalisation” (comparable to self-control and individual- and social responsibility).
In Elementary education we work in Basque, Spanish and English. We work with the three languages using the same method and based on the Mother tongue method, where the students carry out similar activities and are able to apply their knowledge of all three vehicular languages on an equal level.
In the context of Cosmic education, older students have the opportunity to take part in international activities such as The Montessori Model of United Nations (MMUN). This offers the students a universal vision of reality at the same time as they meet students from different countries, hereby attending to the necessity of cultural development.
The Elementary stage’s legacy: The discovery of the student’s individual and social responsibility for the good of humanity, having approved the requirements of the different areas which will enable the student to further expand his / her knowledge in Secondary Education.