Frequently Asked Questions

The Montessori School of Cambridge
Why is the school called Montessori?

Montessori education is based on the work of Italian physician, Dr. Maria Montessori, whose research gave birth to an innovative educational pedagogical approach. In January 2007, the centenary of her first Children’s House in Rome was celebrated around the world.

What is the Montessori approach?

Dr. Maria Montessori observed that children under six have an extraordinary ability to absorb knowledge from their surroundings and are driven to do so. She called this the “absorbent mind” and recognized that the young child’s brain is more capable of learning certain skills during these years than it will ever be again. In Montessori education children’s innate love of learning and desire to explore are nurtured by opportunities to spontaneously choose and engage in meaningful activities.

The wonderful Montessori learning materials provide reasons for children to touch, manipulate and learn as their interests and curiosity directs their activity. Toddlers are explorers who learn through their senses and movement. Their program has a focus on language development, gross motor development, independence, practical life skills, social skills and toilet-training. Primary-aged children learn practical self-help skills; practice discriminating sizes, shapes, colours; learn the alphabet phonetically, write cursive, begin to write stories and read, count, learn number symbols, explore arithmetic; discover botany, zoology and geography with hands-on materials. Under the guidance of a Montessori-trained guide, the children experience the joy of learning. Through their own efforts they develop self-discipline and an ability to concentrate.

Montessori pedagogy ensures the development of self-esteem and provides experience from which children build their knowledge base. They go beyond learning skills to begin cultivating their abilities to express themselves and think clearly. In the Montessori multi-age setting, they learn both from each other as well as through the relationships they cultivate in their Children’s House; they also continue to learn by helping friends and peer-teaching.

What training do MSC's guides have?

Guides may hold traditional E.C.E. diplomas as well as have specialized CCMA approved Montessori training. Others hold B.A. degrees and CCMA approved Montessori training. They have specific Montessori and early learning training at the toddler, primary and/or elementary levels. Our Montessori-trained guides are well seasoned, experienced educators who guide, coach and facilitate each child’s learning.

How is the school organized?

The Montessori School of Cambridge (MSC) is a not-for-profit and charitable organization operated by a volunteer Board of Directors. Programs for children under the age of six are licensed under the Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA) and our elementary program operates as a private school under the umbrella of the Ministry of Education. The school is non-denominational.

How can parents be involved?

Collaboration with parents is encouraged through observations, open communication and frequent dialogue with our guides. Parents are involved on the Board of Directors, committees and in fundraising activities that provide resources to develop our children’s programs. Over the years, families have contributed gifts of time, talent and resources at each step of our school’s development (see Milestones). Our motto is “Working Together for the Sake of the Children.”

What does CCMA membership signify?

MSC is accredited by the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA). This means MSC is dedicated to ensuring the integrity, and authenticity of the Montessori philosophy as well as pedagogy in our curriculum programming.

Interested in a Montessori education?