"Education between the ages of six to twelve is not a direct continuation of that which has gone before, though it is built upon that basis. Psychologically there is a decided change in personality, and we recognize that nature has made this a period for the acquisition of culture, just as the former was for the absorption of the environment."
The Elementary School program develops unique, sensitive individuals. With the solid foundation laid during the 3-6 age class, the child now strives for intellectual independence. This is a time of insatiable curiosity and excitement for learning. During this stage, children are ready for abstract thoughts, which leads to mastering abstract concepts. They are no longer content with “what is” questions, but they pursue the answers over “why” through investigation and discovery.
Students learn in a mixed-age environment, 6 to 9 years old in Lower Elementary and 9 to 12 in Upper Elementary, that is favorable to learn courtesy, tolerance, and respect of others. They are taught to make decisions, manage their time wisely, and see mistakes as an opportunity to learn. These are all skills they will need throughout their lives.
Jogjakarta Montessori Elementary School provides a curriculum carefully designed to integrate the milestones from the Montessori curriculum and current Indonesia national curriculum applied. The students benefit from a bilingual environment (English and Bahasa Indonesia), conducive to appreciate their own culture as well as nurture their sense of belonging to wider humanity.
The Montessori curriculum provides the students a wide range for investigation and exploration through the subjects they learn such as mathematics (arithmetic, geometry, pre-algebra), language arts, cultural studies (science, history, and geography).
Language & Art
“This system in which a child is constantly moving objects with his hands and actively exercising his senses, also takes into account a child's special aptitude for mathematics. When they leave the material, the children very easily reach the point where they wish to write out the operation. They can thus carry out an abstract mental operation and acquire a kind of natural and spontaneous inclination for mental calculations.”
The Lower Elementary math curriculum is based on learning through experience. The sensory perceptions the children explored during preschool has given way to reasoning mind. The math curriculum is presented with concrete materials that simultaneously reveal arithmetic, geometric, and algebraic correlations.
Mathematical training is important because it develops a student’s ability to think logically and precisely. A proper math education gives an individual the capacity to approach all areas of one’s thought and life with rigor and discipline.
In Lower Elementary arithmetic curriculum great attention is given to basic numeracy and basic operations into the millions; during this phase of learning the Montessori apparatus is used greatly, illustrating the otherwise abstract concepts behind math competency. Starting in Lower Elementary students gain a solid understanding of the concept of fraction, multiples, factors and prime numbers as well.
The Upper Elementary children will move from concrete to symbolic math. A systematic series of activities and exercises help the child to internalize all the information received during the previous cycles through the use of concrete materials. The students are ready now to apply their math competences in more challenging materials, such as deepening the materials about fractions and get introduced to decimals and percents, basic pre-algebra and statistics.
The rich sensorial experience of geometry through the work with materials in the Primary classroom is expanded upon in the Elementary program. Lower Elementary geometry focuses on the exploration of the characteristics of the basic elements of shapes, such as point, line and angle, and their relationships. Through the use of beautifully designed materials, the Upper Elementary children will apply their geometric competency and learn to calculate perimeter and area of 2D shapes and volume of 3D shapes.
The language curriculum is planned to improve the students' skills in reading comprehension, writing, and speaking; and to provide relations with history, science, maths, and geography.
Oral language skills are strengthened by various activities in the classroom such as presenting their projects, having public speaking and/or reading stories with confidence, clarity and expression. On completion of the Lower Elementary language curriculum the child is expected to become proficient in the basic process of writing. The children also learn to read fluently and understand simple chapter and information books. Word study and grammar (especially part of speech) is strengthened by working with a wide range of apparatus. In Montessori Elementary, we ensure that reading is joyful and rewarding. Children have time for free reading books of their choice provided in the classroom and in school library.
The Upper Elementary language curriculum studies more thoroughly the creative and expository writing, interpretive reading of literature. Students study word families, word origins and meanings, create spelling lists, and test their spelling skills.
As the students’ skills grow, sentence structure becomes more complex, spelling improves, and story-writing skills develop. Students write book reports and journals, learn to analyze sentences, and refine research skills.
“Our experience, therefore, with children in elementary schools has shown us that the age between six and twelve years is a period of life during which the elements of all sciences should be given. It is a period that, psychologically, is especially sensitive and might be called the “sensitive period of culture” during which the abstract plane of the human mind is organized.”
Our ultimate goal of science is to encourage a lifelong interest in observing nature and discovering more about the world in which we live and a feeling of responsibility for the environment.
Dr. Montessori believed that the age from 6 to 12 is the appropriate time to “introduce the children to the Universe”; during this stage the child constantly wants to know how things work: to understand reality. He experiments and asks questions and, if given the right experiences, he will form an inner picture of the logical universe that can be understood. The idea is to “sow the seeds of science” at this age when a sort of sensitive period for the imagination exists.
With the aim of giving the idea of all the sciences, the Lower Elementary science curriculum is very vast, ramifying across various fields including life sciences, physical science and earth science. The purpose is to present the great variety of fields explored by scientists throughout the ages and give a glance to universe complexity, rise the sense of awe about the physical world and give the basis of scientific nomenclature.
The Upper Elementary science curriculum deepens the concepts introduced during the 6-9 cycle and it is enriched with a lot of experiments and practical activities to help the students understanding the concept rather than memorizing the subject. Science in the Upper Elementary curriculum also encompasses various disciplines such as physics, chemistry, botany, biology, zoology, astronomy, physical geography, beside the basic study of forces, energy, and mechanics. The Upper Elementary science curriculum is also designed to familiarize our students with some of the fundamental principles of scientific investigation, to strengthen their power of observation and critical thinking, and to explore deeper the concepts acquired. Students participate in demonstrations, experiments, researches and scientific fairs.
“The needs of mankind are universal. Our means of meeting them create the richness and diversity of the planet. The Montessori child should come to relish the texture of that diversity.”
We are all members of the human family. Our roots lie in the distant past and history is the story of our common heritage. Without a strong sense of history, we cannot begin to know who we are as individuals today.
History in Lower Elementary classroom is introduced through the use of timelines that gives children a visual impression of prehistoric life, the world of early people on Earth and the birth of some of the first civilizations: Egyptians, Greek and Romans.
Human history is presented from the perspective of the basic human needs or the fundamental needs, and the varieties of ways different people have fulfilled these needs over the ages.
History in Upper Elementary classroom uses an interdisciplinary knowledge in order to research topics of particular interest. Still the teacher initiates to spark the students’ enthusiasm by introducing them to the other great civilization like Mayan, and its famous culture, as well as the early explorer and their great stories.
“Peace is what every human being is craving for, and it can be brought about by humanity through the child.”
Dr. Montessori believed that the key to a peaceful world is held within the peaceful child. Igniting the spirit of global citizenship in children will develop peace and harmony, making the world a better place to live in. Geography is the study of the life of man, the way humans live. It is the study of the features of Earth, and the cultures that were developed in the various parts of the world by human beings. People adapted differently to what the world offered them in different locations.
With the goal of creating this global perspective, the students are guided in exploring world cultures.
In Lower Elementary students are introduced to the physical forms with concrete materials, such as globes and puzzle maps, and explore the cultural geography of their own country.
In Upper Elementary students explore different continents; anything that the children find interesting is used to help them becoming familiar with the countries of the world: flags, boundaries, food, climate, traditional dress, houses, major cities, stamps, coins, traditional foods, art, music, and history.