The Upper Primary (4th-6th grade) IB aligned Program builds on the Lower Primary Montessori experience. The interdisciplinary program includes: Spanish and English Humanities (incorporating social studies, geography, civics and language arts), Visual Arts, Music, STEAM, Outdoor-Physical Education, Oxford IB math, and a science sequence of Agroecology, Environmental Science and Earth Science. Project based and hands-on learning in both labs and field settings predominate the science and STEAM courses. The use of technology (Kindles for reading and research in 4th grade, and Laptops in 6th grade) and digital media are introduced, but still mixed in with effective paper-based multimedia and visual arts materials.
CREW advisory program begins in 4th grade with each grade level divided into small CREWS with a faculty CREW leader. CREW emphasizes team building, a sense of common purpose and shared ordeal, and social emotional, moral and civic development.
The resources in the classroom further expand and deepen the child’s understanding of abstract concepts. There is a continued emphasis on the six traits of writing, research with primary and secondary sources, grammar and sentence analysis, spelling and oral expression/speech. The Oxford IB Math helps students discover the relationship between arithmetic, geometry and algebra concepts and apply them in everyday world contexts. In both Science and STEAM students perform experiments, gather data, interact with natural phenomena, and learn by doing and building things, the scientific process.
These constructivist teaching approaches, are supported by educational research that show the importance of not just feeding children countless amounts of information (which is easily accessible at the touch of a button), but instead, giving them experiences with which to construct knowledge, develop thinking skills and life skills, for success, good citizenship and a moral life, in an ever-changing future.
The Upper Primary combines Montessori principles of self-direction and individualized learning are integrated in International Baccalaureate’s (IB) Primary Years Program framework. By building on the basic skills acquired in the Lower Primary Programs and using the framework set forth by the IB, the Upper Primary child now transitions to a deeper level of abstract reasoning.