The Senior Elementary level leads to greater abstraction — more writing, dialogue, and skill in the process of research-based exploration. Students naturally want to learn about language and humanities because it is an area they are learning and developing for themselves in their own social interaction. Communication is a strong social need at this level, as is the enthusiasm to understand more about the immediate and broader worlds of which they are a part.
The term “self-propelled interest” best describes this level of Montessori education. The fundamentals for research, abstraction, purposeful and meaningful socialization, and appreciation and understanding of interrelated, open-ended learning fuse together at this level. Students at this age are dramatic and full of wonder and ideas. The curriculum supports their high enthusiasm.
In-depth study, open-ended research, and the capacity for abstraction — foundations laid the in the Lower Elementary program — synthesize and expand at the Upper Elementary level, where developmental changes are profound and rapid. Concepts and impressions that sparked students enthusiasm earlier now engage these students in dynamic, interactive and extended learning projects. These children are enthusiastic, morally sensitive, and have a great capacity for empathy.
These attributes give expression to the quality and creativity of studies pursued by students across the Senior Elementary curriculum. Such curricular investigations include:
- explorations of geography, civilizations, and cultures throughout history, throughout the world, and into North America and California
- advanced math concepts in fractions, decimals, algebra, square and cube root, area, and volume
- development of both creative and research writing
- indoor and outdoor physical and life science experience
- continuation in Spanish, music, and art
This inclusive approach to education fosters a connectedness to all humanity and nurtures their natural desire to make an individual contribution to the world.
The Senior Elementary is a dynamic, interactive learning “laboratory” which provides a significant link along the Montessori learning continuum and lays the foundation for the challenging curriculum of the Middle School.