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MST is a member of
The Japan Council of International Schools (JCIS).
As in the Sunshine class, the Montessori materials are a means to an end. They are intended to evoke the imagination, to aid abstraction and to generate a world view about the human task and purpose. The children work within a philosophical system, asking questions about the origins of the universe, and the nature of life itself.
Studies are integrated, not only in terms of subject matter, but in terms of moral learning as well, resulting in an appreciation and respect for life, moral empathy and a fundamental belief in progress, the responsibility of the individual, the universality of the human condition and the meaning of true justice.
The programme is made up of connective narratives that provide an inspiring overview as the organising, integrating “Great Lessons.” Great Lessons span the history of the universe from the big bang theory of the origin of the solar system, earth, and life forms to the emergence of human cultures and the rise of civilization. Aided by impressionistic charts and timelines, the child’s study of detail in reference to the Great Lessons leads to awe and respect for the totality of knowledge.
The Elementary curriculum focuses on:
In this fully integrated curriculum, the student practices reading and writing skills through research in geography, history, and science. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, word study and reference skills are introduced upon mastering basic reading and writing.
Initially, students will acquire a basic working knowledge of the Japanese phonetic alphabets (hiragana and katakana). Much emphasis will be placed on oral conversation and communication skills. The study of kanji will also be introduced as the students progress in this programme.
The students still use manipulative materials to master abstract mathematical operations, but now progresses to working with fractions, decimals and geometry. When the child realises that mental processes are faster than manipulating materials, the materials soon are discarded.
Computers are available in the library and in all elementary classrooms and are primarily used for research and writing reports. Students learn skills in keyboarding, word processing, presentations, graphs, spreadsheets, digital photography and video editing.
Art concepts, creative expression, various media, artists and schools of art are explored. Formal art instruction gives elementary children a variety of techniques and media for multicultural projects. Art is also integrated into the curriculum in such activities as geometric drawings, map skills, botany and zoology nomenclature, and historical illustrations for period costumes and architecture.
MST employs a dedicated Music teacher and has a well equipped Music Room just around the corner from our Elementary classrooms. Instruments such as recorder, flute, drums and piano are taught alongside components on rhythm, musical history, reading musical script and music appreciation. Once weekly group singing lessons are held in our elementary classrooms, while as part of our After School Activities programme, students can participate in School Choir or an Ensemble musical group.
As an important part of the social skills curriculum (and as an introduction to classroom rules) the students are introduced to the skills of active listening and conflict resolution. Basic skills are demonstrated and examples practiced to offer the students appropriate choices to make in social situations that require cooperation, understanding and leadership.
Maria Montessori felt that it was not enough simply to educate children in the area of academics but to educate them in the creation of a more harmonious way of life. We have carried out her vision by creating a “Peace Curriculum” which teaches subjects including:
Each child will meet regularly with the teacher for a brief period to review the week’s work and to organise the work that should go home. This is a good opportunity for the children to receive undivided attention and an encouraging word about their work from the teacher.