Elementary Program (Grades 1-6)

A Conscious Mind

Students between 6 – 12 years of age are entering a new stage of development. The absorbent mind of the younger child is evolving into a conscious mind. Elementary students are interested in reasons, explanations, and the perspective of time; they love grand ideas and lofty concepts— the bigger, the better. They are eager to explore.
Students of elementary age have developed a sure sense of what is real and now enjoy using their imaginations to explore things that they cannot experience concretely, such as other cultures or big ideas. The concrete, manipulative work of the pre-school Casa program naturally gives way to more abstract, intellectual work.
Elementary students are also more aware of their peers, community, and global issues. They are less focused on physical order and more interested in a moral sense of order. They have a strong sense of justice, fairness and rules.

Children who have at least one parent who speaks French at home and are fluent in French have the opportunity to enrol in the Francophone Program

A Cosmic Curriculum

Elementary students are interested in working in groups and often display a “herd instinct.” They associate with others not merely for the sake of company, but in some sort of organized activity. A leader is chosen and obeyed, and a strong group is formed. The multi-age Montessori Elementary classroom encourages this social development and the adult moderates the process.
In addition to a classroom and a method of teaching that encourages cooperation and exploration, the international Elementary Montessori curriculum taps into the natural sensitivities of this age to create an energy that animates Elementary education.

Each year five great stories are told in a dramatic fashion in order to create a framework of information to which students will add detail and understanding throughout their elementary years. The story of the beginning of the universe, of life on the Earth, of human life and of the great human creations of language, mathematics and science create a broad framework that invites students to explore all the traditional curriculums (the sciences, history and geography, as well as mathematics and language) creating greater depths of understanding each year.

The technical aspects of language, mathematics and geometry (grammar, spelling, verb tenses, math facts, mathematical operations and facts, geometry constructions, etc.) are layered onto this curriculum, benefitting from the students’ natural curiosity and desire to master their world. These skills are supported with materials and exercises that continue the sequence begun in the Casa/pre-school programme. The sequence of materials gradually directs the students into abstraction and work on paper. The Montessori curriculum encourages depth of understanding, creative thinking, problem solving, collaborative effort and mastery.

Using students’ natural tendencies creates the conditions for ‘flow,’ a term coined by modern psychologist Mihály Csikszentmihályi. In this state, students become focused, they learn easily and feel good about themselves, they accept guidance, are energized by their activities, and work well beyond the expectations that an adult might place upon them.

Dr. Montessori called this curriculum a ‘cosmic’ curriculum. The emphasis is on understanding that everything that exists has developed through time and that humans have created much of what we take for granted – technologies, knowledge, and culture. She planned for students to be introduced to everything in the universe so that by the time they entered adolescence they would have a solid understanding of where they were in terms of place, time and culture; and they would be ready for the adolescent work of finding the role they are to play in the development of life.

Elementary student characteristics and the resulting curriculum extend over the six-year period from 6 to 12 years of age. It is a spiral curriculum with each year bringing greater sophistication and abstraction. It is often separated into 6 to 9 year old classes (OMS Lower Elementary) and 9 to 12 year old classes (OMS Upper Elementary) but the progression is continuous.


Download for each grade


Opportunities to be dramatic abound in Montessori Elementary classes.


OMS has an Art Resource Room for Elementary students’ use.

Enhanced Core French as a Second Language

Elementary students are interested in working in groups and often display a “herd instinct.”