We believe in developing the whole person. As we impart knowledge and provide opportunities to learn life skills, we provide the foundation for purposeful, responsible and fulfilling lives.
Students’ experience at Princeton Montessori School is enriched by several areas of study that are tightly integrated within the academic curriculum and considered crucial to personal development.
For information on our Elementary Clubs, click here.
Art and Artistic Expression
The Art program is based upon the premise that everyone is an artist. Children learn respect and appreciation for art, they develop an eye for organization and beauty, and they learn to have pride in their own creations and accomplishments. In addition, the Art program teaches skills for life: among them sequencing, ordering, processing, focusing, concentration, exposure, confidence, innovation, expression, creativity, and imagination.
Art skills begin to develop in the toddler years. Art materials are integrated throughout the activities available in the Toddler program, and serve as the preparation and foundation for Primary-level work.
Art is an integrated part of the Primary program curriculum. Hand control is emphasized,as well as use of materials, illustration, color coordination, eye training, background and horizon, artistic patience, and the creation of order.
Art in the Elementary and Middle School programs takes a theme-based approach to organize, fully explore, and incorporate all media. It uses the works of famous artists to explore the use of themes and the many different ways they can be expressed. Media include pencil, clay, tempura, pastel, oil, acrylics, water color, and fiber. Students work individually and in groups to learn methods and elements of design.
Beyond the classroom, there are additional opportunities for artistic expression, including Reflections, an ongoing and ever-changing collection of students’ artwork on display around the Princeton community.
World Cultures and Languages
Children have a remarkable ability to absorb language. And, studies indicate that learning a language other than the mother tongue enhances the ability to learn yet another. Princeton Montessori School does not miss this opportunity. Spanish is offered to all students beginning in the Primary program. Children learn through song, dance, cooking, stories, and listening to music.
In the Elementary program, students begin to read simple stories in Spanish. They are introduced to Spanish grammar and to the cultures of countries where Spanish is spoken. They practice conjugations of sentences through actions, cooking, and songs. In the last year at the Elementary level, students begin a more in-depth study of verbs and language mechanics.
Music and Musical Expression
We believe that music is intrinsic to the human being, and thus is an integral part of our curriculum and classroom environment from Infant through Middle School. Infants develop into toddlers listening to music, moving to the sounds, beginning to sing, absorbing the language of music as they absorb their spoken language. Toddlers move into their Primary years exploring rhythm, practicing their listening skills, making melodies with voice, learning the sounds of instruments and of different types of music, with an emphasis on unfolding the natural musical abilities within each child. Elementary and Middle School students study the elements of music, including melody, beat, rhythm, meter, vocals, instrumental expression, tempo, and articulation. They experience music in a cultural context, learn to read music, and enjoy performing.
In addition to classroom music activities, all children from Primary through Middle School are invited to contract for piano or Suzuki violin lessons. Students from the age of 9 years are also eligible to take guitar or woodwinds (clarinet, flute, recorder and saxophone) lessons. Lessons are offered during the after-school program. Chorus is also an enjoyable part of the Middle School experience. Each year opera takes center stage at Princeton Montessori School, when a large part of the student body from third year Primary through Middle School is involved in staging one. In addition, Middle School students write, produce, and perform a musical, deriving their theme from their current history instruction.
All of our students participate in physical activities as a regular and enjoyable part of their school day, with an emphasis on the word participate. Many physical education programs today seem designed to select out a small group of elite athletes within a much larger group of student “spectators.” The point of Princeton Montessori School physical education is the development of habits, knowledge, and skills that allow all students to get the most from their bodies, and set the stage for a lifetime of fitness, health, and enjoyable physical activity.
Full-day students from Toddler through Middle School receive weekly instruction in age-appropriate movement, fitness, or athletics. Each year, students build on skills learned in previous years. They also learn personal management skills, teamwork, cooperation, and sportsmanship. The program extends the school’s themes of self-sufficiency, respect, courtesy, and stewardship.
Toddler and Primary students improve their walking, running, and other locomotive skills. They develop strength in their large muscle groups. They discover the joy and freedom in movement; improve sensory awareness, eye-body coordination, body awareness, spatial relations, and social skills. Their intention spans increase, and they improve their ability to hear and follow directions.
Elementary and Middle School students learn about the importance of personal fitness, how to assess it, and how to set goals to improve it. They become comfortable with their bodies and with movement. They explore a variety of fitness activities, including ice skating, swimming, skiing; and they learn to cooperate with others. They work on improving their strength, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, balance, body awareness, and spatial awareness. The annual Field Day brings all the Elementary and Middle School children together for an enjoyable day of outdoor movement activities and games.
At Princeton Montessori School, we view computers as information management tools that are useful to students as they pursue certain tasks. And, like any tool, the more skilled the operator, the better the tool performs. We apply the same notion to the Internet as well, which to the well-trained becomes a powerful research and communications tool. We integrate computer and Internet study into our curriculum in both an age-appropriate and a task-appropriate way, as their use becomes helpful in class assignments.
Starting with Junior II, students are taught keyboarding, word processing skills and creative expression, followed by safe and efficient use of the Internet for research. They receive specialized training in word processing, technical knowledge, and presentations.