Our multi-age elementary program promotes the collaborative learning so characteristic for this age group, and creates a social dynamic that supports the growth of a kind and inclusive community of lifelong learners. The interconnected, advanced curriculum cultivates interest and curiosity. The Montessori materials facilitate the natural transition to abstract thinking and allow children to practice the intellectual exercise needed to advance academically and the be a successful member of a community of learners.
6 Years Old to 11 Years Old (Grades 1–5)
“Education between the ages of six to twelve is not a direct continuation of that which has gone before, though it is built upon that basis. Psychologically there is a decided change in personality, and we recognize that nature has made this a period for the acquisition of culture, just as the former was for the absorption of the environment.”
(To Educate the Human Potential, p. 3)
Our Elementary program is designed for children ages 6 to 11 and consists of Lower Elementary, which includes grades one and two, and Upper Elementary, which includes grades three through five. The program supports the emerging student as he enters a new developmental phase filled with wonder, interest, and active enthusiasm. By sparking imagination and following a student’s passion, teachers create an environment that allows children to thrive academically as well as develop a sense of belonging in the classroom and school community.
During the Elementary years, children develop improved physical abilities and better body control. Along with their physical growth and development, children begin to embrace more logical thought processes. Both these milestones enable the child to participate in organized games and activities with his peers. They are also now able to achieve mastery of basic literacy skills and continue to read and write competently. Socially, they make great advances in understanding self, morality, and friendships.
The curriculum is purposely designed to support the student’s increased ability to begin to move from concrete use of materials that support academic concepts to developing abstract thinking. Character development shares equal importance. Students are supported in developing a sense of justice, moral development, and a strong desire to be individuals within a strong community of learners.
Each student in our Elementary program participates in small-group as well as individual lessons, working independently to complete assignment expectations. Assignments are clear and concise to meet the needs of the child’s developmental stage and to maximize accountability for success. Students set goals for their emotional, social, and intellectual growth. To ensure proper academic achievement, there is a sequence to the curriculum, and students are expected to reach certain benchmarks at key developmental points.
Montessori teachers engage children in inquiry-based learning; they tell stories to inspire the children’s imaginations rather than present facts and figures for memorization. In support of developing academic skills, the comprehensive curriculum contains concrete and abstract concepts that are introduced each year in the form of five “Great Lessons.” The lessons vary in complexity and depth as the student grows, constantly building on what he or she has learned while encouraging teacher-guided independent investigation and research across all subjects. The curriculum then builds from these lessons, raising questions and enticing the student to want to learn more.
Our expectations for student accountability and achieving success resides at or above norms for all subject areas. Assessment is done in both formal and informal ways, and our goal is to use authentic assessment tools. Authentic assessment occurs when the student does not merely memorize curriculum, but applies the knowledge and skills acquired to meaningful projects and written work. The thinking process in the work becomes as important as the finished product.
What Parents Are Saying
“Our child previously attended a reputable public elementary school. During that time, she often complained that she was bored at school. I was concerned that the school's 'one-size-fits-all' education model was gradually dimming her thirst for knowledge. I wanted the flames of her engagement and curiosity to be fanned, not extinguished. She is now back at Princeton Montessori and I am happy to report that she is no longer bored. In fact, her inner flame has never been stronger!”
“Our Primary student is learning remotely this year due to the pandemic. He is really is enjoying all the works that come home to him. He tells me things like 'I love my Montessori works' and 'my works are beautiful.' My husband and I see him growing and learning so much even amidst our virtual constraints. Having tailored materials for him to work with makes all the difference in the world and we're grateful for the thought and care you put into curating them.”
“The other day I came downstairs and my 4-year-old son was listening to 'Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart' on Alexa. He told me that Mozart's dad was named Leopold and his sister was Nannerl (it took him a second to remember her name and it sounded made up, so my husband and I googled it. Sure enough he was right). We asked what else he had been learning and he rattled off Antonio Lucio Vivaldi’s full name and referenced The Four Seasons. I think my jaw is still on the floor. It turns out that the Primary children have been learning about composers this fall and listening to their music. What incredible exposure for these young children!”
“Princeton Montessori is the very epitome of the principles of Maria Montessori. The School offers a nurturing, creative, academic, and well-rounded development for each child. As a parent, we cannot offer our daughter a more valuable first gift.”
“The faculty are, bar none, the absolute best. The teachers are very knowledge both about the Montessori philosophy and the best ways to work with children. I ask for their advice and insight for any issues we’re having at home, quite often. They’re also incredibly warm and nurturing with the children in a way I have not seen at any other school.”
“I’m struck by how much better the Montessori toddlers are at playing and working peacefully with their peers than toddlers in other nursery school programs. I credit the gifted PMonts teachers, and the Princeton Montessori educational approach, for how confident, happy, and collaborative toddlers in the PMonts program seem.”
“Our son is so proud of being a third-year Primary. He has attended this incredible school since he was one year old. He had absolutely wonderful Toddler teachers and flourished under their care. Now, he is a third-year Primary and we know he will be more than ready for Lower Elementary. Thank you to all the Teachers & Staff!”
“The school runs with one philosophy and so every faculty member and admin personnel share the same vision for the child. This consistency is unique in our area to Princeton Montessori. Combined with the integration of the teacher training program, we can proudly say that the spirit of Dr. Montessori’s principles permeates every aspect of our school. That’s what I value the most about our school!”
“Education is both a gift and a right. I feel the teachers at PMonts help our children to appreciate the value of their education. Understanding the value involves looking beyond school and appreciating how education is a tool that will allow them to explore challenging goals, to grow as individuals and most importantly, chase their dreams.”
“I will never cease to be amazed at the capabilities of the young child. In the Montessori environment, the very youngest students show incredible independence and competence. At Princeton Montessori School the teachers truly help the children to “help me do it myself”.”
“When I think about my personal philosophy on education I can check all the boxes with regards to the education my daughter is receiving at Princeton Montessori. I feel the teachers motivate the students by focusing on appreciating the value of education and the diversities of peoples around the world while stressing and leveraging the power of the uniqueness in each individual student. Ultimately, the role of an educator is to shape a new generation that will create a safer and better world for the future.”
“Princeton Montessori School is a school that exceeds any expectations imaginable. The school follows each and every child on an individual basis and nourishes each child’s academic, social, and emotional needs. It is a school where teachers appreciate all unique qualities each child brings.”
“Princeton Montessori School turned out to be the best investment ever. We made some sacrifices in our lifestyle in order to be able to afford sending both children all the way through 8th grade, but now we are proud to note that we have two capable, confident, well-mannered young adults who are a pleasure to be around and who continue to love to work hard in their studies.”