Primary Curriculum Child Care, JK, SK at Guelph Montessori School

In the Montessori primary curriculum, most materials are self-correcting. This quality enables children to work on their own--without constant correction and discouragement from a teacher or another child. The process is self-education, building self-confidence through competence. The Montessori approach, therefore, forms a solid foundation for the child's education and life. The child-centered learning environment allows our Directresses (vs. Teachers) to provide guidance and direction to each child based on their personal level and interest.

The primary curriculum at Guelph Montessori includes concrete materials, like the Large Bead Frame being used in this photo. By working--primarily on their own--with these materials, children can more easily grasp abstract ideas.

The main elements make up the Guelph Montessori School's primary curriculum:

Practical Life

The Montessori curriculum pays attention to practical life skills. Montessori students acquire these skills repeating the following exercises many times:

  • caring for plants
  • cleaning up spills
  • polishing shoes
  • setting the dinner table
  • fastening clothes
  • washing hands
  • using scissors
  • washing linen

These exercises offer the child the means of caring for himself and his environment. As well, they build confidence in the young child and allow his independent nature to flourish. Guelph Montessori teachers encourage the children to form gracious and courteous habits and to be respectful of others and of their environment. These activities provide the base on which the children approach more intricate academic exercises.

Sensorial Learning

In the Montessori classroom, sensorial materials play a key role. They are designed to sharpen the senses of the young child. Further, they enable the child to understand the many impressions received though the senses.

Examples of Sensorial Materials Each of the sensorial materials isolates one defining quality, such as;

  • colour
  • weight
  • shape
  • texture
  • size
  • sound
  • smell

Sound boxes, for example, are all the same size, shape, colour and texture; they differ only in the sounds which are made when a child shakes them. Other sensorial materials include

  • geometric solids
  • fabrics
  • square pythagoras
  • colour tablets
  • temperature bottles
  • cylinder blocks

Natural Learning

The Montessori sensorial materials help the child to distinguish, categorize, and relate new information to what he already knows. The child finds a sense of order in these materials.

More imporantly, he discovers the joy of learning that his environment has order. His intellect is trained to make order out of a multitude of experiences--this is the natural learning process.


Our language program begins with enrichment of vocabulary. For example, it is not unusual for a child attending our school to understand such words as

  • curvilinear
  • parallelepiped
  • continent
  • obtuse
  • conjunction

Children love beautiful language, and we give them exact terms like these to name their environment and convey their thoughts.

Natural Learning with Language Materials

Reading and writing come naturally to the children after they have worked for some time with two special materials:

  • sandpaper letters (which the children trace and sound phonetically)
  • the movable alphabet (the formation of words by combining phonetic sounds)

Further, the children work with materials to concretely learn the function of words. Finally, Montessori students experiment with reading analysis.


At the Guelph Montessori School, the child builds an understanding of numbers using concrete materials:

  • Number Rods
  • Beads
  • Cubes
  • Number Cards

The children combine, separate, share, count, and compare these concrete materials. Building on this foundation, we guide each child to more abstract mathematical constructions:

  • Tables
  • Charts
  • Arithmetic Games

All of the math exercises help the child to an internal grasp of basic mathematical concepts and processes. At this age the children have an extreme sense of order; all of them find mathematics simple, enjoyable, and satisfying.

Culture and Geography

Through our cultural activities, the children at the Guelph Montessori School gain a meaningful, involved acquaintance with:

  • plants
  • animals
  • basic science concepts
  • art

We introduce geography and earth science through appropriate materials, which the children work with individually and in small groups:

  • jigsaw-puzzle maps
  • model land forms
  • water forms
  • culture pictures

These help the child towards becoming a knowledgable, compassionate, and loving citizen of the world.


At the Pre-school level, basic French words and language structures are taught through songs, action games, and activities both oral and written. Children focus on themes such as the following:

  • food
  • animals
  • colours
  • family holiday celebrations

Children are encouraged to speak in French. They are also encouraged to participate as much as possible to gain confidence and achieve success.

Physical Education

At the Pre-school level, basic skills are introduced and improved throughout the year:

  • locomotion
  • manipulation
  • stability

Children enjoy physical activity through song and dance and they begin learning the importance of cooperation and fair play. By the end of the program, students will have developed an appreciation for a physically active and healthy lifestyle.