Cuarto Creciente Montessori School is a private school, authorized by New England Association of Schools and Colleges (Boston, USA). It is built upon the principles of responsible parenting. It is also authorized by yhe Regional Deparment of Education in La Rioja, with center code 26008827. Thus, our center is a Montessori school, in which the entire Teaching Staff is officially trained as a Montessori Guides with Official Master´s degrees. The maximum number of students per class is 20 and they are accompanied by 2 Guides in each classroom, that is, the students are always attended by qualified Guides, and not Assistants. Accordingly, the teacher/student ratio in our classrooms is 1/10. Our american authorization makes of us an international school, and for this condition Cuarto Creciente is a bilingual school.
One of the main characteristics of the Montessori method is children are not perceived as an empty being that must be filled with knowledge, but that they acquire knowledge as a consequence of their own reasoning. In our school the child is the active subject of their learning.
Not only do we follow the Montessori Method rigorously, but we are also aware that neuromotricity is essential for brain development, hence the importance we attach to our psychomotricity room. We are trained in Creative Education, developed by Arno Stern, and we put this knowledge into practice in the painting room, etc.
Cuarto Creciente Montessori School is a place where the child is trusted. We trust in their innate goodness, in their desire to discover and understand the world around them, in their ever-present creativity and in their many abilities and intelligences. The professionals of our center know that it is necessary to offer the appropriate environment for children to develop all those attributes, with which we are all born, and to know what are the true needs of the child, what happens during children’s brain development and which steps will be involved.
Our key principle here in Cuarto Creciente Montessori School is, therefore, RESPECT. Respect for the child, for their pace, their individuality, their processes, their feelings and their needs. This is how our project is born, a mixed and secular school, which through the Montessori Method, teaches Preschool Education, from three to six years old, and Elementary Education, from six to twelve years old, according to the curriculum established by the Regional Department of Education in La Rioja.
Cuarto Creciente Montessori School´s methodology is based on the principles of self-regulation, confidence in innate curiosity as the driving force for learning, freedom of movement, preservation of self-esteem through respect for the child’s feelings, and the creation of a space where children feel safe.
Montessori Children’s House corresponds to the second cycle of Preschool Education, so it includes children from 3 to 6 years old. In this period, children are in a phase known as ABSORBENT MIND. This means that through their own Sensitive Periods (a block of time in children’s life when they are ripe to learn something in an exceptionally intense way) and in a prepared environment with suitable stimuli, they learn naturally and absorb information about their environment unconsciously.
During the stages of Workshop I (6-9 years) and Workshop II (9-12 years), corresponding to Elementary Education, children are in what Maria Montessori called “the second level of development”, also known as the REASONING MIND stage.
In Cuarto Creciente Montessori School we have different spaces to work, grow and experience:
In this classroom, children will work with the manipulative material Dr. Maria Montessori developed. Thus, the classroom is organized into work areas, as this pedagogical theory specifies for active learning in Children’s House: Practical life, Sensorial, Culture, Mathematics and Language.
In Cuarto Creciente Montessori School we consider essential to have a specific music classroom, as it is a fact that music helps children in their intellectual, auditory, sensory, speech and motor development.
The importance of giving children the opportunity to express themselves through painting is undeniable. Here in Cuarto Creciente Montessori School, we adhere to the principles of Creative Education, presented by Arno Stern in “Le Closlieu”.
In the very early stages of development, when a baby picks up two toys and hits them against one another, the corpus callosum is being activated, creating essential connections for communication between the cerebral hemispheres. The child needs to repeat a thousand times this little act in order to fix all the maths involved in it.
The playground, a space where children can move freely outdoors, provides experiences that make body, feelings and thoughts work in an integrated manner, which allows learning at various levels simultaneously. In this way, sensorial life integrates with the emotional and cognitive one.
We are aware that for the child who sets foot in our space for the first time, we are a group of strangers in an unknown place. That is why we suggest a period of actual adaptation: the attachment figures of the child are allowed to be present in the classrooms as long as necessary.
We are fully aware that sphincter control is a process that cannot be learned and, therefore, must not be forced, since it is a process of mere neuromuscular maturation.
In Cuarto Creciente International School children have full freedom of movement, a basic need for children at this stage from three to seven years old, just as Piaget established.
Every child is unique and consequently one of the main tasks of the guides in Cuarto Creciente International School is to observe the children in their full complexity, in order to get to know and guide each of them in the most suitable way.
Another central aspect in our school is the respect for feelings. We know that all feelings are necessary, as they are the symptoms that tell us that something is happening: feelings are something to be expressed, never hidden.
Cuarto Creciente International School strongly believes in encouraging cooperation among children and not competitiveness. As a matter of fact, the biological origin of life lies in cooperation.
There are no prizes, nor punishments in Cuarto Creciente International School. We believe prizes and punishments are two sides of the same coin, which generate mental schemes that drive children to act only for external motivations.
As mentioned before, children up to 7 years need to move and explore in order to learn. So, when they leave school, they need to continue playing and exploring, they must learn through experience.
Children in their early childhood are in a sensitive period for language acquisition. With this in mind and following the philosophy of intuitive learning, we find absolutely necessary to give children the opportunity to start learning a second language at this stage.
In our center we have a flexible schedule with the purpose of favoring self-regulation in smaller children’s rest and allowing them to gradually adapt their pace to more structured schedules.
Keeping in mind what has already been explained, it would be impossible to carry out this working methodology without having a low teacher/student ratio. This ratio is 1/10 in our school.
In Cuarto Creciente International School families are an active part of the education process. Firstly, we place a tremendous importance on the correlation between the philosophy of the school and what is lived at home, so that children do not perceive relevant dissonances.
The school is open from 08:45 to 14:00.
In the Preschool stage this schedule will be flexible, depending on the child’s needs.
Optional early bird service from 8:00 to 8:45 and dining service from 14:00 to 15:30, paid separately.
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