Key Tenets

BILINGUAL SCHOOL ENGLISH/SPANISH, WITH FRENCH SUBJECT

Cuarto Creciente Montessori School is an international bilingual school authorized as such by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (Boston, USA). Therefore, there will always be two Montessori guides in every classroom, one of whom will talk to the children in Spanish, and the other will be a native English speaker who will communicate with the children in English at all times. A genuine linguistic immersion is thus produced, embracing and generating true bilingualism in our students. Furhermore, our students from Preschool age are introduced to French, which they learn with native teachers.

ADAPTATION PERIOD

A 3 year old child who goes to school for the first time will find themselves in an unfamiliar place with a group of strangers, which may cause children stress and anxiety especially if they are left alone. That is why we suggest a real period of adaptation: the attachment figures of the child are allowed to be present in the classrooms as long as necessary. Consequently, children accompanied by their mother, father, grandmother, or any adult they have as a reference will gradually bond with their new surroundings and companions, feeling safe and at ease. A peaceful transition that turns this new space into a place where they feel valued and their emotional and cognitive needs are satisfied, a place where they love to be and where they will gradually lose the need for their attachment figures to be present.

SELF-REGULATED SPHINCTER CONTROL

We are fully aware that sphincter control is a process that cannot be learned and, therefore, must not be forced, since it is an achievement that should develop in a natural way through a process of mere neuromuscular maturation. Sphincter control is a crucial matter in child development, and it must always be approached with respect for the child’s self-regulation, otherwise, it could cause many problems related to physical and psychological issues. Therefore, in our school diapers are welcome and there is always a person who is responsible for changing the children’s diapers when they need it.

SELF-DISCIPLINE

To quote Maria Montessori: “To let the child do as he likes when he has not yet developed any powers of control is to betray the idea of freedom.” and: “If freedom is understood as allowing  children to move the way they want, with incorrect use of  the objects around them, it is evident that at the same time deviations arise freely and normal conditions in children degenerate”. Therefore, it is very important not to confuse freedom with a lack of boundaries and self-control because a child’s development must be guided by the appropriate values.

Dr. Montessori called “normalization” the process by which the child abandons possible negative behavior and acquires appropriate conduct. Normalized children show kindness, patience, empathy, satisfaction for their achievements, joy for the achievements of others, self-discipline, self-control, the ability to choose and focus on an activity, etc. Bearing in mind the stage of development in which the child is at, normalization comes from concentration on an age-appropriate activity and from an active growth in the construction of their personality, achieved through effort and their own experiences. In conclusion, this is the assignment that each child must fulfill to educate themselves and acquire the self-discipline that will guide them in all aspects for life.

FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT

One of the main premises of the Montessori Method is that children are not individually assigned a chair and a table from which they cannot move unless they are given permission to go to the toilet or to leave the classroom for recess. On the contrary, Montessori classrooms are wide open spaces where children move freely, picking up different trays with working materials or  choosing an activity they want to work on. This way, a student can be seated at a table to work on a specific task and when they have finished, they put the materials away to then, for instance, choose other materials which they work with on a mat on the floor. After, they are able to continue working on other activities at another table.

This freedom of movement is connceted to the need for children, especially those of a younger age, not to be sat in the same place for long periods of time because this lack of movement leads to difficulties in motor skills, and consequently, brain and intellectual development, as well as problems in reaching ever longer periods of attention and concentration. Children need to move regularly.

Needless to say, this freedom must overlap with self-discipline and from this freedom children understand there is a reason why it is necessary to move quietly through the classroom, in order not to bother the rest of the students that are working in silence. They learn that the rules we follow facilitate coexistence amongst all members of our school community.

DAILY RECORD OF THE EVOLUTION OF EACH STUDENT

At our school each student works daily on an individual basis with a qualified Montessori Guide who, with the help of the digital platform Transparent Classroom, registers the student´s performance every day. Therefore, our school conducts a daily assessment using a digital platform, which is specifically designed for Montessori schools.

Everything each student has done is registered in Transparent Classroom, including photos of the highlights of the child’s work, as well as attendance, drop offs and pick ups, archiving of documents and conference reports, etc. In other words, it allows us to perform all tasks and activities related to the academic and administrative management of the center, as well as the educational follow-up of students.

Each family has their own personal password to exclusively access the information related to their own children and monitor their evolution and development at any time.

RESPECT FOR INDIVIDUALITY

Every child is unique and consequently one of the main tasks of the guides in Cuarto Creciente Montessori 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. We do not want to change them so that they are all alike according to arbitrary parameters. Our mission is to preserve their essence, let them be themselves and develop their innate potential, as Howard Gardner points out. Children must be the active subjects of their own learning and do it in their own way, always with our respectful accompaniment.

RESPECT FOR FEELINGS

Another central aspect in our school is the respect for feelings. We know that all feelings are necessary, they are the symptoms that inform us that something is happening with the child: feelings are something to be expressed, never hidden. In our space the expression of any type of feeling is respected and children will be attended to whenever they need to cry or if they feel sad or angry. We know that every feeling is valid and when an emotion is accepted, which is done through listening to that particular emotion not denying it, we can then let it flow so that it does not stay bottled up inside us.

COOPERATION RATHER THAN COMPETITION

Cuarto Creciente Montessori School strongly believes in encouraging cooperation among children and not competitiveness. As a matter of fact, the biological origin of life lies in cooperation: cells joining together to form organs, organs cooperating with each other to form organic systems, systems cooperating to form the different animal and plant species. The history of human survival is also connected to cooperation: hominids organizing a group to hunt an animal that is larger and fiercer than them, gathering together in groups to avoid predator attacks, raising children as a tribe so as we can take care of each other. What makes us great, the secret to success is cooperation. Others enhance our abilities in a sum of intelligences.

It should be noted that being competitive must not be confused with being competent, as being competitive means always being concerned about whether or not we are better than the others, whereas being competent means always giving your best. Consequently, it goes without saying that being competent is a desirable quality and necessary for the integral development of the person, to which the capacity for cooperation must also be added.

LOW RATIOS

Keeping in mind what has already been explained, it would be impossible to carry out this work methodology without having a low teacher/student ratio. This ratio is 1/10 in our school.

FAMILIES ARE PART OF THE SCHOOL

In Cuarto Creciente Montessori School families are an active part of the education process. Firstly, we place tremendous importance on the correlation between the philosophy of the school and what happens at home, so that children do not perceive relevant dissonances. Besides, we understand that it is essential to maintain fluid communication with families to share issues such as if the child has slept well or not, how he/she is feeling, if something has happened that could have upset him/her or if they have perceived a special interest in a specific topic… We will also keep you informed about your child’s development, the events that have happened in class and we will respond to any question you wish to ask.

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