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The Primary Program & Kindergarten

Program Overview

At BHMS the Primary program is the first of the mixed-age programs, which is a significant and critical component of the Montessori approach. It creates a unique cycle of learning designed to take advantage of the sensitive period in a child’s life between the ages of three and six, when the mind acts as an “absorbent sponge” for information. In the first two years of the cycle, the materials used help children to develop order, coordination, concentration, and independent work habits, which are essential for the more advanced skills and materials they will encounter at ages five and six. 

The Primary program offers children the opportunity to develop in a Montessori environment that focuses on the independent self within a community. Through the structure of the classroom and guidance from the teachers, children learn to take responsibility for their own learning. Small groups and individual instruction characterize the Preschool. Teachers move throughout the classroom, facilitating children’s work choices and social interactions.

  • Peace Mission:
    "Constructive education for peace… is a task that calls for the efforts of all humanity. It must aim to reform humanity so as to permit the inner development of human personality and to develop a more conscious vision of the mission of humanity and the present conditions of social life. These aims must be achieved not only because man is almost totally unaware of his own nature, but also because for the most part he does not understand the workings of the social mechanisms on which his interests and his immediate salvation depend." -Maria Montessori, from Education and Peace "An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking." -Maria Montessori, from Education and Peace Montessori’s peace mission is the global outcome of her method, which extends far beyond our academic content benchmarks. This work is not passive, a mere hope for the absence of difficult conflict and war. This is bold work that seeks to reconstruct society into an interdependent world in which all humans, not just the self, community, or country, are the beneficiaries of our efforts for justice. Maria Montessori wrote that our peace work begins and ends with students understanding themselves. It is through discovering other people and their stories that children begin to understand themselves. It is through discovering the way society functions for themselves and others that children begin to develop empathy and make their own plans for constructing a better world. Maria Montessori wrote that this is monumental work. The universally equalizing outcomes of her peace mission make it an essential component of the diversity mission at Brooklyn Heights Montessori School.
  • Fundamental Needs:
    The Fundamental Needs concept comes from the Elementary Great Lessons. The lesson is called Fundamental Needs of Humans. From their first year in Lower Elementary, students are taught the common characteristics of human society from the Stone Age to the present. They are taught that all people need: nourishment, clothing, shelter, defense and transportation as well as spiritual needs: art, religion, and self-adornment. The Fundamental Needs of Humans work is intended to demonstrate that all human beings have and have always had the same fundamental needs. The students will recognize that they too have those needs. We explore how groups of people satisfy these needs in different ways. Differences in cultures can be understood as an expression of how people satisfy their fundamental needs with the resources available to them.
  • Peace Mission:
    "Constructive education for peace… is a task that calls for the efforts of all humanity. It must aim to reform humanity so as to permit the inner development of human personality and to develop a more conscious vision of the mission of humanity and the present conditions of social life. These aims must be achieved not only because man is almost totally unaware of his own nature, but also because for the most part he does not understand the workings of the social mechanisms on which his interests and his immediate salvation depend." -Maria Montessori, from Education and Peace "An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking." -Maria Montessori, from Education and Peace Montessori’s peace mission is the global outcome of her method, which extends far beyond our academic content benchmarks. This work is not passive, a mere hope for the absence of difficult conflict and war. This is bold work that seeks to reconstruct society into an interdependent world in which all humans, not just the self, community, or country, are the beneficiaries of our efforts for justice. Maria Montessori wrote that our peace work begins and ends with students understanding themselves. It is through discovering other people and their stories that children begin to understand themselves. It is through discovering the way society functions for themselves and others that children begin to develop empathy and make their own plans for constructing a better world. Maria Montessori wrote that this is monumental work. The universally equalizing outcomes of her peace mission make it an essential component of the diversity mission at Brooklyn Heights Montessori School.
  • Fundamental Needs:
    The Fundamental Needs concept comes from the Elementary Great Lessons. The lesson is called Fundamental Needs of Humans. From their first year in Lower Elementary, students are taught the common characteristics of human society from the Stone Age to the present. They are taught that all people need: nourishment, clothing, shelter, defense and transportation as well as spiritual needs: art, religion, and self-adornment. The Fundamental Needs of Humans work is intended to demonstrate that all human beings have and have always had the same fundamental needs. The students will recognize that they too have those needs. We explore how groups of people satisfy these needs in different ways. Differences in cultures can be understood as an expression of how people satisfy their fundamental needs with the resources available to them.
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