The Elementary Program at TMS is rooted in Montessori education, and provides the means for children to discover and develop critical age and stage related characteristics at a time when they are particularly receptive. Elementary students work towards a common set of skills including: collaboration, creativity, leadership, and academic excellence. In addition to their home room teacher, Elementary students also work with specialist teachers in Art, French, Music, Physical Education and Health, and Technology. The Elementary Program is located at our Lower School campus.
The TMS Elementary program is based on multi-age groupings as follows:
- Lower Elementary (Grades 1-3). The Lower Elementary curriculum takes advantage of the child’s natural enthusiasm for learning and lays the foundation for skills needed at the next level. The Lower Elementary program is an age-appropriate, integrated program that focuses on the development of the whole child; physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially.
- Upper Elementary (Grades 4-6). The Upper Elementary curriculum not only focuses on the acquisition of knowledge, but adds a level of inquiry by inspiring children to think and question. The Upper Elementary program builds on the acquisition of the skills cultivated in Lower Elementary with a focus on application in a real world context. The students develop internal motivation and foundational skills that allow our Grade 6 students to excel when they move into our Upper School for Grade 7 (and enter the International Baccalaureate Programme).
The Four Pillar Approach
TMS aims to guide and nurture the development of each student’s potential to become a successful, informed, active, compassionate and life-long learner who will make a positive contribution to our international community. In order to do this, we have created a program called the TMS Pillars which provides a framework and set of expectations for student achievement in the areas of Academics, Arts, Athletics, and Citizenship.
Here’s what the pillars look like in the Elementary Program.
The Elementary Program at TMS is rooted in Montessori education. Where families see a difference in an Elementary Montessori education is the attention that is paid to each student’s individual interests and passions and how that is used to drive their learning (e.g. interest and passion in a topic that will motivate a student to learn). TMS Elementary is a highly academic program that involves inquiry, innovation, and integration. Through adopting a mindset of ‘yet’ (as in, ‘I don’t know something yet, but I can), students build resilience and self-assurance – both fundamental qualities for 21st Century learners.
Subjects across the academic continuum (from math to language to history to innovation) are integrated and, wherever possible, bring in real-world situations to teach context and global-mindedness (e.g. elections). In addition to skills like problem solving and critical thinking, children learn leadership within a Montessori classroom (through peer role-modelling and mentoring in mixed-age classes). TMS elementary students are not afraid to take risks knowing that from mistakes comes valuable learning. When students reach Grade 6, they leave the Lower School with a solid foundation of academic skills that prepare them for entering the IB Middle Years Program in Grade 7 at the Upper School.
Athletics within the Elementary program focuses on collaboration, team-building, and foundational skill sets required to participate in a variety of activities. Students begin learning concepts like spatial awareness, rules and expectations, and then begin honing their movement skills like balancing, throwing, and catching. All activities within the physical education curriculum in Elementary are collaborative; skill-building progresses into practical application such as the use of skills within the context of a sport. Students also learn about health and nutrition concepts at each age and stage. Inclusivity and awareness are essential aspects of relationship-based education.
In the Montessori environment, the child is a change agent and an engaged citizen who wants to make a positive difference in their community. Elementary students are encouraged to get involved, and have opportunities throughout the program to foster leadership and collaboration skills. All students in the program participate in daily “Community Connections” – an opportunity to have peer discussions under a monthly themed umbrella that include topics such as: friendship and kindness. In these discussions (which are age and stage appropriate), students reflect on how a topic affects both them and the world around them, and how the theme ties into broader social issues like Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. When possible, students are involved in a variety of activities that support causes in our community and are encouraged to create fundraising opportunities or awareness initiatives for various organizations. Students develop skills and acquire knowledge about the environment, facilitating their roles as environmental stewards who foster a global perspective about sustainability and pertinent world issues. This attention to global issues and concepts directly compliments the IB Programme at our Upper School.
Within the Elementary program, Arts is made up of Music and Visual Arts. Both courses integrate with curriculum across all other courses like language, history, and social studies so that learning can occur in a variety of contexts and no silos occur between courses. In Visual Arts, students experiment with a wide array of artistic mediums such as drawing, painting and sculpting to create, collaborate and curate unique art pieces. Historical perspectives and reflection are key parts of the artistic process in all grade levels.
Within the Music program, Elementary students learn applied theory, repertoire development and technique through a mix of musical instruments, choir, and digital integration. They also learn music literacy which includes: ear training; historical perspective; improvisation; reading; repertoire; rhythm; technique; and technology. Within visual arts, students build on foundation skills and understanding concepts like: shape, form, texture, colour as well as what story their art is telling through form and medium (which range widely from: paint, sculpture, ink, pastels, and natural materials collage).
1. Schedule A Visit
We encourage you to join us at a virtual or in-person event! Register for an Information Session or Open House
2. Submit An Application
Please read through the Admissions Process (within our Admissions Resource Library), to know what is required for your child's application.
3 . Required Testing
You will be contacted to set up a test date for an in-house assessment.
4. Recommendation Forms
We require the student's current teacher to submit an a Teacher Recommendation Form.
5 . Acceptance Notification
The first round of offers will be shared in November, followed by the second round in March.