Bay Farm Montessori Academy is a school of many strengths
To truly understand the Bay Farm community, one only needs to observe the respect that permeates the relationships in our school community. Modeled by faculty and administrators, by peers and parents, our school is energized by a fundamental belief in the importance of respect. Differences in age, culture, economics, learning style and more are celebrated in an environment of respect, and multicultural education offers students a taste of life beyond their family cores. Bay Farm is committed to creating an open, diverse community of learners, able to question, value and appreciate the of human experience.
Multi-age classrooms offer many advantages. Peer mentoring and collaborative learning take place throughout a Montessori classroom. Students new to concepts and skills are encouraged and mentored by those students who have worked through the same materials to achieve competence and find meaning. The relationship in peer learning environments is driven by the student’s desire to achieve an understanding of the material or work. The students who mentor have the advantage of taking a leadership role in the classroom, reinforcing what they know, and developing self-confidence in those areas. The teachers and students have an opportunity to build trust and understanding in the three-year cycle. Students have the benefit of working with teachers who know them and appreciate their learning styles and strengths.
Unique Class Structure
In a Bay Farm classroom, the structure is unique. Organized by curriculum areas, with shelved materials in sequence by complexity, Bay Farm classrooms are structured to create a sense of order and beauty. Students are diligent in their pursuit of work, learning to manage their time and physical movement in the classroom. Older students are guided by the daily requirements, schedule and high expectations.
Bay Farm is well-known for a hands-on approach to learning. The Montessori philosophy of working from the concrete (hands-on) to the abstract (conceptual) gives students a working knowledge of the principles to be applied. For example, the Montessori math materials engage students in the concrete manipulation of their parts. As the students work with the beads, rods, cubes, or other math manipulatives, their understanding of the relationship of numbers as symbol supports the practical application of math concepts in the classroom and beyond.
Education for Life
Montessori’s principle of “education for life” is pursued in Bay Farm classrooms everyday. Practical life skills prepare a student to become an independent person. In the classroom, this “education for life” takes place all day long as students accept responsibility for themselves, their environment and others. Students are assigned jobs in their classrooms, and have a sense of pride and self-confidence in their accomplishments. Exploring the environment beyond Bay Farm, students, beginning in Kindergarten, take regular educational field trips to enhance the curriculum and broaden the scope of the meaning of their studies.