"It is true that we cannot make a genius. We can only give to each child the chance to fulfill his potential."
Elementary Program: 6 – 12 years
The Montessori elementary experience at Bridges is designed to build skills in decision making, problem solving, time management, and inquiry while exploring academic subject areas. Our specialized curriculum takes full advantage of the children’s innate curiosity to actively seek answers to concepts that interest them, expand understanding, and apply newfound knowledge in a meaningful context. As the children make personal connections to the subject matter, they naturally seek out additional learning opportunities and are motivated to explore ancillary concepts appropriate to their stage of elementary-age development.
At Bridges, learning is a journey of discovery. Through investigation, experimentation, and collaboration, we encourage strong habits of the mind. Students engage in self-directed study and independent research while developing skills and knowledge through individual instruction and small-group lessons. The goal is to create critical thinkers. To find the answers to lessons, the students are challenged to consider the questions to be asked, how to think through problems, how to analyze situations, and how to make vital discoveries themselves. Our elementary program embraces the Montessori learning sequence that begins with global concepts and builds toward specific details, demonstrating abstract concepts by working with relatable materials. Students progress from acquiring and integrating knowledge, to extending and refining, and finally utilizing knowledge meaningfully.
While Bridges offers a warm and supportive atmosphere, we also set high expectations for the quality of thought, work, content, and skill mastery.
In addition to traditional Montessori lessons, our curriculum integrates leading educational practices, including Waldorf concepts, Hirsh’s core knowledge series, and 21st century skills. Through hands-on and experiential learning we inspire children to become lifelong learners, balanced individuals, and participating citizens.
The Bridges elementary program is an interdisciplinary mix of historical and cultural studies, along with language, mathematics, sciences, geography, and the arts. We emphasize mastery of mathematical and analytical processes, writing, communication skills, and reading comprehension. Science, an integral element of our curriculum, includes botany, zoology, chemistry, physics, geology, and astronomy. Classrooms are arranged for group discussions while interest centers are filled with intriguing learning materials, fascinating mathematical models, maps, charts, historical artifacts, scientific specimens, and various apparatus. To promote technological literacy, computer skills are developed as students utilize the varied collection of educational software available.
The elementary classroom is a mini-society where children actively seek their contributing role in the group. Students share the responsibility of managing their community. They learn to respect and care for themselves, others, and the environment. As they develop, the children are encouraged to think beyond the classroom and become active members of their local and global communities. Research, field trips, as well as service learning projects are incorporated for the ages and interests of each group.
In the Bridges classroom, the teacher is a guide and generalist, serving as a role model positively reinforcing the child’s exploration of knowledge. Emphasis is placed on a love of learning, self-discipline, collaboration, and cooperation. The Bridges discovery approach to learning allows each child to map their own educational course.