The years of establishing values and social development.
These are two vitally important Montessori principles underlying all that early adolescents do:
• Firstly, they learn to recognize and to establish their own values – moral, social, personal and ethical – all the values which will help them take their place as responsible contributing members of society;
• Secondly, they learn social interaction and understanding. During this age they can also become sensitive to music and poetry.
Entrepreneurship skills are encouraged through an extra-curriculum under the mentorship of competent staff. Students write C.V.’s on a termly basis to apply for a particular job within the small businesses that have been created at the school. These include:
The Gardens, The Farmyard, cooking and preserves, wood-chopping, catering for and hosting functions, running a tuck-shop, banking, craft and woodwork. Besides the hands-on practical work incorporated in the business, they have to create a business plan, keep books and cheque books, budget, take order, advertise, market their products and sell their produce at the Friday Market. The Hostel allows students to interact daily with their peers, helping them to develop their social skills and establish their values. Mentorship is always on hand.
Montessori compares the young adolescent age to the 3-6yr age group, in terms of their need for concrete rather than abstract learning. Through the actual running of micro businesses and projects, integrating different learning areas, and consequently creating the opportunity for “hands-on” experience. The Knysna Montessori School caters for approximately 20 students per grade
in the 12-15 environment, with two register teachers and other specialist teachers responsible for different learning areas.
The daily programme:
The programme includes: Running of micro businesses, followed by a three hour working cycle covering the different learning areas. These consist of English, Afrikaans, Mathematics, Life Orientation, Economics and Management Sciences, Arts and Culture, Technology, Natural Sciences and Human and Social Sciences. The students follow the Montessori Cultural Topics of Earth and Living Things, History of Humanity and Human Progress and the Building up of Civilizations during the three year cycle.
As part of the entrepreneurial programme offered in the Middle School, children are required to bring pocket money at the beginning of each term to pay into their cheque books. The maximum amount is R250 and the minimum is R100. R50 of this is paid directly into their businesses as capital so that the businesses can start operating immediately.
Grade 9 Students write the IBT (International Bench Mark Test) in English and Mathematics.
The programme is balanced with educational outings and tours, relating to their studies. Drama is encouraged and all children take part in the annual play.
12-15 year term sports are from 2.30 – 3.30pm. Every student has to take part in sport at least twice a week.
Summer Sports: Swimming, MARS (Montessori Adventure Racing Sports), Athletics
Winter Sports: Netball, Hockey, Soccer, Adventure Racing
Club Days are compulsory at this level and consist of Board Games, Mountain Biking, Science Club, Tinkering Club, Trail Running and Maintenance Club. As the children’s interests change, so too will the choice of clubs.
The Knysna Montessori School Boarding House is the only Montessori Boarding House in Southern Africa and was established in 2004. The environment and its facilities have proven to be an outstanding success. It houses happy, busy students, in an informal, vibrant, co-operative and creative atmosphere. Our Boarding House currently has space for 34 boarders.