At Bowen Island Montessori School (BIMS), we offer an inspired style of child care by blending key points of Montessori and play-based philosophies to create a calm atmosphere for children between the ages of 30 months and 6 years of age. Our primary intention is to provide a lively, dynamic and joyful place where children engage in a variety of activities while encouraging socialization and cooperative play. Our integrated program offers art, music, numeracy, literacy, science and creative play. BIMS’ peaceful and non-competitive setting believes in “I can do this” while nurturing each child’s natural love and sense of wonder. Small by design, BIMS is a place where children of different ages, interests, and abilities share the same loving, home-like setting. Our childcare is flexible by nature and is able to adapt to a family’s needs. BIMS is an enriched place to grow, discover and learn.
It’s in our Nature to Learn
A Montessori classroom is a refection of the community who uses it: children, families and staff. There are core materials present in most Montessori settings worldwide plus those activities culturally relevant so no two are exactly the same. A Montessori classroom is a “living room” for children, filled with an abundance of activities, meeting the diverse needs of the children, socially, emotionally and intellectually. Unlike other preschool programs, Montessori based programs have a multi-age grouping so children are encouraged to support, guide and learn from one another. The youngest child is offered calm understanding, patient and gentle hands of help and kindness from peers and teachers. The oldest child is able to offer gracious support and help from a place of wisdom and experience to peers without question. Each child is a unique individual with skills, interests and talents, which are celebrated and honoured.
The primary goal of a Montessori program is to support and nurture each child to grow, develop and learn at their own pace. Our holistic curriculum and practiced teachers allow children to experience the joy of learning, the time to enjoy the process and ensure the development of self-confidence.
In a Montessori classroom, children either play on mats on the floor or at tables. This permits a child to designate their “spot” to play uninterrupted. Children are encouraged to ask to join another child at play rather than just jumping in. Children at BIMS demonstrate respect for each other’s space and activity.
Our classroom offers space for movement, for individual play and for large group activities. There are quiet places to play and large tables where children can chat and share. Children are offered opportunities to learn about Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Geography through multi-sensory, sequential Montessori materials to facilitate this type of learning as well as other typical aspects of Early Learning including puzzles, blocks and other toy-like activities. Montessori materials are designed to intrigue children and encourage them to explore, discover and learn. Tasks/activities are designed so that each new step is built upon what a child has already mastered; a carefully planned series of successes builds and nurtures inner/self confidence.
A family can chose to opt out of Kindergarten for that year so their child can stay at BIMS through their fifth year and thereby entering the school system at almost 6 years of age.
Our Kindergarten aged children continue to experience the joy and benefits of mingling with children of mixed ages. Mixing ages provides our oldest children with an abundance of opportunities to develop leadership skills, to mentor and support their peers in experiences and activities that have become simple for them while offering greater social diversity. This year is one of leadership; they have friends of all ages, offering respectful insight and assistance willingly. Each child will joyfully journey on their own unique path of self-discovery, intellectual learning and growth both socially and emotionally; the seeds sowed earlier, tended to and nurtured burst into full bloom! Typically, our oldest children start to spend full days at BIMS, accordingly. .
Daily drop-in is available on any regular school day as space allows. Families can choose to do just a morning or an afternoon session or both. Just make arrangements prior to the day to ensure there is a spot available.