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Casa Programme

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Our Casa programme provides a warm, caring. Inviting and a positively engaging atmosphere in three very carefully prepared, but physically distinct environment. Young children take in a tremendous amount of information from their environment with what Maria Montessori called "the absorbent mind." The “conscious absorbent mind” way of learning is the unique ability of our multi-age group of 2.5 – 6 year old children in the Casa classrooms. Our Casa programme delivers an enriching hands-on learning experience with specially formulated, purposeful Montessori materials for Practical Life activities, Sensorial Exploration, Language, Arithmetic, and Culture.

In our Casa classrooms where the freedom of movement and the freedom of choice are nurtured, using coordinated movements to accomplish tasks leads the child toward self-regulation and self-control. Children develop observation and problem-solving skills in our carefully prepared environment where natural limitations are set that instills respect of self and others as well as establishes children’s respect towards their environment. …... By manipulating, experimenting, and discovering, children begin to move from the concrete to the abstract as they prepare for the more complex studies of the HHMS elementary program.

The Practical Life curriculum is the cornerstone of the interconnected study areas of the Montessori philosophy. Its multiple goals over the three-year cycle provide practical experience in everyday activities. Our Casa children, as they work through these activities with gradually increasing difficulty, not only teach physical skills, but also prepare the children for subsequent or concurrent work in mathematics, language, and socialization. The manipulation of concrete materials strengthens the arm, hand and finger muscles, while increasing fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination and the pincer grip. The ordering, sequencing and following specific steps, recognizing patterns are all essential attributes in building a solid foundation for our students’ later academic studies. The ultimate lesson, however, is amplifying the child’s level of concentration-without it, nothing else is possible.

Studies in our Casa classrooms mark the beginning of conscious knowledge. Sensorial Exploration is the key to knowledge in the Montessori classroom. Sensorial materials are designed to develop and refine all five senses of the students. They help young children learn how to think, reason, make distinctions, make judgements and decisions, observe, compare, and better appreciate their world. Students learn to distinguish and differentiate physical properties through, providing early Mathematics and Language preparation. And most importantly, sensorial explorations enable children to classify the tremendous amount of information they have acquired since birth.
 

Children are learning language long before entering the Casa classroom. By using their senses as tools, children absorb information about their language, and they learn it with perfect grammar and sentence structure without being taught. In the HHMS Casa Programme children are given the opportunity to practice public speaking through group presentations, storytelling and poetry, and they will increase their ability to hear and recognize sounds through auditory exercises. Learning the sound rather than the name of a letter in the alphabet rewards our students with the ability of building words on their own as their first writing activity. At HHMS students learn to write in cursive for its multiple benefits. Cursive writing resembles the flow of our thinking, providing children with a deeper understanding of how connecting sounds will form a word, and connecting words will describe our thoughts in sentences. Our Casa children’s language studies are enriched with French instructions delivered by a specialty teacher daily.

The HHMS Casa Programme embraces Maria Montessori’s discovery of the “mathematical mind” this age group of children are gifted with. She proposed that logical thought stems from the human mind's ability to organize and categorize. The aim of the Arithmetic activities is to help students develop their thought processes, not to simply teach math facts at an early age. With hands-on materials the decimal system, number studies, linear counting and the operations are explored. Students begin to understand the concrete through manipulation, experimentation, and invention, which prepares them for abstract study at the elementary level.

History, geography, physical sciences, botany, and zoology are all incorporated into the Cultural studies at the Casa level. These components support Montessori's strong belief in the need for global education. Exploration and inquiry are encouraged by fostering and nurturing the young child's curiosity. By exploring in the cultural materials the children define their individual spirit, as well as a sense of wonder of people and awaken their curiosity of the world.

Our Music lessons with a specialty teacher combine individual and group work with work designed to appeal to a variety of learning styles. Children explore the different genres of music, learn about great composers and musicians as they immerse in music history. The goal of our Physical Education Programme is to instill in the minds of our young children the importance of finding the right path to a lifetime of physical fitness, to establish healthy habits, to create a positive body image, to improve self-esteem and concentration in all areas.

At HHMS our Casa Programmes are further enriched with organized field trips that are thoughtfully preplanned to support the Montessori curriculum. Outreach programmes particularly favoured by the students and intensely supplement our already rich Casa curriculum.  

The individually customized lessons are presented on a one-to-one basis in the casa classes with the teacher devoting her full attention to the student. Small group work is also encouraged to allow social interaction while still concentrating on academics. The child’s self-confidence is fostered through positive reinforcement and independence building activities in a non-competitive, positive environment.

Daily Routine: Casa

7:00am - 8:30am: Before School Programme
8:30am - 8:50am: Arrival
9:00am - 11:45am: Montessori Work Cycle
It is during this time that the children have morning snack
11:45am - 12:00pm: Half-day Student Dismissal
11:45am - 12:15pm: Lunch
12:15pm - 1:15pm: Outdoor Recess
1:15pm - 3:45pm: Montessori Work Circle 
It is during this time that French, Spanish, Music, Phys-Ed, Martial Arts, Visual and Performing Arts classes take place
3:45pm - 4:00pm: Dismissal
4:00pm - 6:30pm: After School Programme