8:30 to 3:00 Monday-Friday for ages 6 to 12 years
The elementary child is filled with a natural curiosity and excitement for learning. He can now explore the world not just with his senses but also with his reasoning mind and imagination. He wants to understand not just what, but how and why. Building upon the physical independence he achieved in the 3 to 6 (Primary) environment, the child now strives for intellectual independence.
Through the elementary environment, the child is offered the “keys to the universe,” in the words of Dr. Maria Montessori. The elementary guide inspires the child to want to know more and go deeper through small group presentations, which lead into independent follow-up work. The classroom also extends to the wider world through “going-outs” in which the child builds upon his research begun in the classroom.
Each school year starts with a series of “Great Lessons” which serve to introduce the six major subject areas of geography, biology, history, language, mathematics, and geometry. These stories introduce fundamental concepts and the subsequent lessons invite the child to study in more detail certain aspects of each subject area while exploring the interconnectedness of the universe.
Beyond the academic formation, the elementary classroom is a place of great social and personal growth as the children begin to understand themselves not only as members of a family, but also of a wider society. The elementary community offers the opportunity to explore expected norms of behavior in society.
During this period of development, the child is in a sensitive period for moral formation. This formation is fostered throughout the elementary community and specifically in the life of the Atrium (The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd). Children new to elementary prepare for the reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion in the Catholic Church.
Upon graduating from Siena Academy, many children have gone on to do very well in traditional schools. After six years in the elementary program, the Siena Academy graduate leaves with strong problem-solving skills, a creative intelligence, self-motivation, a sense of responsibility for his own learning, and the joy of learning.