Lower School

So much of what we do at Barrie begins with our Montessori program in the Lower School.

International Children's Day

Join the entire Barrie community -- students, parents, teachers, and friends -- as we gather for our annual celebration of the many cultures of our campus and our world as part of International Children's Day. 

The Lower School curriculum is based on the philosophy and methodology of Dr. Maria Montessori. It is designed to engage children in thoughtful pursuits and encourage a lifelong love of learning. Students at Barrie experience concepts and develop skills at each level of understanding. We challenge students by establishing high standards for thoughtful work.

Each classroom is a structured environment. Teachers provide a consistent approach, which assists in the development of orderly thought. Hands-on materials are sequenced, and activities are organized into curricular areas by degree of difficulty. Within this framework, children develop at their own pace. Respect for self, others, and the environment is a fundamental theme and forms the cornerstone of all relationships. Guided choice and freedom with responsibility, based upon self-discipline and developmental needs, are also important aspects of the Montessori classroom.

Multi-Aged Classrooms

Barrie's Lower School is organized into multi-aged classrooms that reflect different stages of development and principles of Montessori education. 

  • Primary classrooms include children from age 18-months through 6;
  • Lower Elementary classrooms include grades 1 through 3;
  • Upper Elementary classrooms include grades 4 and 5. 

Multi-aged classes support educational goals in a variety of ways. Children are inspired through observation of others in the class, much as younger siblings learn from older brothers and sisters. Younger children learn from older children who serve as role models. Older children develop leadership skills and a sense of social responsibility. This structure allows for flexibility in educational style and pace, so that the child may advance in areas of strength and continue to work in areas that need additional attention. By spending more than one year with teachers and peers, students develop significant relationships. Likewise, teachers get to know students well.