The International Montessori School has been an authorised International Baccalaureate World School since 2008.
Montessori education is very compatible to the IB model of secondary education for several reasons. Looking at both missions, they are both aiming towards ‘offering a high quality international education for a better world’.
The IB mission is as follows: ‘The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect’.
Maria Montessori already encouraged pedagogy to change in the early 1900’s. She was convinced that when the natural patterns of development are taken into account and an optimal learning environment is created, children gain self-knowledge and a positive self-esteem. This foundation allows them to develop to their utmost. This creates happy and balanced people. Together with skill based learning and a vast curriculum they develop knowledge on and empathy for others and the world around them. Thus becoming conscious producers and agents of change for a better world. This theory is reflected in the school’s vision and mission statement:
Our vision is to assist children in their development to become independent and self-thinking individuals who work to create a better world for themselves and others.
Our mission is to:
♣ Help children develop their complete personality
♣ Help children become confident and enthusiastic life-long learners
♣ Contribute to peace and understanding by developing respect and valuing differences.
Students entering the International Montessori School and Child Development Centre at a young age are in the fortunate position to complete Early Childhood, Primary, Middle Years Programme and the Diploma Programme in an individualised and intercultural fashion.
Being the first school in Belgium offering the IB MYP programme, motivated students have the opportunity to become fully prepared to enter the Diploma Programme.
Middle Years Programme (IB MYP)
The Middle Years Programme is very settled in ‘The Barn’ of ‘Hof Kleinenberg’. The student’s learning areas include a large lesson and workspace area upstairs, the multipurpose facility used for art, theatre, music and mentoring, the science lab, the library and the outdoor areas.
Why put large groups of teenagers in ‘school-boxes’ of 40m2 whilst they want to be acknowledged and simultaneously become members of an extended group and society at large? At our Secondary section, students are exposed to the various subjects, taught in an open classroom area with different teaching stations. They find themselves in small groups that function in a flexible manner and a wider multi-aged community that is formed through collaboration. Students learn, cook, eat, clean, play, and work together. This interactive community stimulates each other in many ways.
Teenagers are ready to find out what their place is going to become in society. Therefore not all learning happens at school. Besides classroom learning, MYP students join society at large:
- The unique mini-entrepreneur project ‘Lease a Christmas tree’. With this project, they sponsor preschool children at Maternelle Simandari in Burkina Faso.
- Perform theatre productions and organise art and craft sessions in the local retirement home
- Organise excursions related to curriculum topics, team building, sightseeing and sports
- Attend theatre performances in Brussels
- Perform catering activities for the parent body at large
- Prepare intercultural experiences for the parent body.
Diploma Programme (IB DP)
The Diploma Programme is designed for students who want to continue their learning at university. The beauty also being that it is internationally recognised. The student can go to just about any university worldwide!
We cater for small groups of students at the time. We believe to do this age justice, instead of being ‘a number’ in a large group, they need direct contact with their teachers and mentors. They also need to continue to develop all areas of their personality. It is not only academics that make us good professionals at a later stage in life. IB, as is Montessori, very strong on skill-based learning. It is the continuous development of communication, collaboration and respect for others that will allow them to succeed in the different areas of life.
The IB offers a diploma in a wide field of studies, thereby staying flexible in future career/study choices. Students choose six subjects of which they do three at Standard and three at High level. The school offers the subjects that are in line with the strengths of the students. This can vary per academic year.
The students enrolling aim to successfully complete and obtain the International Baccalaureate Diploma. Therefore it needs motivation, dedication and autonomous learning skills. It is up to the student to do it!