The Three Year Class Cycle

Children's House Primary 1 Primary 2
1st Year FoundationAge: 2+ ~ 3Age: 5 ~ 7Age: 9 ~ 10
2nd Year ExplorationAge: 3 ~ 4Age: 7 ~ 8Age: 10 ~ 11
3rd Year ApplicationAge: 4 ~ 5Age: 8 ~ 9Age: 11 ~ 12

The importance of the third year

The Montessori method is optimal when a child experiences all three years of the cycle. The first year is really an introduction, relaying the foundation for learning. Successive years building upon that foundation. In the second year, children explore the lessons and materials in more detail, by the third children really start to apply their learning in new ways showing levels of mastery. This is critical for the formation of higher level thinking skills. The third year in the Montessori environment is really the senior year. Third year students are confident in who they are; they become role models and leaders of the class, taking younger children under their wing to mentor, passing on or giving back what they have learned to younger children. This is a celebration of their learning and acquisition of knowledge and skills. Third year students know how hard it was to learn these skills and are generous with their understanding by being able to show their peers.

The final year gives a child the chance to develop leadership skills and to apply his knowledge in new directions. Additional benefits are that the class community only shifts by a third each year ensuring that friendships are always in place and children advancing do so together with an established group of friends.

Other benefits to the family is that the individual nature of each child's learning allows families to take holidays outside the peak holiday times. This can be accommodated twice a year and is in agreement with the class and head teacher.