Junior High (12-14 years)

 

Teenagers are often changed from the confident, courteous, academically oriented child of the Elementary years. Montessori education for adolescents at BHMS is intended to address the unique developmental academic, social, emotional and physical needs of the Junior High age.

Adolescents need to feel useful and effective. Adolescents require experiences they shape themselves, in negotiation with the adult.The young adult has a desire for increased independence; s/he needs to plan, make choices, and execute decisions, in the light of an increased awareness and sensitivity of his/her own strengths and weaknesses.

The teen years are a period for great moral and philosophical development simultaneous with physical development. Adolescents need to know about the evolution and functioning of society, to see themselves as world citizens and to investigate ones unique possible contributions. It is a time for great discussions and debates, for exploring issues and solidifying opinions and problem solving.

Adolescents need

  • To move - in physical work, in nature/ outdoors, long distance walks.
  • To work with their hands - making models, using tools, making art, using cameras.
  • To learn to think for themselves- times for solitude and reflection as well as dialogue.
  • Academic work that shows them human's greatest poetry, mathematics, and philosophy.
  • To build a just and respectful class or family community wherein they can express ideas, prepare meals and clean.
  • Real work that helps the needy and the sick, the elderly in society.
  • To practice grace and courtesy with adults, peers, younger children.
  • To participate in real economic cycles - earning real money in real jobs of value to society.

An adolescent whose needs are met demonstrates joy, selflessness, optimism, confidence, cooperation, self-discipline and good judgment. BHMS offers an adolescent program within the context of the regular Montessori school, providing a supportive learning environment specially tailored to meet the needs of adolescents. Happy and healthy teenage experiences are essential for developing the coping skills and knowledge for successful adulthood.

To this end, the integrated program of study for the BHMS Junior High follows Dr. Montessori's Educational Syllabus for the adolescent (1):

  • Self Expression - Music, Writing Workshop & Language Arts, Art, Physical Education
  • Psychic Development - Moral Education, Mathematics, Languages (French, Latin)
  • Preparation for Adult Life
  • Study of the Earth & Living Things (Physical Geography, Biology, Anatomy, Astronomy)Study of Human Progress & the Development of Civilization (Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Genetics, History of Science & Technology)
  • Study of History of Humanity (History of Exploration & Settlement, Political Geography, Environmental Studies, Religion, Peace & Conflict Studies, Law & Government, Literature/ Novel Study, National history & Current Events).

All subjects for the Junior High are taught by Specialist Directors because adolescents require the expertise of the adult who has focused in one area as an occupation such as: scientist, musician, French language expert and outdoor recreation leader.

Specialists

In addition to the standard curriculum as presented in their classroom, students continue their enriched classes from specialist instructors. Enriched classes include Religious Studies, Music, Science, French and Latin. More information on specialists can be found in the following Specialty Subjects:

FrenchMusicReligious Studies

Physical EducationArtScience

Highlights

Some highlights of the Junior High program include Marketplace. In preparation for Marketplace students decide on a business that they will design and run. They then prepare a business plan before readying their products or services to sell. On Marketplace day students set up their businesses in the gym and learn first hand the basics about running a business while, at the same time, observing market economics at work.

Junior High students also participate in two major trips off campus each year. One trip, lead by the French department, is to either Quebec City or Montreal. In this trip students get an opportunity to learn first-hand about the Canadian cultural mosaic while practicing their advanced French-language skills. The other trip is a week-long bike trip that students spend the year preparing for. This trip calls upon the independence and autonomy that students have been developing since the beginning of their Montessori education.

Students have also conducted off-site research for science projects at places like the University of Ottawa and Health Canada. Research projects are then presented in regional and national science fairs. BHMS is proud to have a number of regional and national winners of such events.

(1) Montessori, From Childhood to Adolescence.

Writing sample from Junior High student - Oct. Buzz "Farmers in Training"

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