Bishop Hamilton Montessori School offers a Christian based Montessori program. We believe that each child has a spiritual potential and need. BHMS is committed to the spiritual growth of each child. The spiritual growth of each child is achieved by Christian instruction of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and Christian Adolescent Curriculums. The Good Shepherd program has its pedagogical foundation in the Montessori philosophy which is deeply rooted in the Bible.
The Good Shepherd Catechesis is:
- Based on God’s unconditional love
- Gives the student the teachings of Christianity
- Allows the student to experience God’s presence in a prepared retreat-like environment
- Invites the student to encounter God through Worship gatherings
- Encourages the student to participate in Worship through leading the student body in readings, in Biblical dramas, in the choir and in preparing power point presentations for Worship gatherings.
As a result of the Christian teachings and time in prayer students develop a natural desire and knowledge to:
- Understand that they are loved unconditionally by God
- Develop and grow in their relationship with God through prayer
- Grow in further knowledge about their faith
- Develop community mindedness
- Bring and share one’s gifts with the community
- Be in relationship with a community in which one can lean on
- Pray with one another in a community context
- Develop a moral responsibility
- Be conscious of and harmonious toward the common good
- Contribute to society
Casa Good Shepherd Catechesis
Our Good Shepherd Atrium is a child-sized, prayerful environment where students are able to use hands on religious materials to learn about and encounter God in an experiential way. The Atrium gives students a place to come to each week to pray and to have community worship with other children. Our school year begins with lessons on prayer, the Bible, the Altar, the Liturgical colours and Liturgical calendar. We then move into the Advent season and focus on lessons of the Prophecies and narratives of Jesus’ birth and the geography of Israel at Jesus’ time. This is followed by lessons on the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God. Our focal presentations center on the love of God as seen in the parable of the Good Shepherd. During the Lent and Easter seasons, students receive presentations on the Last Supper and the accounts of Jesus’ resurrection. We draw the year to a close with our lessons and celebrations around Pentecost.
Elementary Good Shepherd Catechesis
Atrium sessions begin with prayer and Christian meditation. Prayer is composed by the students and consists of prayers of thanks, praise and petition. Christian meditation helps the students to be calm, focused and helps the students to be aware of their body and breathing. This ‘listening’ type of prayer gives the students a sense of wonder, for it is in this time of silence that they experience God’s peace and love. Christian meditation ends with reflection and journaling. God’s covenant relationship with humanity is fundamental to biblical studies. This is the great ‘reaching out’ and ‘unconditional love’ God has for each one of us. The hands on study of the ‘Gifts of God’ show that God created our world with an abundance of gifts so the earth would be fully prepared for human kind. The students see that it is our special role to care for all around us. In the New Testament, we study the historical events of Christ’s life, in particular his birth, death and resurrection. We also look at the important images Christ portrayed during His life, such as: the Good Shepherd (who “calls his sheep by name and the sheep listen to His voice”), Christ the Light (“I am the light of the world”), and the image of the True Vine (“I am the vine, you are the branches). These parables help the student to experience the love of God and their relationships with those around them. The Moral Parables offer a way for the student to examine and compare their behaviour with that of the Pharisee, the Tax Collector and the Good Samaritan. The parables of the Found Sheep, the Found Coin and the Prodigal Son help the student to know God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. Our synthesis work looks at comparisons in the Bible. The students find connections within events and stories, such as the Infancy Narratives and the Kingdom of God parables. All of the presentations go hand in hand with the Liturgical Year.
Junior High Curriculum
The foundational work of our Christian Studies program centers on God’s Covenant: “I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1). Other scriptural passages studied are along the themes of family, peers, community, authority and issues of social justice. â€¨â€¨The students are called to see that they are part of God’s family and that they are called to a relationship of responsibility within their families, circle of friends, communities at large, and also with the earth. Prayer and meditation are a core part of our gatherings, along with individual art and journaling, which give the students the opportunity to reflect on their relationship with God and others. This socially minded youth thrives on the active group work of drama, group discussions, debates, group and teamwork challenges. This approach helps them to learn about God and scripture in a dynamic format.