Our way of teaching and school life is based on the principles of Montessori pedagogy and the values of our school. Students need a stable, friendly environment to enable them to develop freely and in a well rounded way. Students' school life involves a large collection of knowledge, people and relationships which, together with their personality and social background, shape their future. We give them a solid foundation for them to find their way and be happy in life.
We treat students as partners, listen to them and enable them to play an active role in shaping the physical and social environment of our school. Students make classroom rules with teachers, express their opinions on school issues in the community circle, participate in classroom self-governance and organize school events. We also respect the age of the students and the different needs of eleven- and nineteen-year-olds.
Pastoral care can be defined as a commitment and active expression of concern for the growth and well-being of each student and the wider school community. We focus on cultivating an environment and culture that supports the physical, social, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual development of each student. Educational field studies and general experience clearly tell us that the educational and learning components are tightly linked (especially for younger students) and that well-functioning policies and student satisfaction are key factors that support the learning process. Our school is thus not only based on 'academics' but also on socialisation, work and functioning in a team.
The term 'prepared environment' refers to a space where the students meet all their needs both physically and emotionally, in order to maximize their full potential for learning and development. It is the basis for the operation of the principles of Maria Montessori’s philosophy.
We offer enough chances for team work as well as the expression of student’s thoughts and emotions. We employ various possibilities for them to apply their talents and skills. Students work in a pleasant environment prepared for independent research and exploration. The environment is adapted to students’ educational needs as well as the need for relaxation and spending their free time.
There is time assigned to individual work within classes. Students search and process information, perform experiments and work with laboratory instruments. We lead them to express and defend their opinions and attitudes, to discuss and work critically with information sources.
Through group work, we learn to cooperate with others, to solve problems, to take different roles in the team, to accept responsibility not only for their own work but also for the work of others.
In Montessori pedagogy, the students’ relationship to school as a place is very important. They participate actively in creating the school environment and they experience feelings of ownership, responsibility and belonging. We see the importance of sensory experience and a "hands on" approach.
Our subjects and areas of study often overlap. The teacher is not primarily a transmitter of knowledge, but an activator of learning. Our curriculum connects information and develops critical thinking and thinking in context. Our students work on many science projects (e.g. Water, Science Fair), humanities projects (e.g. Place, Antiquity), and microeconomics educational projects (e.g. Christmas Academy, Open House Days, Student’s Company)
In the first phase, the teacher uses interesting activities, stories and materials to capture student interest and motivate them so that they become interested in the topic on their own and in more depth. In this phase, the teacher shares terminology and key knowledge that will serve as a basis for further work. At the end of this phase, students choose specific topics.
In the second phase, students explore the topic on their own, research and evaluate information and discover principles related to the topic. During this period, the teacher acts as an observer and as a guide. When working independently, students learn cooperation, coordination, teamwork, distribution of roles and responsibility for the given task.
During the third and last phase, students introduce the results of their work, demonstrating their understanding of the given topic. They choose how they wish to present their project to their classmates or possibly to the public and they have a great opportunity to express their creativity and self-expression.
We emphasize the importance of developing economic independence and teach the subjects Financial Literacy Education and Education for Life. Students are introduced to basic economic concepts, the function of money, financial products and financial management. They create a budget, order material, calculate prices of individual items for sale, sell refreshments and products, calculate their profit, and keep an account book of small economic projects. Students are aware of the value of money and they learn how to spend the money they have earned. They decide how large an amount to keep for future investments, how much to contribute to something (e.g. above standard class equipment or a school trip) and how much to donate to a charity organization of their choice.
We understand choice as one of the key points in Montessori pedagogy. We believe that the fact that students can actively choose activities in class develops their motivation and responsibility for their own education. Typically, students can choose what activity they want to work on and in what form they would like to present the outcome.
Mixed age groups are an important element of Montessori pedagogy. At our high school, we integrate sekunda and tercie students for geography, history, PE and science; tercie and kvarta students for an optional subject; kvinta and sexta students for esthetics and optional subjects. Students across the years often meet when working on projects or on field trips. We believe that mixed aged groups have always been a natural part of everyday life allowing students to enjoy different roles than they might in a group of students of the same age.
An important part of our work is the study guide – a graphically presented overview of tasks and goals for a mid-term horizon. Study guides allow students to plan their time better, to choose between individual tasks and to work at their own pace towards their own goals. We believe that the use of a study guide strengthens the student‘s relationship to what is being taught.