Upper Primary 9-12 Years

The 9-12 year old child

By the time children reach the age of nine, they are moving from being concrete intellectual explorers of the universe to becoming abstract intellectual explorers of the world. Children at this age are deep thinkers whose curious, reasoning and imaginative minds are asking questions about “Who am I?”, “Why?”, “How?” and “What if?”. They come to understand the interconnectedness and interdependency of every aspect in the universe. The concrete materials are still available at a deeper level. Experience and thought begin to connect.

The child’s education in Upper Primary continues to promote the development of his or her mental independence as well as the ability to manage the requirements of daily life with grace, confidence and effectiveness. The structure of the Montessori classroom encourages a high level of self-discipline. Through their work within the community of the classroom, school and the wider local community, children come to understand the value of cooperation and service to others. Explorations beyond the classroom are of high significance as the child learns to connect with their community and learns how society works.

The Upper Primary Curriculum

In Upper Primary, 9-12 years old, the children build on and extend the knowledge and skills they began with their parents, continued to build in the 3-6 cycle and added depth to in the 6-9 cycle. This cycle is one of consolidation, similar to the 3-6 cycle.

The 9-12 Upper Primary classroom

Research, independent study, and collaborative projects all teach children how to learn, not just what to learn. A variety of research tools, including books, iPads and computers are used as the children explore their interests much more deeply. They are attracted to ‘big work’ involving many people, many tasks and a large amount of knowledge and understanding. They have less need for exact repetition and need more variety and a need for more movement in service of the mind through experiential learning.

This is an intensely social period where group work is essential. Children want to ‘fit in’ and have a gregarious instinct for social community. At this age, children approach social problem solving through collaboration with others and have a strong awareness of right and wrong, whilst being obsessed with justice and fairness. Social patterns developed in the second plane will maintain their effects into adulthood and therefore affect society as a whole.

The education that started in the Middle Primary classroom is completed in Upper Primary. The final year brings an increasing emphasis on preparation for secondary school. Children from Blue Gum Montessori School make a smooth transition to a variety of high schools; private, public and selective. We are very proud of our students learning achievements.

“Without my experience at Blue Gum I would not be as confident and resilient as I am now.” Danielle, aged 11