The Middle School Program is a 3-year program encompassing grades 7, 8, & 9.
Completion of all three years is required. We encourage teens and their parents to learn more about this commitment before signing up.
Entry for all students to the program is at grade 7. Given the multi-year nature of the program we typically do not accept students into grade 8 or 9 without direct experience from an equivalent Montessori program.
Our Middle School program follows the BC Curriculum and provides a fully implemented Association Montessori Internationale Middle School program. Our teachers are Association Montessori Internationale trained & are also BC certified teachers. The program is monitored and inspected by the Ministry of Education.
Our unique farm-based environment offers teens a multitude of hands-on and experiential opportunities to deeply connect with their learning and with nature. At this stage of development, teens are actively exploring their sense of self and finding their purpose. Our nature-based Montessori approach is suited to supporting students positively through this growth phase.
Each Middle School class is made of up to 24 students ages 12-15 (grades 7-9). This intentionally mixed-age grouping enables leadership & mentorship development in a collaborative setting for students. While still focussed on experiential and hand-on learning, we also provide a 2:1 Macbook environment at this level to assist student research, coding projects, presentations and written expression, etc. Cell phones are not permitted in class.
Our Middle School program is supported by specialist teachers who provide exceptional French, music, dance, art, land-based and other assistance programs for students. Local industry professionals also form an integral part of the learning in areas such as geology, astronomy, horticulture, coaching, and theatre (etc).
There is the expectation of 'freedom & responsibility' in our program. Students are free to move through the curriculum at their own pace, making choices and following their interests under the guidance of their teachers. They know that they are an integral part of their team and community. They also know that they have a responsibility to support and contribute positively to their community over their three year stay in the program.
Students in our program gain transferrable practical life skills. Our students regularly cook, sew, run a business (or two), manage finances, make a plan for their future, create art, write plays, engage with nature, conduct citizen-science, travel locally and abroad, research, explore new ideas, work with animals, and explore ways to express themselves.
Each year, students complete a wilderness 'Odyssey' with their teachers, peers, and expedition guides. This enables the class to bond deeply from the start and establish healthy roles away from home. Students return ready to take on the challenges of an exciting year ahead ... armed with funny stories and memories of a challenging and fun trip!
Completion of all three years of this program is required. We encourage teens and their parents to think deeply about this commitment before signing up. Spaces are limited.
Our students have sucessfully transitioned to public and independant schools into grade 10. There are many great options for families in the area.
We have found that a great fit for our students is the High School at VIU. This is a small International High School (grades 10-12) set right on the campus of Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo. Many of our students transfer there for its international focus, experiential learning, exceptional faculty & staff, as well as access to dual credit university courses. This is a well rounded program and long running program that is currently applying to become an IB World School.
We work together with each family to help find the right place for their child's next important step in education and love to welcome students back for visits!
"Independence in the case of the adolescents has to be acquired on a different plane, for theirs is the economic independence in the field of society. Here, too, the principle of "Help me to do it alone!" ought to be applied."
Dr. Maria Montessori, (From Childhood to Adolescence, p. 67)