Educating the Whole Child Through Service Work

October 11, 2016


We have always put emphasis on our students doing service work. We believe that students gain invaluable lessons from these experiences, such as learning to give of themselves, compassion, and a feeling of responsibility. Service work is an important part of educating the whole child.

The Ministry of Independent Schools came for a monitoring visit on September 21st. Our school was once again commended for having all the policies and required documents in place for the new BC curriculum. It’s so gratifying to be recognized for all our hard work.

As mentioned previously, the new curriculum has areas of competency, such as critical thinking, creative thinking, social responsibility and, positive personal and cultural identity. These competencies, when developed, will bring about a deeper level of learning and life-long experiences. The minister was so impressed with how advanced the Montessori method is in these areas and how service work and community has always been a part of our elementary Montessori curriculum.

The community service program at our school spans all the age groups. All students in our elementary school participate in our weekly buddy reading program where they are paired up with another student. They take turns reading to each other and older students help the younger with their reading.

All students also learn about caring for their classroom and school environment as part of their daily chore work. The responsibility experience helps them to feel a sense of ownership and pride in their environment.

At the primary level the students are learning about social responsibility in their classrooms, by learning how to be part of a group, care for their friends, their pets, and their environment.

The older preschool students begin mentoring the younger ones. The older students will help the others find work, clean up their work and even teach them how to use a material.

The kindergarten students do service work in the preschool and join their preschool friends on some mornings to help them with enrichment work. The kindergartens also go to Villa Carital (the senior’s home across our parking lot) to volunteer and visit with the seniors in an inter-generational program.

Our lower elementary also visit at the Villa and mentor in their own classrooms. The lower elementary take turns going down to the preschool classroom to help give lessons to the younger students and read to them.

The upper elementary students volunteer at the Villa as well, but they now go in small groups weekly and work upstairs in the Dementia ward where they have actual jobs to do, and definitely begin to feel like they are helping in the community. The upper elementary also take on the role of maintaining our school library by labeling the new books, shelving them, and cleaning the library.

Our elementary classrooms also have a student council meetings. These meetings are student led and they put together their own agendas. They discuss issues that arise in their classroom or on the playground that they would like to resolve, ideas for fundraising for classroom pets, ideas that they want to pursue in the classroom, or a new rule that may solve a problem. They sit and discuss agenda items and vote on solutions that are suggested.

All of these experiences lead to higher levels of social responsibility, social development and a sense of peace. Educating the whole child is essential for our community and the world, an ideal that Maria Montessori firmly believed in.

If you’d like to learn more about our school, we have two upcoming events that may interest you:

October 24th – Our Kids Private School Expo

November 9th – WMA Elementary Open House Evening


Visit this post for more details on the upcoming events


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