Richmond Montessori School provides a rich array of specialty academic private school programs that span all ages and support the core Montessori curriculum at each level.
These specialty classes are led by highly skilled teachers who engage learners to stretch and express themselves creatively, academically, physically, and socially and create leaders throughout the Richmond area and beyond.
Creative expression is essential in a Montessori education.
Students in our program learn to think creatively, use their “right brains,” and take risks with ideas and materials. The Richmond Montessori School art experience provides space to veer off in a new direction, experiment, and self-evaluate artwork as part of the creative process.
To nurture creativity, each month the art teacher brings a variety of new art resources and materials into the Toddler and Primary classrooms to support and enhance the curriculum. Under the guidance of the art teacher, students in the third year of primary, elementary and middle school visit the art studio weekly for direct instruction and hands-on practice with a wide assortment of techniques and mediums. Students explore art history, artists, movements and periods through their own studies and compositions in visual arts. The art teacher works collaboratively with our Montessori teachers to integrate their curriculum themes into the art experience.
The RMS music program was created to foster a sense of joy in making music along with a focus on skills development. Concepts of tonal and rhythmic competencies are developed through creative exploration to help children develop listening skills and an internal understanding of rhythmic and harmonic elements. The social and performance aspects of music are also woven into the learning experience and change according to level.
Music class for toddler and primary students provides plenty of physical movement so they can feel the rhythms as they listen to a wide variety of music, sing, and learn about musical instruments. Lower Elementary students delve deeper into music literacy and experience scales, harmony, and learning to sing and play instruments together. Upper Elementary and Middle School students begin to develop their music performance skills through choral music, and music history is part of the curriculum for older students at this stage.
The RMS Library is a busy, active place! Librarians assist students and faculty in finding resources for both reading and research. The approximate 10,000 item collection is geared to meet the specific academic needs of Montessori learners. From toddler board books to sophisticated identification field guides for older students, the library has something for everyone. Toddlers and classes enjoy thematic story time incorporating song and movement and arts and crafts. They learn basic book-care rules and ways to become responsible library users. Older students participate in genre, author, and novel studies. They learn basic library classification skills and how to use our online catalog. They work with reference aids such as atlases and thesauruses. In addition to their weekly designated library time, students have open access to come to the library as needed for additional check-out opportunities and to work and study. The librarians reinforce the students’ lifelong love of literature and learning.
Technology is an essential part of 21st century education. At RMS our private school students learn how to use online resources to conduct research and how to creatively present their findings using the most up-to-date applications. In Lower Elementary there is a strong emphasis on basic keyboarding and word processing skills. A methodical approach to research is taught along with Internet Safety and the ethical use of resources. The concepts of copyright, plagiarism and citations are introduced. For research, lower elementary students have access to Enchanted Learning, Word Book Online, and the award-winning PebbleGo program with its audio features, educational games and multimedia. Students at this level are guided in using the Internet. In the Upper Elementary classes there is a stronger emphasis on independent research using online databases and websites. Students study copyright, Fair Use Guidelines and the correct format for citing sources.
A variety of applications such as ComicLife, iMovie and PowerPoint are used to create multimedia presentations that students skillfully present to their peers and parents.
The RMS Physical Education program allows children to develop motor patterns, practice skills, experience a variety of sports and games, learn rules of the game, and practice good sportsmanship. From Toddler through Middle School, all children at RMS are part of a greater effort to nurture healthy lifestyle habits and physical activity that is part of their daily lives. Finding activities that will foster a lifelong love of physical fitness and activity is the focus. Our aim is to support students in achieving their personal best and to experience a wide range of activities, movement, and sports in an atmosphere of teamwork and collaboration.
Our Spanish program is focused on promoting enjoyment in learning the Spanish language through listening, speaking, writing, and exploration of Spanish-speaking countries and cultures. In the toddler program, children experience the sounds and richness of the Spanish language through songs, games, and engaging activities. The Spanish curriculum includes basic vocabulary, counting, and colors. As students progress through our Primary and Lower Elementary programs, their time in Spanish class increases and they begin to study Spanish grammar, vocabulary, and the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. In Upper Elementary and Middle School, the elements of comprehension (listening and reading) and production (speaking and writing) are emphasized. The variety of learning experiences expand as students select areas of research based on countries and cultures. Extensive reading in Spanish literature, including poetry and plays, are part of the Middle School curriculum. RMS students often graduate with high school credits in Spanish 1 and 2.