Montessori Elementary School Level in St. Louis

Dear parents,

Relocation decisions are suspended presently.

School will not be in session during the 2014-2015 school year.

Thank you.

Elementary School: Des Peres Montessori, St Louis

Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed. - Maria Montessori

Age of Imagination – Abstract Phase “Help Me To Think For Myself”

Elementary School Level  (ages 6-12)

Human development is a series of rebirths from birth through maturity. Each of these growth periods or planes of development is defined by a sequence of six years with accompanying support of sensitive periods, human tendencies, needs and characteristic learning processes. Program, scope and environment organize to correspond and support said processes. Elementary children from six to twelve years of age are in the second plane of development.

Second Plane of Developmemt: The Montessori MethodThe Age of Imagination—Conscious, intellectual phase of learning

The Line of Progression represents the ascent and peak of sensitive periods

The Line of Regression represents the acquisitive period or periods of acquisition

Sensitive periods represent heightened sensitivity for particular behaviors patterns, abilities, activities and toward specific aspects of the environment

Characteristic Processes

Identified as the age of imagination—the abstract phase or the age of reason. It is the intellectual plane

Sensitive periods demonstrate a heightened sensitivity for analytical and abstract thinking. These children are reaching for an understanding of the physical, moral and spiritual order of the universe.

Human Needs and Tendencies

  • The need for self-construction continues
  • A love of work—Large physical work, building structures, gardens etc.
  • Exploration and understanding of the universe—How things work
  • Grand ideas—Grand and large pieces of work, calculations in all areas of mathematics
  • Freedom of the spirit
  • Working in groups, the herding instinct
  • Group and social organization
  • Group, collaborative work, investigations, experiments

Abilities for

  • Elementary School Level: Chemistry at Des Peres MontessoriVery large bodies of work
  • Understanding the order and the workings of the Universe
  • Understanding the order and the workings of world environment—it’s forces, relationships, and ecology
  • Understanding and implementing responsibility and value systems


  • A prepared and operative indoor and outdoor environment where children work with freedom
  • Uninterrupted cycles of work
  • The ability to work without intervention
  • A trained and prepared director
  • Built in opportunities for observation

The Elementary Program

Whole curriculum in whole and prepared environments (seamless indoor and outdoor settings). The elementary school years, ages six through twelve, propel students beyond the concrete tangible world into studies of the universe, hence the age of cosmic education. Their interests, abstract in character, move them through the five great lessons.

  • The Story of the Universe: Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Astronomy and  Geography
  • The Story of Life: Botany and Zoology
  • The Coming of Humans: Fundamental needs of man both spiritual and material, Pre History and World Civilizations
  • The Story of Numbers: Arithmetic, Geometry (plane and solid) and Algebra
  • The Story of Communication: World Languages, Reading, Writing, Prose Poetry, Drama and Grammar

Each area of study follows a logical sequence of lessons, experiments and experiences that form an organized and comprehensive whole.

Extra Curricular Programs with Specialists

The Fine Arts: Art, Music, Dance and Drama—Classes in art and music explore the range of these subjects, their theories and techniques. Winter holiday pageant is an exercise and expression in drama, dance and the arts. These studies allow students to explore, extend and reinforce their interests in individual ways and styles, developing skills in the process. They give new voice to their growing freedom of expression.

Physical Education
Students’ overall physical strength and coordination improve through team and individual sports. Through participation, students develop confidence and fair sportsmanship. Physical education is an imperative at Des Peres Montessori.

Foreign Language
The introduction of a second language during early education takes advantage of sensitive periods for language acquisition, opening elementary students to broader scopes of language, sounds, intonations, inflections, enunciation, syntax and structure. Foreign language prepares for additional absorption and speech throughout life.

Annual In-house Presentations enhance and enrich the children’s world.

  • The Audubon Society – Butterflies and their variety
  • St Louis Recorder Society – Additional musical instrument experiences
  • Native American – Presenting historic stories dances and artifacts
  • The St. Louis Science Center, as available
  • Folk Musicians and others as available

Field Trips and Studies
They are many and vary from year to year.

  • Campsville Center for American Archeology—ecology hikes and reconstruction of pre-historic culture
  • St Louis Symphony Concerts
  • Powder Valley Nature Center
  • Faust Park Historical Village
  • The Clayton Silver Strings
  • Shaw Nature Reserve
  • The St. Louis Aquarium
  • St. Louis Botanical Gardens

Extended field trips and overnight field studies take upper elementary students on three to five day overnights to relevant study sites. Lower elementary may join for as many days as parents allow. Recent trips include:

  • A Lewis and Clark Expedition A six day trip following the Missouri River to Council Bluffs (The Corp of Discovery’s first council with native Americans)
  • Exploring Louisiana Colony in the Illinois Country A three day excursion into mid and upper Mississippi Valley region of New France
  • Vesterbrook Farm in Clarksville, Missouri Life on the Farm
  • Native American study constructing prehistoric culture visiting Missouri Indian sites concluding Cahokia Mounds
  • Covered Bridges In Missouri

Elementary School Environments

Des Peres Montessori’s elementary school environment is seamless, integrated, prepared and operative. Indoor and outdoor areas offer a whole space for the whole child. Recalling that children are self-constructive and learn from working, rendering environments whole and seamless maximize the possibilities of the Montessori Method.


Indoor Environments – Classrooms, Hallways and Large Assembly Spaces

The classroom is the home room prepared with the full compliment of materials—didactic materials—materialized abstractions. It is spacious and rich, a laboratory for ideas and investigations.

Hallways meet the need of long and larger pieces of work including timelines, classification charts and other experiments.

Large assembly spaces provide ample area for even larger bodies of work including various presentations, fine arts studio space, physical education and music studio. Large spaces also accommodate our in-house presentations, The Audubon Society, The St. Louis Recorder Society and The Silver Strings, Presentations by Naturalists, Storytellers and The Native American Experience, A Day with Eagle Bear.

Outdoor Environments

The outdoors is commonly the children’s playground. In Montessori, the outdoors is also an operative, working area, being part of the child’s real and immediate world. We must know our world in order to care. The greater our familiarity, the greater our affections for this world. During the first phase of development, children are driven to know their world. Concrete, sensorial and whole impressions are absorbed forming foundations for later years.

from Maria Montessori’s importance of the outdoor environment

Operative Outdoor Environments

  • Natural outdoor environment for children to shape
  • Native garden and beddings – Butterfly patch, Prairie, Bulb garden
  • Summer and Winter vegetable gardens
  • A woodland trail for walks and tranquil settings for observation, nature study, reading, drawing and collection.

Prepared Playgound Areas

  • Soft-surface playground with swings, play units and climbers
  • Field for free play and after school soccer
  • Hard surface playground–mazes, circles and other for use during wet weather

A Typical Elementary School Day

Des Peres Montessori, St Louis: Elementary School LevelElementary Level at Des Peres Montessori

The elementary students are an explosion of energy, curiosities and deliberations. Every moment is urgent to them.

Science investigations rank as first as they collect materials for a new experiment, crystals. Briquets, bluing laundry, water, and salt solution are needed. THIS TIME IT MUST WORK, as a young classmate offers confidence to an older classmate.

A few walk down to the winter garden with journals, rulers and pencils. Cauliflowers are huge. The sugar daddy peas are thick and shrubby. They measure, draw and journal. Where are the carrots? The spinach are doing well. Their journals are a collection of fine botanicals. Will we have winter harvest?

At the far end of the parking lot a group of children run a mulch filled wheel barrow to their trail. Soggy and wet or dry and leaf ridden—it is ready for a fresh layering. Yet another edge the trail with large fallen limbs. And a few are seen roping overgrown trees with bright tapes. They are happy and Free. You may hear yourself whisper …This is life!

Home room presents young elementary students at colorful constructive triangles. They amuse each other quizzing their names and shaping ornamental designs with them. You may find them in arithmetic operations with the “stamp game” or place value on the “bead frame” or even a “grammar box—lets do the Noun and Article game. A few updating journals or at another favorite task, handwriting, cursive and calligraphy. They run to older classmates for letters.

Des Peres Montessori in St Louis: Elementary School LevelThe upper elementary are in command. They clean, they organize, they prepare for expansive scopes of work—timelines, classification charts, analysis of complex sentences, deliberations of factors and multiple—maybe even a large piece of jewelry. Their heads burrowed as they construct angles with compasses.

An upper elementary student remains in rapt attention of nature’s elements. The periodic table is in full view. Phosphorus is his favorite, he declares, and radium is a close second. He embraces a book, and exclaims softly, “I love elements. I don’t want to return this book.” He returns to his consideration of elements and definitions.

Note the crystals. They take the class by surprise. Billowy white formations around the rim of their bowl awe the whole class. We must journal and draw. And they are off.

A snack break is a time for brief refueling.

They look forward to lunch. It is time for release, sharing and becoming themselves. But before lunch, you may hear them on the recorders—sweet melodies and voices waft through the spaces. Look carefully, you may spot a dancer, a cartwheeler, a Tai Chi performer or even a painter.

On a grand day all work goes out. Our days are full and we return inspired. ENJOY!

For additional information about choosing a Montessori elementary school education for your child, please contact us here to arrange an appointment at your convenience.