"What is not achieved at six cannot be achieved at sixty ".
Having seen other Montessori schools and realized the effectiveness of the system, we felt that children in this part of Chennai are being deprived of this facility.
White Gold Montessori School was started with the clear intention that regardless of the costs involved, for parent's satisfaction, we would not duplicate what was already available. The system would be child-oriented and would help the child learn at its own pace and make learning interesting and enjoyable. Even in the higher level, the system of education would help the child to grasp and learn, rather than introduce the monotony of routine workloads.
White Gold Montessori School was started in May 2004 by Hafeesa Siraj, whose forefathers were instrumental in starting two colleges, a school and a religious instruction center in Tamil Nadu. She is also associated with the functioning of a special school for children.
The school has been designed in such a way that the conventional looks of a school are absent. The school has been made soundproof to facilitate better concentration and there is also the provision of air-conditioning to maintain a comfortable learning space. The school also takes care of the eating habits of the child and encourages a common snack system where the parents send snacks to all children on a rotational basis. The Montessori system is the same the world over. It is internationally acclaimed and advocated for children up to the age of six.
In India, its only now the importance of activity-based learning is understood and even government schools are resorting to activity-based learning in a small way. The most important aspect of Montessori schools are the high teacher to student ratio 1:15 and adult to student ratio 1:8, which ensures that every child's likes and dislikes are understood and any unwanted behavior is corrected at a very young age.
Though Montessori is practiced even up to 18 years of age in some schools in European countries, in India Montessori is practiced only till the age of 9 years, after which most schools move to conventional classroom learning, since there is less acceptance among parents. They tend to fear whether their child would be capable of passing the board exams.
Due to such misconceptions, we have moved to class- room learning from 1st std onwards at our School.
At White Gold Montessori, ICSE (Indian Curriculum for secondary education) popularly known as Delhi Board is adopted. Here again, the teacher to student ratio is maintained at 1: 15. This enables the teacher to interact with every child at length and it is made sure everyone has grasped the concept. Sheer memorizing of question and answer is not permitted. By answering the questions framed by the teacher after completing each chapter, every student is in a position to answer in their own words. Tuition after school hours in strictly prohibited.
At White Gold Montessori, we continuously monitor the system and do away with redundant and non-productive work. We have avoided the children taking competitions where they are expected to memorise and score accolades, and instead have introduced additional classes for Logical Analysis and Reasoning which the children enjoy a lot.
We have done away with the 3 examination system Viz., Quarterly, Half yearly, & Annual and instead made it 2 Examination pattern one in October and final in April. Here again we avoid the redundant revisions, and 6 days of examination and followed by long holidays, which is being meaningfully used for additional subject classes.
We continuously interact with parents and clarify their doubts and take in their suggestions and implement if viable.
The last few years has seen children coming out of Montessori into 1st standard.
We have observed that the Montessori Philosophy of allowing the child to learn at their own pace, providing right input at the correct learning age has molded the child with phenomenal confidence and acute sense of enquiry. The child would not take things for granted. Even from 1st standard, the interaction between the teacher and children is very lively. The one-way teacher to student learning is totally dispensed off at White Gold Montessori School.
Every child leaving Montessori has been found to be of the same capability, except children with learning difficulties (special cases). Since as per the Montessori philosophy, the child is never forced to do any work, the child develops a spontaneous writing ability, around the age of 5 yrs and we have found that the child is able to write without any help. At 1st Std level invariably the handwriting of all children is very legible as compared to children of other streams, who join us in 1st and above. The sight word reading habit inculcated in Montessori, helps the child to be inquisitive when the child goes out with the parents and are in a public environment.
At White Gold Montessori, we have proof that if the child is steadily monitored and provided the right inputs, allowing the child to explore and learn at his / her pace, then no child can be termed dull-headed. All children between 5 ½ to 6 have successfully moved over to 1st standard and have established their all round proficiency.
Coercion, scolding, fear of teacher is absolutely done away at White Gold Montessori. Hence one would be able to see children discussing with their teachers as friends and sharing their thoughts.