Clubs, Groups & Courses
Student clubs and groups change from year to year based on student interest, scheduling and other considerations. Courses such as the Babysitting Certificate course for Year Six students run each year.
Participating in team sport is recognized as contributing to a student’s developing sense of team work, healthy competition, and leadership. In addition to the formal Physical and Health Education program, students participate in a wide variety of athletic activities both within the school community and in competition with schools from the Thames Valley School Board, and the London District Catholic School Board. Basketball, Ice Hockey, Cross-Country, Track & Field, and Volleyball teams compete in a school league as well as tournaments.
In all sporting activities, the focus is on developing commitment, teamwork, and sportsmanship. There are no tryouts for any of the sport teams; all students are welcome to participate. There is an expectation of commitment to the team, including attendance at all practices and games, and also an expectation of a high degree of sportsmanship and leadership.
Students are also given opportunities to participate and learn about many individual sports such as cross-country skiing, curling, rock-climbing, archery, canoeing, and kayaking. Students work hard, play well, develop strong relationships, and have a great deal of fun!
Music & Art
In addition to the voice and band work undertaken in the formal Music program, the following are also available under the supervision of experienced teachers:
- Choirs (Year One, Junior and Senior): Regularly performing at school events and outside the school in the community, the choirs are also regular participants in the Kiwanis Festival. Practices are either during the school day (Year One) or before school at 8:00 am.
- School Musical Productions: Every other year, the entire school community participates in a large-scale musical production generally involving singing, choreography, acting, back-stage preparations and management. Past performances have included Oliver!, Annie, The Wizard of Oz, and Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
- The ARTexpo: The art program at MA is truly extraordinary, and it is only fitting that the children are given the opportunity to show off their work. For many years the school has hosted a formal art show at Museum London. Every other year, every student in the Elementary program has pieces put into formal display, beautifully mounted and arranged, the show is opened with an Opening Gala, and visitors to the museum are able to view the pieces while the exhibition is installed.
MA offers students many opportunities to spread their wings and develop their independence through age-appropriate excursions from the school into the community to experience the world around them.
At the Casa level, these excursions include trips to local points of interest such as apple-picking farms, maple syrup producers, corn mazes, museums, conservation areas, and diverse ethnic centres.
In the Elementary program, students experience off-site theatre and music productions, and trips to conservation areas. In Upper Elementary, they go on an over-night winter trip. These trips are some of the students’ most memorable experiences as they solidify relationships with their classmates and teachers in a fun and exciting environment.
At the Junior High level, they move further into the community: going to the Central Library to conduct research, taking canoe trips on the Thames River, or visiting locations or activities that are pertinent to their study. The students also plan and fundraise for significant excursions. Every year these students embark on a week-long trip with Alive Outdoors, where they experience many outdoor activities including kayaking, sailing, canoeing, rock-climbing, archery, and hiking. They work together to prepare and maintain their camp, and develop outstanding relationships.
“Community” in Montessori refers to many levels of society, beginning with the immediate classroom and peer community, moving to the broader school and family community, to the local neighbourhood and city, to the world at large. Community, and respect and responsibility for community, is a key element of the Montessori philosophy.
At the Foundation of Learning levels, Toddler, Casa and Lower Elementary, students are given many opportunities to support their classroom and peers, and the school community. Community involvement includes helping others, particularly those younger than themselves, and caring for their classrooms and learning the skills to do that, such as mopping up a spill or putting material back in the correct location for the next person. It includes spending time together each day for a short circle time, participating in songs, games and stories, and practicing “grace and courtesy” by taking turns and sitting respectfully beside a friend. It also includes opportunities to participate in activities that support the broader community such as fundraising for charities or choosing to donate a toy or food at a particular time of year for others in need.
At the Foundations of Leadership levels, Upper Elementary and Junior High, community involvement expands to include serving the broader community both within and outside the school. The students have daily and weekly expectations within their classroom, managed by the students themselves in community meetings. They also assume the roles of leaders not just in the classroom but within the whole school, becoming toddler buddies, reading buddies for younger students, and Peer Peacekeepers providing conflict resolution support in the schoolyard. The students visit hospitals and nursing homes to perform and to help out, participate in environmental cleanups and tree planting, work at the food bank and sometimes prepare food at a soup kitchen.
As they move toward Junior High, the students take on a larger role with charities, organizing the events and attending the meetings with the charity representatives. They organize and fundraise for groups that help children in our community and beyond; they have the intellectual capacity to understand the realities of the world, and they also have the enthusiasm and energy to do something about it.
Montessori Model United Nations
For many years the Model United Nations program has offered students in high school and university the opportunity to learn life skills and about the work of the UN by doing it. The program is a simulation of the UN General Assembly and other multilateral bodies in which students step into the shoes of ambassadors from UN member states to debate current issues.
In 2006, The Montessori Initiative and M:The Magazine for Montessori Families partnered with the United Nations to create the Montessori Model United Nations, based on the successful MUN program. The goal of the partnership was to offer this experience to Montessori students at the elementary and junior high level. The program involves Montessori schools from around the world, and London’s Montessori Academy has been a participant since its inception.
Each school involved in the program is assigned to play the role of a specific member nation and to debate a specific current issue. Junior High students participating in MMUN prepare for their role by spending several months studying the formal rules of procedure of the UN, researching their assigned issue, and understanding the needs, goals, and foreign policies of their assigned country. The program culminates in a five day trip to New York City to the United Nations where they make speeches, prepare draft resolutions, negotiate with allies and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the conference rules of procedure – all in the interest of mobilizing “international cooperation” to resolve problems that affect countries around the world.
MMUN participants learn how the international community can act on its concerns about topics including peace and security, human rights, the environment, food and hunger, economic development and globalization. The program is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for MA students who learn so much about the world, how countries and organizations interact, and what it’s like to make friends all over the world.