Gladwyne Montessori's elementary program is an integral part of our students’ academic journey. As a direct continuation of all of the skills a child develops in Primary, the lower elementary classroom community provides a new environment in which to explore and be inspired. The three-year development process that took place in Primary will begin again, yet with a strong foundation of skills and a new sense of confidence and curiosity.

Children who begin their educational journey at Gladwyne Montessori as toddlers reap the long-term benefits of learning in our Montessori elementary program because this level of learning is a natural continuation of the spiraled curriculum that begins for our children as young as two years old. Additionally, children who join us for the first time in our elementary grades will swiftly adapt to this magnificent methodology because our highly trained teachers work with great skill and attention to provide a seamless adjustment, providing a learning environment for all children to feel safe and welcome in our learning community.

In our Montessori elementary program, teachers do not control the timing of the students’ activities, nor do they dictate the activity itself, which provides preparation for the students to navigate the unpredictable nature of life. Instead, the teacher presents an individualized plan for each child based on the Montessori curriculum as well as the teachers’ careful observations and detailed record-keeping. This individualized learning within our Montessori elementary program allows students to learn at their own pace and receive lessons specific to their learning style. To ensure that every child completes the full curriculum by the end of the year, teachers spend considerable one on one time with each student. Children in the Montessori elementary program are joyful and deeply engaged in their learning. They are provided the freedom to navigate their environment at will; they are encouraged to walk, stand, get a drink, have a healthy, student-prepared snack, and use the bathroom at any time they deem necessary for their own bodies. The flexibility and individualized teaching, as well as the teacher to student ratio at Gladwyne Montessori cannot be found in any other school on the Main Line for elementary-aged learners. Additionally, our elementary program currently serves children living in Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bryn Mawr, Gladwyne, Narberth, Philadelphia, and Wayne, PA allowing students an opportunity to interact and develop relationships with children they may not otherwise meet.

Maria Montessori, founder of the Montessori philosophy, believed the human child matured over the course of his first twenty-four years of life. It is these twenty-four years of childhood that are known as the Four Planes of Development.

The lower elementary child exists in the “progressive” phase of the second plane of development, a period of growth that is like an explosion—there is a nearly overwhelming amount of energy and activity, without a sense yet of how to control and wield it.

The upper elementary child exists in the “regressive” phase of the second plane of development, a period of great refinement and assimilation of skills and understanding.

The second plane, or elementary-aged, child is resilient, physically strong, intellectual and imaginative, social, curious, and seeks a “hero” to admire, whether it is Mom, Dad, Martin Luther King, Jr., or his favorite character from a book. He is relatively unemotional from the ages of 6-12, being strong, confident and moral in his daily life. Because the 6-12 year old is not developing as much physically anymore like he did from 0-6, his mind is what now grows as if using stories and books as fuel. This is the most intellectual age for a child. His mind thirsts for knowledge and he does not want to stop and rest when he is engaged in the task before him. As a result, it is critical for children at this time to be exposed to unlimited learning opportunities and have the freedom to explore learning content that interests them. This individual passionate pursuit of learning is unique to a Montessori elementary school.

Through our Montessori elementary program’s curriculum, our students advance academically well beyond their same-aged peers. While at other private elementary schools, students are taught according to a rigorous curriculum, the standardization of the content and school timeline does not allow for deeper exploration of topics, extensions of lessons, individualized field trips, and more. Additionally, our students are able to excel without the pressures of an externally driven competitive environment which is often experienced at other private elementary schools. As a result, our Montessori elementary school students gain a strong appreciation for holding themselves accountable for extraordinary effort and work. This intrinsic motivation yields a healthy, happy, emotionally mature child who possesses a profound desire to excel in every area of life.

Students who complete our program gain an impressive depth of understanding and mastery across all subjects which makes our students extraordinary contributors at all schools who are fortunate to receive them once they complete our program.


“Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and strength, use it to create.”

Maria Montessori