FAQ: Life after House on the Hill

Fun fact: Maria Montessori created an education system for students until the age of 18! However, parents in Singapore must eventually make the move from Montessori to either international or local schools, and they often come to us with questions about this very important transition.  

Our experience shows us that the longer a child stays in a Montessori environment, the better their transition to and success in life after pre-school. Our Montessori curriculum builds foundational academic, social and emotional skills that will benefit children even in the long term. 

At House on the Hill, we guide each child through their Kindergarten 2 level and prepare them exceptionally well for the transition to the local or the international school system. In the final years of your child’s Montessori education, they will continue with reading, writing, mathematics, geography, art and more. Unlike traditional kindergarten, here they will progress at their own pace; in Montessori where they need extra attention they may slow down to understand the concepts, and where they excel they will not be held back. It is a nurturing environment that challenges and encourages children to learn, and whenever possible they should continue in this setting for as long as possible. 

Question 1: Will they be fully prepared for the rigours of primary school? How does Montessori help? 

Our students successfully graduate into local and international schools in Singapore and abroad thanks to their Montessori foundations. 

Socially and emotionally, Kindergarten 2 children graduating from House on the Hill are ready for the transition to primary school. Montessori teaches kindness, self-discipline, internal motivation, curiosity, cooperation, and many other skills that will help your child smoothly transition and thrive in their new school. Developing leadership skills at such a young age is a hallmark of the Montessori curriculum. By trusting our older children to help guide the younger ones in the class they also practice kind and clear communication, grow their self-confidence, continue to be more independent, and become more responsible members of a community.  

Academically, House on the Hill children are ahead of the game when they enter primary school. By graduation, Kindergarten 2 children at HOTH will have already completed half of the Singaporean Primary 1 mathematics curriculum, including addition and subtraction of numbers greater than 1000, word problems involving addition and subtraction, mental calculations, multiplication and division, counting money, telling time, and recognizing two and three dimensional shapes. Through phonics they will work from recognizing individual sounds, to building and blending sounds to make words, to recognizing sight words, and then quickly to reading and writing sentences and complete stories, practicing their spelling and penmanship along the way. 

Our bespoke Mandarin program focuses on engagement, culture and communication. Through intensely interactive classes and passionate teachers, the children develop a joy of learning Mandarin, and experience the language through songs, dances, games, stories, and crafts. Our Lao Shi infuse their classes with culture from around the Mandarin speaking world, introducing children to holidays, traditions, foods and ways of life in other parts of the world. Through it all the children are unquestionably learning to communicate in Mandarin; they are learning to listen and speak through class lessons and frequent interactions with Lao Shi and their peers, and by Kindergarten 2 they are practicing character strokes, learning pinyin spelling, and reading Mandarin story books. This prepares local students for the move to Primary 1 Mandarin curriculum as well.

Studies show that young adults who attended Montessori pre-schools outperform their peers who did not attend Montessori pre-schools in areas of math, science, and social skills, demonstrating even long term benefits to Montessori foundations. 

Question 2: How do students from House on the Hill transition and thrive in international and local primary schools? 

Instead of hearing it from us, hear from our parents! 

Parent Testimonial: Sonsoles (graduated K2 in 2017) 

“When Sonsoles first arrived to House on the Hill she knew very little English, but two months later, thanks to the love and know-how of the teachers, she was able to make herself understood. Once she moved to an international school in Primary, and now that we’re back in our home country, we can’t be more satisfied of how well prepared she has been, the learning path she was directed through and the interest in learning more and more that was nurtured in her since the first stages. The memories that Sonsoles keeps of her passage through House on the Hill are full of love, understanding and encouragement. She keeps asking for Miss Rachael and Miss Asy from time to time and remembers the good atmosphere created by Miss Marilyn and her team”.

Parent testimonial: Seth (graduated K2 in 2018) 

“I was just sharing with Seth’s teacher, Ms Rachael, how grateful we are for all efforts House on the Hill made to ensure Seth would transition well to primary school. Sometimes Seth tells me how easy school is and how he knows most of the things they are teaching, and I remind him that all the Montessori work time he had in K1/K2 paid off. He is confident and really enjoying school. We can see how his phonics has paid off in his spelling results; even when there are mistakes they are very honest ones and you can tell he is exercising his phonics logic. He insists he is a “math genius” because math is so easy, but we all know the work he had to do when he was in K2 with Ms Rachael. It is a big thank you to all the teachers; even though we traveled quite a distance to bring him to school daily it was well worth it. He grew in confidence thanks to the teachers’ warmth, love and attention.”

Question 3: My child is graduating this year but doesn’t start international school until next year, what can I do? 

The gap between Kindergarten 2 graduation and starting Year 1 can sometimes be several months long, leaving parents with concerns not only for the care of their child while they are working, but also about the child’s education and development during this time between schools. 

Your child can stay at House on the Hill until the year that they turn 7. In many cases this helps close the gap of time between schools, and provides an environment that is stimulating and preparatory for children on their way to International Primary School. Our classrooms and curriculum adjust to the needs of each child. So even if they have just graduated from Kindergarten we have the materials and trained teachers who are ready to keep working with your child until they enter Year 1. 

Question 4: Will they get bored in the same setting? 

The Montessori curriculum grows with the child, and each material is designed to be interesting to children at their age. For over 100 years this method has been capturing the attention of children and developing them into independent and curious learners. Lessons include hands-on experiences, investigations, guided practices, opportunities for your child to voice their interests, and challenges to be creative in their problem solving. Children in Montessori classrooms are learning how to learn, and learning to love the process. 

The move from graduation is a big change for parents and children alike, and a lot more questions may arise! Our team of experienced educators is here to help your family make the most of your education at House on the Hill and beyond, so send us your questions! We are happy to help.