In 2002, the idea of opening a school that offered each child the opportunity to reach his or her own potential without limits through the Montessori curriculum in a Dual-Language setting was a dream. Today, we know that this unique approach to learning and developing does indeed give our children exactly what we dreamt about, and so much more than we imagined. It is a joy to witness the sheer volume of possibilities the Montessori environment enables for each child, and to hear the natural mix of English and Putonghua ringing out in the hallways and classrooms at IMS.
All the research about the benefits of Montessori on the developing child’s brain is borne out each day in our classrooms – and at home. Our children are quickly calmer at home and proud of what they are doing at school. Parents are hearing (some report for the first time) “Let me do it myself!” from children who are excited by newfound abilities and independence. Our older children are investigating areas of interest and asking intelligent, imaginative questions which are making a difference in our learning community. Each year we watch our oldest children blossom into considerate, thoughtful, creative and deeply able leaders, who are eager to take on new responsibilities.
We feel privileged to have had the opportunity to build such a special school community, together with such culturally diverse and passionate parents, faculty, staff and children.
Thank you for being part of the IMS Community!
Anne Sawyer & Karin Ann
We believe that children are naturally born with the inner directive to meet their own needs and to learn. Our goal as Montessori educators is to embrace this innate drive by providing optimal learning environments for our bright, engaged, and inquisitive students. Regardless of developmental stage, the opportunity to choose your own activity, to move and work freely within the ground rules, and to work for long blocks of time without interruption are fundamental elements of learning the Montessori way.
The Montessori education method was developed over years of research in classrooms, discovering how children learned and developed. The Montessori curriculum is customised to meet the developmental needs of the child each step of the way. Your child has the opportunity to explore their own passions, while being guided to develop the needed skills which sets them up for success later in life!
At IMS, the children are completely immersed in a truly dual-language Montessori environment. Each classroom is guided by two teachers, one a Putonghua-speaker and one an English-speaker who exclusively speak their native language to the children. The children are exposed to speaking, listening, reading and writing from the earliest ages in both English and Chinese, very naturally. Children are constantly picking up new vocabulary from their teacher and their peers in both languages.
In the Elementary programme, children attend separate small group Chinese lessons based on their ability. These lessons allow them to learn new vocabulary and skills to reinforce later in their dual-language classroom.
From the very foundation of IMS, every single member of staff has been carefully chosen to ensure this nurturing environment continue, and that each child experiences the same opportunity to grow and develop into their own best self, naturally. Today, our community of teaching staff hails from all corners of the world.
Children are born with the inner directive to meet their own needs and to learn. Regardless of developmental stage, the opportunity to choose your own activity, to move and work freely within the ground rules, and to work for long blocks of time without interruption assures motivated learning, extending curiosity and creativity. This is learning the Montessori way.
In my old school, they taught me how to do my homework. At IMS, they show me how to learn
The fingerprint on our logo embodies both a celebration of individuality and the individualised nature of learning in a Montessori environment. The Chinese characters, which mean “enlightenment” and “knowledge,” emerge from the fingerprint whorls to represent the importance of learning in Chinese and express the fundamental Montessori principle of learning through doing, of literally taking one’s education into one’s own hands.
The Upper Elementary design project combined so many concepts. There is a stylised heart-shaped balloon at the centre, which symbolises love, celebration, and the idea that “the sky’s the limit” at IMS. The wings of a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis also appear.
Since 2002, our goal at IMS is to enable each child to fully develop his or her own individual gifts and talents within a caring, supportive, respectful, and bilingual learning community, thereby assisting children in the process of becoming the next generation of leaders who are well-educated, self-actualized individuals, committed and capable of contributing to the betterment of the world.
This was an ambitious goal! But 20 years after choosing the Montessori Method for its scientific basis and over 100 years of international success, we know that the child-oriented, creative and bilingual Montessori learning environments IMS has created truly nourishes each child’s innate desire to learn and discover, enabling each child to move at his or her own pace and to reach their own highest potential. Montessori works!
When we first started IMS in 2002, we operated out of a small, cozy campus in Wan Chai. Back then, as the first AMI Montessori Elementary school in Greater China, we felt privileged to be able to offer Montessori programmes to support the joyful development of children. All of our Montessori programmes fully support a natural, and developmentally appropriate approach to learning that is intrinsically motivating, and encourages a life characterised by the joyous pursuit of knowledge.
Experiencing success is critically important to your toddler’s developing self-concept and self-esteem. The very young child craves language to be able to communicate and describe the world. Activities in the bilingual Foundation Groups encourage your child to explore creatively, in a cosy, language-rich and highly interactive environment – the best preparation for learning.
At this age, children absorb information like a sponge! They learn to read and write in English and Chinese, and absorb mathematical and scientific principles. This is the most critical time to nurture your child’s natural curiosity and lay the foundation for all future development. The Casa dei Bambini classroom offers a creative, hands-on, interactive environment where the young child can explore, experiment and succeed.
The elementary child begins to look to others as a valuable learning resource, and to learn and reinforce knowledge socially. English- and Putonghua- speaking teachers encourage debate, discussion and collaboration in project teams working on things that are critically important to them – from establishing their own business, to writing and performing their own play.
Experiential & entrepreneurial learning extends beyond the classroom in the makerspace, science & design lab, as well as the market garden. Music, Art, Tech & Sport lessons enrich the all round development of students, with specialist teachers consulting on projects & community service.
The IMS Summer Fun Programme at Stanley Campus, enriches learning, engage children’s creative minds and gets them moving. Our 6-week summer programme for children 3 – 11 is to be announced.
Montessori prepares children to succeed and prosper no matter what path they choose. Montessori kids make up such a large percentage of the top levels of business and the arts that some joke about a “Montessori Mafia”!
IMS was established twenty years ago by a group of parents and professionals searching for an educational environment for our children! We looked for a school that was child-centred, yet fostered strong preparation for their future competitive world. We also wanted our children to be bilingual. One of the parents had experienced the magic of Montessori as an older child, and we chose the Montessori Method, an internationally recognised education method.
We opened our doors to 68 children in a converted Toy manufacturer’s office on Queen’s Road East in 2002 until today, creating the traditions that have become the fabric of #IMS Life as we have grown, moved, grown and moved again, all the while facing challenges with our incredible community! With you, we have pioneered the first English-Chinese Montessori programme, and the children who started their Montessori education journey with us in our earliest years are now graduating from University!
Today our community has grown to become one of the largest Montessori schools in the world, and continues to lead the way in developing an immersive dual-language programme. From our original campus in Wanchai, we have expanded to four locations that serve all the major catchments of Hong Kong Island.
IMS Graduate’s Video Celebrates “Then & Now: 20 Years of IMS”
As we watch our graduates discuss what they have experienced and learned at IMS, we are so proud to have been able to participate in this unique education. Our graduates have the confidence, competence and independence to handle life’s challenges. We have been overwhelmingly successful in fulfilling our vision – to build a diverse international school community in Hong Kong that is dedicated to the education and growth of children and their families.
We look forward to the next 20 years of growing with you!