At Wheatley, your child will flourish in our loving and caring environment. Our Montessori programs provide your child with the opportunities to develop to his or her full potential. By following each child's unique needs, we allow them to explore, create, and discover new things to satisfy their innate curiosity. They develop motor and perceptual skills as well as social, emotional, and practical life skills. They are introduced to reading, math, history, geography, and science.
Our accredited Montessori Directresses and Directors lead the children to sound work habits, independence, responsibility, and well developed social skills in the prepared environment. With a sense of order and the ability to think logically, your child is ready to meet the academic challenges of upcoming years. The Montessori method allows children to discover and learn from their own experiences and is based on principles including observation, order, and independence, all in a loving and nurturing environment. We offer a toddler program (starting at age 18 months) and a Casa Program for children age 3 to 6 years.
Wheatley is a co-educational, non-denominational private school founded in 1986 by Principal Eda Varalli. A parent and educator, she set out to create an environment that prepared children to assume the role of citizens of tomorrow. Mrs. Varalli chose the Montessori method as the school's curriculum because it embodies everything she believes good education should be. She believes education should make you a unique individual, not a conformist. It should furnish you with an original spirit to tackle the significant challenges, and it should allow you to find the values that act as your road map through life. She wanted children to be active in shaping their own lives as they learn, being empowered to develop the best they have within them. Wheatley had to be a place where students valued themselves, respected one another, and loved learning.
Wheatley is named for Miss Evangeline Wheatley, who proved that the thirst for knowledge is a continuous process that stops only at the end of life. An educator and good friend, her keen enquiring mind, her compassion for the uniqueness of people, and her philosophy that one is a participator of life, not a spectator, inspired the birth of Wheatley School.
In 1986, Wheatley began with one Casa class of twelve children and twenty-four elementary students in Grades 1 to 4. Growing steadily, it incorporated in 1988 and became a non-profit organization. In 1991, with the support of a dedicated Board, the school moved to a larger facility. Between 1996 and 1999, three additional classrooms were added to accommodate increased enrollment.
In 2001, Wheatley moved to a beautiful large building on Scott Street. Plans include developing the grounds and further enhancing the facilities. This vision for the future and progressive approach to education has made Wheatley one of the top schools in the Niagara region.
Wheatley School Mission Statement inspires students to become life-long learners within a nurturing and dynamic environment where children can fulfill their maximum potential. Our innovative curriculum develops caring and principled internationally minded students who will become tomorrow's leaders dedicated to making a difference and shaping a more peaceful world.
The Montessori elementary classroom is a miniature society where an equal sense of community balances a strong sense of individuality. Students work cooperatively, learning to respect themselves and one another. They teach each other and share responsibility for maintaining the classroom. In a safe, success-oriented environment and with the guidance of accredited Montessori Directresses and Directors, each student can set personal goals and enjoy their accomplishments.
Our curriculum is based on the Montessori philosophy of "cosmic education," — a presentation of knowledge unfolds the origins of the earth, life, human communities, empires, and modern history, always in the context of the whole instead of starting with details. It includes presenting the formal scientific language of zoology, botany, anthropology, geography, and geology, exposing the student to accurate, organized information that respects the child's intelligence and interest.
The classroom also offers timelines, picture charts, and other visual aids, which provide a linguistic and visual overview of the first principle of each discipline. The mathematics curriculum is presented with concrete materials that simultaneously reveal the arithmetic, geometric and algebraic correlations.
The integration of the arts, sciences, geography, history, and language helps the child better understand subjects' interrelationship and not see them as isolated disciplines. The emphasis on open-ended research and in-depth study uses primary and secondary sources and other materials.
Our upper elementary curriculum complements the Montessori philosophy of holistic education fostered in lower elementary. It builds on the Montessori philosophy of nurturing students to become independent learners. Each student's individual needs are considered when planning curriculum, allowing them to challenge themselves in their particular strength areas. The curriculum offers our students the opportunity to solidify language skills, both spoken and written, including the study of grammar. And to solidify mathematical principles and their application in everyday life.