“Education is a natural process carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not just by listening to words, but also by experiences in the environment.”

Maria Montessori

The West Wind Junior High program encompasses the foundational core elements central to Montessori programs;

  • Multi-age grouping
  • Focus on grace and courtesy
  • Hands on, theme-based learning
  • A balance of individual and group learning
  • Self-construction
  • Environmental and peace education
  • Service learning

Montessori schooling has produced some of the most innovative minds of our time, including;

  • Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin
  • Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos
  • Wikipedia Co-founder Jimmy Wales
  • The Sims Game designer William Wright
  • The youngest Nobel Peace Prize nominee, youngest Rhodes Scholar, and youngest artist to exhibit at the United Nations
  • Singer, song-writer Taylor Swift and Beyonce Knowles
  • Actors George Clooney, Helen Hunt and Anne Hathaway
  • Diarist Anne Frank
  • Author and world renowned chef Julia Childs
  • World renowned business/management author and consultant Peter Drucker

Many famous Montessori graduates credit their education for their self-directed, innovative thinking.  Their Montessori training provides them with freedom to pursue their own interests, inspiring their life-long passion for learning. 

Who Was Maria Montessori?

Maria Montessori was a woman ahead of her time.  Born in 1870, she became Italy’s first female doctor and also studied philosophy and psychology.  In an era when little thought was put towards educational practices for youth, Montessori developed a unique “scientific pedagogy” from her work with children.  Her first Casa dei Bambini (House of Children) was opened in 1907, and her observations here led to the foundation of what is now known as the Montessori method.  She realized that the goal of education should be creating independence for students.  Montessori saw that the students learned best when given an opportunity to focus on practical skills and hands-on materials.  The teacher was most effective when working as an observer, directing the innate psychological development of children.  In 1909 Maria opened her first teacher training centre.  This method of educating soon spread around the world and can now be found in both public and private models.  In the 1930’s she began working to bring peace from education.  In fact, Montessori also co-authored the rights of the child entrenched in the UN charter and she was nominated three times for a Nobel Peace Prize before her death in 1952.  Her legacy lives on in classrooms across the globe.

What is Montessori Education?

From the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA)

Montessori is an individualized approach to education for children from toddler through high school that helps each child reach full potential in all areas of life. It is a student-centered approach that encourages creativity and curiosity and leads children to ask questions, explore, investigate and think for themselves as they acquire skills.

The "Whole Child" Approach

The primary goal of a Montessori program is to help each child reach full potential in all areas of life. Activities promote the development of social skills, emotional growth and physical coordination as well as cognitive skills. Under the direction of a specially trained teacher, the holistic curriculum allows the child to experience the joy of learning, gives the child time to enjoy the process, ensures the development of self-esteem and provides the experiences from which children create their knowledge.

The "Prepared Environment"

In order for self-directed learning to take place, the whole learning environment - facilities, room, materials, social climate, and experiences - must be supportive of the learner. The teacher provides necessary resources, including opportunities for children to function in a safe and positive climate.   An atmosphere of support and trust enables the children to explore and discover confidently.

The Teacher

The Montessori teacher functions as designer of the environment, resource person, role model, demonstrator, record keeper and meticulous observer of each child's behaviour and growth. The teacher guides the child acting as a facilitator of learning.


dearcroft / westwind
45 years...

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West Wind originated as the senior campus of Dearcroft Montessori School (est. 1968), and acted as an independent preparatory day school program offering Senior Elementary (grades 4 – 6) and Junior High (grades 7/8).  In 2008, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Dearcroft Montessori, we combined as a single campus.  Our program is now fully operated from the Dearcroft campus at 1167 Lakeshore Road East, Oakville. 

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Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding our programs or would like to know more about West Wind, please feel free to contact us. You may email us at: or contact our office by telephone for further information.

Address: 1167 Lakeshore Road East
  Oakville, Ontario
  L6J 1L3
Telephone: (905) 844-2114
Fax: (905) 844-3529
Directors: Lynda Phippen, B.A., AMI, AMS
  Gordon Phippen, B.Sc. AMS
Administrator: Catherine DeBorba, B.A.A.