Mission and Vision
Over 30 years of Montessori with over 10 years of IB
Our vision, as teachers, parents and staff, is to encourage students in responsible citizenship so each can make a positive, personal contribution and actively participate in the national and global community. In a welcoming supportive environment, The Westwood School mission is to provide and develop:
Westwood intends that graduates go out into the world not just to do great things, but to do the right things. At Westwood, we remain wholeheartedly committed to providing an exceptional education that emphasizes personal ethics and individual responsibility-all within a caring, supportive community. Character
Westwood commits to leaving this world a little better than we found it, and becoming a little better ourselves through that process. Students practice the art of giving back in dedicated service to others. One manifestation of this philosophy is our tradition of student-to-student mentoring-affording each student the opportunity to solidify personal skills while guiding peers. Likewise, our partnership with parents invokes many traditional as well as unique opportunities for parent involvement. Community
Westwood offers students a challenging and innovative course of study that culminates in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, the most highly regarded High School degree in the world. In keeping with the Montessori ideals of the school, Westwood presents students with real-life experiences and hands-on learning. Excellence
These three qualities are the pillars of Westwood’s culture. Specific emphasis is placed on student character; we instill in them the ability to thrive in an ever-changing world. We inspire voluntary learning, a sense of independence and self-confidence. The result is a habit of excellence and the necessary values to think critically and act responsibly. Parents become partners with Westwood in an educational process which is inclusive and diverse. We draw together children and families from around the world, including all segments of the Dallas community. Our student body represents over 40 different countries. With this wide community base, our students’ world view is broadened and their potential for academic excellence is emphasized.
A Blend of Two Academic Philosophies
Imagine a school where intellectual and physical adventures are the possibility. Imagine a place where one’s mind is challenged and stretched as you learn, the scope of community is broadened, and the outdoors is a landscape of opportunity – where friends are made for a lifetime; where you discover you have the courage to go beyond your reach, to see yourself from a different perspective. Imagine a school where excellence is valued and learning is fun. This is the Westwood Way.
We are an International Baccalaureate World School, implementing the IB Diploma Programme (DP), with a Montessori foundation. At The Westwood School, students engage in Montessori from Toddler through Upper Elementary (two years old through 6th Grade) under fully-trained lead guides. These Montessori foundations carry through High School, and beginning in 11th Grade students enter the International Baccalaureate Programme as they progress towards their internationally acclaimed diploma.
For more information or to visit our campus. Please call us at the Main Office (972) 239-8598.
What is the Montessori Method?
What we now refer to as the Montessori Method was developed over a hundred years ago. One of the great pioneers in the study of child development was Dr. Maria Montessori. Dr. Montessori, a physician in Rome, Italy, became interested in how the brain functions. She started her work with children with mental deficiencies and in 1907 began to work with other children.
Her interests led her to realize that children love order and repetition, have a large capacity for concentration, and achieve satisfaction from successful completion of tasks. Dr. Montessori revolutionized education by developing environments and materials that allow the spark of genius inherent in each child to shine.
The Montessori Philosophy
Montessori is child-centered and is a series of three-year cycles.
In a Montessori classroom, the “triad” balance is:
- Child – student
- Material – teaching environment, multi-sensorial materials, technology, etc.
- Guide – teacher
The Three-Year Cycle
With cross-age, cross-grade groupings in three-year developmental cycles, children eventually internalize what they have learned by teaching the younger children. Montessori stresses learning by doing and teaching others, as mentors and role models. Children go from being followers to leaders.
At Westwood, we provide specially designed, multi-sensory materials that constantly engage children in their own learning. This allows them to learn and understand from experience. To inspire independent thinking, the materials allow children to learn for themselves. This encourages the children’s academic, social, and intellectual exploration.
Benefits of the Montessori Method
Most of us recall the pressure to conform to the pace of the academic group during our own school years. Bright students had to wait for the group while students requiring more repetition were labeled “slow.” At Westwood, individual differences are respected. The curriculum allows very gifted students to learn quickly. At the same time, students who need material repeated also feel comfortable. They develop tolerance for differences and learn to respect each other’s individual abilities.
Do you remember…?
The Pythagorean Theorem? What were the causes of World War I? or Who was Gutenberg and why is he important?
Traditional teaching methods present abstract concepts built upon other abstract concepts. The mind is able to memorize information in this way, but is often unable to integrate the information. When knowledge is tied to a concrete concept, however, it is more apt to be retained permanently. In a Montessori classroom three-dimensional materials allow students to discover the concept, apply it in different situations, and then abstract the knowledge.
Montessori students learn at their own pace. They explore the environment and develop a sense of their own competence by doing for themselves. Gradually, students become less adult-dependent and better able to make sound judgments, while retaining the joy of learning.
Additional Information for Parents – Learn more here.
What is International Baccalaureate?
Established in the 1960’s, International Baccalaureate or IB is an internationally recognized High School diploma that philosophically centers on learners engaging with global challenges through inquiry, action and reflection. The Westwood School, as a Montessori and IB academic community, focuses on intellectual curiosity and personal responsibility.
Why use International Baccalaureate Programme?
IB World Schools share a common philosophy – a commitment to high quality, challenging curriculum, and education for today’s international world. Several studies have indicated that the IB Diploma experience contributes to university success due to its integration of topics offering breadth and depth. Throughout high school, students acquire strong productivity/study skills, perseverance and balance while exposed to academic pressure, strong writing, research, and analytical thinking skills. For these reasons, universities often give special considerations to IB Diploma graduates. From college credit (24 hours in the state of Texas, for example) to scholarship money, students with IB diplomas are valued.
Since 2004, Westwood has been an authorized IB World School. Westwood is an international school maintaining the highest standards in the world; our Montessori-IB curriculum challenges students to reach beyond themselves and their communities to the world at large. Through these methodologies, The Westwood School gives students both a sense of place – the history, economy, social issues and culture of the local community and confidence to reach beyond themselves.
For more information visit the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) site.