Sunnyside Elementary Parent Advisory Council


Surrey District Choice Program

Grades K - 7

Sunnyside Elementary is a dual-track school that offers a Public Montessori Program. The Montessori program is intended to develop self-directed students with a global vision.

In the Montessori classroom:
  • There is a multi-age group in each class, ideally a three year age span, with children aged six to nine in one group, and nine to twelve in another group. Whenever possible, students remain with the same teacher for three years.
  • The program is individualized, wherever practicable.
  • An emphasis is placed on students progressing at their own rate.
  • At the Primary level, the method is based on the use of self-correcting, concrete materials, which are devised to be used in a sequence matched to the child's level.
  • Materials are limited so that children learn to share and help one another. There are large unbroken time spans for work, with minimal interruptions, allowing the students greater concentration.
  • The curriculum is designed to develop a global view of mankind, stressing the interdependence of man and environment.
  • There is an emphasis on the development of the child, as a contributing member of society, including a multicultural focus.

The History of Montessori

Maria Montessori, born in Italy in 1870, was an active advocate for the rights of the child. Italy's first female doctor, her interests shifted to educating children and she began her lifelong pursuit of studying child development. Her own educational method evolved over fifty years working with children around the world.

Dr. Montessori was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize, for her contributions to education and advocacy of the rights of the child. Dr. Montessori believed that a truly educated individual continues learning long after the years spent in the classroom because of the inner motivation, a natural curiosity and a love of learning.

The aim of the Montessori philosophy is to provide a learning environment that enhances the development of intellectually reflective individuals who are caring and ethical members of the community.

Surrey Montessori Society (SMS)

The Surrey Montessori Society (SMS) is a not-for-profit association in British Columbia that supports the Montessori K – 7 program in the Surrey public school district.

The Montessori program in the Surrey School District was formed in 1981. It has grown from one classroom of 20 students to three schools of nearly 600, and is housed at Mountainview Montessori, Sunnyside Elementary, and Latimer Road Elementary. The SMS membership consists of parents/caregivers, teachers and enthusiasts who believe all children deserve access to the Montessori Method of teaching and philosophy.

One of the elected positions in Sunnyside PAC is DMAC/SMS Representative (District Montessori Advisory Committee/Surrey Montessori Society Representative) who regularly presents reports from DMAC and SMS meetings at the monthly PAC meetings.