Our Curriculum

Our Methodology
  • Curriculum Overview

    Our Islamic Montessori program has diverse dedicated classes
  • This curriculum ensures that your child will learn to be a good Muslim and grow into an independent, educated adult, capable of critical thinking.

  • Smart Bilingual Academy offers a broad-based curriculum giving our children the freedom to discover and explore their own individual talent in order to reach their full potential. The combined Islamic and Montessori Curricula are intended to enable the child learn:

    Fusha Arabic Language, Arts & Crafts, Gambian Culture and History, French and English Languages, Mathematics, Science, Movement & Exercise, Practical Life, Quranic Recitation, Ahadith, Islamic Knowledge, History and Practice.

    This curriculum ensures that your child will learn to be a good Muslim and grow into an independent, educated adult, capable of critical thinking.

  • The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said “play with your child till 7”. This wisdom is evident since it is in various forms of play that the child develops their understanding of the world and a love and enthusiasm for learning that can last their entire life. Our intention is to encourage and preserve the natural inclination of our children to learn through a stimulating environment, filled with age-appropriate learning materials.

    The Islamic Curriculum begins the day with adhkaar (remembrances) as taught by the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ . Memorisation of the Quran and Hadith, stories of the prophets and the Seerah (history) of our Prophet ﷺ takes up the rest of the curriculum. As the day progresses, the children will be taught Islamic Adaab as they go about the various actions that form their day such as: greeting, eating, going to toilet, etc.. They will be taught the duas (supplications) that are related to these actions. Fusha Arabic Language will also be introduced in written and spoken form. As they progress, the children will learn to be fluent in the language and encouraged to use it as a means of communication inside and outside the classroom.

    Decades of neuroscience studies and behavioural research tells us that the period from birth up to about five years is an opportune time to invest in a child’s development when building a foundation for a sustainable and prosperous society. Studies show that the brain in these early years, is more plastic and hence highly responsive to stimuli coming from their environment and experience. Since the brain develops in stages, early experiences lay the foundations for all behaviour, health, and learning for the future years. In the first few years, sensory pathways for things like vision and hearing are the first to develop; thereafter, early language skills; and higher cognitive functions after that. Hence the years from birth to about eight years (called, ‘early childhood’) are critical regarding cognitive, social, emotional and physical development. Research shows that half of a person’s intelligence potential is developed by age four and that early childhood interventions can have a lasting effect on intellectual capacity, income, health, and social behaviour. These interventions include: a stimulating environment, adequate nutrients and social interaction with attentive caregivers . Hence they are absolutely essential for optimal brain development. This is why Smart Bilingual Academy has chosen to use the Montessori Method as the basis of its learning and teaching methodology.

    The Montessori Method is a child-centred method of delivering education in accordance with the stages of development of the human brain. It was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1907, after years of scientific observation of the behaviour of children from birth to adulthood. It has been tested over a period of 100 years with success, in diverse cultures worldwide . The Montessori Method of education gives the child a variety of means to understand abstract concepts (e.g. in maths and science) through the use of tangible, age-appropriate materials. It allows a foundation of knowledge to be established upon which more complex concepts can be later built.

    Conventional schools assume that children need to either be given incentives to learn, or be forced to learn. The grading system rewards high grades to those who do, and punishes those who do not, with low grades or a fail. The Montessori Method on the other hand, views children as being naturally eager to learn, hence do not need any carrot or stick in order to do so. If you look at a small child – as early as when they are able to crawl – they are very energetic and inquisitive, touching everything and investigating things by putting them in their mouths, smelling them, and so on. The Montessori Method takes this innate curiosity that all children have when they are young and harnesses it by allowing the child to learn at their own pace. Using one-on-one teacher time, a child learns from a range of activities that are developmentally challenging and appropriate. This leads to divergent thinking and hence innovation / creativity. In contrast, a conventional school would have a teacher leading the class and giving all the students the same information and promoting convergent thinking (“this is how we do it”); thus reinforcing the status quo. This essentially informs the child that: this is the standard way of doing things; with little or no options seemingly available outside of the ones presented by the teacher. This effectively stunts a child’s creative growth. With conventional learning, children learn to memorise and regurgitate information in order to pass tests / exams. They learn in order to satisfy a short-term goal of passing exams and moving from one grade to the next. The Montessori Method however, teaches a child self discipline, responsibility, initiative and offers a means of fostering a lifelong love for learning. That is because Maria Montessori herself said, “the education of even a very small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life” .

    Since scientific observation is the foundation of the Montessori Method. Montessori Teachers use observation techniques to determine a student’s readiness or challenge. Teacher training allows them to set goals, provide new lessons, and assess a student’s interests in order to re-direct and re-teach as necessary. We are committed to using modern technologies, research findings to enhance our teachers’ capacity for observation and documentation without changing the tangible nature of the prepared environment thus developed through years of experience.

    Dr Montessori observed that a child was heavily influenced by her environment and this impacted her learning. Hence Dr Montessori used the term ‘prepared environment’ to mean a space that has been carefully and intentionally prepared by adults to foster learning. She noted that schools should be aesthetically engulfing and culturally enriching for children. Integrated in our curriculum is knowledge of the child’s environment. Children will be take on school trips to places of scientific, cultural and historical interest. Knowledge of science and their environment will be related to knowledge of The Creator, Allah (swt). Gambian History and Culture will be taught in order to ensure that children know and value their heritage. The mixed grouping of 3-year age groups allows progress to happen at the child’s own pace as well as allow the children to learn and benefit from one another.

    The teachers plan for each individual child according to their individual progression and the Montessori prepared environment and learning materials ensures that all ages and abilities are catered for. The teachers in our school are active learners who seek to embody the Prophetic example and are therefore fitting role models. They are guides who observe the child and make available to them learning materials appropriate to their stage of development. They are attentive and nourish the child’s curiosity and excitement in their exploration and discovery of the world.