Our Curriculum

At MSB, we educate the whole child. Our curriculum follows the Montessori approach, building upon its core principles and adapting it for students within an international setting.

This dynamic Montessori-based curriculum ensures a strong base in all of the fundamental skills and concepts, while promoting a keen understanding of self and the environment. Rather than learning by rote, learning at MSB is largely activity based, with children engaging with hands-on materials and independent projects. At MSB, children are encouraged to ask questions and think, explore and investigate on their own, thus building the necessary framework for academic success.

Our goal is to equip children with a strong academic foundation in all subjects and to guide them towards becoming confident, self-directed and life-long learners, full of curiosity and creativity.

Character Education

At MSB, character education is just as important as academics. Our curriculum includes a strong social element, teaching students the appropriate behaviours and skills for everyday living. Children learn conflict resolution and how to apply virtues such as courtesy and tolerance to classroom activities and behaviours. They learn to collaborate with others, respect differences and acknowledge each person’s unique contribution to the community. Developing the appropriate language and social skills from an early age enables our students to engage positively in the classroom and beyond.

An Individualised Approach

Every child is unique and learns differently. Steady observation and careful evaluation throughout the school year allow our teachers to cater to individual skill sets and present each child with the learning materials that best match his or her abilities and needs. This tailored approach ensures that children are able progress through the curriculum at a pace that is appropriate to them, while continuing to meet national and international standards. By the same token, there is never any risk of a child being left behind or bored. Our low student-teacher ratios ensures that extra in-class support is always readily available and children may advance to the next topic or level as soon as they are ready.

  • Toddler Curriculum
    • Toddler Curriculum

      The focus of the curriculum during these formative years is to establish and expand each child’s knowledge base and skill set, paving the way for future learning.

      The Toddler curriculum is comprised of five Montessori areas: Practical Life, Sensorial (includes geometry), Language, Maths and Culture. Throughout the year, our teachers continuously observe and record the children’s progress in each area, carefully documenting their individual levels of understanding to better guide their learning.

      Our children are immersed in a bilingual environment that alternates freely between English and Chinese. Here, children may master key vocabulary in both languages in preparation for entry into the Dual Language or English Only programs.

  • Reception Curriculum
    • Early Childhood Curriculum

      Early Childhood 3  is a pivotal year for our children as it marks their transition from Early Childhood 1 & 2 to Elementary. At this time, children review and build upon what they learned in Preschool and grow more proficient in mathematical operations and concepts in numeracy. They also expand upon their knowledge of physical geography, learning about the continents, oceans, land forms and biomes of the world.

      The Early Childhood 3  year is also the period when children take the steps towards greater physical independence and begin their journey towards intellectual independence. They may begin keeping a journal in which they can share their thoughts or experiences. Thus, by the time they complete Early Childhood 3 , our children are prepared to enter Grade 1.

      Global Hanyu Program
      Students in Early Childhood 3 who possess a high level of Chinese (as per teacher assessment) have the option of enrolling in our year-long Global Hanyu Program. This program uses standard Chinese teaching methods to help children master up to 1,000 characters by the end of the school year.

  • Elementary Curriculum
    • Elementary Curriculum

      MSB Elementary students follow a carefully constructed, rigorous academic curriculum that guides them through all of the fundamental and abstract concepts in each field of study. In addition to their regular lessons in science, history and geography, children engage in a
      comprehensive language curriculum that includes vocabulary, spelling, word study (parts of speech, compound words, homonyms, etc.) and literature. Opportunities to write, read aloud and present their work abound.

      In maths, children begin by mastering the four basic functions — addition, subtraction, multiplication and division — and the concepts of place value and quantity-symbol association. From there, they transition into the more abstract fields of problem solving, fractions, long division and binomial equations. The hands-on Montessori approach is particularly impressive here where the use of manipulative maths learning materials allows children to discover for themselves the patterns and rules in a given mathematical process.

      To encourage good time management and a strong work ethic, MSB Elementary students learn to keep a record of their work via an agenda. At the start of each week, our teachers will assign each child a list of lessons and exercises to complete before the week’s end. This helps children develop the habit of meeting deadlines and managing their time wisely.

      Intensive Chinese

      Every Elementary child receives a 50-minute Intensive Chinese lesson each day. Children are assessed at the start of each school year in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening and then grouped according to degree of Chinese fluency. Advanced students are taught from the Chinese National Curriculum; beginner to intermediate students are taught from the MSB Chinese curriculum. All lessons are led by native Chinese speakers. The language of instruction and communication is entirely in Chinese, as well as all of the learning materials.

      Guided Reading Programme

      The MSB Guided Reading Programme aims to promote English literacy and fluency through weekly lessons with our English Department. As with Intensive Chinese, students are assessed at the beginning of each school year and then grouped according to grade and ability.

      Guided Reading lessons are an opportunity for students to read aloud and engage in purposeful discussion with their peers. For children in Grades 1 and 2, these sessions are extremely helpful in improving phonemic awareness, sight reading and the ability to analyse and critique text.

      The Novel Studies Program

      The Novel Studies Program is a natural progression from our Guided Reading Program that strives to promote our student’s literacy development in an enjoyable and engaging way. Our English literacy program has been developed to build areas such as comprehension, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency and writing.  Our upper elementary and middle school students will bring the understanding and skills developed in their younger years and use them to delve into more substantial pieces of literature. 

      This program starts from a more structured, teacher-led environment in Grade 4, with the aim of guiding students into student-driven classes. As the students become more familiar with exploring literature, they will start to take control of the lessons by organizing discussion material for their own novel studies. In the higher grade levels they will take control of the meetings in completely student managed groups with minimal oversight from teachers. This, in accordance to Montessori principals, aims to foster a sense of ownership and self-efficacy towards their learning. 

      We have curated a broad selection of classics and contemporary award-winning novels that students are eager to dissect and discuss in depth. As well as giving the students the skills necessary to explore themes in literature, we aim to encourage a genuine love of reading and the sharing of thoughts and opinions on that literature.

  • Middle School Curriculum
    • Middle School Curriculum 

      Through our proud heritage of Dr. Montessori’s philosophy, our Middle School fosters the academic inquiry, drive, and love of learning that will prepare our students for high school, university, and beyond.  

      Our comprehensive MS curriculum is designed for Grades 6 through to 8 and grounded in a rigorous humanities curriculum that builds and expands on our elementary curriculum. Students receive interdisciplinary studies in math, science, language, Humanities, Chinese culture and specialty classes such as art, music and PE. Our curriculum fosters continual engagement with language through presentations, projects, and group work. This approach deepens reading and speaking skills as student grapple with subject-area topics in small groups.  Our adolescents need the time and space to develop ideas and delve deep into their studies.  Our schedule is built with this in mind, MSB students have blocks of uninterrupted work cycles, to process, build, and truly focus on their work. 
  • Specialty Subjects
    • Science

      Science at MSB covers all of the main branches: biology (botany and zoology), chemistry and physics. In Infant & Toddler and Early Childhood, science falls under the Culture curriculum and topics are introduced informally through the children’s culture lessons. In Toddler, science concepts are introduced seamlessly during Circle Time discussions and activities. For example, the life cycle of the butterfly may be introduced in conjunction with spring. In Early Childhood, in-class experiments are used to help illustrate abstract concepts such as gravity, magnetism and momentum. These experiments may be carried out at the classroom level, i.e., by the teacher in front of the whole class, but more often by the students themselves using the materials provided in the Culture area of the classroom.

      Science in Elementary is taught formally with children attending science class once a week in our dedicated laboratory. The curriculum begins as an overview of life sciences in Grade 1, and eventually revolves around physical science in Grade 6. At this point, the focus also turns to ecology and conservation, with the assistance of our onsite wormeries and aquaponics system. Our Science Fair is a rite of passage for our students with children completing one new project every other year in Grades 1, 3 and 5 (during Grades 2, 4 and 6, children participate in our Elementary Exhibition Night). These projects are completed by the children at school under the guidance of our teachers.


      Creativity and self-expression through art is embraced and encouraged at MSB. During art class, children learn fundamental art vocabulary and explore a variety of artistic movements, techniques, mediums and styles to create their own masterpieces. Our campus is a rotating
      exhibit of their work, ranging from wall-sized murals to small clay sculptures, all inspired by famous artists of the past and present.

      In June, MSB hosts its annual Art Show, a highly anticipated affair for which students select a single artwork to represent their artistic achievements over the course of the academic year. In addition, each class collaborates on a special piece of art to be auctioned off at the event for charity.

      MSB has been a proud host to many artists and illustrators, including renowned Japanese block printer Ralph Kiggel and Spanish artist El Tono. The latter’s three-day workshop with our Elementary children resulted in the colourful contemporary mural on the second floor of our Elementary building.


      MSB offers a complete music curriculum that both teaches and inspires. In Infant & Toddler and Early Childhood 1 & 2, children explore rhythm and sound through introductions to various instruments, music and dance styles from around the world. In Early Childhood 3  and Elementary, children learn to read and write sheet music, master active listening and learn to play the recorder (Grades 1 and 2) and the ukelele (Grades 3 and up). Children are also introduced to works by Bizet, Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Beethoven, to name a few, and engage in classical music appreciation during their lunchtime.

      MSB is home to three student bands, one each for Grades 4, 5 and 6. Band members may take up instruments of their own choosing and rehearse under the guidance of our Elementary Music teacher Charles Dujat. In addition to performing incredible covers of hits like “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, the students also have the opportunity to compose their own music.

      Performances are held throughout the school year, during school assemblies and events like the Spring Picnic and Let’s Show talent competition.

      Every December, MSB hosts a Winter Recital, Lower Elementary Music Showcase and Upper Elementary Winter Show. Each performance features a combination of music and choreography, accompanied by stunning backdrops and costumes.


      The PE program at MSB is extremely diverse, going beyond the usual drills to also promote fitness, leadership, teamwork, and the development of hand-eye coordination, balance and agility. Children engage in a variety of athletic activities, ranging from football and swimming to obstacle course running.

      MSB organises a number of sporting events throughout the school year. We host a schoolwide Sports Day every May. We also sponsor regular off-campus field trips for our Elementary children giving them the opportunity to sail, kayak, snowboard, ski, rock climb and hike.