In 2002, the idea of opening a school that offered each child the opportunity to reach his or her own potential without limits through the Montessori curriculum in a Dual-Language setting was a dream.
Today, we know that this unique approach to learning and developing does indeed give our children exactly what we dreamt about, and so much more than we imagined.
It is a joy to witness the sheer volume of possibilities the Montessori environment enables for each child, and to hear the natural mix of English and Putonghua ringing out in the hallways and classrooms at IMS.
From the day we opened our doors to 68 children in a converted office on Queen’s Road East in 2002, our story has been one of growing, moving and facing challenges with our incredible community. IMS pioneered the first English-Chinese Montessori programme, and the children who started their Montessori education journey with us in our earliest years are now graduating from University!
Today, our journey continues as it began, with the children. Preparations for our year full of celebratory events began at the end of last year, with our Upper Elementary Students.
Click on “Logo Design Process” to see how their design project resulted in our new fabulous Anniversary Logo!
And check out the other buttons with everything we are planning for this year, from 20th Anniversary Mementoes, Celebratory Events, to Sharing of your personal IMS memories in our Stroll down Memory Lane!
We feel privileged to have had the opportunity to build such a special school community, together with such culturally diverse and passionate parents, faculty, staff and children.
Thank you for being part of the IMS Community!
Anne Sawyer & Karin Ann
We believe that children are naturally born with the inner directive to meet their own needs and to learn. Our goal as Montessori educators is to embrace this innate drive by providing optimal learning environments for our bright, engaged, and inquisitive students. Regardless of developmental stage, the opportunity to choose your own activity, to move and work freely within the ground rules, and to work for long blocks of time without interruption are fundamental elements of learning the Montessori way.
The Montessori education method was developed over years of research in classrooms, discovering how children learned and developed. The Montessori curriculum is customised to meet the developmental needs of the child each step of the way. Your child has the opportunity to explore their own passions, while being guided to develop the needed skills which sets them up for success later in life!
At IMS, the children are completely immersed in a truly dual-language Montessori environment. Each
classroom is guided by two teachers, one a Putonghua-speaker and one an English-speaker who exclusively
speak their native language to the children. The children are exposed to speaking, listening, reading
and writing from the earliest ages in both English and Chinese, very naturally. Children are constantly
picking up new vocabulary from their teacher and their peers in both languages.
In the Elementary programme, children attend separate small group Chinese lessons based on their ability. These lessons allow them to learn new vocabulary and skills to reinforce later in their dual-language classroom.
At IMS, the children are completely immersed in a truly dual-language Montessori environment. Each classroom is guided by two teachers, one a Putonghua-speaker and one an English-speaker who exclusively speak their native language to the children. The children are exposed to speaking, listening, reading and writing from the earliest ages in both English and Chinese, very naturally. Children are constantly picking up new vocabulary from their teacher and their peers in both languages. In the Elementary programme, children attend separate small group Chinese lessons based on their ability. These lessons allow them to learn new vocabulary and skills to reinforce later in their dual-language classroom.
Children learn more and invest themselves deeply in their work when they are able to make choices. They
learn that their choices really matter.
A Montessori child is constantly striving to achieve success in increasingly difficult pursuits. Freedom to choose allows each child to discover their own needs, interests and abilities. And that they can succeed.
In my old school, they taught me how to do my homework. At IMS, they show me how to learn
The fingerprint on our logo embodies both a celebration of individuality and the individualised nature of learning in a Montessori environment. The Chinese characters, which mean “enlightenment” and “knowledge,” emerge from the fingerprint whorls to represent the importance of learning in Chinese and express the fundamental Montessori principle of learning through doing, of literally taking one’s education into one’s own hands.
The Upper Elementary design project combined so many concepts. There is a stylised heart-shaped balloon at the centre, which symbolises love, celebration, and the idea that “the sky’s the limit” at IMS. The wings of a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis also appear.
Since 2002, our goal at IMS is to enable each child to fully develop his or her own individual gifts and talents within a caring, supportive, respectful, and bilingual learning community, thereby assisting children in the process of becoming the next generation of leaders who are well-educated, self-actualized individuals, committed and capable of contributing to the betterment of the world.
This was an ambitious goal! But 20 years after choosing the Montessori Method for its scientific basis and over 100 years of international success, we know that the child-oriented, creative and bilingual Montessori learning environments IMS has created truly nourishes each child’s innate desire to learn and discover, enabling each child to move at his or her own pace and to reach their own highest potential. Montessori works!
IMS was accredited by the International Montessori Council (IMC) in 2012. IMC is an international organisation of Montessori schools that was established to provide support for Montessori programmes worldwide.
IMC accreditation is a rigorous process meant to ensure that accredited schools maintain the highest level of commitment to authentic Montessori pedagogy, and maintain professional and teaching standards. Schools are examined by dozens of criteria in nine standards, including governance, curriculum, human resource practises, and facilities maintenance. IMC accreditation is a guarantee that an institution has met the highest professional expectations in all standards and criteria. IMS is the first accredited Montessori Elementary Programme in Greater China and a pioneering Montessori institution in Asia.
The standards of the IMC Accreditation
• STANDARD #1: VISION AND PURPOSE The school has a well-developed vision and purpose, and the integrity of Montessori philosophy and curriculum is maintained through alignment to this purpose. The vision and purpose of the school has been developed through a collaborative effort that includes input from the school community and is communicated to all stakeholders.
• STANDARD # 2: GOVERNANCE and LEADERSHIP The school is led and supported by governance and leadership/school administration that is committed to ensuring student learning and school effectiveness through the implementation of Montessori philosophy and methodology.
• STANDARD #3: EDUCATION PROGRAM The School provides an educational program that is effective and consistent with the characteristics of authentic Montessori practice at each age level offered.
• STANDARD #4: RESOURCES The School provides appropriate resources to ensure effective implementation of its vision and purpose, consistent with the characteristics of authentic Montessori philosophy and methodology.
• STANDARD #5: CYCLE OF CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT The school engages stakeholders in a systematic process to evaluate student learning and school effectiveness contributing to a 3-5 year Strategic Plan.
When we first started IMS in 2002, we operated out of a small, cozy campus in Wan Chai. Back then, as the first AMI Montessori Elementary school in Greater China, we felt privileged to be able to offer Montessori programmes to support the joyful development of children. All of our Montessori programmes fully support a natural, and developmentally appropriate approach to learning that is intrinsically motivating, and encourages a life characterised by the joyous pursuit of knowledge.
IMS was established twenty years ago by a group of parents and professionals searching for an educational environment for our children! We looked for a school that was child-centred, yet fostered strong preparation for their future competitive world. We also wanted our children to be bilingual. One of the parents had experienced the magic of Montessori as an older child, and we chose the Montessori Method, an internationally recognised education method.
We opened our doors to 68 children in a converted Toy manufacturer’s office on Queen’s Road East in 2002 until today, creating the traditions that have become the fabric of #IMS Life as we have grown, moved, grown and moved again, all the while facing challenges with our incredible community! With you, we have pioneered the first English-Chinese Montessori programme, and the children who started their Montessori education journey with us in our earliest years are now graduating from University!
Today our community has grown to become one of the largest Montessori schools in the world, and continues to lead the way in developing an immersive dual-language programme. From our original campus in Wanchai, we have expanded to four locations that serve all the major catchments of Hong Kong Island.
IMS Graduate’s Video Celebrates “Then & Now: 20 Years of IMS”
As we watch our graduates discuss what they have experienced and learned at IMS, we are so proud to have been able to participate in this unique education. Our graduates have the confidence, competence and independence to handle life’s challenges. We have been overwhelmingly successful in fulfilling our vision – to build a diverse international school community in Hong Kong that is dedicated to the education and growth of children and their families.
We look forward to the next 20 years of growing with you!