Montessori primary education builds on the foundation laid down in the preschool years. As in preschool, there is a strong focus on the idea that education needs to equip students to be independent, competent, responsible and caring people, who see value in making a contribution to their community. Respect underpins all aspects of school life. Respect for oneself, others, and the environment is necessary in order to develop trusting relationships and a healthy atmosphere in which to learn and grow. Multi-aged grouping within each cycle or class encourages the kind of social awareness and interaction that lends itself to cooperative learning and cross-age tutoring.
As well as needing to meet all teacher registration requirements, staff at Southern Montessori School are expected to undertake further studies to build their knowledge and understanding of Montessori teaching materials, philosophy and methodology. This commitment to ongoing training helps ensure that the teachers are well equipped to understand and work towards meeting the needs of their students.
The family plays an integral role in the life and education of children. Montessori education acknowledges this and, where possible, attempts to develop a strong working partnership with parents in order to maximise student learning. In addition, information sessions are held regularly to provide parents with opportunities to learn more about the Montessori approach.
Southern Montessori School is a registered non-government school. This means that in addition to the Montessori curriculum, the staff members are expected to keep abreast of current educational frameworks and benchmark requirements which apply to all schools.
Primary School location:
O’Sullivan Beach Campus – 53 Galloway Road O’Sullivan Beach, SA 5166. School Hours are: 8.50 am – 3.20 pm.
Applications will be processed in order of receipt by year and program, with priority given to students: whose families have an existing commitment to the school especially those transferring from other programs run by the Centre; who are siblings of existing students or are children of former students; or who are transferring from other Montessori Schools or Centres. Our integrated curriculum, coupled with small class sizes and encouragement of self-directed learning, serves to both individualise the learning for children and build positive relationships. Our curriculum encompasses all learning areas; English, Mathematics, Cultural Studies (History, Geography and Science), Creative Arts, Health and Physical Education and Languages-other-than-English (Italian). The learning program at Southern Montessori School places strong emphasis on literacy and numeracy and along with life skills, thinking skills, and values education, aims to:
- promote a lifelong love of learning; and
- to challenge students to apply what they learn to the real world
Students are encouraged to progress at a rate which is commensurate with their ability and stage of development. Extra support takes place when required, and students who show special ability are extended within their own classroom setting.
Each class has a 60 minute Creative Arts lesson every week either on Tuesday or Thursday. Creative Arts involves 5 main areas:
- Visual Arts
- Media Arts
Each term we will focus on a different area of the Creative Arts:
- Term 1–Drama
- Term 2–Visual Arts
- Term 3–Dance
- Term 4–Music
Using teamwork and imagination to create Human Letters with Media Arts being incorporated across the different areas. Term 1 – Weeks 1-5: What is Creative Arts? A range of drama games and activities exploring movement, imagination and teamwork skills Creative Arts Expectations Developing and exploring rules and expectations for the Creative Arts through role play and freeze frames. What is Drama? A range of drama games and activities exploring drama skills and techniques. Weeks 6-10: Using role play and freeze frames to explore the Creative Arts Expectations. Exploring weather through drama: Cycle 1 Drama games, activities and songs exploring the Seasons. Cycle 2 Exploring the Water Cycle through a variety of drama forms such as improvisation, movement and mime. Cycle 3 Mini play/performance of ‘The Rainbow Story’. Here are just a couple of things we have been working on in drama in the first half of the term.
Southern Montessori is committed to stewardship of the environment and implementing sustainable practices wherever possible. Each year we undertake a number of initiatives aimed at reducing our footprint of the world. We discuss opportunities and are active within our school, the local environment and further abroad when we have the chance. In 2016 and 2017, our Middle School students are supporting the Friends of Moana Sands group in their re-vegetation project.
We have a strong relationship with NRM Education and our Environmental Committee lead and report on a wide range of environmental initiatives. Together we hope to foster positive behaviours and attitudes towards our natural environment, as we strive for a more sustainable future.
Health and physical education
Health and Physical Education at Southern Montessori is concerned with holistic human development. We strive to establish positive self-concepts and relationships for the children, and to achieve optimum health for the individual and their families. We also hope to emphasise the importance of physical activity for growth and functioning.
Health and Physical Education is structured around the two strands of: Personal, Social and Community Health; Movement and Physical Activity.
Students participate in 1 x 60 minute lesson per week, plus a team sport practice for students competing in organised competitions. We have the benefit of many fantastic parent volunteers and staff who help with the training and weekend competitions. Daily Fitness is an important component of the program and is highlighted by the school Sports Day and Preschool Sports Day where the focus is on participation and having fun. In addition, students have the choice of participating in the Sporting Schools Program and other community events.
At Southern Montessori School all students from Cycles 1-3 and in our Adolescent Program learn Italian. A specialist teacher provides the program. Students are immersed in the Italian language and culture. They are provided with opportunities to listen, read, write and speak the language. The children are also provided with opportunities to attend community cultural events such as Carnevale, hands on activities such as cooking and real life experiences in which they meet special guests, visitors and performers and participate in excursions. Spero di incontrarvi presto!
The school library is developing as an active learning and social hub in the school. It is currently being restructured to enable improved classroom and independent student use. Appropriate use of library systems and access and care for library resources is an important aspect of student learning. Library staff and classroom teachers collaborate to provide a cohesive and integrated approach to support curriculum focuses. The library plays a significant role in facilitating the annual Premier’s Reading Challenge and promoting the benefits of reading for knowledge and pleasure. Students are able to borrow weekly and are encouraged to share their reading responses and suggestions with each other through a range of oral and written activities.
Music Tuition is currently available for Piano / Keyboard, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Flute, Clarinet and Saxophone. Music students are given a solid foundation in rhythmic, pitch, aural, improvisational and music reading aspects as they steadily progress through a wide range of musical styles. Students’ musicality is enhanced through the regular use of Dalcroze Eurthymics techniques during lessons, which have a great influence on the development of the feeling in music, especially rhythm and beat. Students also have regular opportunities to perform, and preparation for examination with a number of examination organizations is available, and optional. Countless studies highlight the benefits to children’s development, of participation in music and the arts. Instrumental Music lessons are provided at the school by Stephen King, and also at his Morphett Vale teaching studio. Stephen has more than 25 years of experience teaching students of all ages privately and within state / independent, primary / secondary and T.A.F.E. music teaching roles. Tuition details and fee structure enquiries are available from the school.