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 HandbookSMS 2021 Parent Information Handbook
Download Link: Parent Information Handbook
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.
All students from Reception to Year 6 learn to express themselves in fun and meaningful ways through a Creative Arts Program, offered by specialist teachers Lea Simmons and Jenny Chilvers.
Lea teaches Drama, Dance, Visual and Media Arts on Tuesday and Friday, while Jenny teaches Music and private music tuition on Wednesday and Thursday.
As part of the Creative Arts program, our school also participates in Wakakirri in alternate years. Wakakirri is the search for the best Story-Dance created by Australian School, where hundreds of schools across Australia create a Story Dance to perform in Professional Theatres for audiences, in search of the best Story of the Year’. Students from Year 2 – Year 6 can participate.
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 2019 and 2020, we will be 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 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 weekly lessons, plus team sport practices 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.
Horticulture and Kitchen-Garden Project
The Kitchen/Garden Program is a wonderful opportunity for students to explore and appreciate the natural world. They develop an understanding of sustainable food practices, by planning, planting and maintaining their own herb and vegetable gardens. The produce is harvested and then used to create healthy, delicious meals in our small Cycle 2 cooking classes. From garden to kitchen to plate – the students are involved every step of the way.
The Horticultural Program is provided by Tim Ross. Tim can be contacted by phoning the school or alternatively you may wish to email them.
His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 and ukelele. 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. 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 Jenny Chilvers. Tuition details and a fee structure are available from the school.