Many of us have been students at Melbourne Montessori School from the start of Cycle 1. On the journey from Cycle 1 to Cycle 5, many have joined our Montessori Community and over the years we have grown close and become like a family, and I’m sad that this journey is coming to an end. Before we look forward towards a new chapter in our lives, let’s reflect on some of our fondest memories from along the way
So many of us will remember their first day of school in Cycle 1 at the Brighton Campus. For me, it involved a tearful morning drop off. Those tears quickly subsided, though, when we met our first teacher, Nirmala. Although we don’t remember much from Cycle 1, what we do know is that every day was fun-filled and exciting. All the Cycle 1 teachers were caring and wonderful role models for the children, and the epitome of what it is to be a Montessori teacher.
Cycle 2 and 3 at the Caulfield Campus were where things really started to kick off. Outside of the classroom, we played various ball sports at lunchtime including Cycle 2 and Cycle 3 soccer, attending school meetings every Friday, school concerts, sports and athletics days at Duncan Mackinnon Reserve and the annual Italian day where Max K always dominated the Spaghetti eating competition. Many of my most memorable moments in Cycle 3 happened in Yasmin’s class, when participating in her fun and engaging activities like the House Project and the Animal Kingdom. Many of Yasmin’s clever Maths tricks, anecdotes and quotes have stuck with us to this day. A highlight of Cycle 3, though, has to be the Night of the Notables, where each year the students would learn about an historical figure and on the night, deliver a biographical speech dressed as that person. One of our fondest memories of the Night of the Notables, where we had the most fun presenting and speaking to the parents on the night.
Coming full circle back to the Brighton Campus, Cycle 4 and 5 were a rollercoaster. We were only the second group through the Senior School and we are extremely proud of what we have helped to build. There are so many different experiences, adventures and subsequent highlights that came from these six years in the Senior School. Many programs have come and gone, but Microeconomy, Production, Community Meetings and Community Work are an integral part of the School which have stood the test of time. From cleaning out chicken coups and cooking their eggs for community lunches, to cleaning up feathers one morning after foxes helped themselves to our chickens the night before; Community Work has seen it all! As for Community Meetings, they were a time when we got to acknowledge a teacher or fellow student who had made a positive impact on us during the week.
In Year 10 we learnt how to ballroom dance to the delight of Amy and we also learnt how to drive, and through the years we played countless footy matches at Hurlingham Park. Then, Year 11 came around, and along with that, so did 2020. Some of us founded the Melbourne Montessori School Careers Programme and some of us embarked on the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme for what was to be, perhaps for all of us, the toughest two years of our lives. Some highlights of 2020 and 2021 were the terms when we were at school in person. Remote learning was challenging for everyone and we applaud all the Year 12s for making it through these two years. We are so proud of the IB students, we know how hard it was. We especially would like to acknowledge our teachers and the School for their commitment to ensuring that our learning continued as smoothly as possible during the lengthy lockdown periods. This brings us to the biggest, and final highlight, which was walking out of our last exam only a week ago and seeing the relief on everyone’s faces, knowing that we had arrived at the end of this epic journey.
There is so much to remember and reminisce about Montessori. Whether you have been here for a long or short time, the amount of memories that we have to remember for years to come are numerous. We can all remember The Farm back in Cycle 4. Such an opportunity that was! The independence given to us, even at a younger age, an age at which some parents wouldn’t let their children go out by themselves on a tram or bus to meet up with friends. Yet we were given the ability to travel to Collingwood via trains and the city, to tend to the gardens, the animals and each other. What school offers such a tremendous opportunity towards their students at such a young age as well?! As such, we developed skills and more independence not only as students, but as people too. We matured much faster than students at other schools and that is shown here, as we sit tonight at our graduation dinner, seeing how far we have come and grown up since then.
Montessori offered us opportunities like no other and the farm was only the tip of the iceberg. We learnt how to drive, we raised money for charity, we organised events in groups or by ourselves. We created small businesses in Microeconomy, created a cafe. We spent a week in the city, organised our own school jumpers, created a large assembly otherwise known as Coffee House every semester where we showed our projects, danced and sang, played music and more. We were able to experience things that other schools wouldn’t think of.
We are so proud of what we have collectively and individually achieved. We will miss our School big time; the memories, moments, friends, teachers and laughter circulating our brains that we can now reminisce about when we grow older. This School gave us more than just the opportunity to be students. It gave us the ability to grow as human beings and use those skills in the future. Always be proud of where you are now, be proud of us all!
We are definitely going to miss the jokes and banter we share. We are also going to miss the relationships we had with the teachers. It’s not everywhere you are treated as people, not just as students. All of us have grown as individuals and to accept each other for who we are, this is thanks to Melbourne Montessori School. We are also going to miss the culture we have created, that will hopefully be continued throughout the years ahead.
To our fellow graduates; never forget how far we’ve come. Everything we have gotten through. All the times we have pushed on even when we felt we couldn’t. All the mornings we got out of bed, no matter how hard it was. All the times we wanted to give up but persevered and made it through the days with achievements or memories. Never forget how much strength you’ve developed along the way.
Some of us have stayed at this School since Day One, others have joined along the way. But throughout each year, we’ve grown closer as a cohort and closer as friends. The people that have come and gone throughout the years we’ll miss, but we have many people to thank.
To our Principal, Gay, your energetic and enthusiastic presence and passion for the Montessori approach was always felt and appreciated by all. So, on behalf of the Melbourne Montessori Senior School Graduates of 2021, we would like to thank you for all your hard work and commitment to bringing the vision for a Senior School into reality, and establishing the foundations of the School we love today.
To all the Cycle 4 and 5 teachers who have taught, guided and motivated us in our learning journey over the years and made learning enjoyable for us with your enthusiasm, we thank you.
And finally, we’d like to thank our parents. If not for you all, we would not be here. Paying our school fees, driving us to school, packing our lunches. You are the main reason we are here today. You have guided us with your values and your parental instinct and for this, we say thank you.
We are beyond grateful for this journey. Where we have been, where we are now, and for what lies ahead. Thank you to everyone for celebrating with us and preparing us for the pathway ahead!