These are important posts that have appeared in the Broadsheet in previous weeks. They are in order of newest to oldest.

Message from the Principal

Monday 16th April 2018 

Welcome back everyone to a wet and blustery Term 2 start! I hope that you all benefitted from a fabulously restful time in the holidays and enjoyed the wonderful weather in Melbourne if you were here!

Cycle 3 Camp – Gilwell Park

The term started with lots of enthusiasm and organisation as the 93 x Cycle 3 children and 10 x staff headed off to Gilwell Park in the Dandenongs after their camp was postponed due to bushfire risk last term. The week looks like it will improve as it goes on and we wish them an energetic time at the scout camp at Gembrook!

Down to business – WWCC

Over the next few weeks we have a number of information sessions at School. I will be running the ONLY Term 2 Working with Children Check session on Thursday week 26th April at 9am at Caulfield if you want to get involved in the Cycle 1 PMP (Perceptual Motor Program) at Brighton OR if you want to help in the Library, Pizza Day preparation etc and you have not undertaken this information session yet. Please sign up or ring Reception to let us know you will be coming.

New to Melbourne Montessori this year or last year?

This Thursday night at 7pm we offer an Information Session for parents who are new to the School. This is a chance for you to hear more about Montessori and how it works. It is an opportunity to meet two staff members and two parents whose children have been at the school for some time and to ask some of those burning questions you have been meaning to ask for some time! One of our parents this year who has been kind enough to come to speak with you, has a child in Cycle 5 in the senior school so you might have some questions for them about the benefits of Montessori in senior school.

Don’t forget School photos!

This term we will be taking the school photos at:

Brighton on Monday 23rd April and

Caulfield on 30th April.

Family photos will take place on 30th April in the Caulfield Hall from 8.15am.


Safe Travels, Susie!

Take the opportunity to wish Susie (and Peter) a fantastic break to celebrate their 30th Wedding Anniversary! Susie will be away from this Friday 20th April for one month and we wish them all the very best and a fantastic, trip of a lifetime!

Gay Wales 

“The greatness of the human personality begins at the hour of birth.  From this almost mystic affirmation there comes what may seem a strange conclusion: that education must start from birth.”     Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal


Testing at a Montessori School?  

You would all be aware that all schools are mandated to sit the NAPLAN tests which come around each May.  At MMS we believe that this is excellent Practical Life experience for our children and lots of the children enjoy the equivalent of a Sudoku for adults.  Here is the analysis of our results for 2017.

Year 3 

The Year 3 children have maintained their outstanding achievement levels again in Reading, Writing, Spelling and Grammar and Punctuation and Numeracy as these excellent NAPLAN results confirm. In Reading (Comprehension) and Grammar and Punctuation, the average child in Year 3 scored at the National Minimum Standard required for Year 9. This is a remarkable achievement and further, ninety per cent of the entire year level were achieving at or above the National Minimum Standard for Year 5 in Reading, Writing, Numeracy and Grammar and Punctuation.

In Spelling, seventy-five per cent scored at or above the National Minimum Standard for Year 5, and the average child achieved at the National Minimum Standard for Year 7.

Year 5

The Year 5 children achieved equally high results with the average child achieving above the National Minimum Standard for Year 9 in both Reading (Comprehension) and Spelling. The average child achieved at or above the National Minimum Standard for Year 9 in Writing, Numeracy and Grammar and Punctuation. Ninety per cent of children in Reading achieved at or above the National Minimum Standard for Year 7 and ninety per cent achieved at or above the National Minimum Standard for Year 7 in Writing, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation. In Numeracy, seventy-five per cent of children in Year 5 achieved at or above the National Minimum Standard for Year 7.

Year 7

It is important to understand that the National Minimum Standard for Year 9 is the highest rating anyone can achieve.

Our third group of Year 7 students achieved very highly with the average student achieving above the National Minimum Standard for Year 9 in every subject area. Ninety per cent of the students in Reading (Comprehension) and Numeracy achieved at or above the National Minimum Standard for Year 9 – the highest rating described in NAPLAN. In Writing, Spelling and Grammar and Punctuation seventy-five percent of our students achieved at or above the National Minimum Standard for Year 9.  

Year 9

In our first cohort of Year 9 students, the average student achieved above or well above the National Minimum Standard for Year 9 – the highest rating described in NAPLAN in every subject area. Ninety percent of all students achieved either above or well above the National Minimum Standard for Year 9 in every subject area.


The Australian Council for Educational Research who create and produce all the exam papers in Australia have recently devised a questionnaire which they would like parents to complete. The Measuring Parent Engagement Trial is designed to help them understand how families and schools can best work together to support learning outcomes for our children. If you are interested in taking part, please open the email from us with the subject: ACER Parent Engagement Survey.

Gay Wales 

19th March 2018 

“We especially need imagination in science.  It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but it is somewhat beauty and poetry.” Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal

Monday 5th March 2018

A fabulous day out!

Home-made lemonade on a hot day; children making robots in Caulfield Hall; Grads taking tours and classrooms a hub of activity, questions and answers all make for a wonderful vignette of life at MMS! Open Day at Melbourne Montessori School was a glorious day where our children, parents and staff came together to celebrate our community and to sample the wide-ranging activities and performances at both campuses.

Brighton Campus was resplendent with myriad bunting stretched high and wide by Chris, our acrobatic teacher, in Cycle 4. Parents welcomed numerous existing parents and lots of prospective parents to each campus where they were then able to learn more about the Montessori philosophy. Teachers and parents explained and demonstrated to prospective parents about the way we cover all the curriculum, while explaining that we do this in a completely different way from mainstream schools. Parents were able to explore the level of individual care and attention offered to each child and to feel the atmosphere of friendly, genuine care and support of the individual.

In the senior school, students manned their stalls and sold or demonstrated the businesses they are currently running. There was coffee, hot chocolate and milkshakes available all ready to wash down brownies and savoury muffins. Students were selling their organic lip balms, bath salts and lavender bags. The woodworking group demonstrated how they are making toys to sell and others cooked sausages and hot food and some painted faces with unicorns and rainbows.

At Caulfield, two stunning dances were held on the grass where the Cycle 2 and 3 children performed the Javanese dances they have learnt in Performing Arts this term and wonderful flowers, soaps, cupcakes and slices were sold or you could make your own bunting at the craft stall.

Thank you to so many parents who came and helped set up; helped at stalls and the Welcome Table; helped pack up and who donated so much of their time and fabulous items like the potted herbs. We are so grateful to you all and thank you for making our Open Day a wonderfully happy time for all our families!

Gay Wales 

“One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.”  Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal

Monday 26th February 2018 

Scienceworks for Cycle 2s

An excited group of Cycle 2 children got involved in a range of science exploration and in particular the Tilt exhibition which demonstrates the Earth’s axis and explains the seasons.

We got to make our own future car, it was so fun! We also got to see our design on a screen.’ Louka

‘We went to the Planetarium and watched a movie about Earth’s axis and how it controls the seasons. It was cool.’ Robbie


Is your child really asleep!?

Do you know how many hours sleep you should be getting or your child or teenager?

The ‘power of sleep’ is a module in the SimplyHealthy@Schools-program. It is based on important research about children and sleep from the Australian Centre for Education in Sleep (  


How much sleep does your child need?

Primary school children need 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night to stay healthy, happy and be able to perform in school at their best.  Adolescents need between a massive 9 and 9 and a half hours sleep each night!

 Their body needs sleep:

  • to rest and recharge;
  • to grow (new cells are made, growth hormone is released during sleep);
  • to repair cells (fixing bruises and injuries);
  • to keep the immune system strong and to fight off illnesses.


Their brain also needs sleep:

  • to store information it gets during the day and remember it;
  • to be able to pay attention and concentrate during the day; • to be able to learn new insights and skills;
  • for problem solving.

Heading to Bedtime (and later in the night!)

Children can have difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep during the night. Up to 40% of children and adolescents experience some form of sleep problem. Most sleep problems are caused by external factors and can be solved with good sleep routines.

Your child sleeps much better in a room where he or she feels comfortable and has a bed routine that is predictable. Most children need to unwind a little before they are able to fall asleep. You can easily help your child to find a suitable routine for this. Don’t allow your child to play computer games, watch television, call friends or do similar activities that will excite them before bed. Instead, help your child to relax and unwind before going to bed, for example by letting him/her take a hot shower or warm bath, read a book together or talk about the day he/she had at school.  It is also important for your child’s bio-rhythm that the bedroom is not too bright – try to let your child get used to the dimly lit room to assist in falling asleep.

Although times have changed, try to keep televisions, computers, game-consoles, mobile phones and music players out of your child’s bedroom, at least at night. They don’t need them when they sleep and it will help them resist temptation to secretly do other things instead of sleeping! Adolescents are getting too little sleep when constantly replying to messages and photos.

We hope that these tips will give you some inspiration to take care of your child’s night rest.    


Caulfield Working Bee

A huge thank you to the hard-working parents who attended the Caulfield Working Bee last Saturday. They have created a new garden bed and filled others, they have spread lots of mulch and pressure cleaned the carparks. They put together two new BBQs and hose reels.We are always grateful to everyone who comes to help improve the grounds at either campus!

Gay Wales 

“If help and salvation are to come, they can only come from the children, for the children are the makers of men.”  Maria Montessori 


Message from the Principal

Monday 19th February 2018 

The Farm

Last week, the inaugural group of Cycle 4 students headed off to Collingwood Children’s Farm on the first of many curriculum days there. Melbourne Montessori School have made a connection with The Farm which means that half of our Cycle 4 students will attend, with their teachers, every week on Wednesdays. Maria Montessori would be thrilled with this extension to our Cycle 4 program where so many life skills, leadership skills, indigenous connections, science and technology, Mathematics and English curriculum not to mention art and cooking skills will be taught in an authentic setting. We envisage that our Cycle 5 students will also be able to carry out some valuable curriculum work commencing with water testing in the immediate future.

This is an exciting development for our Senior School and it is fabulous to be associated with a farm which has been operating in Melbourne for over 175 years!


Child in Cycle 3? Want to know more about our Senior School?

Next week on Monday night please come along to hear an information session designed to explain how and why Montessori Cycle 4 is so very different from main stream schools. You will hear that we still deliver all the standard Australian curriculum, but we just treat our adolescents in a very different way to help them engage in practical, real-world, stimulating learning which gives them responsibility and shows them how to use their skills to connect with their community and the wider world.

Brighton Campus 7pm All Cycle 3 parents are welcome.


Information Sessions at both campuses

Last week every cycle in the school were treated to a tailor-made opportunity to meet the specialists and to hear in depth about the program which has been planned for their children. Classroom teachers explained to parents how to maximise the opportunities for each child and Room Representatives explained how to make the most of connecting with our community.

Please just ask your classroom teacher or Room Rep if you were unable to come or have any other questions.


Brighton Working Bee

Thank you to the wonderful parents who helped in the Brighton Working Bee on Saturday!

They helped load more sand into the sandpits, trimmed the big hedges, stained some fences and helped with cleaning windows and with the pressure hose around Cycle 1.  They also prepared the vegetable gardens ready for the Cycle 1 children to plant now that we are approaching autumn.

If you want to help our community more and earn some hours for the PIL, there is a Working Bee at Caulfield this Saturday! See you there!

Many thanks


“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”  Maria Montessori 


Message from the Principal

Monday 12th February 2018 

Torquay Camp

Picture a happy group of teenagers all kayaking in the sun on the River Anglesea and you have a glimpse of the Cycle 4 camp last week! In an idyllic week of glorious weather, the Cycle 4 students and teachers spent a special time working together, body boarding, surfing, kayaking and visiting the Surf Museum in Torquay. They took it in turns to cook for the whole group each night as well as practising their mindfulness and reflection skills. This is a seminal time for building our new community in Cycle 4 and the bonds created now start to contribute to important connections for the year ahead. Thank you to all the staff who spent the week with a big group of adolescents.


Cycle 5 Orientation

While the Cycle 4 students were on Camp, the Year 10 students began their term with an extensive exploration of the University of Melbourne. They spent some time beginning to understand what a university can offer and just how big the different departments can be. The teachers had booked a lecture room and they had a lesson there using the latest technology. They were in awe at the State Library of Victoria and explored the different catalogues, historical collections and displays and now all have free membership of the State Library which gives access to all the journals in the world! Earlier in the week they travelled to see the The Triennial exhibition and reflect on the present and the future. They have now begun to plan their own camp with Dean – inbetween starting some really intensive work at School.

Javanese dancers

Last week the Cycle 2 and 3 children were taken on a mesmerising journey of dance to the land of Java. As part of their Performing Arts program, they learnt a range of dance moves which demonstrate a real finesse in movement. If you would like to see what they have learnt, please come to Open Day and see their performances on the Green!

Bunnings Sausage Sizzle

A huge thank you to all the wonderful parent helpers who worked so tirelessly at the Sausage Sizzle at Bunnings yesterday to raise money for the Parent Association! It is with the help of parents in different areas of the school that we can truly call ourselves a strong community. Thank you again! Your time and talents are really appreciated!

Don’t forget!!

Information Nights for every child in Cycle 1-3 and Cycle 5 are being held this week. All the information is relevant to you and your child. Please check the dates on the App or calendar!

Gay Wales 

“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.”   Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal

Monday 5th February 2018

Welcome Back!
Welcome back to Term 1! We hope that you and your family have had a wonderfully relaxing break and a refreshing start to the new year!
It has been fabulous to go into every classroom over the last few days and to see so many smiling faces and engaged, happy children at work. The children who are new to each cycle seem to have fitted seamlessly into their new classes and the teachers are delighted to be working with ‘their’ children again.
There are lots of new faces in the school and we are delighted to introduce a number of new teachers to each cycle as well – I know you will make them all feel very welcome.
Parenting Ideas
I would like to promote a parenting resource which is available to you all and to which we, as a school, subscribe: Parenting Ideas is a website which Michael Grose and his team author. You can access it through our website/Parents/Montessori at Home/Parenting Ideas OR follow the link here:
You can read blogs, enrol in parenting online courses and find parenting resources by Michael Grose and his team.
Below is a section of the transcript of the latest Parent Insights from Parenting Ideas. If you want to read the entire article, then please follow this link.
The Power of Gratitude for a Happier Life
More than just a nice feeling, gratitude is integral to happiness. If we can inspire and cultivate gratitude in our children, we’re doing so much more than teaching them to be polite by saying ‘thank-you’. We’re helping them develop a strength that will positively affect their mental health and wellbeing over a lifetime. It’s that powerful.
Remember how many times you had to remind your kids to use their manners all those years ago? I know, probably too many! Still reminding? You’re not alone! In the same way good manners eventually become a part of daily life, sincere gratitude will too. It’s worth persevering.
Benefits of a grateful mindset
The science tells us that compared with those who don’t, people who practise gratitude are more enthusiastic, more determined, perform better at school, are more likely to avoid risky behaviours, experience less depression and envy, are more kind and helpful, sleep better and are 25 per cent happier.
Adolescents with a grateful mindset are more optimistic and experience greater social support, which is essential to their health and happiness. They experience more fulfilling friendships and family relationships, are more content in themselves and with their school, have higher grades and are less focused on material possessions.
There’s simply no down side!
Practising gratitude is a sure-fire way to boost happiness, something we absolutely want for ourselves and for our children. In addition, teaching our children genuine appreciation helps them develop strong relationships over the course of their lives, and we know that strong relationships are critical to our overall happiness.
We hope that you and your family have enjoyed a great start to 2018! Remember, you can meet some new parents at the Morning Teas being held at each campus and the Information Night for your child’s class is coming up next week!
Many thanks,

Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.  Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal

Monday 11th December 2017

Best Art Show ever!

How delightful was the opening of the Art Show this year? Susie May from the NGV gave an illuminating talk to adults and children alike about Vincent van Gogh which she accompanied with hundreds of images. Due to our largest number of Cycle 2 and 3 children ever, the Art Show now takes up all the Caulfield Hall and all the Art Room! Myriads of stunningly delicate, observant drawings were displayed, fantastic groups of glazed pottery vegetables and highly creative chairs which symbolised the characteristics of the artist or their friend. Thank you to Jennie and Stephanie for an incredible year of Art and to the many, dedicated parent helpers who spent hours putting up the works of art and taking them down again!

A character analysis by Arya

Auggie Pullman was a shy, but intelligent boy that struggled to get the confidence to go to school because of his disfigured face. He doesn’t like displaying his face in public so he wears an astronaut helmet anytime, anywhere. When his headpiece gets lost (thrown out by his dad) he is forced to show his foul face. He was petrified to find out that his mum has enrolled into a school (Beacher Prep).

The Cycle 3 students felt “the movie ‘Wonder’ was great, but a few things could still be changed to make it more like the book.” Garet

Immigration Museum by Eva  

On Tuesday last week, Cycle 3 went on an excursion to the Immigration Museum on Flinders Street to learn about the history of immigration to Australia. We caught the tram to the city and walked to the Immigration Museum where we had snack in the courtyard, and then we sat in a room with a container or suitcase on each table.

Everyone had to sit down at a table and fill out a worksheet about the artefacts. They all told stories of people from different countries who immigrated to Australia to have a better life from the 1800s to the 2000s. Some of us dressed up in the clothes from that culture and time and presented what we had learnt to the other Cycle 3s.

We all got a passport with activities to do on every page to fill out as we went around the different exhibitions.

There were also lots of things to do that were not interactive, like listening to videos, reading the information on the posters, and looking at the objects and pictures. All in all, we had an amazing time at the Immigration Museum and learnt a lot about the immigration history of Australia.


I can’t believe we have almost arrived at the end of the year once again. We all wish parents and children a joyful holiday break and a safe and peaceful start to 2018!

Gay Wales 

“The education of even a small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.”  Maria Montessori


Message from the Principal

Monday 4th December 2017

Graduation Ceremonies

Standing on the stage at the Glen Eira Town Hall last week, 22 Graduates embraced one of our major Melbourne Montessori events when they each spoke to a huge group of parents, grandparents, staff and students. This was a fabulous evening and the Graduation Speech Night of 2017 will be remembered for a program entirely created and crafted by the Graduates themselves, generously enabled by Steve Heart.

Each Graduate made a speech, virtually all of them entirely memorised, they controlled the remote to change their slides and they articulated many and varied aspects of their personal musings and their philosophical outlook on their school journey so far.

This paradoxical ceremony reflected all that Montessori represents: It was magnificent but simple, sophisticated but straight forward, complex but clear, intellectual but full of sheer joyful, cheerful exuberance, individual but supportive of the team, passionately different and yet collaborative. If you were there, I think you would agree, if you have not experienced a Grad Speech Night, then I encourage you to do so! They are inspirational young people and to see a young, twelve year old so confidently stand proudly on the stage mostly alone, although two pairs chose to work together this year which was innovative and delightful. They share their innermost thoughts, dreams, aspirations, failures and hopes for the future with clarity, directness and honesty. Some sang, one had entirely written his speech as a witty poem, one spoke of politics and another about philosophy. I fought back tears on a number of occasions but overall the strength of these young people who head off into secondary school is powerful and we all believe that they will be able to make a huge difference in their lives ahead. We wish them every success in their future lives!

Alumni Lunch

On Wednesday, these same Graduates will be meeting some of our Alumni who are currently finishing Year 11. It is an occasion for them to be further inspired to see what they might be able to do in the future.

Inaugural Cycle 4 Graduation

On Friday, we have another first as our Founding Families get together to celebrate the Graduation of our first ever Cycle 4 Graduates. They will begin the journey in Cycle 5 next year and head off to the exciting realms of senior secondary with the start of our last cycle at Melbourne Montessori School!

Art Show

Reminder that the opening of our wonderful annual Art Show is tonight. The opening address will take place in Ned’s classroom and please be advised that all children who attend the evening are expected to listen to the speeches too! It is a family Art Show, not just for adults!

Gay Wales 

“The child seeks for independence by means of work; an independence of body and mind.” Maria Montessori 




Message from the Principal

Monday 27th November 2017

Solar telescopes in Cycle 1 


What a great day the Cycle 1s and some of the Cycle 4s had ten days ago with Tara and Mark Iscaro looking through the solar telescopes with Chris and Russell from the Astronomical Society of Victoria!  No-one actually managed to see any sunspots unfortunately but they did see some brilliant solar prominences that amazed the children and teachers! Chris and Russ fielded some great questions from our inquisitive children!

Tara also made sundials with the children in Room 1B and was mindful to point out that you need to download the southern hemisphere template and remember that it is daylight saving at the moment if you are thinking of making one with your child.

If you are interested in getting involved with the Astronomical Society of Victoria, they have an event coming up in December that is open to the public and all MMS families are welcome to come along.

For anyone interested in doing more with the Astronomical Society of Victoria their annual STAR-Be-Cue is on Sat 16th December at its dark sky site; this event is open to members, non members and the general public.  The site is located about 90 minutes’ drive north of Melbourne CBD, and will be an afternoon of solar observations, talks, site tours, wine tasting, BBQ from Lions Club and a door prize of an 8-inch telescope.  The evening will see a tour of the Universe by an expert, and observing through some 50 telescopes including the huge ASV 25-inch.   Members can just turn up, however non members need to make a booking by emailing

And if any families are interested in joining the ASV or finding out more, they can visit: or speak to any of our astronomical enthusiasts: Mark or Tara Iscaro or John Kinsella.

The ASV also run a Juniors section that meet on the second Friday of each month and members can attend this (or any other section) for no additional charge. (It’s not clear on the website, but a ‘full membership’ can include a family (2 adults, 2 children) and is $75 per year, plus a $20 once off joining fee – absolute bargain!) Thank you to Mark and Tara and Maria who made this possible for our young star gazers!

Gay Wales 

“One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.”  Maria Montessori 



A Message from the Principal

Robotics success 2 years in a row!

For the second year in a row Melbourne Montessori School, surrounded by hundreds of students from other Melbourne schools, won another Lego League trophy – this time for teamwork. The focus in 2017 was on Hydro Dynamics. One of our Micro Economy groups had designed the t-shirts they all wore and students from other schools asked where they had purchased them! Congratulations to Harry, Zara, Tiago, Ethan, Alex and Dallas for working so hard over the weekends and for competing in such a collaborative manner!

Sports Days in the Sun

Last Friday MMS held two sports days – the annual Jarrod Hampton Sports Day was held at Princes’ Park for the Cycle 2 and 3 children where the Grads ran the six different stations comprising  Hoop Ball, Euroball , Soccer, Tag Ball, Newcombe, Handball amongst others. The weather was surprisingly sunny and everyone worked hard at developing the different sports skills. It was wonderful to see how effective, caring and mature the Grads were when organising their teams.

The other Sports Day was held at Brighton for the afternoon children in Cycle 1. This was a first and again, the weather held and they were all able to enjoy the egg and spoon races, soccer goal shooting, sack races, beanbag throwing but my favourite was definitely the long jump into the sandpit! Great to see our sportsmen and women of the future! It was also wonderful to see the new basketball area being used for a complex obstacle race for the tricycles around the colourful cones. Thank you to all the teachers who helped organise both these events!

Thank you to all who attended the Working Bees  

We would like to thank the large numbers of parents who have come to help Sean and Nick both at Brighton and Caulfield for our Term 4 Working Bees. The extra help has meant that a great many jobs have been completed around the school and the grounds are benefitting from this extra attention. Thank you for helping at MMS!

Transition Days

Our Transition Days have begun for 2018 and some very excited children helped transitioning, new Cycle 2 children from Brighton last week. We still have one morning session and one full day to go as the children will come to Caulfield again this coming Friday 24th November and Monday 27th November next week.

Today, the new Cycle 4 students for 2018 attended one full day of activities to welcome them into Cycle 4. Our new Cycle 5 students baked for the whole community and also attended a full afternoon’s subject briefing about their Year 10 work next year.

“The environment must be rich in motives which lend interest to activity and invite the child to conduct his own experiences.” Maria Montessori

– Gay Wales, Principal

Message from the Principal

Monday 16th October 2017

Montessori out of school!

Montessori methods are being used to fight dementia and to teach elite sport.

Some of you might have heard Dr Cameron Camp on ABC Radio 774 yesterday speaking about the current role of Montessori teaching and learning in nursing homes and aged care facilities. Dr Camp has been invited to come to Melbourne to be part of the 17th Alzheimer’s Australia Biennial National Dementia Conference and is also running workshops for carers helping those with dementia.

Dr. Camp is the Director of Research, Center for Applied Research in Dementia, Ohio USA. He is an internationally-known research scientist in the field of ageing who has been conducting applied and translational research in gerontology, dementia intervention, and cognitive intervention for over 30 years. He says that people with dementia can learn again using Montessori methods. In 2013, Dr Camp gave a lecture tour to help promote Alzheimer Australia’s Dementia Care resource Relate, Motivate, Appreciate: Restoring meaningful engagement with a person with dementia in care.

Further afield, Dutch soccer enthusiasts at Cruyff Football, where top soccer coaches and elite soccer players are born, have been working hard to adopt Montessori methods of teaching. Cruyff Football realised that there was a great deal of synergy between the ideas of Johan Cruyff and the philosophy of Maria Montessori. This is not surprising as both were leaders in fields of child development and both are thought to have re-examined paradigms on the basis of those principles and, they both lived in Amsterdam. Today, the result of Maria Montessori’s thinking is visible in the tens of thousands of schools worldwide and the results of Johan Cruyff’s thinking is evident in the acclaimed football academies of Ajax and Barcelona where he was instrumental in creating a youth player focussed environment.

Cruyff Football have decided to create a model school devoted to the complete development of the child, where sport skills are developed as an integral part of the Montessori curriculum. They have already run a very successful pilot coaching course in Beijing, China last July 2017 and we at Melbourne Montessori School, with the expertise of Dean Stafrace, are currently working with MAF to introduce a pilot scheme at MMS together with Cruyff Football to connect Montessori and soccer in Australia.

Welcome back to Term 4! We hope that all families had a restful and restorative break and are ready for the final term of the year! There is always lots happening at MMS so hopefully you have your copy your child will have brought home of What’s On in Term 4 to help keep you abreast of all the events taking place this term. If you have lost your copy you can always print one off from the Broadsheet page on the website.

Congratulations again to our chess students coming first place in the Victorian Interschool Chess Championships last week!  10 players have made it into the semi finals which will take place on Friday 27th October 2017!

Gay Wales 

“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.”  Maria Montessori 

A Message From the Principal

Cycle 4 Camp

It was a wild and woolly week last week, but 41 intrepid Cycle 4 students, Des, Dean and 5 teachers headed off to the Grampians for a very special week. Each year of the three year rolling curriculum the Cycle 4s have a camp in late Term 3 or early Term 4. The first year we explored a Connection to the Land looking at the Gold Rush history, sheep and wheat history of farming; last year we explored the Australian Connection to the Sea as we conducted citizen science on the Great Barrier Reef and explored the Daintree Rainforest, and this year the students studied the Connection to the People. We were lucky enough to engage Indigicate, an indigenous-owned organisation that specialises in camps on Indigenous Australian culture and history. They take school students on the most soul-searching and connective camps and our adolescent students absolutely loved the work they did, the walks they did to see the oldest indigenous rock art on the walls of Gariwerd and the personal, inner development sessions. As the focus for the camp was on respect for self and elders as well as the importance of family and community, we invited the parents to share some activities on Saturday afternoon, to cook dinner on Saturday night and to camp/stay at Halls Gap and have breakfast with us on Sunday morning. 70 parents and siblings came and chatted or played around the four camp fires until well into the night!

Meeting in the Middle

Last weekend saw the connection of all the Adolescent Montessori programs in Australia as we convened at Elonera Montessori School in NSW for a 3 day conference. It was wonderful to have all our Cycle 4 teachers there to learn from and network with other Cycle 4 and Cycle 5 teachers and leaders. It was particularly useful for us to learn more about the organisation of the International Baccalaureate programs already being run in these schools and to share our ideas and resources.

Focus on Policies

As with any professional institution, MMS has many policies and over the rest of the year, I will be explaining more about some of our major policies. All policies can be found on the website under the Parents tab.

The Administration of Medication Policy is another one which is applicable at camps and also during the worst of the winter colds and ‘flu! Nobody is able to give a child medication, including self-administration, unless we have prior written consent and written instruction of the type of medication, the frequency, dose size and time when the medication is to be given to the child. Any medication must be in the original box and any prescription medication can only be given to the person whose name appears on that medication. We check to see that the medication is not out of its use by date too. When the dose is taken, a teacher will record the details and sign off that the correct dose was administered and at which time.

We hope you that you travel safely wherever you go and that you all have wonderfully refreshing September holidays!


“Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.”  – Maria Montessori


Gay Wales, Principal

Message from the Principal

Monday 14th August 2017

Book Week

A huge thank you to Hala for organising so many wonderful activities last week at both campuses! The children were treated to wonderful visiting authors, Davina Bell and Ailsa Wild, who spoke inspiringly about writing narrative and how books are produced. The highlight of the week was the launch of the new Little Free Library at Caulfield which is now in pride of place outside our front gate. Many thanks to Jenn Zainuddin, and Peter and Jen Karlich who designed, created and orchestrated the construction of such a beautiful Little Free Library for us to have at MMS. It was a wonderful moment when Ailsa Wild saw the mosaic of her main character Squishy Taylor larger than life on the side of the LFL!

MMS has donated $140 USD (AUS$173 was collected on Friday) to the Little Free Library Team who were very grateful to receive this from our School.


I was very fortunate to hear one of the world’s top neuroscientists speak last Thursday, Dr Steve Miller. He served in the research faculty at the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience at Rutgers University in New Jersey and then became the co-founder of Scientific Learning who developed Fast ForWord amongst other brain-oriented software. He spoke about the four main factors which determine cognitive development and along with diet, exercise and brain exercising he mentioned how important sleep is for memory. Apparently, the more Stage 4 sleep you can achieve, the more you will remember from the day before!

The fourth factor which Maria Montessori knew so well, has been shown to be stress management. As we all know, Montessori classrooms are inviting, engaging and calming places where we can all manage our stress better and the prepared environment in Cycle 4 is deliberately designed to allay stress in the renovating, adolescent brain.

Parent teacher interviews

Final parent teacher interviews will take place tomorrow at both campuses. Please check the campus of the specialist you are seeing so you do not go somewhere where they are not!

Ski Camp

Fourteen intrepid skiers headed off to Mt. Buller this morning to enjoy a week of skiing in probably the best conditions this winter. We wish them, Dean and Sarah Jane a wonderful and safe ski camp!

Gay Wales

“We especially need imagination in science.  It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but it is somewhat beauty and poetry.”  Maria Montessori 

A Message from the Principal


Book Week is here again!

This morning, a number of Cats in the Hat, fairies, teddy bears – even a blue crayon – arrived at Brighton ready to tell parents and classmates about their favourite book. The traditional Book Parade at Cycle 1 took place in every classroom and the afternoon children were then delighted with a highly engaging presentation from the author Davina Bell. She talked to them about the method she uses for making her writing more creative and how she connects her real life experiences with her imagination. She also spoke about the process of liaising with the illustrator for her books and the steps involved in having a book published. Readings Books will be available again all day tomorrow at Brighton.


Then the Readings Book Fair will move to Caulfield on Wednesday (and remain until Friday afternoon) and the children will take part in the Book Parade for Cycle 2s and Cycle 3s at 9am on Wednesday. On Friday, there will be a launch of the Little Free Library which is going to be installed at Caulfield and Ailsa Wild will be the author who speaks to Cycles 2 and 3. There are now over 50,000 LFLs in over 70 countries around the world and we are so grateful to Jenn Zainuddin who has created and built our second Little Free Library for MMS. She will talk about the project to help provide books for areas of need and then launch the new LFL!


Please bring a gold coin donation to buy books for less fortunate children PLUS a good quality book which you no longer wish to read from home to help fill our new Little Free Library. Every child who brings a book on Friday will be able to choose a different book from the free books to take home.


Message from the Principal

Monday 28th November 2016

Transitions were a great success!

We have now had three days of transition at Caulfield and also a full day of transition to Cycle 4. This morning a group of parents were able to share experiences, nervousness and joy, as they were welcomed by the PA and had some slices and cakes made by the Cycle 4 students. As always, some of the biggies from Cycle 1 who were transitioning to Cycle 2 felt that the bus rides they had last week back to Brighton, were the highlight! It was wonderful to welcome Ned Smithfield to his new class too, and for his students to work with him for two mornings, albeit in the Library instead of the new classroom which will be ready for the beginning of Term 1.

This is not new information, but it is interesting to watch another transition which is happening in Finland as they overhaul their schools, eliminating specific subject lessons by 2020.

And it is interesting to see how like our Montessori it sounds…   These paragraphs are taken from an article – the link is below.

“The new method of “phenomenon teaching” involves teaching of broad topics, combining different skills. For example, you might learn geography, geology and languages through a lesson in which students identify different countries on a map and discuss their climates, all in French.

Vocational courses might include “cafeteria services”, combining maths, writing and communication skills. Others might study a real-life topic such as the European Union, merging economics, history, languages, geography and politics.

Finland is outshone in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) only by countries like China and Singapore, where students are held to punishing study regimes.

Students are on first-name terms with their teachers, who usually work with a class for years, getting to know each individual’s needs. Most classes have three teachers — two in charge and a third providing one-to-one assistance.

Students are only tested so teachers can see what they know. There is no stress around the papers, which are taken home and read over by parents.

Curricular programs are designed to assist with learning, and used flexibly by teachers as an aid, rather than focusing on helping students pass standardised tests. Classes are not streamed by ability. The best and worst students are taught together, so talented children learn to teach, work in groups and accept diversity. There is no such thing as a failing school in Finland. Teachers are highly valued and have Masters degrees.

“There are schools that are teaching in the old fashioned way which was of benefit in the beginnings of the 1900s — but the needs are not the same and we need something fit for the 21st century.” says Marjo Kyllonen, Helsinki’s education manager.

It’s not just the shift to broad subjects that we can learn from. Finland has had exemplary schooling techniques since the 1970s, and that’s on show everywhere with active methods of teaching, like having students move around the room to look at classmates’ work and give feedback, rather than sit through 20 presentations, bored and tuned out.”

Gay Wales 

“Let us leave the life free to develop within the limits of the good, and let us observe this inner life developing. This is the whole of our mission.”  Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal

Monday 14th November 2016

Reminder to watch out for the Super Moon!

Hopefully the clouds will clear near you tonight so that you can catch a glimpse of the Super Moon for the first time in nearly 70 years. I believe the closest point is strictly in the early hours of Tuesday morning, but you might be able to see how bright the moonshine is before then! Good luck!

Transition Days start this week!

Reminder to all parents whose children are moving from Cycle 1 to Cycle 2 or from Cycle 2 to Cycle 3: On Thursday 17th November (morning) your child will be able to see their new surroundings, meet their new teacher, make new friends and begin to feel part of their new classroom. Further Transition days will be Friday 25th November (morning) and Monday 28th November (all day). Parents of transitioning children are also invited to come and share a coffee with other parents in the Staff Room at Caulfield on Monday 28th November after drop off.

Jarrod Hampton Sports Day for Cycle 2s and Cycle 3s

Reminder that this Friday children need to be dropped at school, AS USUAL. They will then walk down to Princes’ Park to have an energetic morning of organised sports and activities. Children will then walk back to school in time for Lunch.

Sleepover for Middlies!

A wonderful, activity-filled sleepover was held last Friday for the Cycle 2 Middlies at Caulfield. All the Cycle 2 teachers and the children got involved in a number of fun activities, had pizza for dinner and finally settled down to ‘Minions’ before going to sleep, at least for a few hours! The children really enjoyed the sleepover and we thank all the teachers and Dominic for organising this fantastic taster of camping life!

Brighton Working Bee

Thank you to the marvellous helpers who came on Saturday and helped organise the sprucing up of the Brighton gardens. Some much-needed weeding, grass cutting, hedge trimming and general maintenance has made a big difference to the appearance of our Brighton campus!

Gay Wales 

“Bring the child to the consciousness of his own dignity and he will feel free.”   Maria Montessori

Message from the Principal

Monday 7th November 2016

Nature Deficit Disorder

In Richard Louv’s book, “The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age,” he explored this key question: “What could our lives and our children’s lives be like if our days and nights were as immersed in nature as they are in technology?”

 “Although human beings have been urbanizing, and then moving indoors, since the introduction of agriculture, social and technological changes in the past three decades have accelerated that change.

 Among the reasons: the proliferation of electronic communications; poor urban planning and disappearing open space; increased street traffic; diminished importance of the natural world in public and private education; and parental fear magnified by news and entertainment media. An expanding body of scientific evidence suggests that nature-deficit disorder contributes to a diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, conditions of obesity, and higher rates of emotional and physical illnesses. Research also suggests that the nature-deficit weakens ecological literacy and stewardship of the natural world. These problems are linked more broadly to what health care experts call the “epidemic of inactivity,” and to a devaluing of independent play. Nonetheless, we believe that society’s nature-deficit disorder can be reversed.”

How lucky we are that even though our school is in the suburbs of a big city, our Montessori children are encouraged to go out and find worms, look at caterpillars, climb over rocks and logs and water vegetables!

Duldig Art Studio

Some of our Cycle 4 students had their work selected for an exhibition which opened yesterday at the Duldig Studio. Cr John McMorrow of the Stonnington Council opened the exhibition and presented the awards. Our students have been working with some of the artists from the Duldig Studio and their clay works were on display. They are currently studying the art of realistic drawing from life.  Congratulations to Stefani G from Cycle 4 who won the Award for Excellence for ‘Pegasus’.  You are welcome to visit this exhibition which will be open for the next two weeks.

Farewell to Lisa Birchall

Last week we farewelled our Librarian, Lisa Birchall. Lisa has been with us since the start of 2015 and has made a huge impact on our libraries at the Caulfield and Brighton campuses, reinvigorating our collections with new resources based on student interests and cataloguing these with care. Her hard work and passion has been invaluable and her kindness and knowledge will certainly be missed by both staff and students alike. We wish her all the very best in her future endeavours.

Gay Wales

“Wait while observing.”  That is the motto of the educator.     Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal

Monday 24th October 2016

Chess Success!

A very young team of chess players made their mark last week and became the Team Champions of the Victorian Interschool Chess Championships for this term! Congratulations to Liam F, Sebastian H, Filip P, Marti and Victor C, Isaac N, Arya T, Ethan and Oscar G, Marcus C, Garet S, Barnaby K, William T, Ari P, Oscar P, Sacha H, Oliver and Charlie C, Cenzo A.


Congratulations to Blake too!

Blake was honoured to be asked to open the new visitors centre called the Exploratory at the Open Day at the annual Starfest of the Australian Astronomy Observatory at Siding Spring Mountain in NSW. Read more about his special day below!


Successful BBQ Sausage Sizzle Fundraiser

A very big thank you to all our helpers at yesterday’s Bunnings Sausage Sizzle, in particular Sandra Ilias for organising this event. It was again a very successful event which brought in almost $1,500 of fundraising profit to the School.  Thank you to everyone who was involved in such a fun and rewarding day!


Wonderful weather marked a wonderful camp.

The Cycle 2 third yearers had a fabulous time last week at Camp Campaspe Downs! They missed the rain and you can read all the detail from Dominic below.

Hoping that you all enjoy a fabulous long mid-term break from this Friday 28th October to come back to school Wednesday 2nd November!


Gay Wales 

“It is not enough for the teacher to love the child. She must first love and understand the universe. She must prepare herself, and truly work at it.”  

Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal

Monday 17th October 2016


Cycle 2 Cranbourne Botanic Gardens

On the only gloriously sunny, Spring day this year, the Cycle 2 children visited the Australian site of the Royal Botanic Gardens. They were delighted by the stunning design of the desert garden and enjoyed all the activities with their guides.

“The Cycle Two excursion to the Royal Botanical Australian Gardens, Cranbourne was a great success. The children got to experience different topics including Climate Change, Conservation Matters, Australian Deserts and Tree to Seeds. They participated in hands on activities including measuring the Earth’s temperature, creating water catchments and potting up a plant. Students will report back to other members of their class, some of the things which they learnt and all children will be writing a text inspired by their visit.” Lisa, Melinda, Belinda and Laura 

Montessori Australia Foundation: Business Managers’ Forum

This year, for the first time, our school offered to host the MAF Business Managers’ Forum. Business Managers from as far away as Perth came to our Brighton campus to spend a day networking and learning from each other after a tour of our campus and a presentation by the host, John Bourikas. A big thank you to John, Susie and Anne who made the Brighton Hall look lovely and inviting for a day’s hard work. Two delegates from Independent Schools Victoria also attended and spoke to the assembled Business Managers. I know that they were wonderfully looked after and had a purposeful and interesting day. Towards the end of the day, a panel convened from Brisbane International Montessori, Perth Montessori and Melbourne Montessori, to answer questions and issues from the floor, regarding Montessori School’s unique set up, compliance and accounting issues.

Three new roles at MMS

It is with extreme delight that I can now announce that our fourth and last Cycle 3 classroom is going to be run by Ned Smithfield from January 2017.

Many of you will already know Ned, who worked in Yasmin’s classroom a few years ago. He comes to us with a degree in Applied Science and was also a Project Manager for a major building project in the city before he took up teaching. He is fully Montessori trained and comes to us as a Cycle 3 teacher from Elonera Montessori School in NSW. He is thrilled to be able to come to MMS to work as he now lives in Melbourne with his wife and new baby girl.

We are also thrilled to be able to announce the fifth full-time teacher for Cycle 4 for next year. Laura Darroch has deep knowledge of teaching English from Year 7 to Year 12. She has experience in secondary schools from Lochgelly High School in Scotland to Melbourne Grammar School in South Yarra. (The Scottish education system is currently leading the western world in high quality education). Laura has a passion for English, Humanities and Media and also for helping abandoned dogs whom she regularly fosters until they can find a new home. Laura’s appointment means that next year in Cycle 4 there will be three female full-time teachers and two male full-time teachers, together with Des Reuben, the new Deputy Principal of the Senior School.

As a school we have grown quickly and now feel the need for greater and clearer communication within the school and for someone to manage effective external marketing in the role of Community Engagement Manager.

This position has been taken by Candice Jansz who started today, 17th October. This new role will be threefold as Candice will also look after the reconnection with our alumni and the development of a detailed database of alumni. She will additionally work with the MMS Foundation. Candice comes to us with lots of experience in communication and marketing as she has been on teams at St Michael’s Grammar School and also at two universities and the Royal Women’s Hospital Foundation amongst others.

We look forward to introducing you to all of these wonderful new staff members at Melbourne Montessori School and know that you will make them feel welcome!

Gay Wales 

“The first essential for the child’s development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy.”  Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal

Monday 10th October 2016


Lessons can be fun!!

Blue skies, white sand, myriad fish of every colour, sparkling rivers and deep rainforest; this was the setting for last week’s Cycle 4 Marine Encounters curriculum camp. As a Montessori school, we introduce concepts and extend students much younger than they do in mainstream schools and so we were met with constant surprise from our guides when they discovered that our students were only in Years 7 and 8. Our units this term will cover the ecology, sustainability and the role of the sea in Australia’s future. So it was with lots of enthusiasm that we accompanied a range of extremely knowledgeable guides to explore and find out more about the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.

We began to explore some Biology through a detailed lecture about the fish and coral on the Great Barrier Reef, followed the next day by three hours swimming and snorkelling in two different locations on a cay and on the reef; the students even helped in a citizen science-based data collection of species on the reef itself, with pencils which would write under water! We were fascinated by talks with cassowary and crocodile experts, and also visited a tropical fruit orchard where they made their own exotic ice-creams. The Humanities subjects we began to explore started with an excellent tour by an aboriginal guide who showed and explained many indigenous aspects of living in the Daintree at Mossman Gorge; and we visited the hydro-electric dam in the rainforest and a self sufficient sugar mill at Mossman and saw tea being grown as well.

Civics and Citizenship topics were investigated through the ethical and moral issues surrounding the development of the area, farming of crocodiles, sugar cane, bananas etc . These were constantly discussed and, to enhance both analysis of these topics and their English debating skills, the students worked up and performed a debate where they took on the role of different interest groups in the proposed Aquis multi-billion casino and resort in the Daintree. Our guides were particularly impressed by the depth of understanding and the proposed alternatives our students suggested. We also enjoyed a trip to the Kuranda markets where the students were able to see first hand the products of Micro Economy projects in their community.

Wherever we went, adults commented on the unusually high level of engagement of our students and of the deep and interesting questions they asked. Guides commented on the deep level of care shown by our teachers and their efforts for the wellbeing and complete education of their students.

As always, our learning is embedded in a natural way, with subjects interweaving with other subjects. This makes them engaging and complex as things are in the real world, and it prepares our students for the cooperative and collaborative real world learning expected in the 21st century.

So I was not entirely surprised to receive an email this morning from an entirely unknown passenger on our plane from Saturday who wrote to compliment us on the exemplary behaviour and attitude of our very young secondary students who are seen as so mature, friendly and knowledgeable.

I am also thrilled to report that Melbourne Montessori School has now purchased 25 sq metres of land in the Daintree so that it can be kept in perpetuity as rainforest for the benefit of all Australians and the local cassowaries and quolls!

A huge thank you to Dominic, Chris and Sarah who so cheerfully spent six days with our wonderful Cycle 4 students!

Gay Wales 

Message from the Principal

Monday 12th September 2016


Night of the Notables

From Elon Musk and his Tesla car to Dian Fossey who has worked with mountain gorillas, from George de Mestral who invented velcro to Emily Cummins, the extraordinary young inventor of sustainable products,  we were dazzled by the high standard of research and the wonderful presentations given by the Cycle 3 students last Monday night. The Year 5s from each classroom made speeches to the parents and then all students, who were wonderfully dressed in character, manned their stalls and were able to talk at length about their chosen notable person. Some had quizzes pre-programmed onto iPads or questions typed onto cards for anyone to ask about. It was fabulous for the Cycle 2s to be able to experience the event onTuesday morning.


Pizza and Fruit for our children

Thank you to Annalisa Chapman for writing this bio on PORTOFINO PIZZA:

Phil Andronaco is a current dad at Melbourne Montessori School. His restaurant, Portofino Pizza is around the corner from the Caulfield Campus.  Phil’s business partner Michael has been making pizzas for 40 years (remember Pinocchio’s Pizza, South Yarra).

Portofino’s is an authentic, old style Italian eatery with thin base pizzas. All the dough is made daily on site according to the traditional recipe – flour, water, extra virgin olive oil and a tiny amount of salt and sugar. All sauces are made according to traditional Italian techniques. There are gluten free bases available. Phil even hand makes his own gnocchi.

Portofino’s pizza is currently providing pizzas to MMS, Presentation College, Windsor and Christian Brothers College, St Kilda.

In addition to the pizzas ordered, each classroom receives a fruit and vegetable platter which is kindly donated by one of School dad’s,  Ali Elsamad  in  Elsternwick. The fruit and vegetables are cleaned and cut by Cycle 3 students. The pizzas are collected at 11.30 am on each Pizza Day so that the half day Brighton kids can enjoy them too.

Music Forum

Thank you to all those interested parents who either attended the Music Forum last week or who have sent in their suggestions for the future of our Music program. It was really important for our Music teachers and myself to hear from you all about your hopes and expectations for our classroom Music lessons and other musical opportunities in the school. So far, these include the possibility of a Cycle 2 Choir, opportunities for existing musical students to play their instruments together, soirees out of school time, maintaining a whole school Mid-Year Concert and keeping a link with Drama. There have been others and I am still receiving emailed suggestions. We will put all these together during the holidays and inform you of our plans for next term and continue into the future. All teachers create and submit detailed lesson plans, term by term, which detail the work to be covered in each lesson and which direct and guide the learning outcomes for each year level.

Gay Wales 

“One test of correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child itself.”   Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal

Monday 5th September 2016

snip fd

Night of the Notables tonight!

Please come along to the Caulfield campus tonight to see and hear what our Cycle 3 students have to say about their notable person. The event begins at 7pm.


Fathers’ and Special Friends’ Day

Over 100 families came along to celebrate Fathers’ Day at school last Friday night. Graduates who lead the Community Group greeted families at Reception and then arranged activities and games for the children, fathers and special friends – even some grandfathers came along for fun and pizza! It was fabulous to hear that lots of Cycle 1 dads came, as well as Cycle 2,3 and 4 fathers and special friends who joined in the celebration with their children. A huge thank you to Jonelle and Steve and the PA who organised this very special night and to Phil who supplied the pizzas!

snip rock


Montessori National Summit

Montessori leaders from all over Australia met last Wednesday at Uluru to spend three days working through various strategic questions and issues which face MAF today. We workshopped around many different aspects from marketing to governance as we took into account the many expected changes ahead and also tried to make provision for those unknown changes which will unfold.  I was delighted to have been asked to speak at the summit representing Melbourne Montessori School, which is now the largest independent Montessori school in Australia. We were excited to find that the Montessori community want a much more cohesive, collaborative strategic direction for the next five to twenty years for MAF with greater quality assurance, opportunity for smaller schools to draw on resources and expertise and new-look, online Montessori training more accessible for teachers. We hope that a much-needed university degree will be available soon in Queensland to train Montessori teachers with Australian qualifications. It was fantastic to be with such passionate Montessorians who work so hard to bring excellent education to all our children.

Gay Wales


“Our goal is not so much the imparting of knowledge as the unveiling and developing of spiritual energy.”  Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal

Monday 29th August 2016

Book Week

Lots of Harry Potters, mermaids and Cats in the Hat enthusiastically invaded both campuses last week to celebrate authors, reading and to raise awareness of the wonderful worlds we can all find inside a book. Lisa, from the Library, organised a Book Week Parade and lots of parents watched as the children and staff celebrated at Caulfield. WE also had another wonderful Book Fair from Readings, this time at Brighton, and are very grateful to Angela for bringing us another selection of stunning books for our children to read.

The Book Swap was highly successful with many books being brought to the Caulfield Library and then sold to raise money for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation who are focussing on Early Childhood books this year.

The author, Clare Saxby, came and spoke to the Cycle 1 children in the Brighton Hall too and had them totally engages as she showed them a real emu egg and feathers before reading them her delightfully informative book Emu.

Athletics Trials Day

The winter weather last Friday was perfect and we were delighted to find that the Duncan McKinnon Reserve has been finished with a wonderful, new pavilion which meant our children could all leave their snacks, lunch and extra clothing in one place and could have some time out, sitting in comfort, when not performing. The day was outstandingly organised by Dominic as usual and, inspired by the recent Rio Olympics, our 9-12 year olds threw discus, tried their hand at shot put, performed the triple jump, long jump, hurdles and ran many different distances and even relays. A selection has now been made for the children who will represent MMS at the Districts this Friday.

Gay Wales 

“The more capacity to concentrate is developed, the more often the profound tranquility in work is achieved, then the clearer will be the manifestation of discipline within the child.”

Maria Montessori 


Message from the Principal

Monday 22nd of August 2016


Last Tuesday night, one third of our Cycle 3 students performed at the Melbourne Town Hall to a standing-room-only audience full of interested and passionate parents. They were representing MMS for the third time in this biennial event which celebrates choirs and singing in our Melbourne independent schools. The Cycle 3 choir were wonderfully enthusiastic, but extremely disciplined, as they sang two of the songs they have developed themselves. They accompanied the Torres Strait Island songs with body percussion and a simple drum. It was an incredibly musical a Capella performance, loud and clear, and stood apart from most of the other choirs who had to stand like ramrods, motionless. We have received many compliments about our performance since – especially at a seminar for principals on Thursday night. They then participated in the massed choir performance.


Working Bees

Thank you to all the wonderful parents who came and helped at both campuses in the last two weeks. These dedicated parents have carried loads of tanbark, transferred sand to the digging pit, painted lines on the Basketball court, safety marking on steps, trimmed trees, weeded and cleaned up around the grounds.


Family Life

Last Thursday night Family Life Victoria ran a session for parents and students which many parents attended with their children. Then on Friday, Family Life ran specific sessions for the Cycle 3 children as usual.


“The task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility and evil with activity.”    Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal

The Cycle 4s have been out and about in true Montessori style during the last week. These visits have really broadened their understanding of the Humanities unit they are studying which is examining the continuing saga for refugees in Australia.


Immigration Museum:

The Cycle 4 students began their adventure by walking through the Great Hall of Arrivals. This experience helped them feel what it would have been like, and the questions they would have been asked if they had arrived in Melbourne by ship in the 1800s, ready to set up a new life. They each received passport workbooks and followed the prompts of personal stories to complete the arrival process. They were particularly fascinated by some of the reasons people gave for leaving their homes for a new land and these included flight from war, famine, personal, political, relationship and natural disasters.  There was a revealing opportunity to role play being on the panel which decided whether immigrants were accepted into Australia or were sent home again. This underlined and helped them understand better the complexities of this agonizing, decision-making process.


The Jewish Holocaust Centre:

‘Why would people leave their family homes for a new land?’ So far, the Humanities group have studied the effects of war particularly as a catalyst for people’s decision to start life in a new land. In the Holocaust Centre, they were able to learn about the impacts of the holocaust, see photos and hear some of the most inspiring stories of people who fought against it, including Oskar Schindler- a German industrialist who saved over a thousand people from death by illegally employing them in his factories. Not only were the students filled with a new depth of knowledge of this time but they grew deeply involved as they listened to the personal stories told by Abe, a 92-year-old volunteer gentleman who had been fifteen at the beginning of the war. He told his story of how he made a ladder out of clothes and hid his mother in the roof for a month to avoid the extermination camp. The students were in awe of the jar of 15,000 buttons which represent one hundredth of the Jewish children lost to the holocaust during this time.


Imax: Star Trek Beyond:

After an exhilarating adventure via tram, train and walking through the city; after delicious varieties of pizza with parents, a box of popcorn and a drink, it was inspiring to sit down and watch two hours of spectacular science fiction 3D imagery. This was a fabulous way to enhance our understanding of the conventions of Science Fiction which is currently being studied in English.

Gay Wales


“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.” Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal

Monday 1st August 2016

Snip MYC

Oola La!

A stunning opening scene met our eyes as we were treated to the wonderful sights and sounds of the terrible cyclone Oola. It was an intriguing and yet inspiring theme for our Mid-Year Concert and last term our children became fascinated by the power of a force majeure. The Orff songs were transformed through the work of our Cycle 2s and Cycle 3s who created mesmerizing, and sometimes beautiful, pieces which told the tale of Oola’s rise and fall. It was fabulous to hear the String Ensemble playing for the first time on stage and to see so many of our students playing instruments they learn outside school. The Graduates played a very strong role this year in the complex logistics both on and off stage – as stagehands, Front of House, assisting with the younger classes and with costume and prop organisation. It was a fabulous showcasing of all that our students are doing in Music and Drama in Cycle 2 and 3.

Student Teachers and amazing volunteers

Behind the scenes, we at MMS continue to run a program of training, mentoring and assisting new student teachers. We assist the Australian universities with their student teacher placements from as far away as Curtin, Charles Sturt University as well as RMIT, Deakin, Swinburne and Monash Universities. These new, up and coming student teachers also come to MMS from as far away as America, Canada, England, Ireland, China and Laos. We are also heavily involved with assisting the MWEI Montessori course training which is undertaken at both Brighton and Caulfield campuses during weekends and school holidays and will be facilitating the AMI Cycle 1 course training in April, 2017.  So in your travels you may well bump into one of our student teachers who are in training as our future teachers.

Finally, at the end of August, we will be saying farewell to Josia Nusser who has been here at MMS as a volunteer from the Internationaler Bund, Freier Trager d. Jugend-Sozial- und Bildungsarbelt a.V.  This is a German Volunteer’s Abroad Program.  For the past three years with the super, kind assistance of the Yates and Powell families we have been able to facilitate four placements.  If anyone in our community would like to assist as a host family, we are now looking for another family who would like a student volunteer for approximately 6 to 12 months.

Gay Wales 

“Respect all the reasonable forms of activity in which the child engages and try to understand them.”  Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal

Monday 25th July 2016

Philanthropy at MMS

In the second week of Term 3, it has been a busy time with our philanthropic outreach program.   We have sent off x 8 boxes to Andrea Mahiepala at the Wanarn Remote Community School in the Western Desert.  Additionally, we have managed to assemble a further x 10 boxes of clothes, books, stationary and very old Montessori equipment to be sent to the Manila Montessori School through an organisation which is called P.A.C.E. This is run by a wonderful lady called Lerma Ung.  Lerma also came to talk to the Cycle 3 students about ‘Needs and Wants’ and spoke to the students about the outreach work of our School.

MMS has contributed over the years extensively to the Montessori Schools in Kuala Lumpur, Kiwirrkurra Ngaanyatjarra Lands School; Torres Strait Montessori School; Redfern Montessori Early Learning Centre, all through the MCF (Montessori Children’s Foundation) as well as a schools’ program which is being aided by one of our Brighton parents, Eve, in Switzerland.  Finally, we have shipped over the years, approximately half a container of items/boxes to the Alpha Montessori School in Vientiane, Laos where we have established a Library and a Cycle 2 classroom.

We would like to continue to offer our teachers the opportunity of teacher exchange/ student teacher placements and visits so that we can grow the global Montessori village.

Sarah Jane Watson

Experiment in Cycle 4

Last Monday night saw a large number of Cycle 4 parents experience the effects of a mainstream lesson about Shakespeare in the Brighton Hall. These parents were able to compare mainstream techniques and attitudes with Montessori techniques and attitudes and they were asked to examine how they felt in the two different systems.

This was an information night with a difference, as the parents were asked how they felt, whether they were engaged, whether their minds had wandered to think about other things and also about how easy it was to hide and escape when sitting in rows of desks. Some felt anxious about being picked on and another disliked being unable to see their colleagues further back in the class.

Later in the evening they were then immersed in a Montessori setting and expressed the sensation of being at once engaged and connected, of being acknowledged as a human being who has rights and valuable opinions, but the parents also felt the responsibilities incumbent on each student as they were accountable all the time; felt connected to their peers all the time and were working so much harder in the areas of problem-solving, creativity, collaboration, and time management – all 21st century skills. The parents were introduced to the fact that statistics show that 20% of everything currently taught in most secondary schools is already known by students as teachers don’t often seek to find out what students already know, whereas Montessori teachers take students from where they are and take them further. They were also introduced to Higher Order Thinking or HOT where the concepts of analysis, synthesis and evaluation are the main focus of all learning in outstanding education – unlike the predominantly lower order skills of massive recall of facts and remembering and applying knowledge. It was an interesting experiment and one where we could all feel that we were working harder in the Montessori environment, despite the perceived freedom and inclusive attitudes.

Mid-Year Concert reminder!

All the Cycle 2 and Cycle 3 students have been practising hard for the Mid-Year Concert ‘Oola La’ and tomorrow afternoon and Wednesday all day they will be at Kingston Hall rehearsing so remember to pick up your child from there!

Gay Wales 

“Do not erase the designs the child makes in the soft wax of his inner life.”    Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal

Monday 18th July 2016

Welcome back to another wonderfully busy term at Melbourne Montessori School! We all hope that you have had a fabulous combination of rest and recreation and feel ready for the term ahead.


During the holiday there have been many improvements made around the school. At Brighton, the main development has been the completion of the new Staff Room, which is twice as big, and will allow for the doubled number of staff we now have in Cycle 1 to work effectively in their planning time and to be able to make Montessori Materials with greater ease. Increased storage will make it easier for all concerned as well.

There has been a huge improvement in the level of security at Brighton, with cameras now in place around the exterior, as at Caulfield, and a new system of keypads which will be installed at both campuses. This is intended to keep your children and the school resources safer. An alarm system has now been fitted into the new buildings at Brighton.


Mid-Year Concert

Preparations are in full swing for the Mid-Year Concert and you will have received an email detailing the ticket purchases which can now be made on line:

Seating is allocated so it is first in, best dressed. If your child is in Cycle 2 or 3 you will also have received an email which outlines the costume you need to organise for your child’s performance. Please let your classroom teacher know if you are having any trouble with this.


New appointments

In Cycle 4 we are thrilled to be able to introduce Michael Vogue, an extremely experienced Science and Mathematics teacher who has taught Physics and Maths to Year 12. He is passionate about Science and Mathematics and was also a dietician in his first career. We will also see Steve Heart working as the new Cycle 2 Music teacher after the Mid-Year Concert is finished. I know you will make both these teachers welcome.



Have you visited the construction site of the new Ormond to Bentleigh railway lines to put the lines beneath the road? Do you know that you can see the huge number of cranes, ditch diggers and concrete pile drivers 24 hours per day? Do you know how many tonnes of steel reinforcement have been used? Or how deep the new railway lines will be? Do you know how many thousands of cubic metres of soil were removed in the first 10 days which are the equivalent of up to the second tier of the MCG? You can find all these answers and more at the following link:

Gay Wales 

“The organisation of psychical life begins with the characteristic phenomenon of attention.”    Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal

Tuesday 14th June 2016

Snip pizza day

Parent Association – Have your say!

We are eternally grateful to two extremely capable and passionate parents who have recently taken on the role of head of the Parent Association at both campuses. Jonelle Phillips, who will be known to many of you, has taken on the role at Caulfield and Devan Murnane, who is relatively new to our school, has taken on the role at Brighton.

We have felt that Cycle 1 parents have a different need and expectation to Cycle 2 and Cycle 3 parents, and Cycle 4 is different again. However, we might be wrong!

This generous duo have formed a new systematised organisation and have been meeting regularly over the past few weeks to create a workable way to modernise and update the Parent Association – but they would like your input!

You will find that you can tell them what you are interested in, what you would like to do with other school families and whether you want to be more involved in activities/dinners/playdates/trivia nights or not – and what times and dates work for you and your family.

Please complete the survey Part 1 which can be accessed via the link in an email OR on the phone App down the bottom under Surveys.


I would like to thank all the teachers, assistants and Admin staff for a fantastic first semester and we all wish you wonderfully refreshing, safe and joyous holidays!

Gay Wales

“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.”  Maria Montessori