Broadsheet

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

A Message from the Principal

Grandparents’, Parents’ and Special Friends’ Day

Last week, at both campuses, beaming children proudly showed their work to Grandparents, Parents or Special Friends. I saw Grandparents, Parents and some Special Friends playing Italian Bingo with shapes in Maria’s class and dancing in another class to Italian songs. Some Grandparents and Parents joined in with PMP but most enjoyed seeing the jobs which their children were engaged in during the 3 hour work cycle in the classrooms. It is lovely for our children to have the interest and attention of a close relative or friend as they always love to demonstrate what they have learnt or are in the process of learning. I saw some Parents actually being given a presentation on the mat on the floor! I know that the adults love coming to see the children too, and I received many compliments on the work the children absorb and how wonderfully capable they are at so young an age.

Thank you for making our special day so successful!

 

Farewell

It is with real sadness that we farewell a number of special staff at the end of this week.

Maria Holt will teach her last Italian lessons ever this week and I know that some of you will want to thank her for the years of wonderful Italian lessons she has given our children. We wish her well as she enjoys the prospect of many, busy years of retirement together with her husband.

Steve Heart has been with us just one year, but he has created a special place in the hearts of our Cycle 2 children and their families and the staff. We wish him well as he begins his new journey to work with children and families at risk and continues his practice in this field.

Nicole Alexander, our Performing Arts Teacher for Cycle 1, has decided to change course in her career and explore the wonderful world of languages. She has done some wonderful work with Cycle 1s over the years in the Performing Arts space.

Ray, our Maintenance Man, is also retiring in the holidays and is looking forward to an energetic time with his many grandchildren and partner.

Viv Watson, who has been part of our Montessori family for many years, is moving to Canberra to accompany her husband who has taken up a job at Canberra Montessori School.

Evie Lockett has now retired after giving many of our Cycle 1 children the best start in life.

We wish them all the very best in their future endeavours and thank them for their years of support, care and dedication to Melbourne Montessori School!

 

“An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.” Maria Montessori

 

– Gay Wales, Principal

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.”

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/school-life/finnish-schools-no-longer-teaching-subjects-like-maths-and-science/news-story/d0c8b49aa5d1a3f28556070205078e50

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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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

Principal

“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

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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

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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.

Improvements

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:

http://www.kingstonarts.com.au/THEATRE/SCHOOL-PRODUCTIONS/melbournemontessori

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.

 

Challenge!

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:

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/frankston-line-level-crossings-massive-voids-draw-crowds-to-three-stations-20160714-gq64bk.html

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.

Holidays

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 

Message from the Principal

Monday 6th June 2016

Parents’, Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day

It was lovely visiting both campuses last week on these special days for each cycle. Parents and grandparents alike were seen perched on those tiny, Cycle 1 chairs or enthusiastically admiring work by their children or grandchildren in every classroom. Many parents and grandparents also visited the specialist classes and some even attended my computer lessons at Caulfield. The children love sharing their learning with someone special.

National Reconciliation Week

We found that we already had a link with the wonderful Kadul who came to perform with our Cycle 2 and 3 children last week as part our activities to mark Reconciliation Week. MMS helps an indigenous Montessori school, in the Torres Strait on Thursday Island, by sending materials, books and resources. When we discovered that Kadul’s cousin attends that school, everyone was thrilled and amazed to find this link between opposite ends of Australia. The children were totally absorbed as they listened to Kadul speak and play and as they saw the range of indigenous instruments and artefacts which he was able to bring. Many of the indigenous words Kadul used are currently being made into Montessori materials so that children can continue to better understand the culture of the indigenous people. This was a really inspiring day!

Gymnastics this term

As part of the Sporting Schools government initiative, we have been delighted to expand our sporting lessons at Melbourne Montessori School to include some fantastic gymnastics lessons from Gymnastics Australia for our Cycle 2 and Cycle 3 children. It has been fabulous to see the children practising their new found skills at lunchtime on the green. In addition to that, Dominic and I have also been happy to promote the fast and technically advanced passing and dribbling skills of Basketball and we have been delighted to see Pascal and Josia, our German volunteer students, get involved in some challenging basketball games at lunchtime too.  It has been great to see some budding, new basketballers!

Gay Wales 

“Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.”  Maria Montessori

Message from the Principal

Monday 30th May 2016

Snip Wendy PP

Wendy and Peter Pan

What an extraordinarily stunning performance from the Melbourne Montessori Players last week-end! I always look forward to these shows, as I am captivated and taken on a journey every time! I loved last year’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but I was genuinely captivated by the amazing characters which had been created and lived by each actor this year. Everyone from Wendy, Captain Hook, even down to the smallest pirate truly adopted the persona and added vitality to it! They were all extraordinary in their characterisation, gusto and sense of occasion. It was fantastic to see some of our students working on characters that were well outside their normal personality too – Pia as the wonderful Tinkerbell for one. The children revelled in this show as never before, and the incredible staging was a marvel. The flying scene was very believable and the wonderful gadgets keeping the children fascinated in Never Land were stunning! As ever, we have Delyse to thank and a range of fabulous parents who have spent hours and weeks creating costumes like the crocodile’s and stage sets and props. I know the children had a wonderful time and there are a lot of tired, but happy, parents today! Congratulations!

Parents’, Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Days

This week will see Parents, Grandparents and Special Friends allowed into the classrooms and specialist lessons as both campuses host this very special day. The Caulfield campus will be open all day Tuesday and the Brighton campus will be open all day Wednesday. Parents have been notified already by Room Reps about the availability and of any specialist lessons which take place on these days. Morning Tea has been made by the Grads for those needing a cup of tea and a break at Caulfield, and there will also be Morning Tea available at Brighton. The children are all looking forward to showing you their work!

Nature Play

Last week began the first of four weeks listing Nature Play’s suggestions of 12 things to do before you are 12. Here are another 12!

  1. Watch kangaroos in the wild
  2. Roll down a grass hill
  3. Call ‘cooee’ in a gorge or a valley
  4. Camp on a beach
  5. Skim stones
  6. Build a sandcastle city
  7. Plant something and watch it grow
  8. Play in a creek (with adult supervision)
  9. Find a cave
  10. Ride your bike on a bush trail
  11. Visit an island
  12. Ride on a flying fox

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 

Message from the Principal

Monday 23rd May 2016

snip flower

Nature Play

The development of empathy, sympathy and a heightened sense of touch (to name but a few) are grounded in the exploration of the natural world. I was saddened to hear recently that our 21st century children very rarely play in a natural environment, make daisy chains, dam streams, play with mud pies or watch bees collecting nectar. At Melbourne Montessori School we believe in the value of all of these things and more. We ensure that children are shown the joy of finding worms in the garden, of following a trail of ants and of caring for creatures and their habitats. We know the benefits of planting a seed, watering and caring for a young seedling and nurturing it until it blossoms into a broad bean plant or strawberry plant. Young children, older students and adults too, find that being in a natural environment (or even viewing scenes of nature) seems to reduce feelings of anger, fear and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exploration of natural habitats, going for a walk and collecting autumn leaves, watching animals and trees, mindfully, genuinely feeling stones, grass, bark, petals not only makes you feel better emotionally, it can contribute to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones.

Each week for the next four weeks, I am going to list 12 things which Nature Play suggest you need to do before you are 12 years old!

  1. Climb a tree
  2. Sleep under the stars (even in your backyard)
  3. Learn to swim
  4. Build a cubby/den outside or a tree house
  5. Find a geocache in your neighbourhood
  6. Go beach combing after a storm
  7. Cook damper in a camp fire
  8. Go on a school camp in the bush
  9. Catch a wave (even a small one)
  10. Play chasey in the rain
  11. Catch a yabbie in a river (or have fun trying to)
  12. Make something with things you find outside

 

Wendy and Peter Pan 

Come along and see the pirates and flying children in the Melbourne Montessori Players annual production which begins this Friday at the Phoenix Theatre!

AGM Tomorrow Night !

The Board welcomes and encourages all members to attend tomorrow’s Annual General Meeting in the Hall at the Brighton Campus.

To help us get a sense of numbers for an AGM quorum, we would appreciate it if you could RSVP by email, if you are attending, for catering purposes. Thank you to those members who have already replied.

Gay Wales

“We teachers can only help the work going on, as servants wait upon a master .”   Maria Montessori

Message from the Principal

Monday 16th May 2016

Readings Bookstore is coming to Caulfield! 

We are so lucky to be able to host a wonderful book stall specifically chosen for us by Readings children’s buyer, Angela Crocombe. Next week you will be able to come and browse the beautiful children’s books (and even some books for adults) either first thing in the morning from 8.15am to 9am before school or after school from 3pm to 4pm. Reading is so important for all of us and especially for children. The OECD statistics on children’s learning and reading habits show that the more children are read to, the better readers they become. We should all be reading to young primary-aged children at least one picture story books each day or the equivalent.

Please make the most of this opportunity and enjoy the really beautiful books which will be available for you and your children.

Next week we are also delighted to be welcoming Leigh Hobbs, a very well-known children’s author-illustrator who will come and work with all the Cycle 2 and 3 children and will be signing books as well.

New date for the Brighton Working Bee 

Due to the removal of the gum tree at Brighton, the Working Bee has been moved to this Saturday 21st May. We are so grateful to all the people who came to Caulfield last weekend and helped refresh the playground mulch, put in a new garden bed for Room 5, trimmed, swept and generally gave the campus a new look.

Parking Survey by Traffix Consultants

This Wednesday and Thursday, several members of the traffic engineering firm, Traffix, will be collecting data about our habits when coming to school and parking at school. The data will be used to inform Bayside Council more accurately about the fine detail of how many parents and staff arrive by bicycle, or maybe walk, come by car or public transport. They will be highly noticeable in their orange, high visibility vests and will be asking parents or children which year level they are in. Please make them feel welcome.

Gay Wales 

“To aid life, leaving it free, however, that is the basic task of the educator.”  Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal

Monday 9th May 2016

Snip chair

Wild and Windy Weather at Brighton

Brighton is always more windy than Caulfield and last week proved no exception! As many of you know, the last, remaining gum tree in the playground lost one massive limb in the high winds (all teachers had been told not to take the children out to the playground) and we later were advised to cut down the final section of this lovely tree. The arborists check all our trees each year and that is why we had to remove two of our trees last year. With great creativity, the wonderful lumber jacks have fashioned an armchair with the remaining stump!

NAPLAN Morning Tea

NAPLAN stands for National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy. The set of tests was devised by the federal government body ACARA for all children in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. The tests are administered over 3 days in May, and each school tries to set them in the morning when the children are most alert. A typical test lasts for about 40-50 minutes and there are 5 in all: a mathematics, spelling, writing, comprehension and grammar test. For many years, the NAPLAN writing test focussed on writing narratives or stories. ACARA changed the genre in 2011 and the writing test became one on persuasive writing. In 2016 it will be on either narrative OR persuasive writing.  A stimulus photo and title/idea is presented to each child and they then have time to write and edit their work. This year, the junior school children will have a different photo/stimulus from the secondary students.

Each school needs to register the children in February and each test is presented in a booklet with the child’s name printed on it. The first page has practice questions and children are given the opportunity to practise filling in the bubble for the multiple choice questions.

In a society where entrance to university is still governed by written tests, I feel that it is very useful for children to gain some practice in sitting tests such as NAPLAN. At MMS we try to give all students in Cycle 2, 3 and 4 practice beforehand and we discuss good exam technique, such as what to do when you only have 3 minutes left, but have not answered 5 of the questions! The significance of NAPLAN tests is however, questionable. Any test which occurs on one day is never going to give a student, parent or teacher extensive and useful information. If your child has scored particularly highly in a NAPLAN test then they will have demonstrated a definite ability in that area. However if your child has not scored well there could be myriad reasons why they have not – and none of them might reflect on their ability to achieve in the real world. Sometimes children are nervous and do not perform well, they might be going to a sleepover that night and be excited, or they might be a slow worker and never finish the test. At this young age there are many reasons why children do not necessarily perform to their ability in a NAPLAN test. If you are concerned about a result, please speak to the teacher about the skills your child normally exhibits.

Gay Wales 

” And so we discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.”

Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal

Monday 2nd May 2016

snip tuning 1

Amazing After School Activities

At Melbourne Montessori School there are so many options before or after school for each child. Our newest group is the Little String Group who meet at 8am on Wednesdays in the Caulfield Hall. Sylvia Hosking, who is currently Assistant Principal Double Bass with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, is taking all the string players we have found so far in the school. It is exciting to see where our Music program is heading at the moment and we look forward to hearing more from out string players!

The Cycle 4s have taken to yoga in a big way and they meet in The Tree House every Thursday before school. Drama, Chess, Write Club, Code Club and After School Sport are all activities which your child can participate in at one or both of the campuses.  If you would like your child to get involved, contact details for all the organisers are on the Before and After Activity Sheet which you would find below on the website, on the new App or on the School noticeboard.

NAPLAN Morning Tea

NAPLAN will be with us next week and I will be talking about the detail and relevance of NAPLAN to anyone who would like to come to a Coffee Morning this Thursday at 9am.  This will be in the Caulfield Library.

Mothers’ Day Friday 6th May

Mothers’ Day celebrations will be more inclusive this year as we undertake to include all those mothers who can’t make a celebration during the day. Please join us (with your children if you would like) at the Boundary Hotel from 6.30pm.

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 

Montessori Parent Advisory Service

Paulene Richardson has worked in Montessori centres for many years and she has been constantly asked for parenting advice and about how to implement Montessori principles at home.  Due to high demand, Paulene is now offering a new service for parents to help to meet this need.

Please feel free to contact Paulene or go onto her website

Paulene Richardson

Montessori Teacher

Mobile: 0403 226 733

www.evenbetterparenting.com.au

Message from the Principal

Monday 18th April 2016Snip C3 camp

Cycle 3 Camp

All the children have arrived safely at Cycle 3 Camp and are enjoying this glorious autumn weather and the beautiful views from The Portsea Camp!

Brighton Works

Over the coming week there will be a flurry of activity at Brighton as the builders prepare for a very long week-end and approximately six weeks of works. The work being done is a very exciting extension of the Brighton Staff Room so that your many teachers and assistants will have the space to work effectively and to store many of the Montessori materials we love in the classrooms, not to mention get themselves a cup of coffee! We do not anticipate that there will be any disruption to the children’s work or to the normal drop off or pick up arrangements.

The first works to be done this week will be the cordoning off of the area currently between the Staff Room and Room 2. The builders will also make a path behind the Library, Rooms 3 and 5, so that the men can access the site down the southern side. Then, when the school is shut for the long week-end, the builders will do some minor demolition work before commencing the work of enclosing that space which currently exists.

I’m sure that the children will all be fascinated to see the builders in action and we have asked that there be some windows put in the hoardings so that the children can look in from time to time.

Gay Wales

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

Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal

Monday 11th April 2016

Welcome back to School! I hope you have had a wonderful break and are feeling ready for a very long Term 2!

Staff News

This term we are delighted to have Andrew Li return to us from Queensland. He will now take the role of assistant in Room 5 Caulfield with Lisa. Please welcome Andrew back! Poor Megan has fractured her shoulder in the holidays and will be out of action for a few weeks. Hali has stepped into the breach and will be available for most of the time in Room 3.

Cycle 3 Camp

There are some excited children in Cycle 3 who are preparing to go on camp to Portsea next Monday. The Year 4s and 5s will be away until Wednesday and the Grads will be away all week!

Will the council accept our planning application?

We are very hopeful that our current planning application for Brighton will be accepted by Bayside Council and before long we will be putting in a planning application with Glen Eira Council too. These days the main issue for all schools is the way that traffic and parking is addressed. Councils are in the habit of loitering around the nearby streets, assessing and photographing the behaviours and habits of parents parking. Please follow the recommendations outlined in our Parking Brochure at both Brighton and Caulfield. We are trying to help you out the front at pick up times at Caulfield but we need you to pass on the information to others who pick up – grandparents or nannies! We have received some worrying reports from local residents that some of our parents are obstructing local residents in a variety of ways. Please make sure this is not you! 

Drive north up Roselea Street!

Building works

The restoration of the original ceiling in Cycle 4 was completed over the school holidays and we now have new LED ceiling lighting and a fresh paint job as well in the room behind the Brighton Hall. We are planning to expand the Staff Room at Brighton in the next few weeks and will keep you updated on the timing of these works. They will not interfere with the classrooms at Brighton.

Wishing everyone a fulfilled and constructive term ahead!

Gay Wales 

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

Message from the Principal

Monday 21st March 2016

Snip garden

Montessori at Home

As we set off on Thursday into two weeks of holiday there are lots of things that families can do to keep the Montessori philosophy alive and well! Reading every day is the best way to keep up your child’s literacy levels, especially if you are used to speaking a language other than English at home. The research shows that children who are introduced to wonderfully rich learning experiences in the holidays like going on a Nature walk or to the museum or Scienceworks or a Library take their learning forward and it is only if children who are not stimulated or mentally challenged that experience ‘holiday fade’.

Cooking with your children is a great thing to do as the weather gets cooler and there is lots of Maths involved with estimating, measuring and sums if you let them do the calculations! Shopping too can involve lots of thinking and Maths related topics – even an explanation of why petrol is 115c per litre has heaps of Maths naturally entwined!

Lots of families have new pets in the school and it is very Montessori to give your children the responsibility of looking after the feeding and cleaning of the pet, let alone reading websites or books about how to train them or look after their hygiene and care.

There are a myriad ways you can decorate eggs whether it is with the Greek dyes or with onion skins (my favourite) or you could even try the beautiful Ukrainian pysanky which is hard but fantastic fun for older children!

http://www.howwemontessori.com/  is a great forum for many ideas which parents can take on board with activities especially designed for children at home.

Farewell for a while!

How can a whole school thank someone who has made such a difference with her energy, enthusiasm and organisational skills? I would to publicly recognise Amanda Prance for the countless hours of work she has put in to MMS from being the Art Rep, the Pizza Rep, Room Rep, advisor to Cycle 4, project manager of the Cycle 1 move and many other things besides. Next term, we will all really miss Amanda and her family as they head off to Adelaide to support Amanda’s mother and be with the wider family for a while. Although they will be gone for up to a year, we hope that they will visit us periodically during 2016 before returning to Melbourne in 2017!

Thank you to the team from the Gardeners Corner Store who have transformed the garden in front of the Brighton Hall, which looks fantastic.

Italian Day this Wednesday at Brighton and Thursday at Caulfield.

Don’t forget to dress up in Italian themed clothes this week as Maria gets set to whisk us all away to La Dolce Italia!

Gay Wales

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

Maria Montessori 

Message from the Principal

Monday 7th March 2016

S‌nip Open 2016

Open Day 2016 – A perfect day!

What a buzz and a hum at Caulfield and how wonderful the Café and stalls looked at Brighton!

Deepest thanks go to Amanda Prance who ran an exceptionally well-planned Open Day at both campuses. She has inspired many new parents to help out in the Parent Association and we would like to thank Devan Murnane, in particular, who started work with the PA this year at Brighton and helped pull all the pieces together there. It was a delightful day and myriads of parents helped out at stalls, baked yummy cakes and slices, superb pitas and barbecued hundreds of sausages to feed the huge number of parents and children who came to enjoy Open Day and see their child perform or see their child’s classroom.

I know that many people had donated their time in advance in so many areas whether it was procuring lemons for the beautiful lemonade, organising all the electronics for the Sun Jar activity or donating seeds and plants for people to take away with them. Thank you to you all.

It was with real joy that I spoke with prospective parents at Brighton as we walked around the playground and classrooms where teachers were all engaged in explaining aspects of the Montessori pedagogy. It was fantastic to see the Cycle 2 and 3 children perform in their musical seascape – they seemed very engaged in creating a real scene stealer with a difference. Likewise it was great to hear Harry and Ethan, some of our Cycle 4 students, addressing a large group of parents in the Caulfield Hall about the adolescent curriculum and the differences between our program and main stream high schools. Cycle 1 teachers, Nirmala and Loretta also spoke to many young parents about the detail of Montessori mathematics and literacy.

So many families, teachers, admin and students supported the school with their time, enthusiasm, energy and resources and we are extremely grateful to each and every one of you. It was a very happy day, made possible by the wonderful community which is Melbourne Montessori School.

Clean Up Australia Day

A wonderful group of Graduates, led by the Sustainability Group, helped each class at Caulfield get enthusiastic about cleaning up our part of Australia. Cleanliness begins at home! Each class was responsible for one area of the school and tongs (not disposable gloves, as they are more sustainable) were used to clean up every nook and cranny. Each team was led by two Grads who supervised and helped out. Another group of Grads went up and down Roselea Street to ensure that our immediate vicinity also looked sparkling! Thank you to all our Grads who did such a great job!

Gay Wales 

Message from the Principal

Monday 29th February 2016

OPEN DAY is nearly here!

As ever, we have lots of wonderful activities and food stalls planned for this Saturday! Make sure that you come and see a part of the school you haven’t seen before – maybe that is Cycle 2 and 3 or maybe it is Cycle 4. Teachers and students will be available to talk to, to question and to see engaged in special and typical jobs at both campuses. See the Robotics in Cycle 4 or bring your friends to talk to Roshni and the other educators in Early Learners. Children will be demonstrating how they use Montessori materials in Cycle 1 at the talks in the Hall and you can see how the Binomial Cube works in Cycle 3. There is something for everyone!

If you haven’t signed up to help out yet – there are sheets with lists of jobs which need doing at both campuses.

Sleep! The perennial essential!

As ever, it is essential for everyone, especially children, to get enough sleep. I’m often asked by parents how much sleep their child should be getting at this age. Here is recent advice from the Australian Centre for Education in sleep.

Snip Sleep

Learn about Sleep with

SIMPLYHEALTHY@SCHOOLS

SimplyHealthy@Schools is a worldwide sustainability program to teach children how to improve their health and well-being in a simple way.

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 (www.sleepeducation.net.au).

We would like to give you some extra information about:

how much sleep your child needs;

  • what can happen if your child misses out on sleep;
  • how to take care of good sleep hygiene and help your child fall asleep more easily.

This information might not be new to you, but if you think your child could use some extra help getting a good night’s rest, we are happy to provide some useful tips.

  1. 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.

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.
  1. What can happen if your child misses out on sleep?

If your child is regularly missing the full 10 to 12 hours of sleep, your child can show the following problems:

  • behaviour – aggressive, antisocial, withdrawn, hyperactive, uncontrolled;
  • emotions – moody, depressed, anxious, stressed, uneasy, insecure, irritable;
  • planning – poorly organised, repeating grades, forgetting lessons;
  • concentration – inattentive, unable to concentrate, falling behind in school; creativity – not working at full potential;
  • problem solving – poor behaviour control and difficulty in social situations;
  • complicated thinking – struggling with mathematics, sciences, languages, abstract concepts;
  • physical coordination – less sporty, accident prone, clumsy;
  • weight – obesity and overweight issues are more likely to occur with less sleep;
  • health – poorer immune system, sicker more often.How to take care of good sleep hygiene and help your child fall asleep more easily

3.  How to take care of good sleep hygiene and help your child fall asleep more easily?

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 growing up.

Sleep problems can have internal causes (such as nightmares, night terrors, bedwetting and snoring). But they can also be related to external influences such as the sleep environment, the food and drink your child consumes before going to bed and the activities of your child before going to bed. Most sleep problems are caused by external factors and can be solved with good sleep hygiene.

Sleep environment

Your child sleeps much better in a room where he or she feels comfortable and has a bed routine that is predictable. To help your child get a good night’s sleep, you can think of the following:

  • regular bed and wake times;
  • no television or computer games before bed, and no screens in the bedroom;
  • avoidance of other activities that ‘stimulate’ your child such as exercise too close to bedtime;
  • positive attributes to help a child fall asleep on their own include a comfort toy, a night light (to reduce fear of the dark) and a consistent, gentle and loving bedtime routine;
  • 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.

Food and drink

Eating and drinking right before bedtime can easily keep your child from falling asleep; especially food and drink that contains sugar or caffeine (like fizzy or sports drinks that contain caffeine). Make an agreement with your child about eating and drinking before bedtime, for example: no eating an hour before you go to sleep and only drink water or warm milk before bedtime.

Eating and drinking in bed or in the bedroom should be avoided. It is not hygienic and your child should learn that the bed is a place to sleep, not to consume food or drink.

Bedtime Behaviour

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.

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!

We hope that these tips will give you some inspiration to take care of your child’s night rest. Although your child will not always be grateful for your efforts, a good night’s sleep is one of the most important conditions to allow your child to become a strong, smart, healthy and happy adult.

Australian Centre for Education in Sleep

http://www.sleepeducation.net.au/About%20Us.php

Gay Wales

 

Message from the Principal

Monday 22nd February 2016

Information Nights

Last week many parents attended the Information Nights in their child’s classroom in every cycle across the school. At both campuses parents had the opportunity to meet specialist teachers first and to hear about the range of programs which are being run by specialists at every year level. We heard the detail about Degas’ life and work which is being studied in the Art lessons at Caulfield, the sailing in Pacers which is happening in Cycle 4, and each night we were challenged by the music specialist who had us singing and beating complex rhythms exactly as they do with the children. Later, every classroom teacher spoke about the individual programs, logistics and expectations for their individual class in 2016.

Parent Teacher Interviews

This week is the first night of two Parent Teacher Interview nights which are run at both campuses. This is a wonderful opportunity to come and speak to your child’s teacher and any of the specialist teachers whom you wish to meet. It is a chance to raise any questions you might have and to hear about your child’s progress to this point. Please make a booking time on line by following the guidelines in the email which was sent by Rodney last week. If you are having any trouble booking on line please contact Reception.

Working Bee at Brighton

For once, last Saturday dawned sunny, and an enthusiastic band of parents worked hard at Brighton to cart loads of new sand to replenish the sandpits, they trimmed hedges and oiled the woodwork on the portables. They also constructed the new outside tables and benches for the Cycle 4 Courtyard which has been finished and which allows the students to work outside. A big thank you to all parents who helped out!

OPEN DAY 2016

We are gearing up to run another wonderful Open Day at both Caulfield and Brighton in two weeks’ time on Saturday 5th March. The Grads have been busy in their new leadership groups and have begun to prepare a range of schedules organising tours around the school (by the Grads) and also the Music display which will be new for Open Day. All classrooms will be open as usual and the teachers will be there to explain Montessori teaching and learning. Additionally, talks will be given by two Cycle 1 teachers at Brighton and we will have some Cycle 4 students talk about their transition to the adolescent program. The Parent Association have organised wonderful stalls once again and there will be food and drink and various displays around the school.

PLEASE SIGN UP TO HELP US ON OPEN DAY! There are sign-up sheets at both campuses and it would be great if you can spare even one hour of your time.

Gay Wales 

Message from the Principal

Monday 15th February 2016

Ollie and eggs

What is the natural ratio of roosters to hens?

Cycle 4 have been learning a lot about animal husbandry through keeping chickens and will be pursuing their Biology unit this term using the chickens as well. They studied much of their Physics and Computer 3D design last year through experimenting with forces and creating numerous designs for the internal workings of an effective, healthy and operational chicken coop and they then worked with Sean Rooney to learn some carpentry skills and built many aspects of the fabulous coop you can see at Brighton at the moment.

Last year they were lucky enough to get 5 young chicks and to watch them grow and these were then added to by the oversupply of yellow fluffy chicks from Loretta’s class who had watched them hatch out from the incubator and develop up to a few weeks’ old. Imagine the disappointment of our Cycle 4 students when so many of the first batch started to sprout the tell-tale signs of a rooster and finally had to be shipped out once they started to welcome the dawn loudly and vociferously! Surely the chickens from Loretta would have more hens? A wonderful roster of parents and students came and fed, watered and let the chickens out for a run across the summer holidays and then we found that we had bred even more roosters! Thank you to the Anthony family who have taken in so many roosters and also to the organic farm where some other roosters have been moved. We are now in the process of acquiring some laying hens and we will then be able to collect some eggs at last!

Information Nights this week

Each and every parent across the school is invited to come and meet some specialists, hear the detail of your class organisation and planning for the year and take the opportunity to meet new parents to your classroom. Each classroom is different and the teacher and Room Rep organise various community events during the year on top of the Class Dinner. Some classes have chosen to get together after their Information Night but others have a range of different arrangements to welcome new parents to the room. Please just ask if you are not sure about the arrangement.

Parent Teacher Interview link

Tomorrow you will be sent a link which will enable you to book in the times for your Parent Teacher Interviews which will be held on Thursday February 25th or Tuesday March 1st. Please make sure that you book in with your classroom teacher and you can also make a time to meet with specialist teachers if you would like.

Gay Wales