Upcoming events & Important Dates
29th March – Term 2 fees due
4th April – Primary Tour – Primary Campus
12th April – Last day of term – whole school
19th April – Good Friday – public holiday
22nd April – Easter Monday – public holiday
25th April – Anzac Day – public holiday
29th April – Term 2: all students return – both campuses
3rd May – Staff Development Day – pupil free day
9th May – Mother’s Day – Preschool Campus
10th May – Mother’s Day – Primary Campus
13th May – Mother’s Day – Preschool Campus
Click HERE to see further calendar dates.
Dear Parents and Carers,
This week saw our school host the open day for the North Balgowlah campus. It was a beautiful day filled with food, craft and conversations about Montessori. The campus was on full display with the wonderful staff showcasing their classrooms and the prepared environments in each room. This careful arrangement of tables and materials is something that takes a lot of skill. They are ordered, filled with interesting teaching materials and organised in such a way that allows children to develop maximum independence and exploration.
In the prepared environment, there is a cacophony of noise as well as a great deal of movement. In a preschool classroom, for example, a three-year-old may be spooning seeds from one bowl to another to develop fine motor skills, while a four-year-old nearby is composing words and phrases with letters known as the movable alphabet, and a five-year-old is performing multiplication using a specially designed set of beads. In the Stage 2 classroom, a small group of children may be using a timeline to learn about extinct animals while another child chooses to work alone, analysing a poem using special grammar symbols. Sometimes an entire class may be involved in a group activity, such as storytelling, or group talks. In the Stage 3 classroom, children tend to use all of these foundation skills and put them to use to start to change the world. As well as continuing with their work on Maths, English and the other core subjects, they start to use the natural links in the curriculum to start projects, clubs and societies that will change the world forever.
Montessori designed the pedagogy to establish children who could change the world forever and create world peace. With the foundations that our staff put in place in Stage 1, we can only hope that our students will become the leaders of tomorrow that can right some of the wrongs we are seeing today.
Have a wonderful weekend.
– Gavin McCormack
ELOUERA | Stage 1 Infant Community
Practical life is a big part of our Outdoor environment each day. The children are naturally curious learners and love the hands on work. Here is some of the work we have been doing this week , Planting seeds for our greenhouse, Cloth washing , Hammering and construction as well as working the screws in and out of the wood.
Each piece of work starts as a small task as our little ones don’t always have the attention span to complete it. We then work up to add more steps which is an important process for sequencing. For example, the cloth washing involves filling the bowls with water, adding wash liquid, washing, rinsing then pegging on the clothesline. For some children its starting with filling up the 2 bowls and then their finished. The next time they choose to do this work they will then add another step.
By doing this work children learn coordination and concentration as well as valuable practical skills.
BURBANGANA | Stage 1
The Burbangana class has been exploring colours over the past two weeks through art activities, science experiments, flag making and observing the changing colours of leaves.
Our journey commenced with the creation of colour wheels by mixing primary colours together to make secondary colours. We then moved on to a walking water science experiment where the children could observe the primary colours mixing together to make secondary colours. We have been reading Eric Carle’s ‘The Mixed-up Chameleon’ which sparked an interest in the colour changing chameleon and other types of lizards.
Our attention then turned to the colour of the leaves in our garden with observations and discussions around Autumn and why the leaves change colour before falling to the ground. Some of the children have started to use the leaves creatively in collages or adding them to our Autumn tree in the outdoor classroom. Our final experiment involved leaves and how their veins carry the water around. We added some colour to the water and observed how it travels around the leaves of the celery plant.
– Amanda & Teresa
COOINDA | Stage 1
The last two weeks has been so busy as the children have been working independently and working in a group. As children become more confident they start to see themselves as part of a group and a community. They then begin to share ideas and learn from each other. When one of the children brought in a strange vegetable to share with the class the children became very excited and started to bring in a variety of different fruits and vegetables to share. The garden is also producing autumn vegetables and the children are excited to visit the pumpkin patch to see what is growing. This week we found some unexpected friends in the garden.
Last week saw an explosion in language. Some of the older children started to write the names of the children in the class. They placed the names on the floor and the rest of the class was excited to find their names.
– Jenny, Jo & Angela
AMAROO | Outdoor Classroom
Children choose to work individually or collaborate with others in group work. Both benefit the child in different ways.
- Working alone builds confidence in their abilities, concentration and focus. It allows them to self correct and work at their own pace.
- Working in a group situation develops skills in listening to others opinions and ideas, broadening their understanding, sharing and cooperation.
During the last couple of weeks there has been more engineering work, making an Autumn tree inspired by a drawing and lots of individual work around maps, maths and language.
Lots of fun discussions, creativity and laughter. Couldn’t ask for anything more in such a beautiful learning environment.
The Kindergarten children have had an explosion of writing the last few weeks. We have been writing small books, writing about our weekend news, writing letters and writing labels for our drawings and designs. Everyone has been working hard sounding out their words and encouraging each other to write more. The children have been talking about writing for a purpose and how we can communicate through text.
Engineering is still very popular with models of Sydney being built. We looked at a lovely new book that showed how cities work, how people move around in cities and the transports within cities. There has been discussion of why buildings go upwards so high in cities, why the land around houses is not so big and how people can build underground carparks.
The children have been discussing their place in their world and where they live. They spoke about their home, their town, their city, their state and their country. “My house has many different rooms”, “I have a little garden with vegetables growing”, “My car is parked on the driveway at my house”, these were some of the discussions the children had about their house.
Finally, the vegetable garden has been of great interest to the children. We talked about vegetables that grow above the soil, very tall and under the soil. The children learnt about how the vegetables grow under the soil and are called root vegetables.
AIKYA | Stage 2
These weeks there has been a great focus on cosmic education in Aikya. As part of the first great story, some of the children were part of an experiment related to the Three States of Matter where they learnt about gases, liquids and solids and their properties. The Second Great Story (The Coming of Life) was also introduced. This story covers the history of life on Earth – from bacterias to coming humans, which, as you can imagine, is very exciting!
As part of the Mathematics curriculum, some students were presented with lessons on measuring volume. They learned about litres and millilitres and consolidated their knowledge with hands on activities in the classroom.
We were also very happy to welcome William Dale into our classroom for a poetry lesson. We place a strong emphasis on peer learning in Montessori.
Finally, last week we had the hosted a parents information evening to show families in Aikya and Yani some of the Montessori lessons that we present to students in the environment. It was a lovely opportunity to experience a Montessori environment first hand and we were delighted at how the evening developed. We hope you had a great time!
– Samantha & Laura
YANI | Stage 3
Last week on Friday, we did robotics. Claudia and Oskar accidentally made their robot do a wheelie. OH MY GOSH!!! Mena and Milly made their robot change colour, after two tries, but didn’t give up. Going back to Claudia and Oskar doing their wheelie, if you don’t know what a wheelie is it’s when the robot goes on two wheels not four.
Gardening Club begins on Tuesday we prepared the garden bed. We pulled out the weeds and old tomato plants. The roots of the plants were diffuse roots because they spread in all different directions.
On Friday this week we had our Harmony Day celebration, Mena wore a sari and Daisy a kilt, William brought a diagram of his family tree that showed his family history from the early 1800’ until today which was really interesting. Billy told us about his great, great, great, great, great grandfather, Gregory Blaxland who was one of three explorers who were the first Europeans to explore and cross the Blue Mountains. The others were William Lawson and Charles Wentworth. Sam E. talked about his Great Grandmother and her journey to Australia as a refugee during the war. Claudia brought a thing called the evil eye from Greece and explained that it brought good luck and kept away evil spirits.
Written by Philomena and Keitaro
– Claire, Cheryl and Philippa
Farmhouse | Primary OSHCare
Not too much longer before the holidays, so be sure to book your spot for the April School Holidays! We are very much looking forward to Vacation Care, we will be going to the movies, a farm and doing plenty of fun craft activities, you won’t want to miss out!
All enrolments and bookings are done on-line, through QK Enrol. Remember to sign in with a different email address to your before and after school account.
Book in before the early bird closed on the 27th March, to receive the discounted rate!
This week the children have been back into building with Lego. Some children have been working collaboratively on a Lego robot that keeps getting added to each session and keeps getting bigger.
The children have continued with their interest in drawing and colouring this week. Various pictures have been rendered including slug characters and puppies.
The children have been developing critical thinking and strategy skills by challenging teach other in games of chess, as well as versing the educators.
Next Week Events:
16th-24th March – Cultural Diversity Week
20th March – International Day of Happiness
21st March – Harmony Day
22nd March – World Water Day
If you would like more information about Primary OSH Care or our centre and how to enrol, please visit our website www.primaryoshcare.com.au
– From Amanda, Kim and all the OSHC staff at Farmhouse Montessori OSHC Centre
M: 0447 821 806