2023 Newsletter Term 01 | Issue 01
Upcoming events & Important Dates
Mon-Fri 20-24th Parent Education Week
Fri 20th Montessori Cycle of Work – 8.30-9am | Primary Campus
Tues 21st Assessment & Evaluation – 8.30-9am | Primary Campus
Wed 22nd Learning Support – 8.30-9am | Primary Campus
Wed 22nd School Excursion: Maritime Museum – 10.30am | Primary Campus
Thurs 23rd Stages of Development – 8.30-9am | Primary Campus
Thurs 23rd Primary School Campus Tour: 3.15pm
Fri 24th Practicing Freedom & Independence – 8.30-9am | Primary Campus
Mon 27th Parent Information Evening: Montessori in the Home 7pm | Preschool Campus
Click HERE to see further calendar dates.
Dear Farmhouse Montessori Families,
Welcome to the academic school year.
In particular, I welcome the fifty plus families who have joined us for the first time. I do hope your child has settled well into school. Today, a letter was sent to all parents outlining several important matters. I will refer to some in this newsletter.
We are planning a parent social event to be held in the coming weeks. This will be a wonderful opportunity for the Farmhouse community to come together. Further information will be shared later this week.
Appointment of Alia Rogers as Deputy Principal.
I am delighted to announce that Alia Rogers has accepted my offer to be Deputy Principal at Farmhouse. Alia will commence Term 2. She is currently overseas and will return to Australia during Term 1. Alia is an experienced and qualified Montessori educator. She is currently completing her second Montessori degree, this time in zero to Years 3 Education. Alia will oversee operations of both campuses, with a special role co-ordinating North Balgowlah Campus.
Jenny Bensted retires 3rd March. Jenny has, for so many years, been such a strong and stabilising force, and advocate, for North Balgowlah. I am finalising a suitable date to thank, acknowledge, and farewell Jenny.
Elizabeth and Catalina will oversee daily staffing needs. I am most grateful for their assistance.
Harshitha Ravikumar, based at North Head, has been appointed Primary Co-ordinator.
At the end of Week 2 we farewelled and thanked Sunny Mallanoo for her work at North Balgowlah. This week we welcome Ashley Gilchrist who has taken over Sunny’s role.
The School Term dates are published on the school website.
North Balgowlah and North Head Social Parent Groups.
Each campus will have a separate parent social group designed to foster community within each campus. During this week you will receive an email from North Balgowlah parent group informing you of some suggestions and planned activities. I do hope that you are able to join them in their planned social activities.
Jesse and Bobby-Jo of North Head Campus have offered to be class parents. They would like to have a small committee to support the initiatives for this campus. I encourage you to reach out to them, Harshitha, Tom, or me, if you would be able to join us.
This year, Kindergarten children from North Balgowlah Campus will travel to North Head Campus for the class music program with Evergreen Music. This will be a wonderful opportunity for Kindergarten students to experience both the music and the engagement with students at North Head.
Parent Opportunity for Classroom Observations at North Head Campus.
This year we will open our classrooms for observations during the morning work cycle. This will give the families an opportunity to view a Montessori classroom in operation. The planned observation sessions dates are: Week 6: 6th March to 10th March, and Week 8: 20th March to 24th March. Harshitha will provide more details in the coming weeks. I encourage all parents to take up this opportunity to join us for the Montessori experience at North Head. I am looking for a similar experience for the North Balgowlah campus for Term 2.
Parent Education Week.
Last week an email was sent to all Farmhouse parents inviting you to join us for a week of daily sessions on the topic of Montessori education. These sessions are designed to provide parents with a deeper understanding of the Montessori philosophy and how it supports your child’s holistic growth and development.
Each day, our teachers will lead a discussion on a different aspect of the Montessori method, including its philosophy, principles, and the implementation in the classroom.
All sessions will be held at the North Head Campus from 8:30 a.m. to 8:55 a.m.
All preschool and primary school parents are welcome.
Supervision will be available for children at both campuses.
Preschool: Parents, according to the enrolment day your child at North Balgowlah can drop your child off at the North Balgowlah Campus at 8.00am. You may also bring your child to North Head for the duration of the sessions and drive your child back to North Balgowlah.
Primary: Aikya and Yani, children will commence their school day early, at 8.30am.
Dates and Topics of discussion for the sessions.
– Monday 20th Feb: Montessori Cycle of Work
– Tuesday 21st Feb: Assessment and Evaluation
– Wednesday 22nd Feb: Learning Support
– Thursday 23rd Feb: Stages of Development
– Friday 24th Feb: Practicing Freedom and Independence
We ask that you plan to attend all five sessions in order to get the most out of this educational experience.
We look forward to sharing our passion for Montessori education with you!
Board IT Committee. To assist Farmhouse technological development, the Board is focused on forming an IT committee. Please contact me, through my PA, Suzanne Lyle firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to join this small sub-committee.
The Farmhouse Montessori Annual General Meeting will be held Monday 1st May at the North Balgowlah Campus. Further information and the agenda for the meeting with be presented in the coming weeks.
Parent Survey: At the end of last year, I sent a survey to all parents on why they selected Farmhouse Montessori to educate their child. The purpose of the survey is to assist the Board and the Marketing Committee with the strategic focus on how we promote, communicate, and engage the community to ensure its ongoing success and growth. Thank you for taking time to complete the short survey. I have written to the families who have joined Farmhouse in 2023 offering them the opportunity to complete the survey. Once these responses have been received the results will be collated and reported back to the Board. All response is treated with the upmost confidentiality.
Bruce Rixon | Interim Principal
ELOUERA | Stage 1 Infant Community
The Elouera children have been exploring their new environment and are becoming very comfortable with their surroundings. They have all been very engaged in our gardening and are amazing at following all the steps and instructions to plant their seeds; showing they have a lot of concentration and persistence. We check on our seeds everyday to see if any have started growing and this reminds the children that we need to water them if the soil looks and feels a bit dry.
The children use the watering cans and jugs to water all the plants and veggies and while we were doing this we found some tomatoes and beans. The tomatoes weren’t ready to pick but we have had lots of beans growing that the children got to pick and try. We tried some cooked and some raw beans to see the difference in texture and taste. A few of the children helped to harvest some sweet potato that was planted last year. They wore gardening gloves and used small shovels to dig down into the dirt to find the sweet potato and then we used our hands to pull it out and dust the rest of the dirt off.
Gardening is an amazing experience for the children as they get to see first hand the growth cycle of different plants and vegetables. The children will continue to water and observe their plants grow throughout their time in the Elouera classroom.
— Nina, Rachel and Yuko.
BURBANGANA | Stage 1
During the past couple of weeks in Burbangana the children have been familiarising themselves with the practical life materials on our shelves.
Practical Life activities are the activities of everyday life and they are involved in all aspects of life. The child observes these activities in the environment and gains knowledge through the real experience of how to accomplish life skills in a purposeful way. Generally the activities of practical life revolve around four areas: Caring for the Self, Caring for the Environment, Grace & Courtesy and Movement of Objects.
The materials offered in the classroom are practical and a lot of fun!
— Helen, Teresa & Claire
COOINDA | Stage 1
Welcome back to a new year of adventures. During these two weeks together we could observe the wonderful benefits of having a multi-age group environment. In mixed age classrooms, the younger children learn from the older children, and the older children learn to become role models. This encourages children to develop strong social and collaboration skills. It also stimulates a sense of caring and responsibility for others and prepares children for the “real world” in which they will interact with other people of a range of ages, experiences and abilities.
— Catalina, Elizabeth, Jo and Angela.
AMAROO | OUTDOOR CLASSROOM
Welcome everyone to the first weeks of preschool. This time of change and uncertainty can be daunting for some children and they have all been incredibly brave as they navigate this new environment. There have been many examples of budding new friendships, of helping hands and kind encouraging words for each other. It’s beautiful to see the children explore the new outdoor classroom environment, rise to the challenges and be willing to give things a try. So many questions, so much enthusiasm and so much eagerness to engage and learn. We are going to have a wonderful time, thank you for trusting us to take care of your smart, beautiful children!
Welcome back to term 1 of school. It was great to meet all the children, and immense joy seeing them settling well into their classroom routines. We started the term off by talking about the children’s holidays as this is a good foundation to introduce many areas of learning.
The children had so much to share with the adult and their peers about their experiences and the places they visited during the school holidays. This provided talking points that led to many lessons, such as the introduction of the Puzzle Map – The Continents, where the children learned about each continent and the name of the continent through the three-period lesson and three-part cards. This progressed to the children learning about each country within the continent, for example, a Puzzle Map of Oceania, Europe and so forth. These subjects can lead to activities in many other areas of learning in the future, such as animals, flags and food, to name a few.
I will also introduce some books, “The Travel Book” and “The World Atlas”, to maintain the children’s interest in this topic while encouraging further curiosity and knowledge.
I look forward to a fun, happy and challenging environment for the children that will enrich and scaffold them in Kindergarten this year.
AIKYA | Stage 2
We have had an amazing two weeks here at North Head with the Stage Two children (6-9)!
We welcomed back our returning students and welcomed our new students to our community. Our students have been able to independently choose the work that they wanted to work with each day, and have been exploring their learning journey together with such positivity.
We have also been able to tell the first two Great Stories: The Beginning of the Universe and the Coming of Life. These stories are central to the Montessori philosophy, and serve to give our students an understanding of the world around them. Through these stories, our students gain a better understanding of the world and the universe, and a greater appreciation for the beauty of life. The stories also aim to inspire learning and to capture the interest of each child in a particular aspect of interest. We have three more of “The Great Stories” to tell, so watch this space.
Additionally, we have gone on a bushwalk and had our first Touch Football Lesson. These activities have been a great way for our students to interact with their peers and explore the outdoors around them.
Maria Montessori believed that it was essential for children to develop a relationship with the environment in order to foster an appreciation for their place in the world. Through their experiences in the outdoors, children are able to develop a greater understanding of their environment, a greater respect for nature, and a greater appreciation for their place in the world. Montessori also believed that the outdoors provides children with a unique opportunity to discover the wonders of the natural world.
We are so excited for the weeks ahead! Keep an eye out for updates on our upcoming activities and events. Thank you for being part of our Farmhouse Montessori community!
— Toby, Harshitha and Sarah
YANI | Stage 3
Yani has had an energetic and vibrant start to Term 1. The cohesion of the class is progressing in a positive way. One of which is our lunchtime routine, where the students have taken it upon themselves to eat together as one big group and to use this time to discuss various topics – filled with laughs, stories, and respect. It has been a pleasure seeing the group of students get along so well during this time.
During our first week back students had the opportunity to be regaled by one of the great stories – the story of language. In this story, students explored the progression of the alphabet we know today. We studied ancient texts of cuneiform, hieroglyphs, and many more. Pictured are the students working on various follow up from this lesson. We look forward to the weeks of learning ahead.
— Thomas, Nick, Amy & Ella Lee
So great to be back and see everyone at Preschool. Angie has spotted so many new faces too and spent these last few sessions getting to know everyone through some rhythm and call response songs. We’re excited to be making music with so many mini maestros this year!
Yani – We’re starting this term off learning some new chords on the Uke’s and will continue to build our library of chords this term.
Akiya – We’re travelling back in time and listening to the song “25 or 6 to 4” by Chicago. Using the Glok’s we’re learning how we can play parts on the instrument and play along with the song!
Mixed Ensemble – we’re excited to be recommencing the mixed ensemble in Term 2!
Rehearsals will be Mondays from 3:00pm – 4:00pm. All members of the ensemble are required to be having weekly music tuition on their instrument in addition to the Mixed Ensemble session. Having this extra tuition is essential for children to be able to fully participate in the ensemble environment.
MIXED ENSEMBLE – SIGN UP NOW!
For any families wishing to join the Mixed Ensemble or are returning to the band, please complete the following google form by no later than Friday 3rd March so that we can understand the student mix / instrument mix and be ready to start in Term 2.
— Ben & Deb.