2023 Newsletter Term 01 | Issue 04
Upcoming events & Important Dates
Tues 4th – Strategic Planning at North Head 6.15pm for 6.30 – 8.00pm
Wed 5th – Strategic Planning (on-line) 8.00pm – 9.30pm
Thurs 6th Last Day of Term
Fri 7th Good Friday
Mon 10th Easter Monday
Mon 24th Staff Development Day
Tues 25th Anzac Day – Public Holiday
Wed 26th Students Return
Click HERE to see further calendar dates.
Dear Farmhouse Montessori Families,
Ride2School Day held last Friday was an amazing experience. The excitement on the children’s faces was a joy to see. Blazed in sunshine the Barracks Oval was awash with students riding their bikes, launching into jumps, getting tips on the best way to maintain their bikes, and enjoying the goodies from the cake stall. A special shoutout to Ariane and her amazing team of helpers in the planning, setting up, and lending a hand on the day. The school raised $347.00 for World Bike Relief which will buy one Bike.
Parental Strategic Planning Sessions. The Board has been given considerable time to the planning and preparation of Farmhouse Three Year Strategic Plan. Next week, Board Chair Nick Fletcher, will present the final draft to parents. There will be two sessions.
Tuesday 4 April: The first is a face-to-face session Tuesday 4 April at North Head 6.15pm arrival and pizzas for 6.30pm start. Parents will meet in Aikya Room. Children will have a movie playing in Yani. We ask parent volunteers to assist with supervision, a rotation of 15 mins each. Pizzas will be available, and parents are requested to being their own drink. A zoom link will be not possible for this session.
Wednesday 5 April: The second session is Wednesday 5 April evening 8.00pm to 9.30pm via Zoom. A link will be sent next week to all parents.
We look forward to your attendance to these sessions. Staff will have a special session at their Staff Meeting Monday 24 April.
Farewell for Jenny Bensted. This Thursday evening at The Steyne Hotel, we will thank and farewell Jenny after a decade of amazing service to Farmhouse and some forty years of dedicated service to education.
In an earlier newsletter I announced the appointment of our new Deputy Principal, Alia James, who will officially join at the commence Term 2. To assist her settling into the school, Alia will visit the classes at North Balgowlah and North Head next week.
Alia, a qualified Montessori Educator Year 3 to 12 and currently completing her second Montessori degree, this time in zero to Years 3 Education, brings significant Montessori experience to Farmhouse. Alia will oversee operations of both campuses, with a special role co-ordinating North Balgowlah Campus. I know that you will make her welcomed.
Private Tours for Parents. We have moved to a new process for parents wishing to tour the school. We are now providing parents with the opportunity to visit and tour the school during class time. This has proven very beneficial as parents see the Montessori practice in action. Over the past weeks several parents have had personal tours. Rather in larger groups, the tours are personal tours for each family. The website has been changed to assist parents in registering for a tour. Should you know of parents who are considering a Montessori education please provide them with my details and direct them to the website.
Marketing Farmhouse at Balgowlah Stockland Mall. Farmhouse has a great reputation with the Campus at North Balgowlah well known for its Preschool. We are now focusing on promoting Primary at the North Head Campus (Manly). In the coming week those who shop at Stockland Mall and use the travelator to the car park will see images of Primary students at North Head Farmhouse in action. This is the first of a number of marketing initiatives we will be embarking to promote Montessori education at Manly.
Parent Opportunity for Classroom Observations at North Head Campus. The observations, taking place during the morning cycle, have given families an opportunity to view a Montessori classroom in operation. Thank you to parents who have taken up this opportunity. I am looking for a similar experience for the North Balgowlah campus for Term 2.
I wish everyone a very Happy Easter, a refreshing and safe holiday. All staff return Monday 24 April for a staff meeting and students return on Wednesday 26 April.
Bruce Rixon | Principal
ELOUERA | Stage 1 Infant Community
In Elouera we have been doing lots of cooking. The children have been helping to make bread, pizza, sushi, carrot cake and ice tea. The children enjoy taste testing all the ingredients along the way and of course the end product. Cooking is a great way to build confidence and self esteem in children as they learn how capable they are at completing a task; and how good their food tastes when they get to eat it knowing they made it themselves.
Cooking allows children to practice their fine motor and hand eye coordination skills. It’s a great way for children to broaden their communication and understanding of language while conversing with their friends and teachers about what they are doing now and what needs to happen next. We are also supporting their abilities to cooperate with others while completing a task. Cooking is an amazing way to build independence in young children and the children need to use a great number of skills simultaneously when making all these wonderful foods.
— Nina, Rachel and Yuko.
BURBANGANA | Stage 1
Literacy is the ability to read, view, write, speak, and listen in a way that allows us to communicate effectively and to make sense of the world. It is the foundation to all other learning and an essential part of a child’s overall development.
Reading to children is the best way to help them develop literacy skills and a robust vocabulary. Choose books that link to their current interests and read to them often to help them develop their interest in books.
— Helen, Teresa & Claire
COOINDA | Stage 1
The golden beads are used in a Montessori environment to introduce the concept of the decimal system. The children are able to see and sensorially experience the different categories of the unit, the ten, the hundred, and the thousand. This material appeals to this stage of development because the children are able to physically see the difference and feel the weight of the different categories. The children are then introduced to the symbols or numerals, and this material is used to teach all four mathematical operations.
— Catalina, Elizabeth, Jo and Angela.
AMAROO | OUTDOOR CLASSROOM
Imagine a world where the colour of our skin, our hair, our eyes, what food we eat, music we listen to and how we dance are reasons to celebrate. That it matters how kind we are, how gentle our hands are, how we care for each other and the world we live in. This is how we discuss Harmony Day with the children as a time to celebrate and raise their awareness of the diversity that surrounds them.
When a child says “I like sharing Australia with everybody” and another says “it’s just about all the peoples” we can believe our future is in good hands. Harmony week brings out the best in us as we shared our thoughts and cultures as part of the Farmhouse community.
Take care of each other
Time flies and we are already reaching the end of term 1! Highlights from the last two weeks included Harmony Week and the National Ride2School community event. Over this time, the children had an incredible time learning about diversity, inclusiveness, respect and belonging through engaging activities, discussions, presentations and songs. The Ride2School event also brought much awareness about road safety and active transport in our external environment.
There were plenty of questions and answers with the children as these events promoted curiosity, creative thinking and scaffolding in their development. More importantly, it led to engaging and fun activities that they enjoyed. For example, learning to make dumplings and that silk from silk worms can create a dress, thanks to one of the parents who volunteered to present during Harmony Week. The children also had a great time during the Ride2School event when some brought their bicycles to North Head to ride and had a great time.
The major highlight of Term 1 would be the children’s creative art project using the environment and recycled materials.
The children sparked and motivated the project by bringing in materials from their environment. Some of the children were making suggestions about what we could do with the materials, such as a leaf and a stick which encouraged the activity of creating their own project using recycled materials and materials gathered from the environment. All of the children created an artwork based on their creativity and imagination from materials they gathered from the school outdoor environment. Some of the activities include leaf pounding and leaf rubbing.
When the children have the freedom to fulfil their curiosity and create an artwork based on their own interest, the results are amazing, and the sense of achievement is felt through the appreciation by their peers; and adults.
AIKYA | Stage 2
It has been a wonderful fortnight in the Aikya classroom.
We have had plenty of learning taking place with big work / project-based learning being a feature. For example, some have taken on writing projects such as fictional and non-fictional books, and others are bringing some wonderful projects to life through dioramas and posters.
To celebrate Harmony Week, the children participated in activities and presentations around culture and heritage. We were delighted to have the involvement of parents and caregivers to make the celebration even more special.
We are very excited to see some students initiating an environment club and taking the initiative to create a positive impact in the community. Their first agenda point is to secure adequate recycling bins throughout the classrooms. We look forward to seeing where the group takes their initiative and how they will make a difference in the Aikya and Yani communities.
We, in Aikya, are passionate about empowering children to care for the environment and community. We love seeing our students take the initiative and make a difference.
We recently, also, celebrated the Ride2School initiative with an afternoon Bike Festival and we are very grateful for all the parent and carer participation within the school community. A big shout-out to Ariane for her wonderful work here. THANK YOU!
Until next time
—Toby, Sarah, Amy & Fiona.
YANI | Stage 3
We are excited to share some of the wonderful activities that have taken place at our school recently. In particular, we want to highlight the celebrations that took place in the Yani Classroom for Harmony Day last week. Students in the Yani Classroom came together to celebrate their diverse backgrounds and cultures by sharing food and presentations with each other. The event was a great success and allowed students to learn more about each other’s unique traditions and customs. We are proud to see our students embracing diversity and fostering a sense of community within our school.
Throughout the day, the Yani Classroom was filled with the aromas of various cuisines from around the world, including French, South African, Mexican, Italian and many more. Students presented information about their respective cultures, sharing stories, music, and traditions with their classmates. It was a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn about and appreciate the diversity that exists within our school community. We are grateful to the Yani Classroom teachers and students for organizing such a fantastic event and look forward to seeing more celebrations of diversity and inclusion in the future.
— Tom, Nick, Ella & Amy.
EVERGREEN | Music
Our younger mini musicians have been getting familiar with identifying and understanding the difference between soft and loud sounds.
In music we have special names for when music is played at different volumes…soft is piano (pi-a-no) and loud is forte (for-te).
We’ve also started extending this to learning about ‘super soft’, ie pianissimo (pi-a-ni-ssi-mo) and ‘super loud’ fortissimo (for-ti-ssi-mo)
Families – perhaps next time you’re listening to music, you can all try to pick out if something is played softly, or if there’s an instrument that’s being played loudly.
For our older mini musicians, we’re continuing working on rhythms. We’ve been having a lot of fun working out how many beats are in our name and clapping to it, as well as creating some fruit related stories and associated rhythm sequences.
All three groups have been working on rhythms this term – clapping games that correspond to musical notation, we’ve then been transferring those rhythms onto instruments. Preschoolers have been playing bongos, Akiya have been playing Glok’s, and Yanni have been played Ukulele’s. We’ve also continued to working on learning to play “25 or 6 to 4”.
— The Evergreen team.