2023 Newsletter Term 02 | Issue 02
Upcoming events & Important Dates
Mon 29th Reconciliation Day
Tues 30th Parent Information Evening: 7pm | Preschool Campus
Tues 30th Yani Excursion-Sydney Writers Festival
Tues 6th Parent Information Evening: Primary Campus
Fri 9th Pupil Free Day K-6 (Preschool normal day) – Staff Development Day
Mon 12th King’s Birthday
Fri 16th Parent Social Event at Ruby Lane 5.30pm to 8.30pm
Tues 20th Primary School Campus Tour | 9.30am
Fri 23rd Fees Due
Fri 24th Open Day North Head Campus 10.30pm to 1pm
Fri 30th Last Day Term
Click HERE to see further calendar dates.
Dear Farmhouse Montessori Families,
Combined Montessori Sports Carnival held on 24 May at Bannockburn Oval, Pymble was a wonderful experience and success. This year, Kindergarten joined the carnival experience. The opportunity to engage with children from other Montessori schools in non-competitive sports activities is priceless. Farmhouse staff were amazing in their respective roles.
I am proud and grateful to Farmhouse Staff and parents for the way you engaged at the Carnival, dedicated to ensuring the events under their watch went well, ensuring the positive wellbeing of the children, setting up gazebos and manning the respective activities. The carnival was such a positive experience which would not be possible without your help, so thank you very much. Incidentally, I learned yesterday the carnival was a brainchild of Gavin, our previous Farmhouse Principal.
Open Day 24 June North Head Campus 10.30am to 1.00pm
We will be holding a special Open Day at North Head on Saturday 24 June to promote the Primary sector of Farmhouse Montessori. Both Aikya and Yani classrooms will be open with teachers on hand to answer any question. On the day there will be plenty of fun activities including face painting, henna, cake book and craft stalls.
Please tell your family, friends, and colleagues of this event.
Farmhouse Stall at Manly Village Fair 20 May was a great success. Thank you to all parents for donating and assisting in manning the stall. Special shout out to Emma Kidd for her extra-ordinary help in collecting items, preparing, and manning the stall. The school raised just on $350 towards classroom resources.
Preschool Parents Information Evening Tuesday 30 May 7.00pm to 8.00pm
This information evening will be held at North Balgowlah campus and led by our Deputy Principal, Alia James. Please share this information with your family and friends.
Semester 1 Preschool Reports and Conferences
I have had the pleasure of reading the academic progress report on your child. By now you should have received the report. Some parents may have already had their Conference with your child’s teacher. I do hope that the report and Conference were beneficial to you to understand your child’s progress in their academic journey. Should you require further clarification of any matter, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher, me, or Alia James.
Pupil Free Day Friday 9 June Professional Development Day for Kindergarten and Primary Staff.
Montessori Principals are delighted that we will have an opportunity for staff to network, share, and collaborate on Montessori educational matters during this professional development day, which will be held at Northside Montessori School. Farmhouse staff from Kindergarten to Year 6 will attend. This will be a pupil-free day for students in these year groups. Please note that Preschool will operate as usual. Should there be a concern regarding this pupil free, please feel free to reach out to me or our Deputy Principal, Alia James.
A Parent Social Event is planned for Friday 16 June at Ruby Lane from 5.30 to 8.00pm. These community events are always a fun time for parents to catch up and meet other families. Please diaries this date. Parents are asked to bring a plate and refreshments.
Health and Safety of our children. As part of our commitment to health and safety at our students, and in line with Regulations, we are required to regularly rehearse our evacuation and lockdown procedures. We are currently preparing students for evacuation and lockdown drills. The children have already discussed the procedure and have been informed of their expectations for the evacuation and lockdown drills.
All rostered staff will be involved in the evacuation drill. It is essential that each step of the procedure is strictly carried out. This will be done in such a way as not to alarm or distress the children so they will calmly reach the required assembly point in the shortest possible time. Kindly note that after the rehearsal, the children will return to their classroom, quickly settled, and continue their regular activities for the day. If you have any concerns or would like to know more about the emergency evacuation process, please don’t hesitate in contacting the school.
Bruce Rixon | Principal
Deputy Principal’s Message
Dear Farmhouse Montessori Families
As a relatively new member of the community, it has been a delightful experience to connect with Farmhouse Montessori School alumni, alumni families, and former staff with legacies that still live on.
This week the Kecskés family visited the preschool campus. Maia, now 14 years old and Luca, now 12 years old both attended the Farmhouse Montessori School during their preschool years. They were thrilled to see the familiar face of educator Jo Buckley, their former classrooms, and the outdoor space where they each had fond memories. Maija and Luca’s father, Misi, even recognised a table he had once worked on at a school working bee many years ago! In addition to academics, both Luca and Maja continue to pursue sporting and musical interests. Luca was selected to play in the Sydney Youth Orchestra this year and Maja is competing in the World Archery Youth Championships in Limerick, Ireland, this July. We wish Maja and Luca all the best with their endeavours and hope that the Kecskés family visits us again soon.
We also had a visit from Jenny Bensted, our former Preschool Coordinator. As soon as Jenny arrived there were hugs and smiles all around. Seeing the relationships that Jenny has formed with families, children and educators has been a heartwarming experience. Jenny has shared a few words below for the community.
“This week I had the opportunity to visit the school. Truly it doesn’t take much to entice me back. I received the most wonderful welcome from the children with lots of hugs and questions. I felt so loved. So lovely to see them all. My quick visit ended up a lot longer stay.” – Jenny
Alia James | Deputy Principal
ELOUERA | Stage 1 Infant Community
In Elouera the children have been enjoying getting creative with lots of arts and crafts. We provide open ended art activities that help children explore and use their creativity. When it comes to art, it is the process, not the product that is important to the children. This includes painting and drawing with various mediums, making bracelets and doing collages. Arts and crafts are a great way for children to develop their colour learning, build their self esteem, and help them with their communicative abilities. Art and craft helps to improve motor skills, spatial awareness, supports their sensory development and builds their concentration and patience.
— Nina, Rachel, Sarah and Yuko.
BURBANGANA | Stage 1
There are many materials and activities within the classroom to help children to strengthen their fine motor skills. Having strength in the small muscles of the fingers helps children to successfully manipulate clothing, food containers, a pencil using a pincer grip and many other self-help skills that enable children to experience independence in their world.
— Helen, Teresa & Claire
COOINDA | Stage 1
This week in Cooinda, the children were keen to explore the Language area. The younger children enjoyed enriching their vocabulary through picture cards and sound games. The older children began to work with the Moveable Alphabet, which fosters the composition of words, and its purpose is expression. It is typically introduced once the child knows most of the sandpaper letters and understands the phonetic sound of the letters.
With the Moveable Alphabet, all of the letters are in front of the child, so the child does not need to remember what they all look like or how to form them. By using the Moveable Alphabet, the child begins to make the connection between the spoken and the written language. This is a powerful connection, and it’s important for the child to make these discoveries for themselves, allowing the learning to be spontaneous.
— Catalina, Elizabeth, Jo and Angela.
AMAROO | OUTDOOR CLASSROOM
As the children discovered a new puzzle, ‘above and below’ transport this led them down a path of inquiry and investigation. Following the children’s interest in this topic resulted in group work to produce a freeze, individual drawings, practise writing, sounding out the names of transport, learning new vocabulary, parts of vehicles, building cars and airports and lots of focus and concentration!
You will often hear a Montessorian say ‘follow the child’ it’s a statement that guides us each day as we believe the child has innate qualities that lead them to learn and our job is to prepare the path. It’s also exciting bringing so much joy. Let’s see where they lead us next!
The children had a fantastic and educational excursion to the Royal Botanic Garden, where they explored the significance of bees in our ecosystem. Led by an experienced presenter, the children actively participated in a range of interactive activities to enhance their understanding of bees.
During the presentation, the children discovered fascinating facts about bees, including the existence of over 2000 species, with 200 of them found in Australia. They also learned about the crucial role play (bees) in pollinating our plants and crops.
One particularly engaging activity involved a demonstration of cross-pollination. A few children volunteered to dress up as flowers with anthers, while others dressed up as bees. The children eagerly participated in this interactive demonstration, showcasing their enthusiasm and curiosity.
Another enjoyable activity was the construction of a bee “Hotel.” The children were provided with materials such as wood, nails, and hammers to build the hotel, along with bamboo inserts to create housing for the bees.
This excursion to the Botanical Gardens went beyond learning about bees; it highlighted their significant impact on our environment and their contribution to our food chain. The children thoroughly enjoyed the excursion and gained valuable knowledge about the importance of bees.
Over the following week, the excitement rolled over into the classroom, with all the children still buzzing over their excursion and wanting to engage more into the subject of bees. The children had further curiosities, which led to the questions they had asked. They did more research which covered areas in language, numeracy, culture, and art. This led to writing, reading and creative activities that scaffold their development. Some of their findings include the lifespan of certain bees, the anatomy and country of origin.
The children had so much to talk about; some of them created their own artwork based on their questions and discoveries.
AIKYA | Stage 2
We hope this newsletter finds you well. It has been a wonderful fortnight of learning and activities here at North Head Sanctuary. We are thrilled to share some of the highlights with you.
Firstly, we must mention how lovely our Mothers Day morning was. The children were excited to show their mums around the classroom and share some of the special activities they had planned. It was a beautiful moment of connection and appreciation.
We also had an exciting excursion to the Sydney Botanical Gardens. The children were fascinated by the diverse range of plants and animals they encountered. It was a great opportunity to expand our knowledge of the natural world.
That day we took a deep dive into the native bees in the surrounding areas. The children enjoyed learning about their habitats and behaviours and even got to build a bee hotel. It was a fantastic way to connect with the local ecosystem.
We have also been observing the seasonal changes in our playground and have noticed some new native animals migrating locally. This has sparked a lot of curiosity and excitement among the children, who are eager to learn more about these creatures and their habits. It is wonderful to see the children engaging with the natural world in this way.
In addition to our exploration of native animals, the children have also been enthralled with the study of plants. Through experiments and observation, they have been exploring the function of plants and learning about the different parts of a plant.
The Montessori philosophy values hands-on learning, exploration, and connection with the environment. Here at Aikya, we are delighted to promote and uphold these principles within our Cycle 2 environment.
Thank you for your continued support and engagement with our classroom community. We look forward to sharing more exciting updates with you soon.
Stay tuned to hear about our annual Sports Carnival, National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week coming up on the calendar.
—The Aikya Team.
YANI | Stage 3
We are delighted to share the latest updates from our Yani Classroom. In the mathematics corner, our students have been engaged in hands-on learning with the decimal board, mastering the concept of decimal place value and addition. They have also been developing their problem-solving skills by exploring common factors using the pegboard. It’s inspiring to see their enthusiasm and growth in these areas.
In the art department, our talented students have been working with Ella to discover the fascinating world of gradients. Using watercolors, they have been experimenting with blending colors and creating beautiful gradients in their artwork. This creative exploration allows them to develop a deeper understanding of color theory and express their imagination through various artistic techniques.
Lastly, we extend a warm welcome to Alia, our Thursday and Friday Yani teacher. Alia has joined our team between now and Term 4 to impart her knowledge and passion for Science, History, and Geography. She has already made a positive impact on our students, encouraging their curiosity and fostering a love for these subjects. We are thrilled to have her on board, and we look forward to the exciting educational experiences she will bring to our classrooms.
Thank you for your ongoing support
—The Yani Team.
EVERGREEN | Music
For our older preschoolers, the focus these last few weeks as been on recognizing different music notes (crochet, rest and quarter note) and also knowing how many beats each one represents. We’ve loved making very long patterns and joining them together to make really cool beats.
We also have a fun new carrot song, where we take turns playing the cheeky rabbit who takes a carrot until we have none left.
Here’s a link to spotify if you’d like to sing a long at home.
Our mini muso’s have been learning our musical words for fast and slow, presto and largo.
We are also loving the carrot song and practicing our presto and largo with this great bicycle song from the Laurie Berkner Band:
For our preschool and Akiya groups, we have been focusing on beat and rhythm through a variety of songs and rhythm games. Students have been singing, clapping and playing clapsticks while reading simple rhythm notation as well as creating their own rhythms. Great work across all students!
We are currently learning and practicing ‘Beds Are Burning’ by Midnight Oil using xylophones. The students are learning to both sing and play the melody as well as learning some bass lines and harmony parts in the song. This teaches a solid understanding of song structure, pitch and rhythm through a fun practical activity.
Yanni are continuing to work on ‘Wiyathul’ by Gurrumul. Our focus has been on changing between chords quickly and comfortably while playing a variety of rhythmic strumming patterns.
— The Evergreen team.