Upcoming events & Important Dates
Thurs 30th Primary Campus School Tour 9.30am
Thurs 7th Primary End of Year Celebration and Picnic | Last Day Primary
Fri 8th Preschool Picnic 12noon | Last Day of Preschool
Fri 8th Staff Development – North Head Primary only
Click HERE to see further calendar dates.
Dear Farmhouse Montessori Families,
Sibling Discount to School Fees
Term fees for 2024 were outlined by Nick Fletcher in his letter to parents. Invoices were posted. Since this update, we are delighted to advise that sibling discounts will apply from the commencement of 2024. The discount of 10% for the second and a 10% reduction will be applied to the third, fourth, and in some cases the fifth child. New invoices will be sent next week to all families with two or more children at Farmhouse.
Leading a Helping Hand Donate to Others
Thank you so much to families for their generous donation of gifts for Dalwood and supporting the Manly Women’s shelter with much-needed items. Your gifts and thoughtfulness are truly valued and appreciated. The array of items on display at North Balgowlah is amazing. It is still time to drop off your gift. Items may be delivered to both North Balgowlah and North Head Campuses.
During the week I had the pleasure of reading the Semester Two Primary Reports. Clearly students have work well and hard during the Semester. I acknowledge and thank each of our teachers and educators.
At the end of the week parents will receive an email from our Chairman, Nick Fletcher, on a range of matters including sibling discounts, an update on the Parent Survey, and an opportunity to meet our incoming Principal, Alia James, on Thursday, Thurs 30th November in person or online, Tuesday, December 5th.
Bruce Rixon | Principal
Deputy Principal’s Message
Dear Farmhouse Montessori Families,
Being immersed in a Montessori environment makes it very easy to be encouraged toward the approach. Frequently, when meeting families exploring Montessori education for their children, I am asked how the approach prepares them for their life ahead, particularly questions on executive functioning, academic achievement, social development, and school readiness. What does research have to say about the Montessori approach?
Educational research on the Montessori approach is growing. In 2015, the peer-reviewed Journal of Montessori Research was launched in the United States, providing a new platform for contemporary research. Longitudinal studies, such as the study by Dohrmann, K. (2003), reveal better social and academic skills (Mathematics/Science) and help to answer the questions about Montessori students transitioning to traditional schools.
In an Australian context, Montessori research has been conducted within Early Childhood Settings, subject-specific domains such as Mathematics, and within remote Indigenous communities. In an international context, research goes beyond childhood and adolescence, including using Montessori approaches in aged care.
If you are curious to learn about research in the Montessori sector, you might like to visit the links below:
Alia James | Deputy Principal
ELOUERA | Stage 1 Infant Community
The Elouera children have been very excited to see all their wonderful fruit and veggies growing. They have been great at remembering to water all the plants each day and learning about what plants need to grow. Recently they have been very enthusiastic about picking and eating the snow peas and blueberries. We have had lots of discussions about when the fruit and veggies are ready to pick and why. Gardening with the children is a great way to encourage healthy eating. We have also had many conversations about which foods are good for us to eat and why our bodies need them.
— Nina, Rachel, Sarah and Yuko.
BURBANGANA | Stage 1
This week in Burbangana the children have delighted in the discovery of little apples growing on our apple tree. The outdoor environment is an extension of our classroom where children are able to build on their knowledge through the sensorial experiences of nature and through constant contact with the seasons and the natural world.
— Helen, Teresa & Claire
COOINDA | Stage 1
This week in Cooinda, some children had a great time engaging with many activities from our sensorial area. These materials expose children to many geometric shapes and forms. In a Montessori environment, geometry exploration plays a vital role in fostering holistic development. Through hands-on activities, children engage in spatial reasoning, shape recognition, and size discrimination. These experiences lay the foundation for later mathematical concepts. Through these materials they also enhance cognitive skills, fine motor development, and a deepened understanding of the world around them.
— Catalina, Jo, Angela & Katherine.
AMAROO | OUTDOOR CLASSROOM
Being able to interact and play with children their own age, those older and younger is important for a child’s social development. Through play and group collaboration projects children develop important skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, sharing, kindness and empathy. Social play helps to develop emotional intelligence which is just as important as academic intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the key to forming good relationships with others, which is vital to both personal and professional success later in life.
It is beautiful to observe children’s interactions and to help guide them as they navigate their world forming friendships.
Over the past three weeks, some kindergarten children have been gearing up for the big leap to Aikya next year. Twice a week, they have been prepping for the move, generating a buzz of excitement. This concentrated transition will set a solid foundation for their upcoming chapter.
The kindergarten children continue to enjoy weekly reading sessions and bushwalking with the Yani children. The camaraderie extends beyond books, with the older students often seen playing together in the playground, creating delightful moments.
On a practical note, our first-ever bushfire evacuation practice took place recently. The entire primary school marched down to St. Patrick’s, where ICTHM is our designated assembly point, providing a valuable experience for the children to ensure their safety during emergencies.
During the Diwali festival, Harshitha shared the vibrant story of Diwali with the kindergarten children. The focus was on discussions and a hands-on activity, where the children had the opportunity to paint traditional lamps, adding a touch of creativity to the session.
Lastly, I would like to share a heartwarming gesture from one of our children. Noah generously bought lovely gifts from Africa for his peers. Each peer received an animal bookmark, which he purchased with pocket money. It’s a thoughtful and touching gesture, and his peers were overjoyed with the beautiful bookmarks.
As we embrace these transitions and celebrate the enriching experiences within our kindergarten community, I look forward to each child’s continued growth and success.
AIKYA | Stage 2
We hope this newsletter finds you well and filled with the season’s joy. It’s been an exciting two weeks here in the Aikya classroom at North Head Sanctuary, and we’re thrilled to share the highlights of our Montessori journey with you.
Independent Projects: Exploring the Wonders of Knowledge
Our Cycle 2 learners have been deeply engrossed in their independent projects, delving into the vast realms of the Animal Kingdom, Ancient Civilizations, and the fascinating concept of Big History. From researching unique animal species to uncovering the mysteries of ancient cultures, our students are on a journey of discovery guided by their innate curiosity and love for learning. The enthusiasm is palpable as they immerse themselves in the stories of important figures like Fibonacci, connecting the dots between mathematics and the natural world.
Curriculum Features: Nurturing Well-Rounded Minds
Our curriculum continues to offer a rich tapestry of learning experiences. One example is that In Mathematics, our students have been mastering word problems that challenge their problem-solving skills. Grammar and word study sessions foster a deep appreciation for language, while fractions and geometry fundamentals provide a strong foundation for mathematical thinking. Botany studies unveil the wonders of the plant world, connecting our learners with the marvels of nature.
Transitions and Excitement: Embracing Change with Open Hearts
As our 3rd-year students gradually increase their days in Cycle 3, and our Cycle 1 children take steps towards joining our classroom, the excitement is palpable. A spirit of anticipation and readiness for new challenges and adventures marks the transitions. Our community is a dynamic, ever-evolving tapestry, and we take pride in guiding our students through these transitions with care and encouragement.
Social Learnings: Building a Community of Respect and Responsibility
In the Aikya classroom, we’re witnessing the emergence of new leaders. Our 2nd year children are stepping into responsibility roles, embracing the school’s social and emotional shifts. This positive change is rippling through our community, creating an environment that guides children to value respect, responsibility, and care. We believe in fostering not just academic growth but also the development of well-rounded individuals who contribute positively to the world around them.
Thank you for being an integral part of our Aikya community. Your support and partnership are invaluable as we nurture each child’s love for learning and exploration. We look forward to the upcoming weeks of discovery and growth as we near the end of the year.
With warm regards,
—Toby, Amy and the Aikya Children.
YANI | Stage 3
In the past couple of weeks, Oli, Gus, and Tylor have stepped up as the Yani sports managers. Their dedication to organizing and sorting sports equipment has provided playtime with more structure and has showcased the children’s exemplary leadership skills. Their recent presentation to the younger children in the Aikya classroom was a testament to their initiative and ability to guide others. Their efforts not only ensured a well-organized sports area but also inspired their peers with their responsible and proactive approach.
In the field of geometry, our students have been delving into the topic of symmetry. They have shown care and pride in their work as they explore different types of symmetry. The precision and creativity demonstrated in their work are a testament to their understanding and application of geometric concepts.
In addition, some of the students in the Yani classroom have given engaging and enriching presentations to their peers. Watching their classmates confidently present on various subjects has been both inspiring and informative for the entire community. These opportunities for peer-led learning not only foster a deeper understanding of the topics but also empower our students to become confident communicators and educators in their own right.
—Laura & the Yani Team.
EVERGREEN | Music
Preschool Music (North Balgowlah)
Our original song composition is coming along nicely and Angie is very much enjoying working on this with the groups.
We are also learning the ‘Candle Song’ in the lead up to the end of year.
North Head Campus
We have been continuing to work on ‘Lean On Me’ by Bill Withers and our new song ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ which has a minor feel.
Each group has been working on playing chords on the xylophones together where we split a chord across groups – this activity not only works on timing (where each member of the group needs to strike the correct note, but also work with the other groups on doing this at the same time), but also on playing as one unit. Sometimes we get the urge to want to play things as quickly as we can or as loudly as we can as we have ‘worked it out’….but in music the idea of teamwork is so important, and all our Primary groups have been doing a great job of this within the classes. You can definitely see smiles on faces when it just sounds right and in time! Well done.
Rehearsals are progressing well as we approach our end of year performance.
We’d love to see more kids join the school Mixed Ensemble in 2024 – for those interested, children need to be undertaking lessons in their chosen instrument outside of the Wednesday rehearsal times. We prepare arrangements of tunes with the musical level of students in mind, and with regular practice at home, it allows for the band sessions to be about working together and creating an epic sound.