At what age should my child start a Montessori education?
The 0-3 is the perfect beginning to your child’s Montessori education. When you accompany your child and participate in this foundation programme you are demonstrating the importance of lifelong learning. It is the ideal preparation for the “Children’s House”. Formal education begins at three years of age when intelligence and social characteristics are being formed. Maria Montessori called this the ‘Absorbent Period’. It is advisable however to place your child on the waiting list early.
What is the difference between sending my child to Margaret River Montessori School at three and day-care?
Montessori is formal education, not child care or kindy. The activities are part of a carefully-planned, purpose-filled formal curriculum that begins the first day the child enters the school.
How does Margaret River Montessori School compare to traditional schools’ curriculum?
Like all WA schools, Margaret River Montessori School is guided by the WA Curriculum Framework and consequently covers all eight Key Learning Areas. Additionally, Montessori Schools have their own syllabus which, in many areas, is more rigorous than traditional schools.
Students’ achievement compares extremely well with traditional school outcomes. In fact, Margaret River Montessori School is proud of its Above Average results in both internally and externally administered assessments.
One of the best predictors of success is a positive sense of self. Margaret River Montessori School programs, based on self-directed and non-competitive activities, help a child develop a good self-image giving him or her the confidence to face challenges and change with optimism and resilience, and instil a love of learning.
How will my child interact and cope in a multi-age classroom?
Multi-age classrooms offer a number of advantages which enhance a child’s educational experience.
All social groups interact within a wide range of ages; it’s the natural way for humans to relate.Children learn from their peers as well as their teacher. There are always groups of children working at the same developmental, academic or interest level. A family/community atmosphere is fostered within the class and school.
What level will my child be working on? What if they are ahead or behind for their age?
The Montessori Method caters for every child as an individual. Children progress at their own rate. At Margaret River Montessori School students who enrol from other Schools commence on a four week trial basis following consideration of their educational records. This period provides time for careful observation and assessment of the individual child’s needs. Unlike mainstream schools, there is no student-to-student competition within Montessori classrooms. Children gain confidence in their abilities as they successfully complete their self-correcting exercises. The level and ability of each child are continually monitored and, if a learning difficulty arises, that child will receive additional support to get them over that hurdle.
What does the school offer in the way of language, art, music and sport?
The School has a very strong Language Other Than English programme, based around Japanese, that is presented by a specialist teacher. This is taught to all children at the School once they commence full-time (Approx. 4.5 years).
A specialist music teacher also provides a strong music programme for full-time students.
Although Montessori schools are non-competitive, the playing of sport and games is encouraged, with fundamental movement and game skills specifically taught from 4.5 years, in line with Curriculum Framework Guidelines.
What sort of computer training and skills are provided at the school?
Margaret River Montessori School is fully aware of the fact that modern technology has given us valuable tools for education. We therefore provide an integrated curriculum, which ensures children learn the appropriate skills necessary to engage this technology from 6 years.
How is discipline handled in the classroom?
There are few discipline problems in a Margaret River Montessori classroom because of the strong sense of order, which balances structure and freedom. The concept that freedom carries responsibility is introduced from the time the child enters the school. Children can choose from a variety of paths and they are taught the skills and given the tools to succeed in their choices. They are also taught social values to enable them to make those choices.
All staff are pro-active in providing an environment in which respect for others is developed and nurtured. Margaret River Montessori School follows the well researched guidelines provided by the Friendly Schools programme including the shared concern strategies. If a problem does occur a child is assisted individually and shown new approaches to handle the issue. Occasionally, if a problem persists, a child may be removed from the group to a designated quiet area. Once they feel calm and in control they may choose to return to the group. Our Discipline Policy and Code of Ethics for students is available to view.
Is there a school uniform?
There is very practical ‘school wear’ for the children. While it is not compulsory, it is encouraged to be worn on special excursion/incursion days as a minimum.
Many students use school wear for its comfort, convenience and sense of identity.
Do I have to be a certain religion to attend a Montessori School?
Montessori schools have no ethnic or religious boundaries. Margaret River Montessori School is non-denominational, recognising that Montessori education should be accessible to all.
How does Margaret River Montessori School fit in with the National and State School Curriculum and testing programmes?
As in all schools in Australia, Margaret River Montessori School is required by law to undertake compulsory National Testing of students in Years 3 and 5.
In addition, Margaret River Montessori School is required by the W.A. Education Act of 1998 to demonstrate that student outcomes are reflected in the WA Curriculum Council’s Curriculum Framework and its 13 Over arching Statements.
Therefore, Margaret River Montessori School is not only accountable under its Montessori mandate, but also by external State and Federal registration and accountability mandates.
How will my child handle the transition to a traditional high school?
Experience shows that:
– Montessori children cope and achieve very well in other schools. They make the transition very well both emotionally and academically. This is not a random outcome but something they have been prepared for.
– Montessori aims to develop children who are independent, responsible, well organised, self
motivated and adaptable.These traits play an important part in a successful transition.
As a parent what is expected of me?
Parents who are thinking of choosing Margaret River Montessori School for their children’s education should bear in mind the following points before making a final decision:
– All parents must be prepared to have a continuing personal involvement with the school. This involvement may include, but is not limited to, maintenance, busy bees,
election to Management and Parents and Friends committees, fundraising, attendance at parent education evenings and regular class room observations. Voluntary work by parents is very rewarding and keeps costs and fees down.
– In order to provide a holistic environment for your child it is expected that the Montessori philosophy be extended to the home.