Q. At what age do children start?
Children being their journey with Montessori in our Parent-child playgroup from infants to the age of 3. From the age of 3 many children will commence transition visits to Cycle 1. From the age of three a child’s intelligence and social characteristics are being formed, Maria Montessori refers to this as the ‘Absorbent Period’. We do advise families to place thier child on our waiting list before thier first birthday.
Q. What is the difference between sending my child to a Montessori school at the age of three compared to a day care centre or kindergarten?
Montessori is formal education, not childcare or kindergarten. The activities are part of a carefully planned purpose-filled formal curriculum that starts the first day the child enters the school at three.
Q. Does my three year old child need to be toilet trained?
Yes! All Montessori schools require your child to be toilet trained before commencing school.
Q. How does our school compare to traditional school’s curriculum?
Like all WA schools, we are guided by the WA School Curriculum and Standards Authority. Additionally, Montessori Schools have their own syllabus which is rigorous and significantly enhances the learning journey of our students. In each Cycle our student has the support of a Director (Teacher) and an Education Assistant. Our class sizes range from 13 – 24 students. This ratio ensures the child receives plenty of opportunity for small group and targeted teaching time and allows early identification of a child’s strengths and areas that may need additional support. Students’ achievement compares extremely favourably with those in traditional schools. One of the best predictors of success is a positive sense of self. Our programs are based on self-directed, non-competitive activities and help a child develop a good self-image, giving them the confidence to face challenges and change with optimism and resilience.
Q. How does a Montessori school fit in with the national and state school curriculum & testing programs?
Like all schools in Australia, we are required to undertake compulsory national and state testing of students in Years 3, 5, 7 & 9 for NAPLAN testing. In addition, Perth Individual is required, by the School Education Act, 1998 (WA) to demonstrate that the WA School Curriculum and Standards Authority outcomes and standards for students are met.
Q. How is discipline handled in the classroom?
There are few discipline problems in a Montessori classroom due to the strong sense of order, which balances structure and freedom. The concept that freedom carries responsibility is introduced from the time a 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.
Q. We are considering enrolling our child into mainstream/traditional high school after their Montessori primary years. How will my child handle this transition?
Evidence and experience show that Montessori children transition well into other schools both emotionally and academically. This is not a random outcome but something they have been prepared for as a Montessori education aims to develop children who are independent, responsible, well organised, self-motivated, and adaptable. These traits play an important part in a successful transition. We are hopeful however that you decide to let your child continue their wonderful Montessori journey and complete their education through to their Senior Years in our High School. Many of our graduates are awarded scholarships when entering other schools, and other have gone onto fulfilling university, workplaces and TAFE studies. As of 2021, our school has collaborated with IDEA Academy, which provides customized support for students as they transition into Senior Secondary schooling.
Q. How will my child interact and cope in a Multi Age Classroom?
Multi Age Classrooms offer several 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. In a multi-age group classroom, a child has the opportunity to learn from their peers as well as the teacher. The cycles are set up to support the developmental age of the child, for example, from the ages 3-6 children naturally work independently – they move into the conscious stage of development or the ‘Absorbent Mind’, where they have an innate desire to make choices for themselves and complete tasks independently. From the ages of 6, the child moves to the Absorbent mind to the Reasoning Mind stage. Children become group orientated and begin to work collaboratively and in groups. The question ‘why’ emerges, and children begin asking moral questions. This developmental stage lasts until around the age of 12, after which children move into adolescence and develop a “social consciousness”.
Q. How do you know where my child is at emotionally and developmentally? 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 rates. Students enrolling from other schools after the age of five are profiled for general ability and general achievement and readiness. Profiling is followed by a meeting with the Family, Director and Principal, to discuss the outcomes and collectively develop any future learning plans for the student.
The level and ability of each child is continually monitored and if a learning difficulty arises, that child will receive additional support to help address this challenge.
Q. How do I know my child will not spend all their time doing art and craft?
Directors and students maintain an activity log of all the tasks they do. This is monitored, and where appropriate they will be directed to other activities to keep things well balanced. Parents are informed of class activities regularly via the Director both in person, through occasional class newsletters and through the class Seesaw app.
Q. What does the school offer in the way of sport, language, and music?
Children’s motor skills are developed through comprehensive martial arts and sporting program. The school has a very strong LOTE (Languages Other Than English) program based around Indonesian which is taught through all Cycles. High School students continue with Indonesian if they have studied it previously. Our private musical tutor provides piano and keyboard lessons.
Q. What sort of computer training and skills are provided at the school?
Our school is fully aware that modern technology has given us valuable tools for education. Our school follows the State curriculum and through integrated and blended curriculum allows children to learn the appropriate skills to utilise technology where appropriate. From Year Four students are encouraged to bring their own device to school and formal training in digital technology is a focus. Which continues through schooling into Secondary School.
Q. Is there a compulsory school uniform?
We are currently in a transition process for 2021. This means both the current and previous uniform is approved school wear.
Q. Do I have to be a certain religion to attend a Montessori School?
Montessori schools have no ethnic or religious boundaries. We are non-denominational, recognising that Montessori education should be accessible to all.
Q. As a parent what is expected of me?
Children seeing their family members involved in their schooling in any capacity shows value is placed on their education. As a community we regularly hold opportunities to come together, whether through classroom activity, whole school events, volunteering at an incursion/excursion, supporting busy bee days. Other opportunity exists as a member of the P&F, or simply supporting initiatives, as well as College Board involvement. In order to provide a holistic environment for your child, it is expected that the Montessori philosophy is extended into the home.