Caboolture Montessori School

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Caboolture Montessori School

Caboolture Montessori School

The Caboolture Montessori School's mission is to educate individuals in our school and community by implementing the Montessori philosophy and methodology.

Our aim is to prepare a developmentally appropriate environment to encourage our children to responsibly and respectfully engage in their learning journey.

C3 work2

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow,

yet we forget that he is someone today”.

Stacia Tauscher


School is a child’s second home; hence schooling is one decision that is not taken lightly by parents. When choosing a school, often a parent cannot identify easily what the school offers from visiting the school. Therefore we would like to provide some features and characteristics, to look for during this sometimes stressful process.


The Children

  • The children appear relaxed, happy and respectful.
  • There is a sense of intrinsic discipline in the children.
  • The children during playtime appear content and busy.
  • Children appear engaged and interested in their learning.
  • Children demonstrate a happy learning environment, through their engagement.


The Adults/Staff

  • Adults in the environment are friendly, helpful and give a sense of professional care.
  • The Principal is accessible and shows interest in meeting parents.
  • The staff are dressed appropriately and conduct themselves professionally.
  • The teacher’s morale appears good.
  • Positive comments are heard from all adults in the environment.
  • There is a positive presence of parents in the school.
  • Education is extended to parents.


The Environment 

  • The grounds look inviting and are maintained.
  • Classrooms are attractive and appear to be well resourced.
  • Classrooms look set-up to meet children’s needs.
  • School buildings are conducive to learning: airy, full of light and accessible.
  • The reception area is welcoming, clean and tidy.
  • There are outdoor activities appropriate for number and age of children.



  • Communication on notice boards gives is friendly and respectful.
  • School brochures are available for new parents.
  • Children’s needs are met considering their abilities through special provisions.
  • Parents are provided different ways of understanding school rules and philosophy.
  • Communication is effectively and respectfully provided according to parent needs.
  • There is a sense of community.
  • Specific school policies are available to families.
  • The school values: student/staff wellbeing, collaboration, parent involvement and continuous learning.


Ultimately a family, when walking around a school environment, should assess how they ‘feel’, as this will give a sense of perceived school ethos. Having many great facilities and not addressing values, discipline and respect will not produce happy children.



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In any community values are highlighted, when they are put into practice. A value we believe is vital for effective functioning is health, and as a collegial group we address this through our Staff Wellbeing. Staff members lead the project and act as role models by designing activities and providing staff events and personal development to encourage a healthy lifestyle.


On the weekend, members of the Caboolture Montessori School staff, took to the mountains and looked for ways to improve their physical abilities. Increasing oxygen intake, large muscle toning and general whole body exercise was included in a brisk morning walk up NgunNgun Mountain.


If we agree with the quote from Roman poet Juvenal: “ Mens sana in corpore sano”  - “A sound mind in a sound body”, we will encourage each other to be more physical as we need a daily quota of mental strength, to conduct our role effectively.

    ngun ngun   mt ngunngun may 2015

 top Mt Ngungun

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Differences between Montessori and Traditional teaching

When we address education, we retrieve memories of our own experience and decide what we want for our children. If there is much choice, it could make a school selection harder and yet, if the selection is limited comparisons become critical.

Below is a basic comparison of what we perceive are differences between the traditional education system and Montessori schools. For better understanding and to 'get a feeling' of the school, parents should take the time to personally observe how a school and classroom function and assess the relevance of an educational program for their child.

Montessori Education


Traditional Education

Whole school philosophy &   methodology

Programs define methodology and often philosophy

Developmental approach for each   stage of learning

Curriculum based learning – same   for all

Focus on all aspects of   development: social, emotional, physical and intellectual

Instruction is mostly based on academic achievement

Learning at own pace: choice of how   long to work on a specific concept

Adult decision of when new topics   are introduced

Children actively involved in own   learning

Adults direct all learning

Intrinsic motivation is fostered: no rewards or punishments

Rewards and punishments still used   to encourage/discourage student behaviours

Self-discipline is grown through   methodology

Discipline is imposed by adults   and rules

Experiential learning through   manipulation and real experiences

The curriculum guides direction of   learning

Children are held accountable and   responsible for their learning

The adult is responsible for   outcomes reached

Uninterrupted work cycles

Time table dictates length and type of   lessons

Multi-age classrooms

Same age groups

Student teach with the adult

Adult teaches the group

The environment includes   scientific equipment for the acquisition of concepts (hands-on learning)

Learning is mainly acquired   through visual information

The environment is the child’s   space to work where they feel comfortable

Set seating and restricted movement   during work time

 To understand the learning approach more effectively, come and visit and ask to observe in our classrooms. We are here to share what we do.

Yvonne Rinaldi


Caboolture Montessori School

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Manners! What are manners?

Extracted from the Oxford dictionary: A person’s outward bearing or way of behaving towards others.

In today’s world, are manners still effective?GC


Do we respect people more if they are mannered?

Is saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ enough?

Is there more to what Dr Montessori called her learning area ‘Grace and Courtesy”?

As early as the third millennium BC, social graces, self-control and kindness to others was written about (Ptahhotep). Confucius (551-479 BC) looked at governmental morality and personal correctness. In the middle 1600, during the era, norms were established that provide guidelines to social graces and standards of behaviour.

Today, each culture has a set of rules and norms that in fact, define that culture: each valorising respect and care for others. In Southern Africa, the Zulu woman does not look into the eyes of a leading man; that would be highly disrespectful. In Australia we expect people to look at us when we are speaking as a sign of respect. It is therefore evident that our cultural background will establish different expectations of what is polite and respectful.

In the school community of CMS as in every Montessori environment, Grace and Courtesy underlines all areas of curriculum and philosophy. We understand that manners are outward behaviours of a much stronger sense we are trying to build in each individual. We want children to develop ‘complex thinking processes'; we would like to be able to provide our students with opportunities to learn easily through trust and care. We aspire to provide experiences that build many neurological pathways to stimulate positive learning.

None of this can happen without children living in an environment of true nurture and respect.

Manners, Grace and Courtesy can start with a please and thank you, however there is much more below that thin surface. Just as an iceberg, underneath a simple 'please', there is a world of “Let me help you”, “I am really sorry you are sad”, “Let me offer you my seat”, “Take this little flower, as I can see you need comfort”, “Please help me, I am stuck”.

Adults are role models and we know that children emulate what we do and say. If we share ‘good manners’ we actually prevent negative behaviours and possibly support great mental health (Val Curtis - executive functions).

I would like to challenge each of us, to start an experiment and use beautiful manners (more than we are already doing) in our home for a month and see if this makes a difference to our wellbeing and children’s behaviours.


“What is social life if not the solving of social problems, behaving properly and pursuing aims acceptable to all?
– Dr. Maria Montessori, page 225, The Absorbent Mind



Manners 2

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We would like to inform our parents of new legislation affecting our Cycle 1 students.

Children will be able to attend an approved, funded Kindy program from the beginning of the year in which they turn 4 years old by 31 July. If a student enters early into Kindy there may be a need, and/or benefit by participating in an additional year of kindergarten (Delayed exit).

Generally children progress from Kindy to Prep. However this extended entry level to kindy does not assure these children an automatic entry to Prep the following year. Children born between the 1st and 31st July will still need to apply for early entry into prep. It will be at the Principal’s discretion to ensure the child has the appropriate attributes to cope emotionally, physically, socially and academically with the new classroom requirements.

Children attending Kindy and not progressing to Prep, can attend a second funded year of kindergarten.

Birth Dates and Kindy enrolment



1/7/2010   to 31/7/2011


1/7/2011   to 31/7/2012


1/7/2012   to 31/7/2013


1/7/2013   to 31/7/2014



The Education (General Provisions) Regulation 2006 (EGPA Regulations) was amended in late November 2014.

Children younger than the prescribed age for Prep may be enrolled in Prep if:

  1. They turn 5 on or before the 31 July in the year of proposed enrolment in Prep and the Principal is satisfied the child is ready for Prep (See EGPA Regulations Part 4, section 15) or
  2. The child has attended Prep in another state or country and was already enrolled in a Prep program

It will be ultimately the principal’s responsibility to ensure that children are attending the appropriate level of education according to attributes; however collaboration between parents, teachers and principal will establish the correct environment for students to achieve highly, successfully and easily.

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Live Grow Learn Love

2015 is here and with the New Year; we experience many hopes, expectations, excitement and maybe a few trepidations. We look forward to welcoming back all our students and families and the many new additions to our growing community. Our school has resumed the business of education and caring and we are sure the children are looking forward to returning to their friends and class guides.

Each year we plan to improve, to grow professionally and personally and to provide all stakeholders with a unique environment where our children learn with interest, motivation and fun. We are looking forward to sharing our student’s learning with their families and our community.

This year our theme is 'Cerebration'. (Thinking and consolidating). We want to consolidate projects started in 2014 in Literacy, student data collection and staff wellbeing. Our School Improvement Plan will address our continued need for progress and whole school improvement. Staff are looking to develop further our integrated studies through their term and yearly planning and hopefully children will come back with renewed interests and passions.


We welcome new families and students and wish our graduates from 2014 all the very best at their new schools and hope to hear about their achievements and new experiences. A very warm welcome to our generous volunteers and dedicated staff.

Yvonne Rinaldi - CMS Principal




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Strategic Planning  - 2014


Last weekend, the members of the Caboolture Montessori School Board and the Principal got together to review the year that was, identify outcomes reached and actions that may need future attention. Addressing the direction of the school for the year ahead and beyond is the focus of the group at this event. The process is helpful in many obvious ways by setting a pathway forward and ensuring past objectives have been met; however, the most relevant components of the day are: asking the critical questions, finding innovative solutions, exploring past and new aspirations and adopting what we know the community wants and needs.

Our School Board is composed of parents and external professionals and all are involved and interested in a healthy business and an effective educational context. They provide their insights and experience to grow our Montessori environment and are at ease with asking the provocative questions they know will enhance our progress.

The process was facilitated and challenged by Mr David Robertson, Executive Director of Independent Schools Queensland. David has supported our strategic planning for the second year and has provided a truly high level of investigation and outcomes. We thank him for donating his time and passion and dearly thank him for sharing his expertise.

We celebrate our successes, reached in a short time span:

  • Starting a full cycle 1 cohort
  • Adding an active Infant Community
  • Growth of a third cycle 2 class
  • Addition of two new classrooms and a library
  • Meeting all the requirements of our Development Approval through the Moreton Bay Regional Council
  • Providing a strong leadership for the school starting at Governance level
  • Programs and resources to drive professional growth among our educators
  • Collection of tools to address student progress through reliable and viable means
  • Meeting the philosophy and methodology of Dr Montessori through staff training
  • Former students achieving highly academically and personally in their secondary schools
  • Our positive financial benchmarks

The above are just some celebratory events in our recent history.

Thank you to each Board member for taking time to meet on a really hot weekend and contributing to a sound direction for strategy and operation at CMS.

CMS Board members:

Nick Willemsen – Chair (Parent)

Helen Spry – Vice Chair (Parent)

Jo-Anne Chaplin – Treasurer (Local business person)

Mark Ryan – Member (Local business person)

Bronwyn Conway - Member (Local business person)

Roelie Hartwig – Member (Business person & Montessori director)

Toby Robinson - Member (Parent)

Yvonne Rinaldi
Caboolture Montessori School

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The decision of selecting the correct school for your child is certainly not an easy decision. In an enrolment interview at any school, the enrolment officer or Principal may hear these words: “I want a school that will provide my child experiences to allow their potential to flourish. I want my child to be happy coming to school. I would love to know that the adults in the environment care for my child and highlight their very best qualities”. …And in Montessori schools: “I want my child not to be disadvantaged by the Montessori methodology.”

flower infant 2.5 aged child arranging flowers

One or two years may pass and the parent may consciously realise that what they want for their child has changed slightly, they want more. Their child is now in early primary dealing with many academic tasks and is very interested in the social aspect of school life. The parent may now suggest: “I want my child to be able to achieve with their writing, spelling, and mathematics. I would also like for my child to have positive friendships and experience extra-curricula activities. I would like to understand better what they are doing daily”.


A few more years may pass and your child could be about eight or nine and again doubts may arise about the value of education you are providing your precious little person. “I would really love my child to be able to have a canteen in the school, be able to compete with other schools and understand the world ‘out there’; I would love my child to have a lap top as all other children in traditional schools. Is my child missing out on vital education???”


These are all valid thoughts and genuine concerns. When a parent enrols their child into a Montessori school, they have to accept and trust, as they themselves have not experienced the benefits of Montessori and comparisons are not possible. How do they know that the content delivered will meet the national requirements? How can they trust that their child is getting the very best for the money the parents pay year after year? How do they know that attending a small school with limited physical attributes will provide their child with an education that can stand up 21st Century requirements? Why would their child need to be educated differently from their own schooling experiences?

breakfast Former student helping with school event

What about the academic achievement of the student? How can we tell their progress without comparisons with other children of the same age? Student achievements are measured in many ways; the various assessments done by class teachers showing the level the child has reached in various subjects, the odd standardised test completed and the results our students attain in their first few years in a secondary context. We continuously see and hear about the amazing achievements of our former students and the high level attained in all academic subjects. Most importantly, what we hear is the type of individual and the attributes they bring to the new environment. Comments from local secondary principals about our students: “Please send more of them to our school. Your children stand out for their beautiful behaviours and willingness to work with the adults. What do you do to produce such high standards?” These are just some of the comments we hear.

Graduation Former student awarded for academic achievement

So, in conclusion, why do you keep your child in a Montessori environment? It is certainly not because we have the greatest facilities or amenities, it is not because we have victory boards in reception or flash buildings; it is because you value true wholistic education, you love our purpose built classrooms and the bush setting so familiar to Australians. You want what you announced many years ago, when your child was only three: “I want my child to be happy and achieve the best they can achieve.” Your loyalty to Montessori will fulfil this aim. Many of the assets gained will not appear as traditional outcomes; each child will possess qualities and values that are relevant to whom they, as individuals, will become.

The true difference between Montessori and traditional education is the way each child is nurtured and encouraged and the method adopted to reach personal outstanding outcomes. Honesty, confidence, independence, creativity and responsibility are what are grown at CMS, through the years.

15 year Our beautiful school

Yvonne Rinaldi


Caboolture Montessori School


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The Infant Community

From the moment a child is born there is a strong will to adapt to an environment and a desire to be nurtured. The focus on human faces allows the newborn to perceive sensory information that will feed the brain and the immature psyche of this individual.

Language and independent movement are not present as yet and the infant will adopt basic emotions such as sadness (crying) when there is discomfort or peacefulness (sleep) when all needs are satisfied.

It is really evident that the work of this individual is to ‘become’ and take on the characteristics of a species: they have to move and communicate in the language spoken by the people around them and grow behaviours that express their personality and interaction with the environment.

In a Montessori Infant class, we are very aware of these early needs and our focus is movement, language and of course independence. Every human being wants to be independent, self-sufficient and capable and be what we can be. Maslow calls this Self-actualisation, the highest level of need acquired by individuals.

Therefore, the environment we need to provide for these young explorers must have elements to encourage movement, communication and simple activities to instil a sense of success. The environment and the new activities are developing new neural connections and due to the interactive nature of each activity the connections are formed in many areas of the brain. This will enhance learning later by providing an established foundation of knowledge and skill.

Our environment must foster the ability of each and every child; by offering a place that naturally supports ways of skill building. Parents become an intricate part of this process in our Infant Class and weave their beliefs and cultural understandings in the fabric of this future adult.

Our early years are not just a foundation of ‘who’ we will become but it is a time when we establish a deep, unconscious, sense of ‘how’ we relate to the world.

                   Infant 1    

The Infant Community at CMS is working towards these objectives.

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The sun filters through the Melaleuca trees, the billabong is quiet still with small concentrical waves on the surface, made by insects. In the distance you can see an Australian Brown Wood Duck pruning its feathers and showing signs of gentle business. A malachite kingfisher is perched on a branch and stares at the water in the hope to see a fish swimming to the surface of the water. There are few sounds and these are mostly made by birds, frogs or tree fronds gently touching other trees.

IMG 0806a    IMG 0805a  

My description of this beautiful environment is right here on the back porch of our school. We are so lucky to be able to offer our students a place that serves so many purposes. We have a real ecology to explore and analyse through microscopes and books. We are able to identify various species of flora and fauna, very typical of Southeast Queensland as well as have a place to relax and find peace on any school day.

Dr Montessori suggests that individuals of all ages need nature to restore balance and to get in touch with our natural development. Dr Montessori said “But if for the physical life it is necessary to have the child exposed to the vivifying forces of nature, it is also necessary for his psychical life to place the soul of the child in contact with creation.” Psychologists today are finding that children spending time in nature are showing reduced levels of stress, higher levels of self-discipline and appear to have better self-esteem.

We recommend that each student and adult realises the beauty of nature, shares space with our environment sustainably and understands the relevance of our mutual co-dependency.

Come and ask staff to show you around the school and visit our gorgeous billabong.

Yvonne Rinaldi
Caboolture Montessori School

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Behaviours to consider...


Analysing any behaviour is always intriguing and often confusing. Behaviour takes on a strong meaning when we have a two year old visiting a shopping centre with mum who, all of a sudden, may display unhappy feelings by throwing themselves on the floor, thrashing arms and legs and ululating some incoherent sentence. That is generally when mum looks around and would like to say: "I do not know this creature, would you like her?", or "What did I do to deserve this?", "The entire centre must be looking at me".

Have you ever experienced anything like this? Surely not!

In a Montessori class, we have similar situations. Children in our 3-6 Community, may at times resentfully disagree with adult or peer decision making and will display behaviours that we would rather not witness. How do we deal with these impromptu events? We adopt a modification behaviour model:

  1. Handle each situation in its own right
  2. Ensure safety is addressed
  3. Lead the child to a quiet space in the room
  4. Plan with them a different way of expressing feelings

A great help with understanding children and their behaviours are the Montessori defined Stages of Development. Identifying what children need and how they view the world at any point in time helps us manage and guide the direction towards which the child would be most likely to succeed. Each stage has unique qualities and clear needs that must be provided within the environment.


This method works most times and the results are beneficial in producing positive, non-punitive learning. However there are times when reasoning is over and we would like to voice loudly the four letters in the acronym above. HELP! We look at the child's background, including cultural attitudes and involve the family to help us make the necessary changes so we have happy, engaged children.

Any method adopted will be futile without the support of the family. The contribution parents make to their child's positive behaviour cannot be expressed and valued enough. Children want to please and mostly want their family to accept them as loved individuals; hence the relationship between children and parents is the most critical of all. At school we can only reinforce what we feel is acceptable to our society and that will provide the individual with every chance of future success.

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We would like to express our gratitude to the Queensland Government and to the Caboolture Montessori School Board for providing funds and strategies in securing a stable and safe environment for our community and for the community of the Moreton Bay Region.

The Queensland Government has provided an External Infrastructure Grant to complete the alterations to Old Gympie Road in front of our school. The Grant will provide our school with over $200,000 to match the same amount sourced by CMS for the cost of changes.

Our little semi-rural educational setting, through great strategic planning of our School Board and school management, is meeting objectives to grow our school to 300 students. Growth is happening with considerations to safety and future needs.

We would like to officially thank the following agents, instrumental in completing this project:

  • The project managers and designers of the project UDP Consulting Engineers, specifically the Senior Engineer Mark Ryan.
  • Shadforths Civil contractors for executing an amazing project speedily and professionally.
  • The School Board for thinking ahead and ensuring our school moves forward considering all safety measures.
  • Last but certainly not least our thanks to Simon Dwyer from KHA Development Managers for being our town planning advisor and ensuring all facets of our Development Approval were progressing with no problems and within a rather tight and demanding budget.


Gympie changes 14

Further developments

We have applied for a new Development Application with Council to increase our enrolment numbers from 150 to 300 and this has now been granted.

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Parents are working really hard with us to develop skills and behaviours to foster resilience. We know the benefits of this important quality. By giving children resilience we are providing them with confidence and strength to cope with everyday bumps in their journey to adulthood.

Feel comfortable is saying NO, with no anger, fight or long discussion. The word NO can be at times the most positive manner to manage future problems. Of course consistency is presumed; No cannot be for when we are angry or frustrated.

The word should be used when we want to give the child the right direction.

How to grow confident children

1. Self-Protection

The whole point behind having boundaries is to keep things that are harmful to us away, and keep things that are healthy for us close. It’s important for children to learn how to say no when something feels threatening, to learn how to tell the truth, and to learn the appropriate physical distance to keep from strangers.

As a parent, self-protection can be taught by allowing the child to say no when they feel smothered or harmed. This will allow the child to feel safe, and know it’s OK to say no if they are scared or in discomfort. What will this do for your child? It gives them the practice of saying “no”, so when the time comes when they are put under peer pressure, it will be second nature for them to say “no” to them as well…all because they’ve had 10-12 years of practice under their belt of saying no to harmful things.

2. Taking Responsibility for One’s Needs

One of the most important things a parent can do is encourage the expression of feelings in a child, even if it doesn’t match how the parent or rest of family feels. Realize that you as a parent must feel comfortable talking about feelings in order to be able to help your child take responsibility for their own feelings. When you see your children struggling with a situation, or when something traumatic happens in your family, ask your children how they feel. Allow them to talk about the negative emotions they are experiencing. Most importantly, allow them to talk about these negative feelings without trying to make them feel better. If kids perceive their parents trying to cheer them up, they may begin to think that feeling sad or upset is “wrong” & not something that is natural to feel. This is why it is important to allow your child to express negative and uncomfortable emotions. Lastly, if your children ask you questions that seem hard, don’t assume you have to have all the right answers!

3. Having a Sense of Control & Choice

Whether it’s letting your child choose what they want for breakfast, or what colleges they want to (or not to) apply to, children like to have choices in their lives so they don’t feel helpless and dependent upon adults. A lot of parents have great intentions in trying to prevent their children from making painful decisions. However, if you intervene too often, you do more harm than good. Interfering in a child’s decision making process stunts their ability to think for themselves, develop self-esteem and character. It also impedes their ability to see two options in front of them, and be able to use discernment in their decision making ability.

A great way to teach discernment in parenting is to give options when disciplining. If your child is refusing to act appropriately, give them options. For example, if they’re refusing to clean their room, you can say, “You’re right, you can choose not to do this, but remember, if you choose not to do this, you’re also choosing not to go to the party/etc… tomorrow night”.

4. Delaying Gratification of Goals

Dr. Cloud & Dr. Townsend point out that delaying gratification for a child can begin as early as age 2. What does this look like? It means teaching children the value of saving, the value of patience, and waiting their turn. This being taught at a very early age is what keeps children from turning into impulsive adults with the “I want it now” attitude. This helps children become goal oriented and teaches them to value what they buy.

5. Respecting the Limits of Others

Kids by nature are ego-centric. They think the world revolves around them. Boundaries help them realize the world DOES NOT revolve around them. Why is this important? It helps them to be able to entertain themselves and not be dependent on others. It also teaches them to hear the word “no” and listen to it. At the same time, it teaches children to become empathetic & learn how to love another person. They learn how to think of how other people feel, and not always think of how they feel.

How a parent approaches boundaries in child rearing has an enormous impact on their child’s self-esteem, how they develop morals, and how well they do academically, socially and in relationships.

Tamara Wilhelm, MA, LMHC

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Our Mission

The Caboolture Montessori School's mission is to educate individuals in our school and community by implementing the Montessori philosophy and methodology. Our aim is to prepare a developmentally appropriate environment to encourage our children to responsibly and respectfully engage in their learning journey.

Contact Details

  • Address: 200 Old Gympie Road, Caboolture, QLD, 4510, Australia.
    get directions
  • Phone: 07 5495 5877
  • Fax: 07 5499 3927