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Yvonne Rinaldi

Yvonne Rinaldi

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Encouraging parents to observe in a Montessori classroom is important for many reasons: parents become more aware of how their child performs in this environment; they understand the significance of providing an environment that meets developmental needs and most of all, they come to witness a Montessori Prepared Environment.

The comments we receive after an observation are very similar. “The children appear to be fully engaged without the adult directing them”, “There is such a sense of individual exploration”, “The children appear to be so happy”, “The children are all working”, “There is a real sense of peace in the room”.

Other comments are directed to the way the adult manages the children, such as “How does the teacher know where each student is academically?”, “How does the teacher prepare individual lessons with three age groups in the same room?” How do adults assess children and do they assess them at all?

And then there are the myths. It becomes apparent from parent and visitor’s questions when they ask if we are a school where children are allowed to do what they want or a school for children with special needs. Parents ask if children are required to complete academic tasks and meet specific outcomes.

The Caboolture Montessori School like many Montessori schools is an environment that fosters learning and places great expectations on the children to perform at their best. It is a place where children show independent thinking by making the appropriate work choices. Children are responsible to complete their work often without adult direction, once they are given initial guidance. Students are expected to extend their learning through own choices and adult suggestions. It is not unusual to plan with students a term’s work schedule and for them to then become instrumental in organising this according to own capability and need. Our children have different capabilities and are all treasured for their contributions.

Children are generally in the same class for three years and adults learn to understand and know each individual, their abilities, likes and dislikes. Class Directors/Teachers are highly qualified and very professional. They are continuous learners themselves and have high expectations of self and their students. They provide the keys to many doors unknown to children and then allow exploration to take place.

Montessori students are able to work in an environment where each student is often working on different subject items to same age peers. Focus and engagement are vital for Montessori children to accomplish the ‘Big Work’ during our Three Hour Work Cycle. A Montessori classroom is a place where children:

  • Choose with support from adult guidance
  • Are responsible to complete their daily/weekly and often term work by organising their time
  • Are respectful at all times with self, others and the environment
  • Work with engagement and focus
  • Achieve highly as they are responsible for own outcomes
  • Complete willingly tasks recommended by the adults
  • Love extending their learning and look for more work

The environment is not:

  • A place where children can do what they want when they want
  • A ‘Hippie’ school, although we love people with lateral thinking ideas
  • A cult with strong prescriptive ideas
  • A magic space that ‘fixes’ children
  • A school for children with specific needs or abilities

The Caboolture Montessori School is a school with strong principles and values. We foster and encourage children to achieve highly in all their work. We have a strong curriculum with clear outcomes and staff prepare their lessons with rigour and high expectations. Teaching staff are highly qualified educators that display daily passion, excitement and care for their children.

Mythology does not have a place at our school even if often we think it is magical place, due to the results and behaviours we see daily. We love our school.

Come and visit and see for yourself!

Yvonne Rinaldi
Principal
Caboolture Montessori School

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Montessori environments are still today, after a century of practice, misunderstood. The perception is still erroneously of a school for ‘hippy’ children, a place for students with learning difficulties or indeed gifted and often considered an education where children are free to do what they want without adult guidance.

To clarify some misconceptions, we will try to elaborate on how we support our gifted students.

The Caboolture Montessori School is the home to children from diverse backgrounds and abilities; it is a learning space with strong academic rigour. We have students with exceedingly diverse and impressive aptitudes. Identification of a gifted student is not always easy. Gifted students can demonstrate significant competence in areas of social adaptation, physical ability, creative skills or academic understanding. These students can also be disruptive, struggle with social cues and not perform to their abilities.

The question if these students suit the Montessori environment is often asked. It is well known that Dr Montessori started her approach to learning with children that were ‘deficient’; children that were considered less capable that peers in traditional educational setting. Her methodology however was not designed for a specific level of student ability. Her studies in human development, lead her to design an environment that would meet specific developmental stages and not for just exceptional students from both ends of the learning spectrum.

The gifted students at the Caboolture Montessori School are not differentiated in a way that sets them out to be different from their peers; differentiation is the norm for what is expected for each child in our environment. Academic expectations are defined by the student and their needs. Adult Guides/Directors assess student capability and provide activities that will enhance their growth both laterally and vertically within the curriculum and student interests.

Generally gifted students are able to apply learned knowledge to diverse areas of learning. This capability suits our didactic approach. CMS runs an integrated curriculum and provides opportunities for students to expand their integrated learning. Gifted students work with students with similar abilities, and not necessarily with peers of same age or class. The environment is modified to meet the student needs and not vice versa.

Managing gifted students is very rewarding, even if at times not simple. Preparation of the adult is critical. Having spaces that endorse and augment student needs, facilitate student’s decision making and independent learning is vital. Ultimately the best way for a student to operate is to become totally independent in their thinking and problem solving, so they are able to identify ways to source information and progress their learning.

Montessori schools are learning settings, where academic achievement is sought. We encourage personal growth as much as academic performance. We want students to reach their potential, continue exploring the world around them and develop own high expectations through intrinsic motivation.

Yvonne Rinaldi

Principal

Caboolture Montessori School

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A Strength of our school: Parent dedication.

A meeting was held between Parent Representatives and the Principal today (28.3.17). The purpose of the meeting was to establish relationships between the team and to review roles and responsibilities. Parent reps. are the liaison person in building community by organising support for their class teacher and in providing communication links between parents and school. Another important role Parent Reps provide is by welcoming and introducing new families to our community.

We are very happy to introduce our Reps for 2017:

1A – Fili Alefosio (Veronika and Evie’s mum)

1B – Shanan Brandis (Riley’s mum)

1C – Jo Gibson (Emmelyn’s mum)

2A – Kate Stanway (Ricardo’s mum)

2B – Mellissa Golsby-Smith (Koko and Isis’s mum)

2C – Mary-Jane Seeto (Madeline’s mum)

3A – Krystle Hutchinson (Elle Gillon’s mum)

3B – Ellen Richards (Violet Park Weir’s mum)

We would like to officially welcome each mum to their role and please if you recognise any Parent Rep when on school campus, introduce yourself to these generous parents and become their friend. We are a community and as such want to strengthen bonds between members of the community.

Children love to know that their parent is intrinsically invested in their schooling and share in the task of developing school programs. We all take ownership in growing the school and maintaining our strong values.

I would like to personally welcome our volunteers in any way they choose to dedicate their time and expertise with our school: we collaborate for the future of our children and for a Montessori education.

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Staff and the new year.

The first week back at school is a time for staff to prepare their environment, both inside and out the classroom; it is a time to share holiday stories and reconnect with colleagues; a time to review final educational plans for the term and as a group to have conversations about how we will manage the year and the first term in detail.

Staff approach the year with a sense of renewal and genuine excitement. This is a time when we need to refocus on our own role as Montessori adults and the values of our school. We have challenging conversations with regards to building capacity in ourselves, developing a stress free environment for our children and ways to identify progress in all areas.

How best to achieve this? Dr Montessori states that to provide an optimal environment, we need to first understand and prepare ourselves in welcoming the child. Hence a focus for our professional development was the spirituality of the child, Normalisation and the ‘inner sanctity of the child’. Of course the practicality of ensuring that every class is resourced and prepared to entice learning was a priority.

This year we have enhanced staff motivation with an inspiring hour of excellent guitar playing by the talented Michelle Blythe. Michelle is a proficient musician and guitar teacher. Her classical, Spanish and modern pieces kept us all entranced and at the end of this engaging session, Michelle invited staff to become involved in a jam session. We agreed that music is food for the soul and that we need to invite our children to listen, play and enjoy music, as this will enhance their learning capacity and general interest.

I know that this will not be the last we see of Michelle as Cycle 1 staff are keen to have Michelle visit our school again and invite our children to travel the world through a real experiential activity with artefacts, music and food.

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Welcome back to 2017 school year.

A warm welcome back to parents, children, staff and new families joining CMS. Come and enjoy an exciting fun-filled learning year with motivated and passionate teachers.

For those parents that are still not part of our community and possibly are thinking about our wonderful school, please view what we offer by exploring our website, enjoying the work the children and staff have done during past years and have fun looking at a quick mind map of why you should choose our school.

WELCOME!Blog DEC 16

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xmas1

A Politically Correct Christmas
~ Anon

Twas the night before Christmas and Santa’s a wreck...
How to live in a world that’s politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to “Elves”,
“Vertically Challenged” they were calling themselves.
And labor conditions at the North Pole,
were alleged by the union, to stifle the soul.

Four reindeer had vanished without much propriety,
released to the wilds, by the Humane Society.
And equal employment had made it quite clear,
that Santa had better not use just reindeer.


So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!

The runners had been removed from his beautiful sleigh,
because the ruts were deemed dangerous by the EPA,
And millions of people were calling the Cops,
when they heard sled noises upon their roof tops.
Second-hand smoke from his pipe, had his workers quite frightened,
and his fur trimmed red suit was called “unenlightened”.

To show you the strangeness of today’s ebbs and flows,
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose.


He went to Geraldo, in front of the Nation,
demanding millions in over-due workers compensation.

So...half of the reindeer were gone, and his wife
who suddenly said she’d had enough of this life,
joined a self help group, packed and left in a whiz,
demanding from now on that her title was Ms.

And as for gifts...why, he’d never had the notion
that making a choice could cause such commotion.


Nothing of leather, nothing of fur...
Which meant nothing for him or nothing for her.
Nothing to aim, Nothing to shoot,
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls and nothing for just boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific,
Nothing that’s warlike or non-pacifistic.

No candy or sweets...they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish upon the truth.


And fairy tales...while not yet forbidden,
were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden,
for they raised the hackles of those psychological,
who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.

No baseball, no football...someone might get hurt,
besides - playing sports exposed kids to dirt.
Dolls were said to be sexist and should be passe.
and Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.

So Santa just stood there, dishevelled and perplexed,
he just couldn’t figure out what to do next?


He tried to be merry he tried to be gay,
but you must have to admit he was having a very bad day.
His sack was quite empty, it was flat on the ground,
nothing fully acceptable was anywhere to be found.

Something special was needed, a gift that he might,
give to us all, without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy - with no indecision,
each group of people in every religion.
Every race, every hue,
everyone, everywhere...even you!
So here is that gift, its price beyond worth...
“May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on Earth.”

xmas2

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Maths workshop with Peter Erskine

The teaching staff at Caboolture Montessori School increase their learning repertoire by attending Montessori workshops whenever and wherever they can.

Staff described the latest workshop run by Peter Erskine, Montessori Australia Foundation representative, as a spellbound experience. Peter explained and presented the magic of algebra through squaring and cubing; he demonstrated how children as young as 5 can absorb sensorially basic algebraic concepts that can then be built upon in later years. This process provides students a strong sequential rubric to consolidate experiences. Learning by ‘doing’ cements understanding and memory retention.

Staff were inspired by the workshop and went immediately into action by developing materials to share with their class.

An added bonus for staff was to work with teachers from other Montessori schools, thus contributing to each other’s range of strategies and developing stronger bonds with new colleagues.

It is always reassuring to experience the relevance and validity of the Montessori methodology and the appropriateness of the lessons for each stage of development and capability.

Peter and algebra1

Pter algebra2

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Reading and Writing

Literacy coaching at CMS is now owned by the students. We have come a full circle from our Literacy Coach Mr Bill Park Weir, imparting his knowledge and experience to teaching staff, to staff working with students and now students working with students. Well done CMS children!

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On Tuesday 23rd August, the Amphibians, Dolphins and the Sea Stars celebrated CMS's Writer's Festival by visiting each other's classrooms and reading aloud to each group. The children aged 5-12 loved sharing their stories and spending this creative time together.

 

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 A school community is formed by families, children and staff. To compliment this group at the Caboolture Montessori School we have many volunteers, some are parents, others, are ‘giving’ people that want to support communities such as ours. The make-up of the different groups within the community establishes a school ethos: a way with which we work, play and explore, whilst learning.

A group that really defines the school is our student group. At CMS we have 170 students within the pre-primary and primary sectors and 30 younger learners in our Infant/Toddler group. How do children personalise our school? What do they do that actually reflects the image of who we are?

Visitors at our school make the following comments: “Children appear to be so peaceful”, “There does not appear to be any stress or negativity in the environment”, “Children seem to be fully engaged, with or without the adult direction” and “These children are seemingly happy to extend themselves beyond what is prescribed”

The nature of the child is that: children always want to do the ‘right thing’. Children want to please and want to learn. Children are capable of achieving and at CMS there is provision for them to achieve at their own pace and with as much time as they need. Children are supported by caring adults that want students to succeed. We all look at academic rigour.

So, I would like to share my answer to the question: Who are the students of the Caboolture Montessori School?

They are the caring individuals that work with clients in the dementia unit at the local RSL. Each student is asked to work with a specially selected resident that ‘fits’ with their interests and will become their personal friend for the year. Our students develop great empathy and share mutual interests; what is truly exciting to witness is the bond that is formed, crossing generational barriers. The patience demonstrated by our eleven year old students is admirable and the joy expressed by the RSL residents is remarkable.

  RSL4  RSL1

RSL 3

 

Our students display characteristics that are unique and valuable.

These are not only visible with our older students. Our toddlers are really happy to provide visitors with a cup of (herbal) tea. At a ripe age of 2, they will make from scratch a good ‘cuppa’ and serve this with grace and courtesy.

From fifteen months we encourage independence, confidence and community living. This happens in an orderly and caring environment, which fosters respect and caring for others. Infant making tea2

Our Cycle 1 students (aged 3-6) are young teachers and they become enthusiastic presenters when they select to demonstrate a lesson for their peers. This process enhances communication skills, confidence, early organisation skills and provides much fun.

 C1B arbor Day

What about our junior primary students, the cycle 2 pupils?

These students are very comfortable working with our community and embracing the value that their families and families of other children bring to our school.

community and children

Whilst visiting former students in their high school environment, recently, the school principal of the school asked our former students: “What do you think are the most important qualities you learned from Montessori?” The response from eight students was: Independence, forming great relationships with the adults in the environment, the ability to learn at own pace, ability to get on with required tasks, freedom to ask as many questions as are needed”. The Principal then asked Year 8 students: “What about maths?” and the response was: “At this stage we are still revising work presented, as we have done all the work at our primary school”. He then asked about grammar and again the response was the students are ahead of others and not much new learning has been started this year for the younger students. These responses are only from one secondary environment and very typical of what we have heard in the past from CMS alumni.

Our students are the young people you come across in our environment that will easily talk to you and share experiences. These are confident individuals that have insights of what respectful behaviour is about and are excited to elicit responses from others about their understandings.

CMS students are excited about their learning and will take any opportunity to show you what they are doing; they display excitement of learning as well as pride of own work.

Our students appreciate humour and will converse happily with adults about fun items; they are trusting individuals that know they are safe at school and they own their space.

Our students are happy to challenge: they continuously challenge themselves and are very comfortable in challenging the adults in the environment in thinking about lateral or creative solutions.

We are so lucky to have such a wonderful cohort of respectful, happy and forward thinking children!

Yvonne Rinaldi

Principal

Caboolture Montessori School

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MAF and Board

                                                              

Ms Christine Harrison President of the Montessori Australia Foundation shaking hands with Nick Willemsen President of the Moreton Bay Montessori Association – Caboolture Montessori School

 

Board meetings at CMS are strategic, effective and occasionally even inspiring. Last week was definitely exceptional, thanks to our special guests.

We were honoured by the visit of the President of the Montessori Australia Foundation (MAF), Mrs Christine Harrison. Christine Harrison has been involved in Montessori education since 1985 and was Principal of the Canberra Montessori School, one of the largest Montessori schools in Australia, for over ten years. She is the founding Chair of the Montessori Australia Foundation.

Today Christine travels the globe to carry the message of Montessori and last week we heard Christine recount the enterprising history of the Foundation and the services they offer to all ‘montessorians’ and their schools. We heard about programs MAF staff are developing with persons with dementia, indigenous children, quality assurance programs for schools, teacher training and much more.

Christine works incessantly with the Australian Government to promote Montessori education and adds a strong voice in the arena of early education and independent schools. MAF has come a long way in a very short time: from a few hard working volunteers to a considerable and professional team of approximately 20 staff members, still working hard. We acknowledge and thank Christine for taking time out of her busy schedule to share with CMS Board members her life’s work.

The evening continued with exciting information about progress achieved of our planned high school. Jay Bishop the Deputy Principal provided the Board with information about his role in supporting the Board’s Strategic Plan with the implementation of a CMS Middle Years Program. Jai spoke about the research he is working on with the Principal, in addressing a forward path to a Montessori secondary environment that includes the principles of Dr Montessori (The Erdkinder) and the contemporary and local needs of our students. Jai shared his experience with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program and how conducive this program would be in a Montessori context.

Jai also spoke about the work he is doing in addressing CMS curriculum in the learning area of technology and the way we intend to differentiate by integrating and connecting thinking strategies to a hands-on environment. Jai’s passion and energy level was felt by all!

Both speakers were inspirational and enriched our knowledge and strategic direction.

We take this opportunity again to thank Christine Harrison and MAF staff for what they do in keeping Montessori alive; we thank Jai for coming onboard and supporting school growth and we thank our industrious and caring Board for the work they accomplish in leading our amazing school to a secure and sustainable future.

 

Yvonne Rinaldi

Principal

Caboolture Montessori School

 

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C1

Caboolture Montessori School offers an early education program for children between the ages of 3 to 6. Children in this group are in the pre-kindy, kindy and prep age range. Our difference and reason for not calling our cycle 1 rooms a childcare setting is due to the fact that we include these children in all activities and events offered to the school students. The school program, including Italian, library visits and sporting activities are provided to all children. Our young learners are involved in all learning areas from science to botany, from maths to literacy, from the age of 3.

We provide a Toddler Community for children between the ages of 15 months to 3 years in preparation for the 3-6 community and then follow-up with a comprehensive primary education, thus preparing children for an easy transition to high school. All children belong to the Caboolture Montessori School.

Our difference starts with promoting independence and confidence, developed through own selection of activities and work (games). As in many Montessori schools, all activities are age appropriate, didactically designed and developmentally sound. Children learn through their own experiences, relationships and what the adults carefully prepare in the environment. Children love learning!

Families become part of our community as they join the toddler or childcare group and parenting is supported with parent programs and forums. Learning is a whole school endeavour, not just for children.

You are invited to come and visit our school to experience first-hand our difference. 

1 garden 

Yvonne Rinaldi

Principal

Caboolture Montessori School

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Our community are experiencing exciting times! Our growth in enrolments and growth in both leadership and educational efficacy has vitalised our school.

Another milestone is about to be reached with the construction of a double storey building to house in total eight classrooms. This building will be the last addition with regards to student classrooms, as we will have met our target enrolment of 300 primary students. The building will grow in three phases: initially two classrooms upstairs with complete architectural framework; the nest phase will see the construction of two more classrooms upstairs and finally the fit-out of four classrooms downstairs.

Approaching this project by meeting our school ethos and sustainability, has been really interesting and at times a little scary. Students and staff were involved with architect in determining the look and requirements of the building. We were pleased that Rachel Towill, our architect, from Towill Design group, had very similar values to our community: a building that would be energy efficient, employ natural materials as much as possible, provide optimal learning elements such as lighting, space, air and a building that would harmonize with our purpose built school.

The students’ biggest worry was about cutting trees and bamboo to make space for this rather large building, so we had to ensure that plans to the landscape architect included revegetation and the reintroduction of identified clumping bamboo somewhere not too far from the new building. Plans are already circulating among parents of new structures that can be made with bamboo that has to be cut.

Concept drawings are provided to our community to show what we are hoping the new classrooms are going to look like and neighbours have been invited to share in our excitement.

We will provide staged photos of this amazing new addition as they occur. Watch this space!

 

 

 

 

new buidling

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Staff wellbeing at CMS - At the end of term you would think the staff members are scuttling off, away from school. Not at CMS. We sit together talk about various topics and share precious time becoming involved with each other on a personal level.

Our Wellbeing Team organises different ways for staff to manage their physical and mental wellbeing: today we are weaving using recycled cd’s and yarn. The completed work will be a whole school piece of art that will be displayed for our community to see.

Thank you WOW Team. You care for us so we can care for others, especially our children.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE - There has been a Government announcement re the Preparatory Year of schooling by our Premier The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Minister for Education, the Honourable Kate Jones. Please read below:

Queensland youngsters to benefit from  compulsory fulltime Prep year

JOINT STATEMENT

Premier and Minister for the Arts         The Honourable  Annastacia Palaszczuk    

Minister for Education and Minister for Tourism and Major  Events         The Honourable Kate Jones    

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Queensland youngsters to benefit from compulsory  fulltime Prep year

All Prep-aged children will be in a Prep classroom from 2017, under a plan  announced by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today.

Ms Palaszczuk said Queensland parents had been able to enrol their children  in Prep since 2007.

However, she said under current arrangements legislation did not require  Queensland children to complete a fulltime Prep year before entering Year 1.

Ms Palaszczuk said since the introduction of a Prep year and the National  Curriculum, there had been a strong overall improvement in Queensland’s Year 3  NAPLAN results.

“We want all students to benefit from a fulltime Prep year before starting  Year 1,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“I want to build on the Government’s provision of 15 hours each week of  kindergarten for all our four-year-olds.

"It was a Labor Government that footed the bill and kick-started universal  Prep in 2007 – addressing a great disadvantage for our youngsters.”

In 2015 98% of Year 1 students attended a year of schooling before commencing  Year 1.

Estimates are that around 500 children are missing out of the benefits of  Prep.

“We want all students to attend class every school day because we know that  fulltime Prep is a great start to school and an important start to learning,” Ms  Palaszczuk said.

Education Minister Kate Jones said the past ten years had clearly shown just  how beneficial a Prep year was to a child’s early phase of learning.

“It’s been almost 10 years since Labor introduced the Prep year and NAPLAN  results have proven the benefits of this extra year of schooling,” Ms Jones  said.

“Last year’s Year 7s were the first full Prep cohort and they returned their  best ever results for reading, spelling and numeracy.

“They are better equipped for their seamless entry into more formal education  in our schools.

“However, some children are missing out on the benefits of a full Prep  year.

“As a result some children are behind those who have had the advantage of a  fulltime Prep year when they start in Year 1.

“Like the Premier, I believe a compulsory Prep year will benefit children’s  education,” Ms Jones said.

Ms Palaszczuk said another great benefit was the ability of teachers to  identify students who may need further assistance early on in their education  “All our children must have the same opportunity and the very best of starts  with their schooling,” she said.

“I have asked the Education Minister to begin consulting with parents,  teachers, early childhood educators and other key stakeholders as we prepare the  legislation required to make this happen.

“So principals and parents have plenty of time to prepare for the  introduction of compulsory Prep, we will introduce the necessary changes to the  Education General Provisions Act later this year.

“There still needs to be some flexibility, as I do understand in some  circumstances some children may not be ready for Prep in the year they turn 5 by  the 30th June and may need an extra year of kindy.

“However, every child will need to attend Prep as the first step in their  formal school education.”

President of the Queensland Association of State School Principals Michael  Fay said Prep gives children the best possible start to their education.

“This sends a strong message that Prep is a vitally important part of school  education laying a strong foundation for the primary years which follow,” Mr Fay  said.

 

The Sunday Mail (24/1)

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COMMUNITY

 

Does school influence a child’s life?

There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child; however we also believe that it takes a school to raise a village. The sentences above have definite meaning and have proven to be true in many ways and for a long time.

At the Caboolture Montessori School we follow this mantra as we DO believe that children need all the adults in their lives to be mentors and role models. The most important adults in any child’s life are their parents and the extended family. The next group of adults a child will come into close contact with are the adults in a school. The school is a community and today schools are not just a learning place, but they become an environment that provides our children a home from home. Children spend approximately 10,710 hours at school, between primary and secondary school attendance, in their life, and according to the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, Australia is the country with the highest demand of hours in class.

Hence, the question of whether a school influences a child in some ways is very much superfluous. Added to this factor is the accepted understanding that the early years are the most critical formative years for any child. This does mean that early learning and primary schools have a great responsibility towards our children.

How do we address this at Caboolture Montessori School? I could say that because we adhere to the Montessori philosophy, we inherently care about each child and ensure we provide the best environment to develop their unique potential. However we purposefully and actively live our philosophy. What we do every day is getting to know each individual that enters our classrooms, ensure that a day at school is about being responsible for own learning, selecting work that challenges, with guidance, supporting each other rather than competing for top spot in the class or school. The time we spend in the environment called school, must include outdoor time: time to care for our outdoors, including caring for animals and gardens, time to sit under a tree or on a veranda working out our mathematics equation or indeed managing a problem with a friend.

Learning or as we refer to our learning ‘work’, happens when a child is thinking, problem solving, making high level choices, developing own skills and improving own understanding of the world around them. Achieving academically will happen automatically if children are given the opportunity to interact with the real world, the world they live in. The greater global interaction, will happen through their research. The adults in the environment must be able to guide, to instruct and share their knowledge; fully accepting that own knowledge is limited and that children are very capable of extending own learning through interest: what they see, hear touch and imagine.

To manage a wholistic approach, every staff member becomes responsible for each child in our environment; of course the class teacher and assistant are the main support system, however all staff are expected to mentor in different ways children on campus. How do we manage as a whole-school team? We work cooperatively with decisions that affect learning in the school. We adopt each person’s academic and personal strength to formulate a rich educational environment.

Our School Improvement Plan team is formed by a member of each group of stakeholders: Governance, Parents & Friends, Learning Enhancement, Teaching staff, administration staff and Principal. Meetings address various elements that ultimately enhance learning in the school. The product of the copious meetings is an analysis of what we do well and what we need to do to improve in all areas: from every stakeholders perspective. Growing the village is the CMS mission and must be led by leaders who become the voice of our students. Having a village with a strong focus on the child as he/she is today and how this young person will look like in the future, is our vision.

It definitely takes a village to raise a child and we agree and want to foster the saying that it takes a school to raise a village.

Yvonne Rinaldi

Principal

Caboolture Montessori School

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ALUMNI NEWS

Our school opened in 1998 and one of our first students was Miss Keyonie Bolton. Keyonie graduated from CMS in 2003 and attended high school at St Columban's. Keyonie today is the music teacher at our school and on the 25/11/15 graduated from completing her Bachelor of Music degree. We are so proud to announce to our community that Keyonie was awarded Dux of her course. CONGRATULATIONS Keyonie.

This shy, generous and amicable young lady deserves all the happiness and fortune that comes her way.

We love you and commend you for your hard work and well deserved achievement.

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Strategic Planning the CMS way - Saturday 21st November, our School Board, Business Manager and School Principal worked together to review our Strategic Plan. It is a collaborative and productive way to ensure the Caboolture Montessori School addresses accountability, school needs and future planning. The process was supported as in previous years by David Robertson, Executive Director of Independent Schools Queensland.

The day was filled with ideas, evidence of school progress and exciting future planning for our wonderful school. The process is always one of collegial challenge to ensure we are uncovering any possibility for improvement and a process of analysing goals and ways to enhance outcomes.

The Team works well together, as we all have the same objectives: foster improved learning for children and staff and provide the community with an excellent educational context based on respect and the development of individuality and independent thinking. It helps that we are all ‘friends’.

I would like to thank our Board for working with their mind and their heart, and with no remuneration, for our wonderful school. We appreciate your expert advice, your time and dedication. We all gain from your support, especially our students: from our fifteen month old children to our twelve year old seniors. Thanks to David for facilitating the process and ensuring we stay on task, as well as providing valuable information to aid our decision making.

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SPORT at CMSSports Day 15 2

Sports Day 15

At the Caboolture Montessori School, movement and physical activities are highly valued and our curriculum provides for activities that focus specifically on developmental stages of movement in children.

Some activities are planned and delivered by class directors: yoga, morning limbering exercises, morning runs, skipping and bouncing with spelling and time tables and many more activities to provide learning through movement. We then provide formal physical education through our Physical Education (PE) director, Kelly Webster. Kelly holds a teaching degree as well as a Montessori qualification and identifies every term sporting activities that children enjoy as well as activities to develop sporting rules and skills.

Every term Kelly selects different sports: soccer, tennis, athletics, dance, archery, netball and more. The sport chosen will target various strengths and skills: upper body strength, hand-eye coordination, body balance, core strength and specific discipline skills. As a Montessori school we encourage our children to develop their own strategies and to aspire to achieve their personal best at all times. In sport this principle is fostered, even if we know that we are all competing in life. We compete with ourselves from birth and then we are taught to compete against others.

We do not believe that competition does not exist; what we do believe is that we do not want or need to foster competition against others by building an ‘us and them’ scenario. We focus on building teams through our own skilling and highlight the talents of the individual to support and enhance the group. We talk about collaboration and mentoring each other. We encourage growth through combining strengths.

Does this work in sporting activities? Do our children still thrive to win? Do students apply their skills with the same motivation?

The answer to each of these questions is yes. When we play a game of soccer, each team plays to win. Each child becomes excited and focussed on the game and their role in the game. They are disappointed if they are not victorious.

The difference between a Montessori school and a traditional school is the attitude of the adults and the expectations we place on each student participating in the game. The adults celebrate the winners and debrief on the reasons for positive outcomes. This conversation is had with both sides of the team. The team that did not achieve a win listens to the analysis of the game and then are encouraged to analyse own strategies and see what can be learned by the event. The next game will see players from each team mixed, so again there is not an ‘us and them’ but the team for today.

No student is compared with another: strategies are compared. The aim of this conversation is to build each individual in the game and to recognise the abilities that we all need to grow and improve. This attitude does pervade all our games and we recommend that parents work with us in fostering the love of participation and integration as well as celebrating achievements, both individual and team.

Looking at theories espoused by futurists, we hear that in the future, unless individuals have strong collaboration skills, transfer of knowledge will not be complete; it does require for people to work together to access larger quantities of data and to source the relevant data. We will not be impressed by an individual that promotes their own ideas, unless we have had comparative and substantiated information. (Hicks and Katz, 1996; Wuchty et al., 2007). Leadership is changing. Our world is shrinking and information must address global societal changes and needs, therefore collaborative work will identify different perspectives and feelings (Gibbons et al., 1994; Ziman, 2000).

The word competition is not a dirty word, but needs to be reframed. We do not want our children to compete for grades or prizes, but emphasize working with creativity and innovative thinking and building with all brains in the group. In conclusion, to our sporting parents, I would like to say that your child will never have their competitive streak dimmed in a Montessori environment, as this is our human nature; what we want to encourage in a primary school is the value of commitment and personal achievement, respect for others (better and less able than us) and collaborative associations.

“Do we believe and constantly insist that cooperation among the peoples of the world is necessary in order to bring about peace? If so, what is needed first of all is collaboration with children.... All our efforts will come to nothing until we remedy the great injustice done the child, and remedy it by cooperating with him. If we are among the men of good will who yearn for peace, we must lay the foundation for peace ourselves, by working for the social world of the child.”

(International Montessori Congress, 1937)

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There are many factors that support the wellbeing of a school and I do mean wellbeing and not efficacy. For a community to thrive you do need all the basics such as structures, systems, well organised members; however none of this would really hold much value, without ownership, commitment, collaboration and true shared responsibility.

The CMS Parents and Friends Association have been running for the last two years with approximately four people and what a difference they have made to whole school direction. A small but ultra-dynamic group. The group have established clear procedures for activities they run, to facilitate volunteer interaction and participation. The team has defined their roles and responsibilities and shared these with the community to transparency. The P&F members have spent time linking various stakeholders, to reach common understanding of what is needed for school growth.

One of the most important functions of the Caboolture Montessori P&F team has been to understand the value of collaborative leadership and to do this with fun and much laughter. Our school improvement plan for 2016 will thrive due to commitment of embers of the P&F team.

This fun loving team invites anyone brave enough to share their loud laughter and exciting plans for 2016 to come forward and support the amazing work being explored.

We cannot thank the CMS Parents and Friends Association members enough and are grateful and excited that they will hold same roles for 2016.

Welcome back:

Emma Pryer – P&F President

Louise Rogala – Treasurer

Kate Weaver & Julie Sutherland – Shared Secretary position

IMG 1314From left: Julie Sutherland, Emma Pryer, Kate Weaver and Louise Rogala.

 

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 HOW DO CHILDREN COPE AFTER MONTESSORI?

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One of the questions asked by all parents when they are thinking of enrolling in a Montessori school is: “How will my child cope when they leave the nurturing and small space of a Montessori environment and go to a large secondary school?”

Our reply will suggest the following: “Children usually adapt easily to change and Montessori children, if given a full Montessori education, develop many skills and strategies to support adaptive behaviours, confidence, resilience, independence, protective behaviours and have a strong sense of who they are. This accumulation of distinctive qualities, provides these students with abilities that are now fully owned by them and therefore ready to be adopted in any situation.

Montessori children do acquire specific capabilities due to our approach to learning and teaching. Our students develop curiosity for and love of knowledge; they fully understand how to manage their strengths and challenges and are not intimidated by new contexts. Children that have been at CMS for six years or more, show traits that demonstrate maturity beyond their years.

Montessori parents often comment on the change our students display in their final year of schooling. They describe a transformation that resembles the picture Dr Montessori calls ‘psychic rebirth’. Children display strength of character and true readiness for the next stage of development and educational context. They want to explore new territories!

We meet every year with secondary principals to understand the progress or challenges our children face when they leave CMS and the comments we receive, are always positive and encouraging. It provides the staff at CMS the belief that we are using the right instructional tools and philosophy and reinforces our conviction of the rigour of our methodology.

We would like to reassure parents thinking of enrolling children at CMS that they are providing the best education they can source: children achieve high academic standards, develop social competence, grow an understanding of empathy and are given the tools to manage the disciplines required of them in different environments.

Yvonne Rinaldi

Principal

Caboolture Montessori School

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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.
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  • Phone: 07 5495 5877
  • Fax: 07 5499 3927