This week's Bulletin explores Essential 21st Century Skills, Creativity, the Healthy Lunchbox, exciting new events and much more!
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Week 2 Term 3 2016
Message from the Principal


Dear Parents, Carers and School Community,


Essential 21st Century Skills

Today, critical thinking, problem solving, reasoning ability, and the ability to communicate effectively are essential skills. Talking with our students, I am often engaged in their enthusiasm for the tasks they are completing ... Read more ...

What does your child do all day?

As a parent, seeing my children enthusiastic and excited about learning is a wonderful experience. Unfortunately, I don’t get to be at school all day with my own children and have to rely on feedback from teachers to find out how they are going beyond the standard… "How was your day at school mate?”, “Good”.  ... Read more ... 

Getting involved

Whilst acknowledging we all lead very busy lives, often with both primary caregivers working full time roles, it is important to engage with the school to know what is happening and to be a part of our growth as a school community. There are an array of opportunities for parents to be involved ... Read more ...

Staffing comings and goings

I would like to thank Ms Nang for her contribution to our school as she moves on to other professional opportunities in the education field. ... Read more ...

New! Before School Care

Lastly, please take a look at our newest offering in ‘Gumnut’, a before school care option, offering those parents who need to be at work a little earlier peace of mind, knowing their children are in a warm, caring environment, with breakfast, and are guaranteed to be at school on time ;-) 

Anthony Vandermolen

Sally and Louise present a Kids Matters professional development morning on our last Pupil Free Day.

From Director of School Administration


Dear CMS Community,

The Pupil Free Day last week was very enjoyable as Louise Draper and Sally Hystek took a lead position in bringing KidsMatter alive for staff. KidsMatter Primary is a mental health and wellbeing framework for primary schools and is proven to make a positive difference to the lives of Australian children. Staff explored many aspects of a healthy environment for all our children as we investigated what mental health is and how to be proactive in looking out for each other.
We also spent time critically reflecting on our own practice as we considered aspects of what we value in a Montessori educator. A shared lunch and a little time to make the rooms beautiful finished off a refreshing and invigorating day for all.
Next week, staff move on to mid-year monitoring on how they are progressing with their goals. Together we will work on refining their professional goals whilst discussing their challenges and successes thus far this year.


Áine Barker
Director School Administration
Tree Planting Day with Cycle 1

Introduction to KidsMatter Primary - from Sally and Louise

As Aine has mentioned above, during the Pupil free day all CMS staff engaged in professional learning for KidsMatter Primary, beginning with Component 1: Positive school community - focus area for learning, planning and action. Key learning outcomes of Component 1 that we explored were:
  • Understanding mental health and wellbeing and how it’s integral to improving educational outcomes for students.
  • Understanding the factors that help create a positive school community, and how it promotes mental health and wellbeing.
  • Identifying the practices individuals and the school use to create a positive school community, and the things that could be improved.
Our KidsMatter Action Team will meet during the term to reflect on feedback from staff during their professional learning experience and help promote a positive school community where everyone belongs.
The Belonging tree.
Staff placed their handprint on the tree to symbolise belonging to our community.

From the Business Manager


Dear CMS Parents,

CMS is now introducing a Fee Deposit policy, for all places offered after 25 July 2016 for students starting in 2017, to align with the fee structure of other independent schools in the ACT. 
What is the new policy?
A term fee deposit is now required per child for future Cycle 1, 2, and 3 students joining the school from 2017, based on the current set fees. This deposit is required to secure a place at CMS when joining the school (along with the Capital Entry Fee charged per family; this charge contributes to the continued capital development of the school). It is a deposit for your child’s final term at the school and will be credited against the Term 4 invoice for Year 6, or against the final term invoice if your child should depart before then.

Please remember that on accepting your child's place you agreed to give one term's written notice to the Principal; the fee deposit will be used as a credit towards this. For a student leaving at the end of the year, notice is required by the end of Term 3 (excluding Cycle 3 graduates).
When will it become effective?
This policy is effective from 25th July 2016 for any offer of place for students starting school in 2017.

Please note: Future students who have already been invoiced for the Capital Entry Fee prior to this date will not be affected.
Please don’t hesitate to contact myself or our Enrolments Officer, Brigid Lombard, for any further information.


Amy Duan
Business Manager

From the Board 

A key focus of our Strategic Plan delivered this year is to improve the capacity of the Board to govern the school.  The better developed our individual members' tools and networks are, the better we are able to achieve the strategic goals we have set as a community.
We wanted to give you all an update on what we're doing on this front.  Firstly, we've set a specific personal learning agenda for Board members.  At each meeting we will share opportunities for development in governance, risk management, financial management and strategic planning, be that through formal courses, networking events or some other means.  Just as our staff are striving to have a strong culture of self-reflection and development, so too is the Board.
Secondly, we're actively seeking opportunities to connect our Board to other Montessori schools.  This gives us an opportunity to learn from other Boards, as well as share the work we've done as a Board with them.  It also gives us scope to be better involved in discussions on issues and directions for Montessori nationally.  We're connecting to other school Boards directly, as well as through formal events such as the NSW/ACT Principals & Boards meetings and the upcoming Montessori National Summit.  We look forward to providing further updates as they come to hand.
And finally, we are seeking a new Board Secretary!  Brigid Lombard has filled this role superbly for the last few years, but as she has moved to our school Admin team, we are looking for a new volunteer.  It's a fantastic chance to be part of the governance of the school without having to take the full responsibility of a Board member, so if you'd like to learn more, please do look at our position description and then contact Catherine Prosser at

Written Notification of Absences

This is a friendly reminder that we need written notification of your child’s absence from school, whether it be because of illness, vacation or for any other reason.
Notice can be provided by: Please note this applies when your child is away for a full day.

If your child is attending for part of the day only, it is recorded as arriving late or leaving early, and you will need to come past the office to sign a form notifying the school.
Thanks in advance
Brigid Lombard
Enrolments Officer

Upcoming Dates



1 Aug Child/Parent sessions begin
16 Aug Parent Education evening - former Montessori students
16 Aug Board Meeting 6.45pm
17 Aug Parent Education Evening: "What's Going On In There?"
21 Aug Learnscapes Working Bee 1pm
22-24 Aug Cycle 3 Camp
24 Aug Learnscapes Meeting 7pm
26 Aug Silent Journey 7pm
31 Aug Maria Montessori's Birthday
3 Sep CMS Trivia Night 7pm
13 Sep Board Meeting 6.45pm
14 Sep Learnscapes Meeting 7pm
15 Sep School Photos
15 Sep Fundraising Meeting 7.30pm
16 Sep School Photos
23 Sep Last Day of Term 3

Remember! Hats back on from August 1!!

Special dates for your diary

Greg MacDonald, AMI trainer from the US, will be visiting us in August. He will give a talk: "Montessori Cycle 2 and Cycle 3:  What's Going On In There?" on Wednesday 17 August at 7pm. This will be a talk not to be missed!

He is also working with Primary staff in a consultatory capacity between August 15 and 17. More about Greg...

Former Montessori students will talk about life after Montessori and starting high school on Wednesday 16 August, at 7pm. If you've been wondering how your child will adapt to mainstream education after CMS, these children will answer any questions you may have.

From Director of Student Development


Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability

Our school is taking part again this year in the nationally consistent collection of data on school students with disability (NCCD). The NCCD is aimed at providing all Australian schools, education authorities and the community with a clear picture of the number of students with disability in schools and the adjustments they require to enable them to participate in education on the same basis as other students. Read more ...


I have had the pleasure recently of participating in some Montessori workshops and presentations where passionate Montessorians spoke about creativity requiring passion and commitment. Read more ...


What makes a lunch box healthy?

Directors are amazed at the wonderful healthy lunch boxes filled with wholesome food that our families of CMS provide for their children.

There are occasionally times where there are foods that fall into the “Sometimes” food category making an appearance in lunch boxes. We encourage “Sometimes” foods, such as processed snacks, chips, chocolate and lollies, to be replaced with environmentally friendly packaged foods, homemade meals, fruit and vegetables. Water is also very important and should be included in a healthy lunch box. 

From the Fundraising Committee

Trivia Night – Save the Date!

Saturday night 3 September the school grounds will come alive with the sounds, smells and tastes of Bollywood. Oh and there will be some trivia too!

Pop September 3rd into your calendars. It’ll be a night to remember!


Spring Fair

The fantastic annual CMS Fair is coming up on Saturday 29 October and much planning is already under way – start planting your seedlings now so that they are ready! We will again this year be selling Value Tickets and Super Bundles for the kids to use on the day and they will be sold online, then distributed on the day of the Fair to streamline the process – stay tuned for a link to purchase your tickets.  

We still have a few vacancies on the Spring Fair Team. If you would like to be a part of something special, please contact our Spring Fair Co-ordinators Alice and Eleen via  

Fundraising Aims for 2016

Money raised from fundraising efforts this year will be directed towards upgrading and modernising the school’s library. You would have also seen the fantastic improvements being made to the Cycle 1 and Cycle 2/3 playgrounds. The conversion of the Cycle 1 playground into a lovely nature-based play setting, is looking fantastic. These great improvements are where the money raised this year will be spent. We appreciate your support!

Annual Raffle

CMS holds a major raffle as a fundraiser every year, which is drawn at the Fair on Saturday 29 October. Each family is asked to sell one book of tickets, which will be distributed towards the end of this term. If your business or family would like to donate a prize or you know of another business that might donate we would love to hear from you - please let us know as soon as possible so that we can include all prizes on the ticket.

Narooma Weekend ​5-6 Nov

If the wintery weather makes you long for a visit to the coast, now is the time to book your accommodation for the School’s Narooma Weekend!  For those who haven’t been before, each year on the weekend following the School Fair, the School community likes to unwind by going down to the Island View Holiday Park in Narooma for the weekend, this year it will fall o​n ​5/6 ​November. The School (almost) takes over the whole caravan park and it’s a lovely place to relax after the business of the Fair. Some kids also like to celebrate Halloween down there.

The park has a range of different cabins and campsites available and many families book on their way out for the following year. The kids love being on holiday with their friends, and because we’re the majority of the Park’s customers that weekend, they can happily ride their bikes and scooters around the place with independence or go ‘visiting’ amongst their friends’ cabins. Parents can chill out on their balcony, or down at the beach, or by the pool, and see as little or as much of each other as they like.

You can book directly with Island View or 1800 465 432 - remember to mention you’re from Canberra Montessori so that you can receive our 3 nights for the price of 2 deal, or if you have any questions please contact Pet​a​ at​ or on ​0419 686 992

Entertainment Books

Reminder! CMS is again fundraising with the Entertainment Book this year.

Order your NEW 2016 | 2017 Entertainment™ Books and Entertainment™ Digital Memberships from us today, and 20% of the proceeds contribute towards our school!

Entertainment Memberships are packed with thousands of up to 50% OFF and 2-for-1 offers for the best local restaurants, café, attractions, hotel accommodation, travel, and much more!

Available as a traditional Entertainment Book or Digital Membership on your smartphone, your membership gives you over $20,000 worth of valuable offers valid through to 1 June 2017.

Click this link to order now:

Remember, 20% of each book sold is returned to the school.

Share the link with your friends and family!

Any questions please contact

Useful links

The latest Montessori Australia Foundation e-article is "GROWING GAINS – Learning to Serve, Rather than Perform" by Bill Conway and also check out the MAF e-Bulletin

You may have heard that NAPLAN online is being introduced across Australia from 2017, with an aim for all Australian schools administering NAPLAN online by 2019.
NAPLAN online will provide better assessment, more precise results and faster turnaround of information. Your child’s results will be returned to you faster, within a couple of weeks rather than a couple of months. Read more ...
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