Reports from Greg MacDonald's visit, Parent Meeting 20 Oct and A Case Study of CMS; Assessment and Evaluation and more ...
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Week 2 Term 4 2016
11 new enrolments this week ...

Message from the Principal


Dear School Community, 

CMS Case Study from University of Southern Queensland
Earlier in the year, the school engaged with Dr Stewart Riddle, Senior Lecturer in the School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood at the University of Southern Queensland. Staff collaborated with Dr Riddle to enable a case study to take place, requiring some insight into curriculum, pedagogy, and the change process our school has embarked upon. Dr Riddle commented heartily on the warmth and generosity of time contributed to this end by our staff and has provided the school with a report, which will inform future research publications. Identified below are some of the comments from this report :
  • “…there appears to be a clear commitment of staff to the philosophical and pedagogical traditions of Montessori Education.”
  • “…there is a recognition of the need to adapt to the changing educational landscape and its focus on accountability measures and reporting of learners’ progress to parents and educational authorities”
  • “…it appears there is a ‘buy in’ to the process (of change), as it is hoped the outcomes will include a more cohesive school community, focussed curriculum and collaborative planning, alongside increased student enrolments and parental engagement”
Read more ...
A Brick for Posterity

Many of you will have noted the bricks to the side of the main pathway. These are the result of a fundraising effort from the Spring Fair last year.  Read more ...


Anthony Vandermolen

From Director of School Administration


Dear CMS Community,

Many of you were able to attend the Parent Education Evening last Term when Greg MacDonald presented the second plane child to the community. Those of you who met him will agree he is very knowledgeable and certainly has a good listening ear.
Anthony had ongoing discussion with Christine Harrison (Chair of Montessori Foundation Australia) over several months trying to work out who was best suited to visit our school, observe and get to know our teachers before offering recommendations for improvement. Montessori trainers are thin on the ground in Australia so Christine directed us to Greg who resides in USA. Greg met the teachers via skype and had established a rapport, before finally meeting them last Term.  Read more about his findings here...

Áine Barker
Director School Administration
Thankfully the rain held off long enough for Musica Viva at the incursion this week. They had us all wanting to get up and dance with an amazing variety of music from their brass instruments.

Dear Parents and Community members,

No doubt you are aware of the extensive school improvements communicated throughout the year.

In keeping with this aspiration for continued improvement, staff wish to further develop a strong sense of belonging for our children and collaboration amongst Directors by bringing all the Cycle 1 classrooms together in the original curved block of buildings.

Red Gum class will transfer to the Melaleuca space at the beginning of 2017 to allow for Red Gum classroom expansion and to provide the long desired outdoor space. The children of Red Gum will share the same experience of the courtyard spaces to the back of the classrooms as the other Cycle 1 classes. These spaces are used in most instances for outdoor painting and care of courtyard gardens. The courtyard by design, permits a flow between inside and outside environments.
Our Cycle 2 Directors, are equally excited to move to the new building next to Karri in the exchange of environments. Kerrie and Louise have previously talked about the concept of moving next door to each other to allow for a better flow of children between environments. The classes currently work closely together and share a wealth of knowledge, skills and different strengths, but have been inhibited by the distance between environments. The classes join for lunch daily to enhance socialisation which is healthy and robust, but moving next door to each other will enhance the relationships tenfold. 
Cycle 2 classrooms will maintain identity and classroom space, but flow between environments. Additionally, they will be able to share space with Cycle 3 students (who also play a part in bringing the ‘second plane’ children closer together) in the newly formed Primary environment.
All those families directly affected by this initiative were invited to attend an evening on Thursday 20 October to hear from the Directors about the proposed move. Directors answered questions and shared their impression of this progressive move which aims to enhance student learning for all involved.

A report of the evening's proceedings can be viewed here.
Kind regards,
Áine Barker
Director-School Administration

Olympic Country Study in Cycle 2

On a sunny Friday in October, the Cycle 2 students gathered together to celebrate the completion of their country research projects that was inspired by the Olympic Games.

The students had worked (mostly in groups) to investigate facts and culture from a variety of countries around the world.

The celebration commenced with a parade and Opening ceremony. Mr Vandemolen declared the festivities open. The students then entertained their families with a display and fun activities from seven different countries. The celebration was closed with the breaking of Mexico’s piñata. 
The rooms were carefully prepared by the children to display their work
Each country was represented in the parade

Upcoming Dates



Term 4

Thu 20 Oct Class Parents Meeting 9am
Thu 20 Oct Fundraising meeting 7.30pm 
Thu 20 Oct Class Parents Meeting 9am
Thu 20 Oct Fundraising Meeting 7.30pm
Sun 23 Oct Learnscapes Working Bee 8am-11am
Wed 26 Oct Incursion: Ride the Korean Wave 12.15pm
Sat 29 Oct SPRING FAIR 9am-2pm
Wed 2 Nov ‘Assessment and Evaluation at CMS’ 9-10am
Sat 5 Nov Narooma Family Weekend 
Tue 8 Nov Parent Education Evening - Maths in Cycles 7pm
Thu 10 Nov Fundraising Meeting 7.30pm
Fri 11 Nov Family Breakfast 8am-8.45am
Tue 15 Nov Board Meeting 6.45pm
Sat 19 Nov Learnscapes Working Bee 8am-11am
Thu 24 Nov End of Year Extravaganza 6.30pm
Wed 30 Nov Learnscapes Meeting 7pm
Thu 1 Dec Parent Interviews begin
Fri 2 Dec Graduation Evening
Fri 9 Dec Disco
Fri 9 Dec Last day of term 4
Interested in learning woodwind and guitar at CMS?
Students proudly shared their work with parents
Breaking the pinata (after a bit of effort!) closed proceedings

Scholastic and Red Gum Books

We participate in both these book clubs which earn us free books for the school through your orders.

Scholastic Issue 7 has an exclusive Bonus Book Offer for parents who order and pay via LOOP (the online ordering). If you have placed a registered order on LOOP at any time in the past, you could qualify for up to four Bonus Books.
If they spend between $15 and $29.99 more than their last LOOP order, they can select two Bonus Books.
If they spend $30 or more than their last LOOP order, they can select up to four Bonus Books.
Redgum also earns us resources and books and with every order your child will receive a free gift. 
Go to to view the current catalogue.  Redgum also have hundreds more great titles on their website, with books starting from $2.00. Order and pay online by credit card or PayPal.
The catalogue is now open and closes on Tuesday 8th November.  Ordered books will be delivered free to the school no later than Tuesday 22nd November.
Classics in the catalogue include: Hans Christian Anderson, Enid Blyton – A Faraway Tree Adventure in Santa Claus’s Castle, Just Andy, The Jungle Book and Roald Dahl.

Coming our way on the afternoon of 26 October will be a Korean cultural party! 

The event is called
‘Ride the Korean Wave'
관련 교장선생님께의 서한/자료’

The children are very lucky to be given an afternoon of great activities at no cost to CMS, due to the strong connection formed with the Embassy of Korea. 

From 12:15pm to 3:00pm the fun includes:
  • A K-pop cover Dance Performance and Taekwondo Demonstration
Followed by, for cycles 2/3:
  • Korean Cooking Class
  • K-pop Class
  • Korean T-shirt making
and for Cycle 1 there will be story telling.

We are very grateful to the Korean Cultural Centre for arranging this event.

From the Board 

Term 4 is always a big term for the Board. 

At our meeting this week we approved the budget for next year and next month we have our strategic review session.  Both of these mean we are spending a lot of time looking at what the needs of the school are now, what our needs will be going forwards, and what we must do to ensure that we're well prepared and ready to go. 

At our November meeting, Board members will be bringing big, blue sky ideas to help us progress the Strategic Plan, developed by the community last year, and really help this wonderful school blossom. 

As always, if you have any questions or suggestions for the strategic development of the school, please contact

Mums & Bubs Group

This group is for parents who would like to meet other like-minded parents, and learn with their child how to use an environment specially prepared for a child of this age, under the guidance of a Montessori trained adult.

The class will focus on the developmental needs of your child in their current phase of growth, how to observe your child and use this as a basis to offer appropriate activities.

We meet twice a month on alternate Friday afternoons from 12.30 to 2pm. Sessions run during the school term only.  

Who for:                    
At Canberra Montessori we cover two age ranges: Pregnancy to when your child is able to crawl & crawling to 18 months 

Parent Toddler Classroom

Each session costs $25

You will be invoiced at the beginning of each term, however if you are unable to attend for any sessions during that term and email us in advance we can adjust your next invoice to reflect this.

Session Dates:           
Term 4, 2016 - 28th October, 11th November & 25th November, 2016

From Director of Student Development

Assessment and evaluation at Canberra Montessori

When we think of assessments, we are generally concerned with the performance of individual learners, whereas evaluation demonstrates the quality and effectiveness of an educational program. Since taking on the position of Director of Student Development, part of my role is to see how we assess and evaluate our children here at CMS.

The Montessori approach is based on the belief that each child is a competent learner, born ready to learn from all their environments. Read more ...

Come along to our Parent Talk
Assessment and Evaluation at CMS’,
including the F&P benchmark program, PAT Maths, NAPLAN (online & paper-based). 
Wednesday 2nd November
Parent/staff room (Eucalyptus)
between 9-10am.

Please sign up on line through this link

Sarah Beresford-Jones
Director – Student Development

From Learnscapes Committee


Spring has truly sprung, the weather is great and there is a spring Working Bee this Sunday 23rd of October from 8am until 11am, that has your name on it!  

All members of the school community are invited to attend. Come along, bring the family, a shovel and a wheel barrow (if you have them) to help spread some mulch and spruce up the school prior to the Spring Fair. No special skills are required and we promise to match all comers to appropriate jobs.
Some of the investments of past working bees are really returning dividends, with the gardens across the front of Scribbly Gum and the Office really starting to fill out with a huge variety of natives.  The slide mound in Cycle 1 has now opened, after a somewhat prolonged gestation period, and the plantings along the activity track have been so successful we had to thin some of them out!
Please help us to complete some of the smaller jobs and do some general sprucing up prior to the Spring Fair, so the school grounds look the best they can be.
If there are any questions about the working bee, or Learnscapes in general, please call Rohan on 0412184976.

From Fundraising Committee

Narooma Weekend 5 – 6 November

It’s not too late to book a spot!

There are still a few cabins and lots of tent sites available at the Island View Beach Resort at Narooma where a whole bunch of CMS families spend the weekend after the Fair relaxing and unwinding.

The kids love being on holiday with their friends and they can happily ride bikes and scooters around the place with independence. There’s the beach, a pool, trampolines, tennis courts, playground, and the only thing organised is a get-together BBQ on Saturday night. Even though we are celebrating at Narooma a week later than usual, Halloween trick or treating will still go ahead! So bring your costumes and don't forget the treats!

To book please contact the Island View directly on (02)4476 2600 or
or if you would like a little more information first please ring Peta on 0419 686 992.

MANGO Orders are now OPEN

Delicious Fresh North Queensland Kensington Pride Mangoes
Only $28 per case

Mango forms and correct payment (no change given) need to be at the Front Office by Friday 4 November 2016. 

Credit card payments can be made via trybooking:

Mangoes should be ready for collection either late November or early December. (This date will depend on when the mangoes ripen). 

Mangoes make great Christmas presents for family, friends and neighbours. They also freeze really well for after-school smoothies! Enjoy supporting our healthy food fundraiser. 

Useful links

Are you interested in studying for a Montessori qualification? Find 3-6 Diploma information here and 6-12 Certificate here.

Maren Schmidt, a certified AMI Montessori teacher who holds a Masters in Education from Loyola College in Maryland, founded a Montessori school, and has over thirty years experience working with children, has some interesting articles here.

Copyright © 2016 Canberra Montessori School, All rights reserved.

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Canberra Montessori School · 35 Mulley Street, Australian Capital Territory, Australia · Canberra, ACT 2611 · Australia

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