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The Montessori Advantage

Inspiring the Next Generation

“It is the spirit of the child that can determine the course of human progress and lead it perhaps even to a higher form of civilization.” — Dr Maria Montessori

Northside Montessori School students are inspired to learn, to share, to create, to help, to try new things and to know more. In short, they are supported to be:

  • Global Citizens
  • Inclusive
  • Intrinsically Motivated with a Love of Learning
  • Innovative and Creative – Independent Thinkers
  • Inspired and Confident
  • Deeply Engaged and Explorers
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Global Citizens

There is an increasing awareness of the many other skills that children should acquire to be global citizens and active participants in their communities beyond school. At Northside Montessori School we recognise this. Montessori education equips children to have the skills required in the 21st century.

Our students do not merely move from one year to another, passively receiving information like empty vessels waiting to be filled. Instead, learning is active, personal, collaborative and exciting. Through the use of specially designed Montessori materials, with teachers who respect and understand each individual and in classrooms that are rich in learning opportunities for self-discovery, our students go from ‘explorer to philosopher’.

Movement and cognition are closely linked with children interacting with the Montessori materials, and with each other, as they explore their world and create their understanding. As they experience the classroom and materials, they are building increasing levels of self-direction, knowledge and self-awareness. Our students know that learning is not limited to school hours and school terms, or the classroom. Through our participation in programs such as the Montessori Model United Nations and the International Youth Impact Forum, our students develop a deep understanding of global issues and how they can have a voice to make change.

There is an opportunity to grow and learn everywhere, and our students seek this out.As they journey through their learning, ‘great lessons’ are provided to encourage the students to think ‘big thoughts’. Where did we all begin? How are all humans the same? How are we different? What role do I play in the classroom and ultimately in society? They learn to envision the world with a higher sense of awareness and discover the connections between their local environment and the large global picture.

Gratitude and respect are integral to this exploration and questioning. Through explicit teaching of grace and courtesy, peer teaching and mentoring, and through nurturing a collaborative spirit in the classroom, students realise that they are part of a learning community. When they see a problem, Montessori students are empathetic and have the courage to try to solve that problem. As so many of our graduates have mentioned, many years after their time at Northside Montessori School, a Montessori education is not merely about books and learning. ‘We learnt how to make friends and get along with different people of different ages.’ Another said, ‘We learnt how to learn. We learnt about ourselves – to be true to who we are.’ They find peaceful solutions to problems and develop a universal vision for who they are as individuals and how they fit into the world.

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In Northside Montessori School’s inclusive educational environment, students learn that each individual is valued, and deserves dignity. Our students share learning experiences which lead to tolerance and acceptance of each other, regardless of differences like gender, culture, ethnicity or ability. Our students look out for each other and embrace children of different backgrounds, intellects and abilities.

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Intrinsically Motivated with a Love of Learning

Children are by nature intrinsically motivated and are driven by their desire to become independent and competent. This is at the core of the Montessori approach to learning.

Children like to make choices and explore concepts, largely on their own. In a Northside Montessori School classroom, the sense of achievement and reward is in the attainment of knowledge and the mastery of skills. It is not reliant on teacher praise, merit-awards, grades or any other form of adult approval. External rewards that are used to create motivation, such as stickers and prizes do nothing to help make the child a confident and independent learner. We honour and support the intrinsic motivation of a child.

A key feature of Montessori education is the self-paced and individualised learning. Students at Northside Montessori School are allowed to learn at their own pace, and in the way that best suits their learning styles. They select work that captures their interest and attention and the teacher introduces them to activities that will present new challenges and discoveries. This allows the child to learn without pressure and competition, and to develop a love of learning. They have the opportunity to learn deeply, to accelerate in curriculum areas and also to slow down to consolidate knowledge and skills in areas that pose greater challenges.

Targets and expectations are set for students, aligned to the Montessori pedagogy and the NESA curriculum outcomes. Our teachers provide individual and small group learning opportunities, along with appropriate guidance and enticement to ensure the student covers all necessary skills and knowledge areas.

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Innovative and Creative

Northside Montessori School promotes innovation and creativity in our students through our teaching methods. Each child’s strengths and interests are supported and they are provided the freedom to explore and take risks in their learning. Our approach is innovative and supports ‘outside the box’ thinking. This is done by linking cognition, self-direction and movement and by presenting an integrated and expansive curriculum with specially designed Montessori materials.

Learning at our school is something to be enjoyed and shared – a springboard for more discoveries. Our students learn to understand their own learning. Northside Montessori School is a place where mistakes, risk taking and experimentation are a noble and integral part of the learning process. Montessori alumni such as Sergey Brin and Larry Paige (founders of Google) credit these aspects of the Montessori approach with developing their innovative spirits.

No question is considered silly or pointless. By asking questions and taking risks, students are taking ownership for their learning. Learning becomes something that is active and personal – not simply something that is done to please a teacher. Our students are acknowledged for taking risks and being creative in their work.

Children are encouraged to think creatively and to problem-solve together. Mixed-age groupings encourage collaboration and peer teaching. We want students to develop an understanding and to make links with their learning and how this can be applied to the real world or new situations. Opportunities to do this happen every day in the classrooms. Through our creative arts programs like Music, Art, Dance and Drama, opportunities to apply out-of-the-box thinking is alive and well! We develop students who are independent thinkers, who are not afraid to take risks with their ideas and talents.

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Inspired and Confident

Students are inspired to live both passionately and compassionately in a global community with a view of the world and all the possibilities within. Our students love coming to school every day. They are inspired to learn, to share, to create, to help, to try new things, to know more. The real test of an education is whether children can adapt to the next phase of their life and be happy in themselves and their abilities. This is our goal at Northside Montessori School. We want our students to ‘think bravely and deeply’. Our goal is for students to see the possibilities in front of them and to approach the future with excitement and optimism. Our graduates tell us of their ability to accept challenges, to take ownership of their learning, mix with diverse groups and to have a realistic knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses as they move from stage to stage and beyond. We want our students to have the confidence to find their passions in life and have the courage to pursue them. Montessori education allows that to happen.

Finding the wonders of the universe and seeing the interrelatedness of everything on earth are at the core of the internal development of the child. The scientist, the artist, the academic, the craftsman, the passionate discoverer and the explorer emerges from an understanding of how all things are connected and are interrelated.

This is the true nature of learning.

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Deeply Engaged and Explorers

The Montessori environment allows the child to explore areas that they may not be able to explore in other traditional school settings. They can choose to do extensive research on areas of interest, do highly complex mathematical problems or read a story for the very first time, after months of work. Whatever the case is, each child’s abilities are catered for and valued by everyone in the classroom environment and in the school at large. Their work is viewed by their peers and admired, whether it is the most brilliant piece of work in the world or the work that has required the most effort. Having a healthy self-esteem is important to a child’s future and this is fostered in a Montessori environment.

“It is true that we cannot make a genius. We can only give to each child the chance to fulfil his potential possibilities.”
Dr Maria Montessori

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