Message from the Principal
Dear CMS Community,
Thank you for the enthusiastic encouragement associated with the improvement agenda for our grounds. Your patience as a community with the ongoing works has been fantastic, and I hope the modifications made reflect our ongoing intention to have an amazing prepared environment for our children, beyond the classroom context.With this precept in mind, Mr Vic, who looks after grounds and maintenance (and who has just welcomed his new-born son Artorius into the world), will contribute to future Bulletins, keeping you informed of what is happening on this improvement journey for our grounds.
Along with a number of other staff, I have undertaken training in the Developmental Environmental Scale (DERS) a classroom observation tool, designed to measure environmental and behavioural qualities proven to support executive functions, linguistic & cultural fluency, along with social and emotional development (https://www.ders-app.org/aboutrevised/). This has enabled us to provide valid feedback on observable elements in our classroom environments, promoting opportunity for our staff to evidence the efficacy of their learning environments for the children. Whilst in the early stages of implementation at CMS, this information will prove a valuable resource for staff and contribute heavily to our whole school improvement agenda.
Lastly, I have been reading ‘Mind in the Making’ by Ellen Galinsky, who addresses elements of ‘executive function’ in some depth, mapped to seven essential life skills for every child. This is an interesting read and provides substantive practical examples for parents in each of the seven essential life skills identified. Copies are available at reception for $27.00 should you desire to learn more about the development and importance of executive function.
This transitions nicely into further study being undertaken by staff, into the Minnesota Executive Function Scale (MEFS) ( https://reflectionsciences.com/services/mefs/) which accurately measures cognitive flexibility, working memory and inhibitory control. These are elements heavily promoted through our practices and materials as a Montessori School. One of Ellen Galinsky’s closing statements suggests what we do in schools as teachers should be to engage and motivate children to discovery, not just cram information into them.
Please don’t hesitate to talk to Mr Rael or myself on the path if you have any concerns or questions about our improvement journey, as we work to make our Montessori … ‘simply the best for every child’.