ACT Minister for Education, Shane Rattenbury, recently visited Canberra Montessori School for its 35th Birthday celebrations.
Together with the Minister, the primary school officially launched three new classrooms funded by generous donations and a business loan from the bank. The school launched its new strategic plan as well, looking to the next 10 years, and its brand new logo.
“It has been inspiring to join the engaged community at the Canberra Montessori School. They are excited about the future of their school, their unique educational offering, and it was wonderful to experience first-hand their amazing Learnscapes,” said Mr Rattenbury. “They have a frog pond, solar passive buildings and child-sized pathways for children to access classes through native gardens,” the Minister said.
Director - School Administration
Board Chair, Catherine Prosser
Our Principal, Anthony Vandermolen.
Our 2016 graduates
Shane Rattenbury, MLA, ACT Minister for Education
Director - School AdministrationDirector - School Administration, Aine Barker was our MC for the evening
Marion McEwinMarion McEwin, a founding member of CMS, spoke about the early days.
Board Chair, Catherine ProsserBoard Chair, Catherine Prosser, launched our new Strategic Plan.
Our Principal, Anthony Vandermolen.The new logo was unveiled by our Principal, Anthony Vandermolen.
Our 2016 graduatesOur 2016 graduates show off the logo on their new t-shirts.
Shane Rattenbury, MLA, ACT Minister for EducationShane Rattenbury, MLA, ACT Minister for Education kindly agreed to open our new buildings.
Montessori schools are well known for their beautiful classrooms. At the Canberra Montessori School, an engaging Learnscape surrounds the classrooms as well. The children enjoy peaches from their very own fruit orchard, fresh vegetables and herbs from their kitchen gardens. In the early education playground, children access a sensorial garden bed, vertical sound garden and multiple balancing bridges. Primary children run through a newly planted eucalypt forest that wraps their dedicated fitness track, fed from multiple water tanks and a drip irrigation system that helps the school to achieve its ACT Smart Schools certification.
“Everything we do must be good for the kids”, said Principal, Mr Anthony Vandermolen. “If it’s good for the kids we do it. If they enjoy their walk to class and arrive smiling they are ready to embrace their work for the day. Our children are our priority, and we are incredibly dedicated to enabling lifelong learning,” he continued. “I myself am about to embark on Doctoral studies that look at the educational triad of the child, the parent and the teacher, and how best to enable evidence based engagement between them. We are also working with tertiary education providers to consider offering courses for Montessori teaching qualifications right here in Canberra. We could see some of our three year olds returning to us for post-graduate teaching studies in years to come.”
Mr Vandermolen went on to explain, “Dr Montessori was a Physician and an Educator. She developed the Montessori method of education through scientific observations of children, with a particular goal of discovering what keeps that spark alive for learning – the natural spark that drives us to learn to walk, to speak, to read, to experiment and to connect to the world around us.”
“Put simply, each student is our central focus. We guide our children through curriculum at their pace, and according to their individual needs. We also offer a consistent educational experience the world over, so we have a wonderfully rich global community of families here at CMS.”
“We are very proud to be at the forefront of modern educational practice for the early childhood and primary years. We employ Montessori principles as the catalyst for creating self-driven, lifelong learners and that is an exciting place to be.”
The school’s new building will house three new classrooms, each flooded with natural light through oversized windows, rich with flexible learning spaces to engage and draw the children in. The building is solar passive with deciduous trees providing natural shade in summer, and winter warmth directly from the sun in the cooler months.
“I would like to thank the teachers, students, family members and friends of the Canberra Montessori School for putting on such an inspiring 35th Birthday celebration, and sharing their amazing Learnscapes with me,” concluded Mr Rattenbury.