Message from the Principal

Dear CMS Community,


The last few weeks at school have been filled with fabulous collaboration amongst staff behind the scenes as we’ve managed the annual influx of leave necessitated by winter season bugs and other family and lifelong learning commitments. Despite this additional load, the feedback from community in regard to our school ‘climate’ and ‘culture’ has continued to be exceedingly positive. Staff too continue to comment on the truly positive ‘feel’ of the school over the course of this year, and the evidenced impact of our drive for school wide improvement. I could not be prouder of our staff team at this point and hope you’ll indulge a quick snapshot of what we’ve all achieved together year-to-date.

Some things to consider:

  • All staff are actively committed to ongoing professional development, which flows directly into quality learning and social experiences for our children at CMS
  • Further, and more directed parent education opportunities are ever-evolving
  • Employing our Director of Students & Technologies has been overwhelmingly positive
  • Employing our Montessori trained Grounds and Maintenance person who also works with the children in their outdoor environment has proved a great value to all
  • Ongoing improvements to our ‘Prepared Environments’ in and outside are a joy to implement
  • Board membership includes sound leadership and external membership with a broad array of governance experience and a highly professional, collaborative approach
  • School engagement with a broader range of external opportunities to promote Montessori are continuing to return value to CMS and the broader advancement of Montessori as a whole

These elements are the perceivable outcomes of our commitment to school improvement, however there are many other initiatives taking place behind the scenes as well. What remains most important to me, are of course the happy children I see every day on my ongoing walks around our ever-evolving grounds. Our children are confident, even as tiny three year olds, to openly wave and say hi to their Principal and to all adults in their environment. That spark we strive so hard to keep alive in Montessori is present and shining bright at CMS.

To further support this perspective of positive and purposeful change, our recent community survey (66 families responded) highlighted the following:

  • 98% of our families feel welcome at Canberra Montessori School
  • 97% of our families believe their children feel safe at school
  • 97% of our families believe our staff know and appreciate their child’s qualities
  • 87% of our families believe the school is well managed
  • 87% of our families believe in the school’s educational leadership
  • 89% of our families are satisfied with the Boards strategic direction for the school
  • 86% of our families are satisfied with perceived community cohesiveness

Further to this, there were an array of positive comments regarding the school’s change journey, staffing, and the ‘feel’ of the school. There was also, some constructive feedback offered which will be tabled with staff to address suggestions around ensuring more policies are available on our web page, enhancing communication with parents about their child’s individual progress, greater investment in the environment and materials, along with other specific points to consider as a collegial team dedicated to continuous improvement.

Our staff have indicated through a separate survey:

  • 100% comfort discussing any concerns with Principal
  • 100% comfort discussing concerns with colleagues
  • 100% confidence in focus on professional career development
  • 100% confidence in a positive school culture
  • 100% commitment to the success of the school

All of these elements offer incredible support for the journey we have taken together, as well as vivid perspectives to continue our journey of improvement and school growth together. Thank you to all who have taken the time to share your views and complete the survey. These offer our team touch points for validating our improvement strategies and forming next steps.

As we move into the Spring holidays I wish you all a safe and restful period, with your children spending more time with you, or embarking upon holiday care adventures. I will be starting the holidays with my youngest son at the coast for a few days from tomorrow. I will then be attending the Montessori Australia Foundation Innovation Summit in Sydney next week, and I look forward to welcoming you all back to our final term for the year – often a favourite due to end of year celebrations and the warmer months returning.

If you have specific questions, as always, please don’t hesitate to come and talk with myself or Mr. Rael, as we continue our journey to make our Montessori… ‘simply the best for each child’.


Anthony Vandermolen