Message from the Principal

Dear School Community,

I am pleased to announce a positive development for our school and community. Mr Glen Watson joined our Cycle 2 & 3 environments this week. Some of you will know him from his previous time with CMS or have met him on the path with me this week. Mr Glen is a Cycle 2 & 3, AMI trained Montessorian with over 20 years of experience in a variety of teaching and leadership roles. Mr Glen is exceptionally excited with our School Improvement Agenda. He is working across Cycle 2 & 3 to complement the work of our staff and further embed the recommendations made by Mr Greg MacDonald (AMI Trainer/Consultant) who continues his journey with our school.

Over the last few years, the school has grown and developed in an array of necessary and positive ways, each of which has prioritised providing the best possible Montessori education for the children in our school.  Some of these changes have, however, required a recalibration of what is a reasonable expectation for parents of the school. When CMS opened the doors of the Holder campus back in 2004, it offered 5 classrooms and required a high degree of parental involvement to function. The vision was to have a sustainable Montessori school that provided excellence in education for students.  Since that time, we have built on the significant achievement of those early families and staff and grown substantially over the last few years, alongside the shifting sands of an educational landscape. We are a different community to the one that opened the Holder campus in 2004, just as they were different to those families that started the very first CMS classroom over 35 years ago, but our core values are the same – respect for the children and each other, and passion for the wonderful educational philosophy that is Montessori.

In response to this need for ongoing development, since early 2015 we have embedded the National Professional Standards for Teachers into our professional practices. We have created a Professional Appraisal Framework to guide performance management and enhance our focus on goal oriented professional development. Further, we have managed to engage with the Australian Centre for Montessori Studies to deliver an in-house Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) course for the very first time in Canberra to build the professional delivery of Montessori in our school and ensure a pool of qualified staff for the sustainability and continuity of high quality Montessori at CMS. At all times, we have worked closely with other Montessori professionals and Montessori Australia Foundation to continue to explore and refine the question of what is best practice Montessori.

These are but few of the many, necessary initiatives we have implemented to ensure the best possible outcomes for our students. I am confident our journey is the right one for CMS and our new School Board have been very supportive of the change management agenda we have undertaken. Change is not easy and is an essential part of the education world, where constant improvement is integral to refining practice and building professional skills. For those who have the stamina to undertake such a journey, the rewards are great.

As always, whilst our journey of improvement has many ups and downs, our trajectory remains very positive as we continue to work towards making our Montessori… ‘simply the best for each child’.

Anthony Vandermolen