Message from the Principal 7/12/17

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

This has been a big year at CMS, and I would like to acknowledge all the families and staff who are moving forward towards 2018 and beyond with us. You will reap the rewards of our collective efforts coming to fruition.

Our role as a school, as educators and as families is to help children develop so they are able to reach their individual potential, be capable of making a contribution to the world as an adult and live out their own dreams, not ours.

The world has changed from the time we were children, and so have the children in our transformed society. Possibly the most fundamental change, is the incredible exposure to technology, mass media, and the disengagement of our children with their outdoor world. Next year, a key goal at CMS is the evolution of our outdoor environment, with enhanced space for Cycle One children and a new outdoor learning area for Primary students. With improved infrastructure, our grounds will come alive and provide further inspiration for children to engage and explore their surrounds.

I am also pleased to announce that in 2018, we will continue to partner with the Orana School in Weston, to develop a pathway for CMS graduates after their primary years – Orana’s new International Baccalaureate (IB). This new pathway will be open for CMS graduates to access the IB program specifically if they wish. Transition from CMS primary to Orana IB for high school and college, will be facilitated and CMS graduates will be very well prepared for their new environment, should this be their chosen pathway. This is an exciting achievement for CMS and more information will come out as the program evolves. I am hopeful that our 2018 graduates can be our first to access this new pathway.

We also have more opportunities to enhance knowledge of Montessori pedagogy and philosophy as adults next year, with potential subsidies to promote awareness through authentic Montessori studies. Additionally, we will have a series of guest speakers and a new strategy to enhance family engagement with children’s learning experiences. Staff too, will continue to hone skills, talents and to deepen Montessori knowledge on an ongoing basis. Each day, staff use these skills, talents and knowledge to encourage the development of self-efficacy in our children through inspiration, enticement and mentoring. By developing consistent relationships over time with each child, and offering a consistent experience across the cycles, together staff can discover what learning inspires each child’s passion and absorbs their attention. This is the power of a great learning environment and great teachers collaborating as a collegiate team.

At the parent education event about Montessori and the Six Cs of 21st Century Education, for the first time all CMS Directors collaborated to present and engage with families as one Team CMS. They showed respect and care for each other and supported each other when their individual strengths were of help to others. Team CMS shares a passion for CMS moving into 2018 and beyond, and a good life is one in which our passions are discovered so as to provide excitement each day. The world needs more people who are passionate and excited, and I am glad to have so many of them already here at CMS to guide our children.

For many families, CMS is the first experience of a school environment as an adult. Memories of our own schooling as a child, good and bad can influence our expectations. Our school can feel unfamiliar at first as it differs from a traditional subject based approach to education. At CMS however, we will continue to focus intently on the children, and to strive to be simply the best for each child so they:

  • Develop initiative, solve problems for themselves, without a constant need to be told what to do
  • Set themselves targets and plan their own work patterns, working towards self-managed deadlines
  • Communicate effectively and sustain conversations
  • Build self-control and the capacity to amuse themselves constructively, without constant support
  • Feel excited to come to school, their stable learning environment, supported by staff who care about them and protect their concentration in that learning environment
  • Take responsibility and learn about consequences through trial and error in a prepared and safe environment

I hope we can all afford a summer break to refresh soon. Please be safe if you are travelling and cherish the joys of this time with your children. For me, as well as being with my children, I will be returning in the new year as a new Grandfather following the imminent arrival of my eldest son’s first child, and I will be only too happy to share tales of this new adventure with you on the CMS path. Be safe, well, and smile, it’s good for us.

Anthony Vandermolen