Frequently Asked Questions
At what age do children start?
Pre-primary children start from two-and-a-half or near their third birthday. The children then naturally move to primary at around the age of six and to Cycle 3 when approaching nine-years of age.
Do pre-primary children attend every day?
Yes, every day, initially starting with shorter days. As they become comfortable their day extends to full school days. By the age of four most children are attending five full school days. By attending every day, they fully participate in all facets of school life and they become part of their class community. They are then able to achieve continuity in their work and that of the class group.
Does Montessori suit all children?
We welcome you to complete the following 2-minute quiz to find out if Montessori is for your family. Generally a Montessori education follows the needs of the child, on recognising and responding to the developmental demands of the child so that each individual reaches their potential. Therefore it is suitable for all children.
Is Montessori good for children with learning problems? What about gifted children?
Montessori is designed to help all children reach their fullest potential at their own unique pace. A classroom of children with varying abilities is a community in which everyone learns from one another and everyone contributes. Moreover, multi-age grouping allows each child to find their own pace without feeling ahead of or lagging behind their peers. We also have a full-time special educator who supports individual children with learning, behavioural and mental health challenges.
Why are the classrooms multi-aged?
Most aspects of the adult society is multi-aged and communities largely benefit from the mix in ages, backgrounds and cultures. Older children act as role models for the younger, they instruct younger children, reviewing concepts themselves in the process. Patience and confidence are reinforced and practiced. A child may work at a level different from their peers without the pressure found in single age peer grouping. Younger children learn to seek the help and assistance of classmates more experienced than themselves. They learn to help themselves in a natural way, as they would in most communities.
Why is it so important to complete the three-year cycle?
A sequence of information and skills is presented in each 3-year cycle. Much depends on the repetition of similar exercises at successive stages of development so that understanding is fully assimilated. Failure to complete a 3-year cycle will leave gaps in knowledge and understanding that may be difficult to fill at a later stage. The 3-year cycle ensures completion of the work necessary to the development of the child at that particular age.
Why should my child remain in a Montessori school?
Each cycle of the curriculum equips your child with the foundation for the next. The similar classroom environment, cooperative manner of working and style of guidance offered by the teachers provides a secure framework in which your child can confidently apply their acquired skills and approaches to learning. Consultation between teachers at the time of transition ensures that your child’s particular needs are well understood at each stage.
How well do children integrate from Montessori into a traditional school?
Children move easily to other schools. We regularly invite graduates back to Montessori East to share their high school experiences and invariably find their experience positive. We invite you to attend our annual Graduate return event to help you make up your own mind By the time a Montessori student reaches year 7, he or she will have covered the curriculum set by the NSW Education Standards Authority. Montessori is sometimes described as being too free.
How can a child so young possibly choose what they want to learn?
Dr. Maria Montessori recognised appropriate freedom as the single most important factor if children are to develop as spontaneous, creative individuals. She saw the role of education as providing varied environments in which the children could be allowed to follow their natural impulses and become wonderfully dynamic, natural learners. Choosing what they want to learn starts as early as birth and is a totally natural desire. The teacher guides and shows the child a lesson and the child takes the time to perfect it through repetition.
Where do most Montessori East graduates go to high school?
Our children invariably move to high school well prepared, with enthusiasm and confidence. They move on to a variety of high schools; state high schools both selective and comprehensive; religious independent schools; and a range of other private high schools.
High schools chosen by graduates and their parents in the past few years include: Cranbrook; Moriah College; The International Grammar School; Reddam; Rose Bay Secondary College; SCEGGS Darlinghurst; St Andrew’s College.
We plan to open our Montessori High School in the near future.
You may contact the school for more information.