FAQs


Montessori@Bellevue (M@B) was established in 2002 to provide Montessori Primary education for children aged from 6 to 12 years. 

Montessori@Arataki (M@A) was established in 2016 to extend the provision of Montessori education in the Bay of Plenty for children aged from 6 to 12 years.

Our Montessori units operate as a syndicate within a mainstream school. This means Montessori students have the benefit of access to those facilities which a larger school offers i.e. library, swimming pool, sports grounds, etc. Our students participate in school wide events such as assemblies, sports days, productions and cluster competitions. Students also have the opportunity to join school sports teams e.g. netball, mini-ball, volleyball, hockey. 

Montessori defined the stages of development as 0–6 then 6–12.  She based this on scientific studies that a child’s physiological development reaches a new stage at these ages. Socially, emotionally and academically a child will settle more effectively into a Montessori primary school at age 6.

All children begin at our Montessori units in the term they turn 6 which is generally a few weeks before their 6th birthday.

The transition process consists of three visits over a period of three weeks in the term prior to starting.

Visit 1:  9 – 10:30am    Meet buddy and new classmates

Visit 2:  8:45 – 12:30pm    Staying to eat lunch

Visit 3:  8:45 – 1:15pm    Staying for lunchtime play

One of our teachers will contact you during the term prior to your child’s start date to confirm transition visit dates with you and the preschool.

Choosing Montessori is more than an education philosophy, it is a way of life. We have an expectation that all members of your family will attend Montessori primary school. If you are unsure or have any questions please talk to any member of our teaching team and do some of your own research.

 

Teachers make careful observations and record each child’s progress.  The students are involved in regular Whole School assessment which helps inform teachers how they are progressing in relation to the National Standards.

Good communication is a feature of a smooth running school community.

Any complaints or concerns regarding your child, someone else’s child, teaching or a member of the teaching team, should follow the relevant school policy. Book a time to speak informally with your child’s teacher who will be able to offer clear advice and next steps.  Include the Lead Teacher as necessary.

Discuss any issues of governance directly with the Executive Officer or Administrator by phone, email or in person.  If unresolved, put your complaint/suggestions in writing to TMET.  Suggestions and complaints will be added as an agenda item to TMET meetings and will be responded to formally.

Children in years 1–3 receive a six month interim report as well as annual anniversary reports. Children in years 4–7 receive reports at the end of Term 2 and Term 4. The year 1-3s have the opportunity to meet with the teachers after receiving each report and the year 4-7s have a parent/teacher conference annually. If there are any issues teachers will contact parents for a meeting and parents are always welcome to organise meetings with the teachers if there are concerns.

In line with school policy and guidelines set by the Ministry of Education: Children who turn 6 during Term 1 are classed as year 2 students (as the child attends school for a full school year); students who turn 6 during Term 2, 3 or 4 are classed as Year 1 students.  There is some flexibility around these dates and this can be discussed with the teacher and principal as the child progresses through primary schooling.

The students are responsible for managing themselves in the classroom, choosing to pursue areas of interest. They choose what to work on, who to work with and for how long. The students develop practical life skills such as caring for the classroom, running the garden and cooking.

The children’s individual needs are all catered for so children with special needs feel like they are part of the classroom. Everybody is treated as unique. Depending on the level of a child’s needs, there may have access to school-wide assistance.

Any homework that is given is directly related to what the children may be doing at school. This is rarely given.

Provided the teaching team feel that the child is ready, students graduate at the beginning of the term in which they turn 9. A small graduation ceremony takes place in the junior classroom and parents/caregivers of the child are welcome to attend.

In the 9–12 class, students are faced with new freedom and a corresponding increase in responsibility. The 9-12 year old’s needs change as he or she develops new mental, emotional and social skills. 

TMET are able to offer the full 6–12 Montessori programme finishing at the equivalent of the end of Year 7 at both M@A and M@B.

Montessori education is based on scientific fact. It allows children to achieve the potential that lies within them.

Rewind back to the 5-6 year old. During the final year at preschool the child consolidates all previous learning. They experience huge growth in confidence, a sense of where they fit into their environment, what their strengths are and what they enjoy doing. They become proficient in their command of the English language, they are true leaders in their environment, they handle responsibility and they do all this with ease. This is all designed to happen in the final plane of development. We can all look back in hindsight and truly acknowledge this year and what it has given to the child.

Primary school as we know it here in NZ ends at the end of year 6 and from here the child moves to intermediate for year 7 and 8. It may look like intermediate offers the child more opportunities, but the final year at Montessori offers more. The planes of development are based on science. The educational approach is based on science. This final year of the second phase of development is the key year, the year the child becomes a true leader, the consolidation year, the year that social, emotional, physical and academics all come together. In the words of Steve Arnold, “Why take the cake out of the oven before it is fully cooked?”.  Montessori teachers know your child well, they are knowledgeable of the needs of the child at each stage and the final year is carefully designed by them to meet the specific needs of every child in their group.

Currently the answer is no although Montessori@Bellevue was founded by a group of passionate parents.

It is worth noting that children who graduate from our Montessori units have a history of integrating well into their school of choice.  The skills of responsibility, personal organisation and intrinsic motivation learnt through attendance at our Montessori units are of great benefit during high school education.

The principle objectives of the Trust are:

  1. To promote education via the Montessori philosophy
  2. To establish Montessori education classes to meet demand
  3. To provide guidance where necessary on the establishment and running of Montessori education classes
  4. To provide effective governance to Montessori classes established by the Trust
  5. To liaise with any BOT, Principal or other appropriate education professionals to ensure mutual understanding and solid working relationships to allow Montessori education classes to function effectively
  6. To provide professional development to Montessori teachers working within classes governed by the Trust
  7. To donate, loan or otherwise supply Montessori materials to classes governed by the Trust or to any other institution the Trust deems suitable.

The Statement of Purpose of the Trust is to promote and provide an education inspired by the Montessori philosophy which nurtures in the child a lifelong love of learning through self-discovery.

There are various ways to become more involved depending on your skill set and the amount of time you are able to commit.  If you have volunteer time available please contact your classroom teacher or the TMET Administrator.  You may have a valuable skill, interest or job that could make a difference.

School PTAs are always looking for new members and all parents are welcome to stand for BOT elections at their respective schools.

Parents are strongly encouraged to attend all Parent Education Evenings.  Topics are announced before each meeting and teachers generally relate these back to child development, Montessori materials/methodology and the philosophy of their classrooms. It is expected that parents understand what the Montessori philosophy means and how to apply it in the home environment. Parents/caregivers are also required to give their full support to fundraising events and activities.

Our teachers attend annual MANZ conferences and Montessori Professional Development workshops. We have visiting experts on a regular basis and teachers visit other schools to observe, network and share Montessori expertise.

Often Montessori families live outside the School zone.  These families are invited to contact others who live in the same area to work together to create a carpooling roster.