Minister Sarah Mitchell And Local Member Alister Henskens Announce $150,000 Capital Works Grant At Montessori

Photo of Alister Henskens, Sarah Mitchell, Georgina Reynhout and children at Northside Montessori
15 May 2017

Northside Montessori School at Turramurra will soon have the capacity to offer more preschool places, following its receipt of $150,000 in funding under the NSW Government’s Capital Works program. 

The Capital Works Grants program provides funding for not-for-profit, community-based preschools to increase the number of places for children at 15 hours per week, especially in areas where there is a demonstrated shortage of places.

Funding is provided under the program to give children quality early education in improved facilities and Northside Montessori’s plan is to extend its existing building with the aim to provide more educational opportunities for local families.

NSW Minister for Early Childhood Education, Sarah Mitchell MLC and State Member for Ku-ring-gai, Alister Henskens SC MP, visited the School on 12 May to formally announce the grant and to congratulate Acting Principal, Dr Georgina Reynhout, Deputy Principal, Mrs Fiona Walker and Business Manager, Mrs Deborah Soler.

“Research demonstrates that children benefit socially, emotionally and cognitively from access to quality early childhood education and that is certainly what Montessori provides so this program will have a real benefit for families with young children in Ku-ring-gai,” Mr Henskens said.

“I am delighted that this funding will enable the School to provide an even better learning experience and preparation for their students’ later school years.”

Minister Mitchell agrees that that the success of a child’s education on their last day of school is determined by their very first day of school and believes that our youth of are “the clearest mirror of our performance” as a society.

“The increased pre-school places created through this grant are part of an additional 490 places spread across urban and regional areas of NSW, “ Mrs Mitchell added.

The NSW government is fully committed to supporting providers to deliver quality care that working parents and carers can rely on.”

[Attached is a photograph taken on 12 May 2017 of Acting Principal Dr Georgina Reynhout (standing), The Hon Sarah Mitchell MLC, Alister Henskens SC MP and a group of students from the School]

Maria Montessori’s believed that “the goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.” A Montessori education differs from a mainstream education in a number of respects and has the following features

  • Mixed-age classrooms
  • Learning that is highly personalised, achieved after careful observation and through a prepared learning environment, with students choosing their activity from a prescribed range of options
  • Uninterrupted blocks of work time – ideally three hours - to help build concentration
  • Following direct instruction presentations, the learning of concepts from working with materials in a constructive way
  • Freedom of movement within the classroom and out-of-doors
  • Specialised educational materials developed by Montessori and her collaborators
  • A trained Montessori teacher

Other quotes from Maria Montessori include:

The secret of good teaching is to regard the child’s intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be sown, to grow under the heat of flaming imagination.  Our aim therefore is not merely to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorise, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his inmost core.”

What the hand does, the mind remembers.”

(the importance of using concrete material for conceptual learning)

Help me to do it alone.”

(the development of children as independent learners)