I welcome all new families to our School and am delighted that all our beautiful children returned full of excitement for a fabulous new school year. I would like to welcome to staff Jodi Kerslake as our new Program Coordinator in the Primary School and Dugongs class teacher. Having worked with Jodi through her position in the Adolescent Program at Treetops Montessori I am really looking forward to her joining our team and we are delighted to have Jade Cowderoy return to staff to cover Thursdays in the Dugongs class. Welcome also to Deb Lynass as our new Sealions teacher who after a two-year stint in mainstream education has followed her heart and talent to return to Montessori. Deb is an experienced elementary teacher from Perth Montessori School and we are delighted to have her join the Lower Primary team where she is once again working side by side Vanita. Welcome to Ariana Taffurelli who has joined the Seahorse and Dolphins class as the half day Education Assistant. We are delighted to be able to support Arianna with this part time position whilst she completes her Montessori Institute 3-6 Diploma. Arianna comes to us with several years’ experience teaching in Reggio Emilio early learning centres both here in Perth and Italy.
Internal staffing changes to cover Nat’s maternity leave include Paul moving to Penguin’s as the fulltime EA, Shelly picking up the fulltime Seahorse EA role and Stella increasing to four days in the Adolescent Program. Julie Cowley has now moved into administration three days per week undertaking the role of marketing and enrolments and although commencing in week 6 last term, we officially welcome Sandy McNeill to staff as the EA in Turtles for two days per week. Our administration team has also seen some changes with Dee moving in to share an office with Neil and Julie is sharing with Gina. The beginning of the year is always a busy time and a time of change however each of the classes and advisory groups have had a wonderful start to the year.
Our school year started with a staff retreat to Margaret River to work with the staff of Margaret River Montessori School. We were looking at Montessori language programming with our sessions delivered by Peter Erskine, one of Australia’s renoun Montessori trainers. This was combined with sessions on Catering for Differentiation and Dyslexia delivered by Kylie Bice from Growing up Greatness. It is vital for our teachers to maintain and expand their Montessori professional networks and one of the highlights for our staff was being able to observe classrooms of various cycles and discuss material selection with teachers of the same cycle. Professional learning is a key priority in our School to ensure staff are fully trained in contemporary practices.
Over five weeks of the Summer break, Kirsty and Scarlett from the Adolescent Program undertook the Montessori Orientation to Adolescence training at Templestow College in Melbourne. This intense and inspiring training program enabled our staff to link with teachers from across the globe and a direct quote from Kirsty during the training to me was “We are Montessorian’s. You have our souls xxx” (As if we ever needed to question this!) From personal experience this training was the best professional development I have ever undertaken, and I am delighted that over my time at RMS I have worked with such dedicated staff who see the benefit of lifelong learning. This year we have sixteen staff members who are working towards completing Montessori qualifications and/or Education degrees. We can proudly say that RMS has significantly swelled the ranks of fully trained Montessori EA’s, teachers, Program Coordinators, Deputy Principals and Principals who have remained within our fold or who are now interstate or internationally spreading their honed craft to so many lucky children.
Now for our families training! I am really excited to announce that we have Laura Flores Shaw joining us from America at RMS on 13 March to present a Parent Education session with the theme of “Montessori and Differentiation of the Self”. Laura is a fabulous speaker and I encourage all families to attend and to invite friends from the wider community. Whilst we will not be charging RMS families to attend, this opportunity will be a fundraiser for the school and so I encourage you to invite anyone who is interested in how their child can develop into their best self and live a full and healthy life. Please view the flyer for more details.
On Saturday 16 February, our school management team along with the school board met at the Karnup campus to review the School’s strategic plan and to update the progress made to date. This collective team will meet regularly through the year with all stakeholders across the school to provide opportunity for feedback and suggestions for ongoing improvement of our school.