Montes­sori moves up to next stage

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - NEWS -

SUZI Allen has be­come Beech­worth Montes­sori School act­ing prin­ci­pal un­til later next year when she hopes to re­turn to her first love – be­ing in the class­room with her stu­dents.

Ms Allen has been with Montes­sori in Beech­worth since it opened and was in­stru­men­tal in set­ting up the kinder­garten at May­day Hills in 2007 when she be­came the first prin­ci­pal.

Ten years ago the kinder­garten ex­panded into a school and the cam­pus then was moved to its present lo­ca­tion in Gilchrist Av­enue.

“There are 80 stu­dents en­rolled in the school and 40 in the kinder­garten as well as an oc­ca­sional care fa­cil­ity for in­fants be­tween the ages of 12 weeks to five years, and any­one is wel­come to use it on a reg­u­lar or ca­sual ba­sis,” Ms said.

“There is also a Montes­sori ado­les­cent pro­gram in con­junc­tion with Beech­worth Sec­ondary Col­lege.

“Stu­dents come from around the re­gion, not just from Beech­worth but Chiltern, Wodonga, Wan­garatta and all ar­eas in be­tween.

“The stu­dents are also en­cour­aged to be in­volved in the com­mu­nity and once a month to help out with Meals on Wheels.

“One of our stu­dents has taken it fur­ther – year five stu­dent Cooper Roscouet heard about the plight of Syr­ian refugees after watch­ing a seg­ment of ‘Be­hind the News’ on ABC and de­cided that he needed to do some­thing about it.

“Each Fri­day morn­ing Cooper sets up a cof­fee ma­chine in the foyer and serves barista cof­fee to teach­ers and par­ents.

“He hopes to raise over $1000 to go to­ward in­stalling bet­ter light­ing in Syr­ian refugee camps to make them safer.”

Ms Allen said Montes­sori’s was a broad cur­ricu­lum with hands-on learn­ing that en­cour­aged each child as an in­di­vid­ual.

“The con­cept of free­dom within rea­son and with re­spon­si­bil­ity is taught to the chil­dren to build a sense of self and con­fi­dence and there is a so­cial and emo­tional cur­ricu­lum,” she said.

“The school is ex­pand­ing fur­ther with the con­struc­tion of a mag­nif­i­cent multi-pur­pose build­ing that will be ready for term four.

“It will be suit­able for var­i­ous func­tions and will also dou­ble as a 240-seat theatre with a re­mov­able stage, theatre cur­tains, light­ing and a state of the art sound sys­tem, and the fa­cil­ity will be avail­able for hire by the broader com­mu­nity.

“We are very ex­cited to have Syd­ney Theatre Com­pany com­ing in con­junc­tion with Mur­ray Arts and the Hot­house Theatre to work with the chil­dren for the whole of term four on a pro­gram to ‘Bring lit­er­acy to life’.”

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