Montessori moves up to next stage
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’.”