Eligibility is based on the classrooms' ability to support the individual needs of each child in the Montessori environment. A priority is extended to children who have an established grounding in Montessori through attending a Montessori pre-school, or for children who have siblings already in the class.
For children aged five and those with limited to no prior experience in a Montessori environment, we offer a well-established transition programme. This programme is designed to equip them with the skills they need in the classroom. They learn independence, grace and courtesy, sharing resources, looking after the class environment and making choices in learning areas to follow their interests.
Out of Zone applications are accepted for the Montessori classrooms as they are treated as part of a special programme.
How to Apply
Get in touch
We recommend starting the process with plenty of time before your child starts school as new spaces are limited. The first step is to take the necessary time to determine how the class suits your educational goals. Enquire online for an appointment with the Montessori unit at Huapai District School.
Assessing your child's readiness
The head teacher will invite you to view the class and then will arrange trial visits to determine whether your child is ready and also to give you a good feel for our environment. From here, you will get a clear idea if the Montessori offering fits the educational hopes for your child.
Submit enrolment forms
The Montessori unit will confirm an invitation to enrol and you will be sent links to the relevant forms to apply. Out of Zone applications are accepted in the unit and will be considered by the School Board on an individual basis. Once accepted, the child can start on an agreed start date.
Families are fortunate to have an opportunity to experience Montessori in a wonderful state school environment thanks to the establishment of West Auckland Montessori Trust. How it works is that each term, families contribute to the Trust to offset the extra costs that are not funded by the Ministry of Education. The Trust funds go towards covering the surplus costs for teacher salaries, Montessori materials, facilities, training etc. The contribution schedule for each term is as follows: $750 for the first child, $562.50 for the second child, $375 for the third, and $187.50 for the fourth. It's worth also noting that these contributions are eligible for tax refunds.
Is Montessori right for my child?Let us address the big question first! Montessori education is well-suited for the majority of children, but it's equally essential that it aligns with the values and hopes of your family. Deciding if this is a right fit all comes down to whether it resonates perfectly with your unique preferences, aspirations and beliefs and the setting in which you feel your child will thrive. The overall aim of Montessori education is to place all children at the centre of society and assist them in becoming self-motivated and fulfilled individuals, able to create a sustainable and peaceful future for humanity. The way that Montessori is delivered has some differences to more conventional teacher-directed educational methods that people are often accustomed to or experienced. The Montessori approach revolves around following the child and utilising Montessori materials within a prepared environment. To gain a clear understanding, we recommend researching more on Montessori and the next step is scheduling a class observation. Observing the class in action is inspirational and gives clarity on how learning is delivered. It will give you the valuable insights and help you gauge whether Montessori is indeed the best fit for both your child and your family. Simply reach out via email to email@example.com to arrange this.
Why do parents choose Montessori in primary school?Montessori stands as a prominent global movement in the field of education. While there are numerous Montessori preschools present, the establishment of Montessori primary options is limited in New Zealand. There is also no Montessori franchise in New Zealand which renders it less accessible to many people. Therefore, Montessori education is pursued by parents who have either had firsthand experience with it or generally grasp or follow its methodology, recognising it as an excellent choice for their children's development. Parents indeed cite a diverse array of reasons for choosing this approach, ranging from the appealing classroom environment and enriching learning materials to its track record of delivering strong academic outcomes. And above all, many parents value its capacity to foster holistic child development. We encourage you to navigate our website and don't hesitate to reach out to our teachers or parents in the class. Their insights can provide you with a deeper understanding of their experiences.
Is Montessori relevant?Absolutely. Montessori education holds an unparalleled relevance in today's world. At its core, Montessori seeks to cultivate a lifelong passion for learning in children while harnessing their inherent curiosity, thereby unlocking the realms of critical thinking and creativity. These very qualities stand as pivotal markers for success in the 21st Century. Recent strides in neuroscience are aligning with Dr. Montessori's groundbreaking child-centered theory. Her insights are now garnering recognition from educators, cognitive psychologists, and neuroscientists across the globe. In many ways, Maria Montessori was a visionary ahead of her time, as numerous studies today affirm the remarkable outcomes children achieve across an array of areas with very little (if any) scrutiny. Research results encompass increased academic achievements, adept social skills, self-regulation, inventive thinking, psychological well-being, and a strong overall sense of self.
Who is eligible?The Montessori primary class is predominantly developed for children who have established a solid foundation in Montessori methodologies by attending a Montessori pre-school. Essentially, the Montessori pre-school experience prepares them for the primary environment, equipping children with essential skills to self-manage, work autonomously, and engage purposefully. For up-to-date details, please refer to the Eligibility section.
Which curriculum do we use?The Montessori pedagogy is integrated with the National New Zealand curriculum. As with traditional classes, children are monitored to ensure they are progressing to the New Zealand curriculum standards. However, Montessori curriculum also spans a three-year cycle to enable every child to work at their own unique pace and within their interests. Typically, children in the Montessori class are introduced to some concepts far earlier because of the specialised equipment that enables it. Interconnected learning is an important element of primary years in Montessori. This component aims to cultivate in children a heightened awareness of the intricate interdependence that characterises our world. This, in turn, fosters their curiosity and a deeper understanding of their role within society. The learning journey stimulates their imagination and inquisitiveness, imparting the significance of global consciousness, harmonious communication, and ethical collaboration - all of which serve to grow a peaceful society.
Do you accept five-year-olds?Yes. In New Zealand, the typical age for children to begin primary school is around 5 years old. Responding to the numerous requests from parents who wished to enrol their 5-year-old children in our class, we have successfully introduced a Montessori transition process. This program is designed for children aged 5 to 6 and serves as a preparatory period, particularly beneficial for those with limited or no prior Montessori experience. The transition program has proven to be highly effective in assisting children in developing the independence required to engage in more advanced tasks during their second year. During this period, children learn the principles of grace and courtesy within the class, how to share materials and resources, the importance of maintaining the classroom environment, and the art of making informed choices within learning areas that align with their interests. Enrolment for new students takes place at the commencement of each term. The decision to enrol your child at age 5 or closer to 6 is entirely up to you; our approach offers flexibility to accommodate your preferences. For parents considering enrolling a child currently attending a Montessori preschool, it's worth noting that there are advantages to maintaining enrolment there until closer to age 6. We encourage you to engage in discussions with your child's current preschool to determine what approach aligns best with your child's needs and development.
How will my child adapt in a mainstream school?There is always a period of adjustment to change. But children with a solid Montessori background tend to be very socially comfortable and know how to take charge of their learning. Because they have been encouraged to problem-solve and think independently, they develop dispositions rendering them generally happy, confident and resourceful. Most children leave the Montessori environment with a very strong sense of self-confidence in their abilities, and this sets them up well in whatever scenario they end up. In summary, they usually navigate new environments adeptly, especially when these environments embrace a more interactive and hands-on learning approach and emphasise less rigid authority figures.
How well do Montessori children integrate into mainstream high schools?A Montessori primary education sets up children very well for high school. As well as academically, there are also dispositions that underpin a Montessori education that set children up to thrive in high school and the years beyond. These include, but are not limited to: · Self confidence · Being intrinsically motivated by their work and love learning · Managing time effectively · Being able to concentrate · Conducting themselves with grace and courtesy · Critical thinking · Strong social and collaboration skills. Montessori is a wonderful education option to see your children flourish in their life, not just in their academic years.
How well have the Montessori classrooms integrated with the rest of Huapai District School?Our class is very well integrated into the wider Huapai District School community and access the resources and activities, and participate in the social, sporting and cultural events on offer. The Montessori philosophy integrates well into the wider school through shared values and aspirations, these are - critical thinking, creativity, communication, character, collaboration and citizenship. The teachers attend all meetings and professional development opportunities with their colleagues and communication between all parties works well as everyone can bring fresh perspectives. The children have an opportunity to mix with other students in the playground and on the sporting field. Friendships beyond the classroom are formed through sport, school trips and camps, cultural shows, music, singing, art and drama electives.
How do parents get involved?Montessori classes are community based and supportive. We welcome parental involvement in numerous opportunities offered throughout the year. By building connections between home and school, we aim to reinforce the learning experience and community. We love for parents to indicate how they can contribute with their own skills or interests for our class.
Do Montessori students have homework?No, unless the teachers feel there is a need that requires additional focus at home. Younger students may receive a reader as they progress towards fluency in reading. When your child is attending Montessori primary, you will probably notice they have accomplished many things during their daily three-hour work cycle at school, so home time is family time.
What is the Role of the West Auckland Montessori Trust (WAMT)?The West Auckland Montessori Trust is a charitable organisation set up to provide a Montessori education for those that want it. The Trust has four to six volunteer Trustees who facilitate the provision of the Montessori class at Huapai District School. Huapai District School is the employer of the teachers and ultimately responsible for the learning outcomes of Montessori students. The Trust works with the school principal and teachers to ensure the classroom has resources and materials to function, that it has enough students to warrant use of the school’s space, sufficient parent contributions to keep the classroom running and enough support from its parent community to secure its future. The Trust also aims to maintain active working relationships with pre-schools, tertiary providers of Montessori education (AUT), Montessori Aotearoa New Zealand (MANZ) and the Ministry of Education.
Why are parents asked to contribute through donations and fundraising?The funding our class receives from the Ministry of Education falls short of covering the complete expenses associated with running a Montessori program within a state school setting. To bridge this gap, the West Auckland Montessori Trust steps in to cover the additional costs that surpass the Ministry's funding. These funds are allocated towards various necessities, including teacher salaries, Montessori materials, facility maintenance, training initiatives, and teacher scholarships. Our parents play an instrumental role in ensuring the vitality of our class through their contributions to the Trust.