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To explore more about our Montessori programme, please visit Our Learning. Essential information about the application process is below. Should you have any enquiries about enrolment, please don't hesitate to ask.

Huapai Montessori

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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 in a preparatory classroom. 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



The first step is to take the necessary time to familiarise yourself and understand the Montessori philosophy to decide whether this meets your educational goals for your child. Then, enquire online to arrange a meeting with the Principal.



The head teacher will invite you to observe the class and will arrange trial visits to determine whether your child is ready and also to give you a good feel for our environment. You will get a clearer idea of what Montessori education offers.



Upon completion of the observation, we will extend an invitation to enrol with us and you will be sent links to the relevant forms. 
Out of zone applications are accepted in the unit but need to go through the process of consideration by the school Board on an individual basis.

Parent Contributions

Families have an opportunity to enjoy a quality Montessori education in a beautiful state school environment thanks to the establishment of West Auckland Montessori Trust. Our unit has a special status with the Ministry of Education, meaning that whilst government funding is provided in a similar way to other traditional classrooms, the unit is recognised as able to deliver quality education with a degree of autonomy and is therefore subject to fewer rules and regulations. There are still unique aspects and extra costs for delivering Montessori education that are not covered in the Ministry of Education funding, so therefore families collectively contribute to the Trust each term. 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. These contributions are eligible for tax refunds at 33.3%.


  • 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 fits with the values and hopes of your family. Deciding if this is a right fit comes down to your family's preferences, aspirations and beliefs and the setting in which you feel your child will thrive. Montessori education has some differences to more conventional teacher-directed educational methods that people are often accustomed to or experienced. The essence of Montessori is that it nurtures a child's natural love to learn and trusts that, with the optimal settings and process, children will thrive and self-construct into well rounded, self-motivated and fulfilled individuals. Instead of following teacher led instruction in day-to-day lesson plans, there is an increased focus on providing them with freedom, but this is within the constructs of the carefully prepared environment to ensure learning is optimised. Freedom and personal choice are deemed essential to the development of personal responsibility. Children carve their own path, become committed to their own growth, are curious and always learning, they persevere, they are not afraid to make mistakes and can face challenges with confidence. Montessori focusses on children working well together rather than competing, everyone has a part to play, they are compassionate and trustworthy. If these statements resonate, you are probably a Montessori parent! To gain a clear understanding of how it all works, we recommend scheduling a class observation. Observing the class in action is inspirational and gives clarity on how the learning is delivered. It will give you the valuable insights and help you gauge whether Montessori is indeed the best fit. Simply enquire online to arrange this.
  • Why do parents choose Montessori in primary school?
    Montessori is a prominent and highly regarded global movement in the field of education. While there are numerous Montessori preschools present in New Zealand, the establishment of Montessori primary options is limited. Also, there is also no Montessori franchise which makes it less accessible to many people. Therefore, Montessori education is pursued by parents who have either had firsthand experience or generally grasp or follow its methodology, recognising it as an excellent choice for their children's development. Parents have 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 ability to foster a holistic child-led programme and serve the whole child. 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.
  • What are the benefits of Montessori education?
    The benefits of Montessori education are vast and yet so unknown to the public. There is plenty of research that has proven the successful academic and holistic outcomes for children that have attended a Montessori school. Here are some key features and benefits: 1. Child-Lead This is at the heart of the Montessori approach, and at its core, Montessori philosophy is founded on the belief that children are natural learners. Children are allowed to continue following their interests and curiosities into primary school, empowering them to become lifelong learners and independent thinkers. 2. Freedom Within Limits Freedom doesn't mean chaos. The Montessori prepared environment is structured in a way that allows children to make choices within reasonable limits. This empowers them to become responsible decision-makers. 3. Prepared Environment Montessori classrooms are carefully designed to create a rich learning environment that supports exploration and discovery. Each element is chosen with intention, fostering independence, concentration, and a love for learning. 4. Self-Confidence Through Independence Children develop self-confidence by tackling challenges independently. Their teachers are there to guide, not dictate. Independence is nurtured through self-care tasks, problem-solving opportunities, and decision-making experiences, helping children become resilient, capable individuals who are unafraid to face new challenges. 5. Critical Thinking Montessori materials and activities are designed to encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and exploration as they start to grasp the interconnectedness of our world. They are not just memorising facts; they're learning how to analyze, question, and think outside the box. 6. Building Community The Montessori approach teaches children the value of community, empathy, and social responsibility. A core belief is that a strong community fosters a sense of belonging and support for all. 7. Collaboration Children often work collaboratively, fostering teamwork and communication abilities that are vital in today's interconnected world. 8. Hands-On Children learn by doing. Montessori materials provide tangible, hands-on experiences that make abstract concepts come to life. Learning becomes an adventure! 9. Individualised Every child is unique, and our Montessori teachers adapt their approach to meet each child's needs. Individualized learning ensures that every child can reach their full potential. 10. Uninterrupted Work Periods Children enjoy uninterrupted work periods, allowing them to delve deep into their tasks, develop focus, and experience the joy of mastery. 11. Holistic Approach Montessori education isn't just about academics. It emphasises emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and a sense of community, nurturing well-rounded individuals and teaches children how to be calm, kind, and self-aware is crucial in today's world. The Montessori programme incorporates mindfulness practices and peace education to promote emotional intelligence and conflict resolution. 12. Global Awareness Montessori education nurtures global citizens. The curriculum introduces children to different cultures, languages, and traditions, fostering awareness, respect, curiosity, and a sense of unity with the world. 13. Mixed-Age Classrooms Children learn from and with one another. This setup promotes empathy, collaboration, and leadership skills. It's a beautiful example of how the Montessori approach prepares children for the real world. 14. Lifelong Love for Learning Montessori principles instill a deep passion for learning that accompanies our children throughout their lives, driving their personal and academic growth throughout their lives. 15. Backed by Science Montessori education is proven through scientific evidence and is recognised to inspire dispositions that bring about leadership and positive influence in children wherever they may be.
  • How relevant is Montessori education in the 21st century?
    Montessori education holds an unparalleled relevance in today's world and is proven to instil the very qualities that have been identified key 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 being recognised by 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 many areas with very little (if any) scrutiny. Research results include 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 enrolment details, please refer to the Eligibility section.
  • Which curriculum do we use?
    The Montessori pedagogy is integrated with the National New Zealand curriculum, meaning that as with traditional classes, children are monitored to ensure they are progressing to the New Zealand curriculum standards. The 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 of their learning. This, in turn, fosters their curiosity and a deeper understanding of the part they play in society. The learning journey stimulates their imagination and inquisitiveness, imparting the significance of global consciousness, harmonious communication, and ethical collaboration.
  • 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 really well, 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.
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