Newsletter Number 13 • Wednesday 1st September 2021

From the Principal

Dr Maria Montessori was born on the 31st August 1870, 151 years ago yesterday! Many of you will have some knowledge of Maria Montessori and her extraordinary life.  She graduated as the first female physician in Italy, she was a professor of anthropology at the University of Rome, she studied psychology and philosophy and was nominated for three Nobel Peace Prizes.  She founded the first Casa dei Bambini, or "Children's House" in Rome in January 1907.  What ultimately became the Montessori method of education developed in that first Casa dei Bambini, based upon Montessori's scientific observations of those children.  She worked tirelessly throughout her life observing children and teaching teachers her method of education.  Her work & legacy lives on through the many Montessori schools throughout the world.

At this time every year we honour and acknowledge her wisdom, her work and wonderful approach to working with children and young people.

Cathy France


Book Week

It’s not Book Week without the annual Book Week installations at our Yultiwirra campus! Hats off to our Book Week helpers who this year have gone above and beyond in transforming our school into 'Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds', the theme for Book Week 2021. 

Special thanks to the wonderful people who put time, energy and thought into creating the Book Week installations this year.

Book Week Dress Up Photos

2021 Quiz Night

Quiz Night

Saturday 11th September Yultiwirra Hall

Skoolbag notices have been sent out advertising our upcoming Quiz Night.  This is always a great fun night out! 

Bring along a bag of coins & join in the fun!  Games & Prizes galore! Silent Auction!

There will be class tables of eight people that you can add your name to, or you can make up your own table.  The Quiz Night is a “child free” event.

We would love to see you there!

Cycle News

Infant Program

This week concluded our discovery of the colour orange. A practical life highlight for the children was making sweet potato dip and cream cheese and carrot sandwiches. We also engaged our hearing sense using some coloured sound jars red, yellow and orange. Emphasis was placed on mixing red and yellow to make orange throughout the past weeks. We look forward to discovering the colour green next week.



Cycle 1 Preschool

This term we are learning about vertebrates and the five different classes: mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and birds. When we came back from holidays, we discovered that a Wattle bird had built a nest in a Banksia plant in our front play area. The nest was at a good height for the children to observe the bird sitting on eggs and at the end of week three, one of the eggs hatched. We watched the mummy Wattle bird flying in and out of the nest to gather food and bring it back to the baby chick. She collected food from the Grevilia and Banksia flowers, insects from the spider web on the classroom window and apple from the bird feeder. We could see the baby chick’s beak coming out of the nest towards the mummy bird’s beak. It has been a wonderful learning experience to observe the life cycle of a bird in our nature play area.

Jack “She is sitting on the eggs to keep them warm”.

Lillian “I am cutting it very small (the apple) so the bird can eat it”.

Ariella “I can hear the baby bird chirping”.

Preschool photos

Cycle 1 Primary

Every term the Cycle 3 kids visit all the classrooms in our school on a weekly basis. They spend time in our rooms getting to know all the children, helping with their work or reading books to them. We call this our Big Brother and Sister Program. In this way our children get to know the Cycle 3 kids, which builds community and can also be a comfort to our kids knowing there is a big person they can go to for help if needed. In Cycle 1 primary, this term, our big brothers and sisters have been helping the children during cooking lessons. This is a photo of our big brother and sister helping the children make playdough for our class. The skills being practiced here are measuring, turn taking, mixing, colour mixing and sifting. Catlyn and Dante said this activity was messy and good fun. Scarlett commented, "I nearly spilt the dyed water when putting it in the flour. It was very messy. It's really fun, warm and squishy". Sophie said, "We mixed white and red and made pink". Dolina commented, " I sifted some flour". Harry said, " I needed to sift the flour in, but my favourite part was when I poured in the flour to make domes". 

Cycle 2

This term in the Cycle 2 Dianella class, we are learning about drama.  We have been specifically learning about the dramatic elements and how to establish roles and situations.  So far, we have explored movement, voice, emotion, and characterisation through games and role-plays.  We have also learned about scripts, their structure, and how they direct a performance.  After covering some of the basic elements of drama, we have begun to connect our learning to our work on Indigenous Australia. 

The children have been completing 2, 5 and 9 fact research on Australian animals this term. Many have been practising the skill of note-taking and writing sentences in their own words. Some students have chosen to complete research on templates, or in their research books and others have presented as posters.  

We have recently learned about Aboriginal Dreaming Stories and have formed small groups to make ‘Story Stones’.  These Story Stones depict symbols and drawings that represent and re-tell Dreaming Stories.  We aim to continue this work by developing our own scripts to communicate Dreaming Stories through short plays. 

Cycle 2 photos

Cycle 3

This term in STEM, Nat and Sam’s class has been exploring wheels and axels.  We have investigated a range of wheels and axels and explored the mechanics behind their functioning.  Working in small groups the children designed a Ferris wheel with moving parts.  They explored spokes of a wheel, parts of a circle, problem solved the designs, engineered the structure and reviewed its effectiveness.  Each group then made modifications as needed. 

The next task was to create a car that moved, with spinning wheels.  The designs varied immensely.  Each group shared their final results and reflected on what worked and what was challenging.  We have explored the theory of force and the difficulty of moving heavy objects.  This is how wheels have become such a helpful invention.

Cycle 3 photos

Cycle 4

In 1948, Maria Montessori wrote that, “All things are part of the universe and are connected with each other in order to form one whole entity.”

This holistic view frames a Montessori education, and our work at the middle school this term has especially examined humans’ connection to our world. This is particularly pertinent at the moment, given the timing of the recent report on climate change, and some of the resulting anxieties.

In Science and Humanities, our work to date has involved looking at ecosystems and biomes; students are considering the connectedness between all living and non-living factors in maintaining and sustaining diverse life. We were recently able to examine this as part of a trip to Adelaide Zoo: we participated in self-guided tours and educator sessions to learn about biodiversity, evolutionary adaptations, habitat loss, and sustainable palm oil. We are also collecting biotic and abiotic data in our ongoing visits to the Urrbrae wetland, and designing and conducting our own field investigations there.

This week, we will head to Ngeringa to witness and participate in biodynamic farming practices and revegetation. Some of our learning is being represented on our gallery wall. (pictured)

Humans, of course, are part of a greater living system, and two of our Occupations have delved into what local steps can be taken to minimise our footprint. In Sustainable Wearing, we have learnt not only the true impact of the textile industry, but also how we can buy ethically, and extend the lives of our clothing through mending. In Small Site Farming, students are currently learning about the importance of bees in the ecosystem, as well as the inner workings of hives.

Given that a Montessori education encourages us to consider optimistically both ourselves and our world, it comes as no surprise that our students are already deliberating on the myriad ways in which they can make a difference.

Music with Maree

A key focus for Cycle 3 music lessons this term has been to give students a positive experience with music through learning to play the ukulele as a whole class.

We have begun following a sequenced online curriculum system where students learn about important musical concepts such as rhythm, melody, chords and music theory – all while they are having fun playing an instrument.

Ensemble experience is a very important part of music education. Students can benefit from being involved in learning to play together as well as playing different parts at the same time.

Whilst we have a sufficient number of ukuleles at school, students who have their own are encouraged to bring them to class on Thursdays. The instruments will be tuned during lunch break prior to their lesson.

Board Communique

In our latest Board meeting Paul Noon presented an education topic on understanding Board finance papers, this informative session is presented every second year to ensure all members understand this key area of responsibility. We also reviewed our governance risks and received updates on the progress of all committees' operations plans so far this year.

Jade Crathern

Board President

Table tennis

Read an article about our school and our focus on table tennis in PE lesson this term.  It is featured on the Table Tennis Australia website.

News - Table Tennis Australia - revolutioniseSPORT.

Staff /parent education session - Let the child be the guide

We are excited to promote our upcoming staff and parent education session on Thursday 9th September, 6.30 pm at Wallis Cinema Mitcham, the screening of ‘Let the child be the guide’.  

We are thrilled to be sharing this event with Southern Montessori School and are grateful that we can offer this film through the support of a government grant - Parents in Education. 

Please come and join us for the screening of this fabulous contemporary documentary of daily life inside a Montessori classroom. Filmed over the course of a year, the director captured the ebb & flow of an Early Years Montessori community in France. 

The first 15 x FREE tickets have been snapped up BUT we have just been allocated another 15 x FREE tickets! Parents are asked to email the office; of their interest in attending by Friday 3rd September. Parents will be advised if they have been successful in securing a ticket by Monday 6th September.

Cultural Connection Zone

The Cultural Connection Zone is a regular spot in the Newsletter highlighting cultural events & information provided by the Cultural Understanding (staff) committee. See items below.


15th October 2021 – 30th January 2022

The upcoming Tarnanthi 2021 festival is an opportunity to experience Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in all its diversity.

As the main venue for the Tarnanthi festival, the Art Gallery of South Australia will present dozens of new works from around the country, created by individual artists and through collaborative projects. This nationwide collection of First Nations art promises ambitious, innovative and up-to-the-minute contemporary works created through deep reflection on unwavering cultural connections.

In addition, many partner venues around Adelaide and across South Australia will present diverse and original exhibitions of works by hundreds of First Nations artists. Exhibitions and displays will feature paintings, sculpture, installations, fashion, weaving, ceramics, video screenings in public spaces, and more.

The Tarnanthi 2021 program will also include an extensive array of talks, tours, music and cultural performances, workshops, creative activities and student programs, plus themed activities in The Studio at AGSA.

Tarnanthi is presented by the Art Gallery of South Australia with Principal Partner BHP and support from the Government of South Australia

* The complete Tarnanthi program will be released nearer to the festival opening date.

Indigenous Literacy Day

Today is Indigenous Literacy Day (ILD) and this year’s theme is Celebrating Stories and Language. Only 36% of Indigenous Year 5 students in very remote areas are at or above national minimum reading standards. This is a startling statistic and although the situation is improving, there is a long way to go.  Through storytelling, Indigenous Literacy Day brings the richness, diversity and multilingual world of First Nations people to the spotlight. Let’s celebrate this important day by sharing some First Nations stories with your children. Below are some story resources:

·         Koori Curriculum: Story time with Jess (

·         Indigenous Literacy Foundation ( Here you will find a suite of videos of animated books and graphic novels that celebrate language and life in Indigenous communities.

Other ways you can help!  

Go to:

Cycle 3 & 4 Music Concert

Thursday 16th September 6.00pm    Yultiwirra Hall

This concert is for Cycle 3 & 4 students who receive individual musical instrument tuition and for those Cycle 3 students who are part of the Cycle 3 Choir.  

Parents attending will need to wear a mask, use the QR code on entry to the school and observe social distancing requirements.  We ask that parents RSVP via the eForm on Skoolbag so we can adhere to number restrictions and have required seating in place.  

Term 3 Sausage Sizzle

Thank you to the Class Parent Reps for organising and hosting the special sausage sizzle lunch for the students last week.

With Sympathy

Our deepest heartfelt condolences, thoughts and love go out to Ruth Nisbet (Cycle 1 teacher) and Alice Nisbet (Cycle 4 teacher) and their family on the death of Eric; their son and brother.

Diary Dates

Term 3 2021

Thursday 2nd September

Wairoa Cafe - 9.15am - CANCELLED

Friday 3rd September

Parent Discussion group with Libby 9.15am

Sunday 5th September

Father's Day

Tuesday 7th September

I & PC meeting 8.00am @ Wairoa

Snippets with Susan 9.15am

Marketing meeting 4.00pm

Wednesday 8th September

Policy Meeting 4.00pm

Thursday 9th September

Parent Rep meeting 2.30pm

'Let the Child be the Guide' film screening 6.30pm

Saturday 11th September

Quiz Night

Tuesday 14th September

Cycle 2 Camp

Finance meeting 6.00pm

Wednesday 15th September

Cultural Understanding committee 4.00pm

Student Wellbeing committee 4.00pm

Thursday 16th September Cycle 3 & 4 music concert 6.00pm

“A decision is always the result of a choice.”

Maria Montessori


Term 1:  27 January – 9 April
Term 2: 28 April – 2 July
Term 3: 27 July – 24 September
Term 4: 12 October – 8 December