Porirua Montessori Primary School

39 Cleat St, Whitby, Porirua Call – 021 08427 037

Frequently Asked Questions

Parents/Whanau role in Porirua Montessori Primary School

In a Montessori classroom the interrelation between child, family and teacher is seen as essential to building a great community. Before signing up to our school please check that your family values align with ours by answering the following questions:

What will my child's school day be like?

Can my child do whatever they want all day and everyday?

A Montessori student may choose their focus of learning on any given day, but the decision is limited by the curriculum materials and activities that they have had lessons on.

Montessori is based on freedom and limits for example:

My child is really into just one subject, can they just do that all day?

No. As a Montessori school, our goal is to spark interest and curiosity in all areas of Education. We plan lessons for each child that will cover the whole montessori curriculum . The school has a responsibility to ensure tamariki master the knowledge and skills they would need to know in society. Therefore, while there will be lots of time for your child to do their favourite topic, they will also be attending lessons and practicing some of the lessons that won’t involve their main area of interest.

What would a full day of Montessori look like?

Children arrive in the morning and set up their work day, a brief roll is taken at the start of the workday and any pertinent news or information shared.

For the rest of the next 3 hours children work independently or with others on their work. Children choose work based on things they have had lessons on and their individual goals made with the teacher.

During the 3 hour work cycle children can choose when to get a snack and when to have a “break” from work at a time that suits them.

After Lunch we may have one of the following a whole class activity such as Arts, PE, STEM, visitors to speak about different topics, a walk  in our community or a class meeting. Following the whole class activity children will undertake their classroom responsibility such as helping pack down the class, vacuuming, sorting books or cleaning the kitchen bench.

Porirua Montessori Primary School Philosophy.

Is there a curriculum?

Montessori schools teach the same basic skills as other schools in Porirua. We cover the same subjects but they are often integrated together.

While studying a map of Oceania we may explore the art, history and cultures of the people of Oceania. This could lead us into a study about colonialisation or languages and their place in world histories. This might also be a study into navigation and the angles used to get to different countries.  This approach means we can show how different subjects relate to each other and have students become engaged in different topics.

Practical life montessori Whitby

People tell me that Montessori teachers don’t really teach. Is this true?

Many of us have a certain view of how schooling looks, often we think that means a teacher standing in front of the classroom.

The Montessori curriculum is individualised to the needs, interests, and learning style of each child. The teacher moves around the room and gives lessons to small groups or individual children who are working on different subject areas at different times.

One task of the Montessori teacher is to observe each child and the classroom community as a whole and make changes to the room and lessons to support the child and class. As the Montessori teacher observes, they are watching how to introduce a new challenging lesson to a student, and when and how to review a previous lesson if needed

Why is independence important?

Helping a child develop independence is a key factor of Montessori. Children who are independent and make self-directed choices develop confidence to help them skills for life.

Children are supported to become able to independently look after their personal needs and in looking after the classroom.

Tell me more about Multi ages together in one class?

Montessori Program Kenepuru

The mixed age group enables the older children to become role models and they can often be found teaching the younger children, thus reinforcing their own learning as well as playing a leadership role. Younger children can also see what work is to come by looking at older children and their work.

Just like adults have friends of different ages so do children. As we are a smaller school there will not be so many exact same age classmates. We actively encourage friendships across genders and ages.

Will my children learn about religion?

Children will learn about different religions as part of our cultural studies, no particular religion is advocated for. Children of all faiths or no faith are all very welcome at our school.

Examples of work covered may include

-Learning key religious symbols of different religions

-Learning the names of religious leaders e.g. an Imam is found in Islam.

-Learning the key teachings of different religions or who the founder of a religion was.

Is Montessori for all children?

The Montessori system has been used successfully with children from all socio-economic levels, gifted children, children with developmental delays, neurodivergent children and children with emotional and physical disabilities.

There is no one school that is right for all children or family, and certainly there are some children who may do better in a different classroom setting with a teacher-directed program that offers fewer choices and more consistent external structure.

Montessori education generally works best when the home environment/s consistently matches with what is happening at school.