Our Classroom

We understand that learning takes time. We need to give the children the time and the opportunity to repeat an activity. Because it is through repetition that you improve your skills and knowledge, you can apply and build on them. In turn, this leads to feelings of positive self-esteem, self-confidence and the knowledge that you can persist and master new things.

We realise that learning doesn’t take place in isolation. We know that learning, skills and knowledge are layered and they build upon prior skills, experience, information and knowledge. We provide an integrated curriculum that takes into account your child’s development, experience, interests and the need to consolidate skills and knowledge as well as to be extended and challenged.

Our classroom is so much more than a classroom, we think of it as a mini community. It is a community of learners who learn through relationships and interactions. Where your child develops social skills so that they know the words and actions, which can be used in different situations. For example:

  • How to greet someone appropriately,

  • How to invite a friend to join you,

  • How to ask someone to leave your work alone.

The child’s experience

Your child may experience a number of roles during their morning. They may take on the role of scientist, or mathematician, or linguist, or artist, or the teacher. Your child will learn to consolidate and pass on their skills by showing another child how to do something and this also confirms their self-identity.

When a three year old walks through the door for the first time he will be exposed to different expectations, the idea that different people have different ways of doing things. They will be exposed to and come to realise that there are many different ways of expressing oneself.

The Montessori environment encourages the children to develop the ability to wait, share, and practise care, attention and respect. This results in children who are truly connected and engaged in their learning. We see children who are willing to make a contribution back to their community, who are socially responsible, who care for themselves, each other and the environment.

The teacher’s experience

The Macedon Ranges Montessori Pre-School has two VIT (Victorian Institute of Teaching Staff member) staff members holding a Bachelor of Early Childhood or Teaching qualifications.  We also have a part time staff member holding a Certificate III -Children’s Services or above.  Groups are currently capped at 22 children per two staff and during sessions where we have up to 30 children in the group we have an additional staff member or a Maximum of 1 Staff to 10 children.

Maria Cope

Early Childhood Director
Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood) (3 years)
Bachelor of education (4th year)

Having worked in mainstream Pre-Schools for a number of years before becoming involved with the Macedon Ranges Montessori Pre-School and Montessori Philosophy I see a number of differences which I feel are of benefit to children. Some of these differences include:


  • The multi-aged grouping which provides children with peer teaching opportunities and develops a deep sense of trust in their peers. Those children who are more experienced at the centre are often seen assisting other children. Initially this may come about by staff suggestion and example however later this becomes routine and an integral part of the caring environment provided within the group. This allows the children to become aware of ‘Being’ competent and supportive class members and assists them in ‘Becoming’ more responsible for their own behaviour as well as knowing how they can assist other. Those who are receiving this assistance also build relationships and trust of peers. Feeling secure in asking and/accepting help is an important skill for life.

  • The practical life area provides opportunities for children to work with equipment that is often found at home including ceramic bowls, glass and ceramic jugs, glasses and ceramic plates and regular cutlery. Part of our practical life program is for the children to prepare the fruit for the whole group where they are use knives, peelers and hand juicers under adult supervision. It is then their responsibility to set the table in readiness for the children and to let them know when all is ready.

  • The Extended Day program offers a smaller group to those children who are able to work for longer periods. This time allows for more social work within the classroom and also provides for more individual work or small group work with teachers that focus of the strengths or particular interests of the children.

Janette Patterson

Montessori Director 
International Diploma (early childhood 0-6 years) at the London Montessori Teacher Training College Dubai.
Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood) (3 years)

Dubai was were I started my journey teaching young children, I have done extensive travel throughout my life and in most countries there have been Montessori schools, when an opportunity to learn the Montessori Method came my way I haven’t looked back. I lived in Dubai for ten years, teaching both at Montessori Pre-schools and main stream, and when asked what is so good about Montessori I would say that it is a great foundation in their early years of life especially when we know that a child develops his foundation during 0-7 years. The difference teaching in a Montessori environment as opposed to teaching in mainstream would be the more relaxed atmosphere, the equipment and watching a child realise their own potential. What I enjoy about teaching as a Montessori Director is being able to offer the opportunity for children who excel in different areas such as language, mathematics, zoology, geography, etc. To be able to watch a child solve a puzzle that has eluded them for a month is a very special moment.

Cathy Sherlock

Certificate III – Children’s Services

I first became involved with Macedon Ranges Montessori when my daughter attended the Preschool in 1999 followed by my son in 2001. When my son left to go to school in 2003 I was engaged in a part-time position as an Assistant.  Since then I have gained a Certificate III in Children's Services, which I completed in 2008. I currently work with the Pre-School program as an additional educator on Monday Tuesday and Fridays and assist with Relief support for the centre on other days to maintain stability wherever possible for the children.