As a graduating student from Forestville Montessori School at the end of Term 4 2020, Ella Williams has many happy memories and lots of insight about what makes her school special.

“Friendly people, that’s one of the best things about FMS.  All the children and all the staff are really friendly.  It makes me feel so comfortable being here.’ Commented Ella.

She had lots of praise for her teachers and talked about one important quality of FMS she thinks she’ll miss when she moves to secondary school and that’s being able to choose her work.  She loves that the teachers at Montessori give you choice and when asked why, laughed and said,

“I don’t like being told what to do! But really, it’s about having choice, it’s motivating.”

Therein lies one of the significant factors contributing to the success of student engagement and motivation in a Montessori school, choice.  In taking this idea further, I asked Ella what it was about the way her teachers give her choice that works so well?

“The teachers are not making everyone do the same thing and they are not making you rely on them.  We’ve got to be independent.”

One of Ella’s favourite subjects is English, particularly writing and composing texts.   Her great passion in life is drawing.

“Art is probably my favourite subject of all time.  I just love drawing.  It’s a hobby out of school too.  A lot of my work is abstract and that started when I was really into Japanese cartoons.  I spent hours teaching myself to draw in that style and I got quite good at it.  Now, I’m over that phase and a different style is emerging for me.’

She’s heading to St Andrew’s Cathedral School for secondary and one big change will be walking to school through the CBD which she is looking forward to.  She’s also hoping to study Mandarin because she knows that China is going to have a big influence in the world in the future and she wants to be able prepared for opportunities.  She’s also thinking about learning Spanish which she thinks she can learn by herself at home if she can’t choose two languages at her new school.

When she’s not immersed in her art, Ella likes nothing better than heading to the park on her skateboard or a game of tennis or playing with The Bombers, her AFL team.  Whatever she’s doing, hanging out with her friends is high on her agenda and she’s pleased that Forestville Montessori School had special times like camps to really get to know people.

When it comes to FMS, would she like to improve on anything?

“No, I like things the way they are but make sure you keep the camps going or at least start them again once it’s COVID safe.  They’re a great way to make friends, be in nature and just have fun.”

Like most of Montessori students, she’s tuned into social justice issues.

“I feel like we need to find ways to treat people properly, not just give people rights.  The Black lives Matter issues in America at the moment is something I’ve been following.  We need to treat people equally.’

With that, we finish, and I know that the future of our world is in good hands!

Keen to see how a Montessori education can help your child thrive beyond like Ella? Book a virtual tour today!

Denice Scala

Author Denice Scala

B.A, M.Ed, Dip ED, Dip RSA, Cert. Neuroscience. Principal, Forestville Montessori School. Denice Scala is an executive leader with extensive experience in key strategic roles requiring business transformation and innovation. As a passionate advocate for the power of education to enrich lives, Denice moved from classroom teaching to leadership positions in 1992 and since then has held international in roles in Scotland and Australia as Principal, Head of Junior School, and Head of Learning Support. She has an impressive working knowledge of early learning, primary, middle, and secondary schooling including gifted education and special needs. Her Masters in Gifted Education led her to work extensively to find ways to cater for gifted students. This led to providing professional development opportunities for educators to assist in their understanding of the characteristics of gifted children and the complexities of growing up gifted. Denice’s unparalleled grasp of current educational realities is equally matched by her big picture thinking combined with practical solutions to navigate change.

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