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It was exciting to see the children’s faces as they stepped into their new Buran environment on Tuesday morning. Buran, means Stringybark in Wannangini (Guringal) language. Uncle Neil, a local Elder advised us on all the naming of our environments.

Our new children’s House has been part of our strategic plan to refresh and redevelop our facilities.  The brief began with the words from Maria Montessori:

‘The child should live in an environment of beauty.”

The opening of Buran now brings our three Children’s Houses into a shared space, with interconnected areas for movement, social interaction, practical life, gardening, play and a celebration of community. We can’t wait to see this environment evolve as the children take ownership of their new space and the staff continue to develop the prepared environment.

We wanted to design a space that incorporated all the key elements of the Montessori approach.   From every window and door, the children can look out to nature and have access to our beautiful gardens.

“There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature.  That the child may better understand and participate in the marvellous things which civilisation creates.”
Maria Montessori

Indoor and outdoor flow is effortless with lots of natural light.  The entrance is a greeting area for parents and visitors.

New Nienhuis Montessori materials, delivered earlier this year, are now on the shelves awaiting the children’s use.

“Only freely chosen activities are done with a sense of delight and passion.”
Maria Montessori

Water stations have been included on the deck so the children have meaningful access to water for cleaning, washing, painting and gardening. Inside, water is freely available to the children with their own kitchen sink for cooking and practical life and a separate sink for hand washing.

Independent self-care is nurtured by the provision of toilets which are easily accessible by the children from both inside Buran  and the deck.  Their personal belongings are also stored in a specially designed nook away attached but separate to the main environment. The children and adult kitchen spaces  provide for cooking, cleaning up and serving meals.

The layout allows for flexible furniture arrangements, large open floor space and an area for ‘Walking the Line’.

“The prepared environment should bring the world at large and thus the adult world, within reach of the child at whatever stage of development it is, at the given moment.”  Maria Montessori

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. Denice’s passion for Montessori education led her to undertake the AMI Introduction to Adolescents Course, to audit the AMI 6-12 Diploma, and to also currently undertake the AMI School Administration Certificate Course.

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