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They say it takes a village to raise a child, and at FMS, we extend this to educating children too. 

The work of educating children is the sum of much more than letters and numbers. A holistic, traditional Montessori education does not stop at the school gate. In fact, it starts at home and extends into our broader families, social groups, community and of course the school itself. 

The holistic education of children is a collective effort.  

Maria Montessori understood this intrinsically and shared her thoughts on the value of education, and the role of the many to support the important education of every child.  

“This is education, understood as a help to life; an education from birth, which feeds a peaceful revolution and unites all in a common aim, attracting them as to a single centre. Mothers, fathers, politicians: all must combine in their respect and help for this delicate work of formation, which the little child carries on in the depth of a profound psychological mystery, under the tutelage of an inner guide. This is the bright new hope for mankind.”  

-Dr. Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind 

While the language may show its age, Dr Montessori’s timeless quotes are as applicable today as they were a century ago when written. Mothers, fathers and politicians alike remain united in the effort to create space for children to receive this essential ‘help to life’ – this gift of education. 

Education is a partnership.  

It takes well-trained instructors, inspirational leaders, participatory family members, and engaged communities to work alongside one another to create the best environment and opportunities in which our children can learn.  

At FMS, we acknowledge the individual and collective efforts of our community of committed guides, leaders, families and extended community to create the optimal learning space for our students. 

Our guides and instructors are qualified across a range of disciplines extending beyond education and including psychology, physics, mathematics and more. They are Montessori trained and are themselves committed to lifelong learning, with access and commitment to further education. 

This month alone many of our school educators have participated in a range of educational webinars, learning conferences and events both in person and online. 

Our leaders continually collaborate to discuss and develop the strategic direction to best serve our school. Our recent board strategy day is an example of this collective planning in action. Collaboration is further extended by invitations to our parent community for feedback and input. Our upcoming school survey is an excellent example of this.  

It makes sense that all parties involved in the education of students have an opportunity to contribute their thoughts, ideas and suggestions for our learning environments, and that these are considered in the planning process. We are excited to see what the 2024 survey of FMS families brings to the table. 

To know these parties can join together and work toward the common good – an exemplary Montessori education for our children – is an amazing concept, and incredibly powerful to see in action. 

We can’t do it alone 

Education is a profoundly important venture for the individual and for society as a whole. The way we choose to educate our children is perhaps the single greatest action we can take to pave the way for a better future for humanity.  

“An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.”  

-Dr. Maria Montessori, Education and Peace 

We teach children to ask their own questions and seek their own answers. We guide children to listen to their inner passions. We explicitly show them how to interact with other people around them so that they may honour their individuality while working cooperatively. To do these things is to prepare them for anything.  

We are the adult carers of the next generation. It is our responsibility to provide an environment conducive to this type of learning and development for the children in our care. 

This learning is broader than simple academic education. It is the expansive holistic education of a child that prepares them for the ever-changing world in which they live.  

And this is better done together. 

We acknowledge the entire FMS community; educators, assistants, leadership, parents and our extended community, for their continual united effort delivering this authentic holistic Montessori education to our student community.   

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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