Huapai Montessori at Huapai District School

Our Montessori primary class at Huapai District School is committed to enriching the lives of children from 6-12 years. We look for the individual, nurture and guide development and prepare the child for adult society.  We celebrate diversity and adhere to a strongly held set of universal values including self-respect, respect for others, honesty, integrity, responsibility, empathy, compassion, kindness, peacefulness, warmth and a love of community. Our classroom is well-resourced. The children have created a garden, tend a worm farm, make compost and grow their own vegetables as part of the curriculum.

Huapai District School is a state primary in semi-rural West Auckland with a current roll of 460+ students. Our principal, Kevin Cronin, is extremely supportive of our class and enthusiastic about the Montessori approach to primary education. His own children attended a Montessori early childhood centre.

We have two teachers in Room 17. Please see their bio’s below.

Our parent community is committed to enriching the lives of its children and parents are passionate supporters of the classroom.  They participate in fundraising events per year to raise additional funds for resources.

We have a vision that we endeavour to model through our behaviour and interactions with one another.  It states “the spirit of our parent community honours trusting and equitable relationships through honest and considerate communication”.  We hope this leaves an impression with our children that is lasting and affirming.

Enrolment Procedure

To receive an Information/Application Pack please contact our Enrolment Officer

Who is Eligible?

An enrolment scheme now exists at Huapai District School and although Montessori children take priority over other out-of-zone students, places are limited to ten per annum.

The Montessori class is only available to children who have had a good grounding in Montessori methods through attending sufficient sessions and terms at a Montessori pre-school. Children are ready for the Second Plane of Development (Primary) around the age of six.  They come across to us in the term they fall six.

When selecting children for places in the Montessori class, the school, in the interests of the well-being of the classroom, will enrol those children best prepared for the Montessori primary environment.  An eligible child will need to have completed the 3 to 6 cycle  at a Montessori pre-school.  It is the Trust’s strong recommendation that by the age of five years children should be attending a minimum of four full days before entry to the primary school classroom at around age six.

We do not accept either five or five and a half year-olds. The final year at a Montessori pre-school is a very important year in the life of a five-year old child.  During this time he/she begins to develop leadership qualities, takes on more responsible roles as well as understands the links of his/her acts and the needs and rights of others.  Younger children in the classroom aspire to the work of their older classmates who in turn act as ‘little teachers’ consolidating their own learning.  This last year at pre-school also allows the child to further develop their social skills thus aiding their transition to primary.

We welcome older children transferring in from Montessori primaries out of town or from overseas Montessori schools.  We intend to provide places for brothers and sisters of pupils currently enrolled or attending the Montessori class.  The sibling should nevertheless have the required three years’ Montessori pre-school experience.

Children with Montessori backgrounds who have attended mainstream schools since leaving Montessori pre-school may apply if they attended their Montessori pre-school until they were six.  An enrolment decision will depend on the eligibility and suitability of the child.  In the case of these children the Trust requires the child to spend up to two weeks in the Montessori classroom to give the teacher a chance to assess how well the child appears to cope with self-directed learning and the multi-age grouping.

Special needs: The school reserves the right to limit the number of children with diagnosed special needs to ensure we can meet their requirements as well as the needs of our existing children.  The school will maintain a workable Montessori class in the interests of all children attending.

We will not accept a child who has little or no Montessori experience.  Montessori preschool prepares the children for the primary class in many ways.  For example, children learn to respect the equipment and become used to working independently and purposefully.  Montessori preschool also helps children learn to manage themselves and their environment.  Primary builds on these skills but it cannot teach them.  This is why it is hard to accept a Montessori novice into a primary class.

Other information

Year Started: 2005
Age children start: 6 years or as close to their sixth birthday as practicable
Age range: 6 to 12 years of age
Number of classes: Have one large classroom with capacity for 42 students; 6 to 12 aged children housed in same space. We are currently investigating additional space.
Donations: $750 per term
Holiday Programme: Holiday programme offered by Huapai District School
After-school care: After-school care offered by Huapai District School

Staff Qualifications:

Claudine Noronha – Lead teacher 
Claudine has over 25 years worth of experience with teaching and learning, and holds two Bachelors degrees, a Masters in early childcare and education, as well as a Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma in Montessori education and early childhood education. Claudine has worked as a Principal, a Montessori Directress and an Educational consultant for many years, and has attended and presented at many international conferences. Claudine has a husband, two children, as well as two grandchildren. In her spare time she loves to go for long drives, cook and spend time with family and friends.

Karen Robertson – Assistant teacher and WAMT AMI 2016 Scholarship recipient
Karen completed a Bachelor of Education majoring in Montessori two years ago. Her introduction to Montessori at University changed the way she views teaching and learning, the natural environment and world events. Karen was selected by WAMT to receive a scholarship to complete an intensive AMI training course in late 2016.