Campus Feature: Victoria Park Montessori Academy, Zetland

Campus Feature: Victoria Park Montessori Academy, Zetland

Opened in 2015, Victoria Park Montessori Academy is located in the busy inner-city suburb of Zetland, nestled between the shopping and residential districts.

Although only celebrating its third anniversary this year, the campus is well-loved by local families, providing parents with the comfort of knowing each aspect of their child’s development is respected and nurtured through the Montessori curriculum.

At Victoria Park Montessori Academy, families are greeted each day by a passionate team of early childhood educators. The team, the core of whom have worked at the campus since opening, hold fast to Doctor Maria Montessori’s words to “help me to do it myself,” encouraging children to work toward independence and confidence.

With limited positions currently available for early 2018 enrolments, it’s a great time to visit your local Montessori school at Zetland, and to see the difference it could make for your family.

To give us some more insight into Victoria Park Montessori Academy and daily life at the campus, Centre Manager Susan Cvetkovski has answered parent’s frequently asked questions.

How many classrooms and outdoor environments will you find at Victoria Park Montessori Academy?

Our campus has five different Montessori classrooms, each being prepared with Montessori and other educational materials, specifically targeting the age of the children in the room. By equipping and organising the classroom spaces in purposeful ways, our educators know that the children have access to the materials they need to challenge and develop certain skills at all times.

Adjoining our classrooms, we have two outdoor areas, where the children can explore, be creative and play. We separate these spaces by age, with the infants (children aged zero to two years old) having their own area, allowing them to confidently master the gross motor skills they are developing, such as walking.

Likewise, our Toddler and Preschool outdoor area is set up with climbing frames, gardens, sandpits and a home activity corner, naturally inviting children to be active and creative, while they test their coordination and movement skills.

What makes Victoria Park Montessori Academy’s outdoor environments special?

The first thing you notice at Victoria Park Montessori Academy is our windows, and subsequent view over the neighboring suburb of Kensington. We a blessed to have so much natural light filter in, providing our children and gardens with their daily dose of Vitamin D.

Another key feature is the oasis design of the decks, sandpits and gardens, which encourage children to be inquisitive, and allows them to explore in a safe and secure environment. As many of our students live in neighboring apartments, our outdoor area also has a tricycle track and a large open play space, perfect for little ones with energy to burn.

Finally, our inviting play environments, including home corner, dress up area and wooden tee-pee, encourage hours of simulated activity and fun. The students will often deeply focus on one activity, such as making ‘tea’ for their friends, or ‘cooking’ dinner.

It is amazing to watch their concentration during these times. These activities also encourage our children to work with their peers, many learning the importance of teamwork and sharing through play.

What is your current culture project?

To celebrate Australia Day, our children started learning to sing the National Anthem. Our educators have strategically been teaching the song in small parts, giving the children a chance to ask questions about the words they don’t understand, such as ‘girt by sea’.

Also, to recognise the traditional owners of the land, our Preschool Class have been learning to recite the Welcome to Country address. This speech is traditionally said at formal ceremonies around the country, ensuring we respect the history and legacy of the Aboriginal people in Australia.

Following the children’s interests, we have introduced indigenous art projects into this month’s curriculum, after the children expressed interest in working with natural materials.

Finally, what is everyone’s favourite Group Time activity at Victoria Park Montessori Academy?

Our Preschool Class loves Show and Tell, where students bring in toys or discoveries they have made throughout the week, and present them to their peers and educators. This time is often the highlight of the day, as we get to watch children grow in confidence each week. It also helps build strong bonds between students, as children listen to one another and interact with each other during question time.

Our students also love Music and Movement, where they explore range of expressive possibilities with their bodies and voice. At Victoria Park Montessori Academy, our children love any activity which allows them to stand up and be active, so we embrace this as educators!