Head of School
It is my pleasure to welcome you to Elonera Montessori School and it is a deeply considered honour be caring for this community in the position of Acting Head of School.
Elonera is a school which has been built by a strong commitment to the philosophy and practice of Dr Maria Montessori. This informs our relationships across classrooms, amongst staff, and with our families.
EMS has been a part of education in the Illawarra since its foundation in 1987 under the guidance of our dear Josy Ludwig, who continues to be a valued colleague and trusted mentor. Since then we have continued to grow from a small classroom in Gwynneville, to a dynamic campus incorporating a Parent-Toddler programme, Nido, Children’s House, Primary programme, Adolescent programme (Years 7-10) and International Baccalaureate Diploma programme.
We look to develop responsible, connected, respectful, empowered and compassionate individuals who feel strong in their sense of place in the world.
Please look through our website, book in to one of our tours or attend a Parent Evening to get to know us more.
Acting Head of School
Our Name & Logo
'Elonera’ is an Aboriginal word that means, 'a happy place for children'. It was established as a primary school in 1973, and became a Montessori school in 1987.
The school’s logo was designed by a parent in 1989. The visual representation depicts the nourishment of the spiritual embryo. Montessori often compared the process of psychological and spiritual development to the physical unfolding of the human organism. The human body first takes shape as a self-forming embryo that requires the protection and nurturance of the womb during its formation. Similarly, the human soul first appears in the newborn child in an embryonic form that requires nourishment from a psychic womb - the protective environment of loving, caring parents and a spiritually responsive education. The logo essentially represents these protective 'arms' embracing the embryo.
The primary and secondary school follows the NSW Education Standards Authority and the Australian Curriculum for Years K-10, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme for Years 11-12, the National Quality Framework for the Preschool (Early Years Learning Framework) and Outside of School Hours Care (My Time Our Place).
The National Montessori Curriculum (endorsed by ACARA) was additionally adopted in 2014 for Years K-10.
Evaluation & Quality Assurance
The school undergoes regular inspections for the various sections that it operates.
The Preschool and Outside of School Hours Care service is inspected by the NSW Department of Education and Communities under the National Quality Framework. Each service is required to have an annual quality improvement plan.
The Primary and High School is Inspected by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). Elonera Montessori School successfully fulfilled NESA Registration in 2014 for the Primary and NESA Registration and Accreditation in 2013 for the High School. The International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) also successfully reviewed our school for the IB Diploma Programme in 2015.
The school facilities include spacious, open, well lit classrooms that are well equipped with Montessori materials. They also house their own student amenities so that children are not required to leave the class. There are computers in every classroom, as well as in the school library. There is a science lab, kitchen, tutorial rooms, a visual arts room as well as a music room in the secondary space. The International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP) has its own suite of facilities. The School also has a cottage for students aged 18 months to 3 and their parents to attend Toddler classes (PTP), and there is also a School Hall and half ball court on the premises.
The School accesses the TAFE and the University services for sport activities for the high school.
A designated Out of School Hours Care (OOSH) service facility has just been renovated and provides after school care services.
Our premises and buildings are owned by the School, and we comply with relevant council and government requirements, work health and safety legislation, and environmental and land use guidelines. The Capital Works Committee is actively involved in the ongoing assessment and monitoring of the premises, and oversees the routine maintenance plan as well as specific building projects and the implementation of the Master Plan. The Committee members consist of staff and a past parent of the school.
EMS continually aims to strengthen its relationship with families of the school through communication, consultation and collaboration.
The teacher is responsible for the overall ongoing relationship with their student’s parents. The Head of School is responsible for the integrity of the staff and teachers and assisting them to relate to parents in a positive and respectful manner.
There are many opportunities for parents to support teachers in the education of their children. All families are expected to participate in activities of the school. This can be done by helping in the following areas:
School Board; Capital Works Committee; Fundraising; Canteen; working bees; organising and attending coffee mornings for parents and families; making new parents feel welcome; helping to organise a celebration; camp or picnic for families; providing a presentation/visit for the children (upon request by the teachers); laminating materials; making sets for plays; book club; school banking; laundering of towels; attending parent information sessions; assisting with the newsletter; updating the communication board; gardening; setting up information stalls at community functions; organising sport days.
Teachers in the primary and secondary sections at EMS have traditional teacher qualifications. The primary teachers also hold a Montessori Diploma. The Secondary teachers attend subject area International Baccalaureate Diploma training, as well as Montessori workshops.
The Early Childhood teacher holds a qualification that is accepted by the Department of Education and Communities as well as a Montessori Diploma. The Coordinators of the Preschool have both a Montessori Diploma as well as a Child Care Diploma. We have assistants in every classroom from Stage 1 to Stage 3 with Montessori training, so that the adult to child ratio varies from 1:10 to 1:15.
Elonera Montessori School is committed to ongoing staff development.