For the second year running, Melbourne Montessori School has been recognised in The Educator’s Innovative Schools 2020 list as one of Australia’s most innovative schools. The Senior School is one of only 50 schools in Australia and nine in Victoria to receive the award. An amazing achievement for a school that has recently seen its first cohort of Year 12 students graduate.
Since commencing in 2015, the Senior School has challenged the traditional methods of teaching teenagers by taking teaching into the real world with real problems, real solutions and real learning. The innovative curriculum design builds on the student-centred experience and agency allowing each student to learn through activities that are meaningful and relevant, hands-on and driven by their interests.
‘’Students start to run their own businesses from Year 7, Science is taught through real world applications and projects such as the building of a hot house or a skateboard ramp are incorporated into learning areas to develop project management and problem solving skills.” says Principal, Mrs Gay Wales. “Our programs take student agency and voice outside the classroom to deliver exciting learning experiences that challenge their way of thinking, develops independence and enables students to learn valuable lifelong skills.”
The school, based in Hawthorn Road, Brighton East, offers Victoria’s first independent Montessori secondary education program and is one of 14 Montessori senior schools in Australia who deliver authentic, significant education. The sense of community is very strong in the purposely small senior school where all the Australian Curriculum are taught. Class sizes are small, the rapport with teachers is deep and the lessons are linked with current issues.
The Montessori Careers Program (MCP), launched in 2020 for Year 10-12 students, integrates Montessori methodology with VCAL and VET qualifications empowering students to identify and develop a pathway towards their chosen vocational career. One of a kind, the program incorporates practical experience, community service and a personalised learning program so students can pursue their talents and interests.
By taking control, defining the direction of their career and knowing their goals from an early stage in their studies, students are more committed to meeting the fitness, creative, community service and professional development components of the school curriculum. This leads to highly motivated adolescents who want to take initiative, choose how they learn and achieve their desired future.
“Winning this award two years in a row is exciting and acknowledges the Montessori education we provide leads the way in preparing young adolescents students for the exciting future that lies ahead of them,” says Wales.
“Dr Maria Montessori would have been proud of the award, but not surprised.’