The Waikato Montessori Education Centre is owned and administered by The Golden Beads Charitable Trust. This Trust was founded by Diane Bhana with Shayne Frickey as co-trustee and has been established to further the development of Montessori schooling in the Waikato. We have a range of skilled Montessori Guides to nurture the children.
Montessori is not a franchise and there is no head office or controlling body. Schools are free to offer their unique blend of facilities and local personality. We welcome your enquiry and review of our beautiful semi-rural Montessori Centre in Hamilton.
The classroom is the childrens’ home away from home, it is carefully designed to facilitate the development of independence and a sense of personal empowerment. We allow children to learn for themselves, to learn at their own pace, to cultivate a positive attitude to mistakes, to choose activities for themselves, and to be allowed to repeat actions as often as necessary.
Children select their own activities — parents are very welcome to ask the guides about the equipment and attend open times to explore the classroom for themselves.
The Montessori classroom does not offer active parental participation at the same level as, for example, Playcentre.
The Montessori Guides are specially trained to work and observe the children in their activities. The undistracted interaction of the Guide with the child, and the child with other children, is an important aspect of the programme. Parents with a particular skill or interest are encouraged to assist the Guide as required with activities such as foreign languages, cooking, plant care, animal care, storytelling or music. The enrolment form asks parents of any particular area in which they would like to contribute.
Parents are also expected and encouraged to learn about the Montessori philosophy and how this can be applied in the home. Parent evenings are held regularly to provide this opportunity, and for the parents to meet each other. Parent voluntary assistance with maintenance of building and grounds is always welcome.
Surroundings have a great deal to do with the creation of an atmosphere of learning. We have a beautiful semi-rural property on the southern outskirts of Hamilton city at Tamahere. The site includes our two 3–6 years classrooms and allows space for outdoor activities including gardening and animal care.
The two 6–12 years classrooms are fully resourced with Montessori materials and equipment, reading and literacy resources, maps, charts, fossils, historical artifacts and natural science displays. Our classrooms are our students’ home away from home, and we make them as attractive and comfortable as possible.
Our classrooms are carefully prepared to stimulate children’s independence and intellectual development. You will not find rows of desks, instead, the room will be set up to facilitate discussions and stimulate collaborative learning.