Aurora’s Dad, Jeremy, shares his bagpipes!

A huge thank you to Aurora’s whānau for arranging to share a family interest and talent! Dad Jeremy and big sister Lillie came along after lunch today to perform for us. Wheels on the Bus, Twinkle Little Star, Moana and Frozen were familiar tunes but sounded quite unique coming out of bag pipes!

After playing for us, Jeremy explained the different parts of his Scottish pipes: the drones, chanter, mouthpiece and the bag for the air. The Scottish pipes Jeremy played were the loudest kind. While this set is fairly new, Jeremy recently passed on some that were from the late 1800’s! Jeremy shared that pipes have come from many different European countries buy also from Asia as well.

After answering some questions and comments Jeremy invited the tamariki to come up and explore the pipes. The carvings on the nickel, tassels, braiding, velvet and the different shapes and lengths were fascinating. While tamariki commented on the loud volume, everyone was transfixed watching and listening never the less!

Thanks to the Burton whānau for sharing your musical side with us! We are so fortunate to have such varied and wide interests represented within our school community.

An open invitation stands to all of you and yours; we welcome you to share your passions, interests, hobbies, work and adventure stories with us- ANYTIME!

By Kirsa Rhone

Kauri Montessori gets a Healthy Heart Award – Thanks Vanessa, our Kai Queen!

We are extremely proud and excited to announce that Kauri Montessori has received a Rito Healthy Heart Award from the Heart Foundation for the amazing things we do to promote healthy food and physical activity.

Last week Michaela from the Heart Foundation visited Kauri Montessori to present Vanessa with the award, which Vanessa helped us achieve by meeting reasonably stringent criteria over the course of a year regarding the provision of healthy food and the promotion of physical activity –  we are helping our tamariki to have healthy habits and healthy hearts for life.

Healthy Heart


After presenting Vanessa with the award, Michaela read one of our favourite stories “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, and the tamariki had a lot to say about which food is healthy and the things we should all be eating more of to grow strong in our bodies and minds.

Vanessa provides varied and nutritious meals for the tamariki according to the menu, which is developed each term on a two-week rotation. Many tamariki enjoy the opportunity to help with food preparation for both morning kai and lunch and Vanessa is never short of capable helpers, patiently responding to frequent requests and questions about what we might be having for kai each day. She ensures that the experience of cooking and eating is an empowering one for our tamariki, encouraging and supporting their burgeoning independence around food.

We know Kauri whanau are aware that Vanessa does so much more than just prepare our meals and we are so grateful to have her – kia ora Vanessa for all your hard work!

By Sunanda Reddy


Te Omio Montessori Tiriti Hui / The Stoke Montessori Treaty Celebration

Kia ora Whānau,

Yesterday was a very special day at Stoke Montessori, as we officially signed our Tiriti / Treaty.

Our Tiriti / Treaty is an agreement that all members of our Stoke Montessori community have agreed on. Our agreement includes respectful actions so that we can all enjoy ourselves and have fun whilst learning and developing new skills, working and playing with our hoa / friends.

The Treaty

Our tamariki practiced their mihimihi / introducing themselves and waiata / songs in preparation for this event.

Here is what our tamariki / children decided would help us all have fun…

  • Using a quiet voice.
  • Keeping our hands and feet in our own bubble
  • Using walking feet in the classroom and on the deck.
  • Always listening to the words of our friends
  • Sharing
  • Using kind friendly words.
  • Asking for a cuddle

Our celebrations included a starting karakia/blessing, te waiata / the song – Tūtira Mai, saying our mihimihi and placing our signature / thumb prints on the tapa cloth. We concluded our celebration with Kaylene sharing about her experience of the day observing us, singing te waiata / the song – Te Aroha and then karakia kai before sharing kai / lunch.

This has been a great learning experience of what a treaty is and learning the protocol of a celebration according to the traditions of Aotearoa New Zealand. In addition, since the tamariki / children have decided on what goes on the tiriti, they have taken ownership of it.

The tamariki / children also learnt the protocol of cutting harakiki / flax (which involve karakia/blessing to the flax bush before cutting it from the outside) so that we could prepare our Tiriti / Treaty wall.

Girl with Flax


by Suzette D’Rosairo

Matariki at Nelson Montessori

The excitement of Matariki was visible for quite awhile before the actual event.  I wanted to share a few photos of the lead up to our Matariki evening.  The tamariki were very involved in constructing a ‘waka’ to take them on a journey around Aotearoa, to see the moon and the Matariki stars.  This was inspired around the book ‘Hoe, hoe, hoea te waka………..row, row, row your waka’ by Rebecca Larsen.

The waka has been very well utilised by all tamariki.  They have gone on lots of adventures and journeys, using their imagination sharing stories with each other.

We also talked about our whanau, of members that were special to us and those who have passed.  This was a time for remembrance.

In preparation for the night, we sliced and chopped, and chopped and sliced pumpkin and vegetables for the soup. We enjoyed the soup with traditional Rewena Bread.

We had a craft evening where we made lanterns, made a constellation tube and created rako sticks. Thank you all for your involvement and support!

Kete 1

By Kaylene Simmis

Abundance, gratitude and…yum!! Tomatoes galore!

Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi

With your basket and my basket the people will thrive.

With the combined efforts of all, everyone benefits!

After a false start, we finally made it to 185 Hope to harvest tomatoes, capsicum, onions and pumpkin. This has become an annual trip. While providing our winter lunch programme with locally sourced and preserved food is our direct aim, living the values of kotahitanga/ working as one and whānaungātanga/ building relationships through shared experiences deepens our sense of belonging together.

Children in Field

These ultimate objectives are always at the heart of the experiences we plan for at Bays Montessori. Discussing, picking, organising, washing, cutting and processing, then labeling, storing and finally sharing the delicious culmination of our work together is a learning opportunity we have all contributed to. These efforts also support our Strategic Plan’s sustainability goal by providing ngā tamariki with a view of food production on a scale that extends beyond our school and home gardens and makes evident the benefit and abundance from collective contribution, the “work of many hands…”

Kia ora koutou for everyone’s labour and laughs! Efforts didn’t stop at the farm though, once back at kura, helpers unloaded the boot and organised, weighed and sorted our bounty into packets. These went home with many whānau, returned next day ready to sterilise, which was a herculean effort by Meenu. We will plan for a few volunteers to undertake this essential process next year…

Over the afternoon, at home and the next day we washed, chopped, sniffed and experienced the joy (and work!) a project of this scale requires. Discussion, reflection on our own māra/garden, reading and sharing experiences helped inform what was to come. Identifying the different scents individually and then combined led Otilie to liken the fragrances together as “smelling like sausages”.

Children Preparing in a small group

What learning happened before and after: Harvesting and giving thanks to atua and the plants is a daily occurrence at kura. Considering ingredients, preparing food and delivering it to the kīhini for cooking are part of the participation every child has the opportunity to engage in. Harvesting from our own mārā and rākau is only part of a cycle. Watching, listening, smelling and caring for living things throughout the seasons fosters connections which support us to recognise links between ourselves and how our actions influence the food we produce from our mārā and rākau. We hope to instill a lifelong value of viewing ourselves as kaitiaki/guardians and protectors of Earth’s resources. Our objective is to make visible to the children the ability we have collectively to contribute to our community. And it is fun! Joy is an essential ingredient when cultivating skills for life-long learning.

The next day we got to taste our efforts. Meenu cooked up our sauce into a delicious soup. “I love tomatoes!” exclaimed Lloyd. While Daniel was willing to taste and consider his preconceived notions, Bas was keen for more!

Thanks for the huge efforts at home and the messy aftermath! By the end of the week, we were creating labels for our bounty.

Tomato Jar Labels

We plan so that each child has an opportunity to participate in the picking, community preparation and preservation efforts during their years at Nelson Montessori. From 90 kg of tomatoes, 100 capsicum, 25 onions, basil and thyme and parsley from our own māra, we have about 70 litres of abundance!

This…………. to this!!!!!!

Stoke Montessori Welcome Picnic

Thank you to all the whānau that attended and supported our welcome picnic this year. At the beginning of each year we have a welcome picnic to help create and build our community and to make connections with new and existing whānau.

Child in sack

This year we were blessed with a gorgeous day for us to walk from Stoke Montessori to Isel Park. We got to familiarize ourselves with our local community and to korero/speak about our own connections with places of importance to us as we walked past the shopping centre and surrounding area.

Once at Isel Park we were all hungry and sat together to enjoy our kai. Then the games began. We had egg and spoon races, sack races and three-legged races. There was lots of giggling and fun while participating in the races. All the tamarki spoke about how much fun they had at the picnic and looked like all the whānau that joined us were having a great time too

By Gina Green

Building our school community (Nelson)

On Friday we had our first community event for 2017, our annual community picnic which was all about whakawhanaungatanga / building relationships.  It was a wonderful way to come together to meet new families, connect with old and get to know each other a little better. Whānau often share with us how relationships developed during their time here at Nelson Montessori and are still flourishing years after leaving.

Nelson Montessori Picnic

The morning started of a little cold and there was uncertainty around whether it would be warm enough to turn on the sprinkler. The weather couldn’t dampen our tamariki’s enthusiasm who were all eagerly waiting with their togs and with the weather warming up, on went the sprinklers!

There was a great deal of fun to be had and the joy was visible on our tamariki’s faces.

Thank you every one for adding to the spirit of the day, we’re looking forward to seeing you all at our next big social gathering – CAMP OUT!

By Theresa Byrman

Welcome to the Miro Room…our dedicated space for young children aged 10 months to 3 years


After years of dreaming and researching, and many, many months of planning, preparing and collating, on Sunday we were able to share our new Miro Room with prospective families and their children. The Miro Room will be the first Montessori programme for infants and toddlers in the entire Nelson region. An existing building behind the preschool class at our Kauri site has been transformed into a beautiful and peaceful environment with a large garden for the children to explore.

To watch on as the tamariki (enrolled to begin in the classroom on the 21st of November) used the furniture, delighted in turning on the taps they could reach unaided, and explore everything in the environment in their own way was such a delight.

Having siblings present solidified the feeling of whanau / family which can only contribute to the children feeling that it is their place. Feeling safe and nurtured within an environment that is predictable will in turn enable them to access new learning, new ways of being and hopefully a great deal of joy!

One aspiration for Miro Room is the Maori concept of whakawhanaungatanga or relationship building. As a teacher in Pohutukawa class at Founders Park for 15 years, I saw that as we built a community of learners within the classroom, another community was being built among whanau outside the classroom door. Over time we shared celebrations and also came together to support each other through some very painful periods. When I come across families many years after they have moved on from Montessori, it is this sense of community, and talk of friendships that have endured over time, that they hold closest to their hearts.

As Nissa, Louise and I talked afterwards we became aware of just how multi-cultural this new community Miro Room is with families from at least eight different countries! We shared too the conversations of delight and interest people had expressed about the space we have created for the children and how excited everyone is feeling about this new step in all our lives.

Together, we will celebrate the joy of your tamariki learning and growing through these very precious early years.

If you are interested in viewing the Miro Room, please contact Nissa by emailing her on

Fathers’ Day at Montessori

At any event at Montessori we try to involve the children as much as possible.

Firstly, it is essential our tamariki, however young, have an idea of what the event is all about… The whats and whys of remembering, celebrating, acknowledging what we as a community can do to celebrate.

We share such information with children in a number of ways for example, through whole class group times, small group chit chat and one on one discussions with children.

In preparation for Fathers’ Day, the children from both classes set about in the spirit of joyful work to make cards for their dads which was also a lovely opportunity to practice writing too.

Because children are introduced, from a young age, to Exercises of Practical life they have plenty of opportunities to practice food preparation for events like Fathers’ Day. Such preparation enabled the older children to cut the dried fruit with food scissors without any support from an adult. The younger children participated by pouring ingredients and mixing the cake batter.



On the morning of the Fathers’ Day celebration children prepared the out of doors by sweeping the leaves away as well as cutting and arranging fresh flowers and setting the tables.


We were now ready to celebrate Fathers’ Day 2016. Children presented their Dad’s with their Best Dad Ever medals and then we were off on our hikoi. Despite the daunting forecast of showers we were rewarded for taking a risk and enjoyed the exercise, fresh air while walking along the cycle track and through beautiful Miyazu Garden.


Children from both classes shared cards with their Dads upon our return……and the celebration didn’t end there….. In true Montessori style the children shared a delicious kai of Rice and Dahi and Cauliflower Curry with their Dads.

We hope you had a fantastic time today – Happy Fathers’ Day!

By Michelle Williams