Banksia Montessori School was incorporated in 1984 and has since developed a reputation as a quality pre-school for 3 to 6 year olds following the Montessori Method. The school was located in Yokine until the early nineties and has since moved to a beautiful location in Dianella.
The child: teacher ratio in the morning is around 1:8, in the afternoon 1:5. This favourable child-teacher ratio gives us the opportunity to work with the children according to their needs. This may be individually, in small groups or with the entire class.
Each child benefits from being exposed to older as well as younger children. It is natural and very easy for younger children to learn by watching and listening to older children, while one of the best ways for older children to internalise knowledge is to explain it to others and to be mentors to the younger ones. This opportunity to lead also helps them build confidence and self-esteem.
Banksia openly invites parents to observe their children at work in the classroom situation, but would like prior notice of intention to visit by making a suitable appointment time with staff. For parents observing for the first time, a hand-out titled Classroom Observation Guidelines is made available containing relevant information.
As a small, independent and parent governed school, with minimal government funding, Banksia Montessori School needs the support of parents. However we understand that some parents do not have sufficient time for this due to other obligations. That’s why we introduced a higher fee. Parents who choose to pay the higher fee are still encouraged, but not expected to participate in various activities, such as fundraising, busy bees, etc.
Parents who choose to pay the lower fee are expected – and not merely encouraged – to help with various tasks around the school throughout the year, such as our quarterly Busy Bee and fundraising activities (1 per term), to actively participate in Parent-Council Meetings and to consider joining the School Council.
The School is not responsible for the care of children before 8:45am and parents cannot leave their child unattended before this time. Parents and children must leave the school grounds promptly at the 12pm and at 3pm pickup. In 2017 we introduced an afternoon extension program for Wednesdays only, for our 3-year olds and 4 year olds in transition (who normally stay half days until 12 noon). These sessions will run from 12pm to 3pm on Wednesdays only and are optional.
Two-day and three-day programs are sometimes attractive to parents who do not need full-time care; however, five-day programs create the consistency, order and empowerment that is so important to young children. At Banksia, younger children attend school only in the mornings during their first year at school (unless enrolled in the additional, optional, Wednesday extension program).