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At the start of this term we opened our Lakelands playgroup in the Community Centre on Dalona Parkway. The centre offers a beautiful, brightly sunlit environment with plenty of space and modern facilities. We are also blessed with a well maintained playground in a natural garden space. The centre is located in a quiet neighbourhood close to the local school and we share the facilities with the lovely health nurses who have been greatly supportive.  As with all new ventures we were hopeful for a small turnout of families to come and experience the Montessori method for themselves by ways of a free trial session. Instead we were quite blown away by the amount of interest and requests and it has been the best opening term we could ever ask for.

Our playgroup runs from 9:30 to 11:30 am on Tuesday and Fridays and we already have a fantastic group of regular families for each day. Our little members have had a great term exploring the new environment while developing very important life skills. For many it was their first experience in a Montessori environment and it has been wonderful to see them embrace the techniques and guidelines of the Montessori method with open arms. While having to wash their own dishes was a novelty for some, preparing their own snacks was a very popular activity right from the start, with squeezing your own orange juice being the most used job on the shelf. While the children approached these practical life activities with the greatest of ease it was our lovely parents who were most surprised by the opportunities these activities offered for their home life. Our families have also had the opportunity to meet other members of the Rockingham Montessori School such as our playgroup coordinator Orla, our administrator Julie, our Children’s House Coordinator and Teacher Ayesha as well as Principal Vanessa, and were able to ask lots of questions about school life after playgroup.

In a very short time we have grown into a wonderful community with almost everyone being strangers at the start. I would like to thank our beautiful families for their patience while we were fine tuning the environment and their continued support. The word of mouth advertising we have received from some of our existing parents was instrumental in the fantastic turnout we’ve had from early on and we greatly appreciate it. Special thanks to Orla for her great advice on streamlining our procedures and developing the environment and a big thank you also to our very handy Martin Ingledew who has assembled many pieces of furniture over the past term.

With our established little group of regular Montessorians we can look forward to an exciting term three with activities such as baking and gardening on the agenda.

Carla Darcy – Playgroup Coordinator