Thornhill Montessori ELC

Thornhill Early Learning Centre

We offer sessions of 12, 10, and 9 hours. Maximize your Centrelink subsidy hours with a discount by booking five days a week at a daily rate of $125.

Our daily fee includes everything that your child requires for their day. Nappies, sunscreen, meals, milk. We ask that you bring a bag or backpack for your child along with a drink bottle for water that they can drink from with minimal or no assistance. Your child will be allocated a locker to keep their belongings in.

At Thornhill Montessori we have 6 rooms totalling 131 places available per day. Our rooms are broken down into ages and stages where children are benefiting from challenges and new experiences.

Room Ages Places
Boomerang Babies Babies, 6 weeks - 12 months 16 places
Gumnut Grove Just walking, 12-24 months 16 places
Possum Pioneer Toddlers, 2-3 years 22 places
Wallaby Way Pre-Kinder, 3-4 years 22 places
Wombat Way Pre-Kinder, 3-4 years 22 places
Bunjil Way Kinder, 4-5 years 33 places

Our Menu

Our menus at Thornhill Montessori are developed by our Centre Cook with contribution from management, educators, children, parents, extended family, and the community. We look to recommendations from State health departments and legislation, along with the healthy diet pyramid recommended serves per day and try to cater for a high portion of these for the time your child is in our care.

We cater for children with specific dietary requirements, allergies, and anaphylaxis, in full consultation with the family and recommendations in writing from your child’s medical practitioner. We also cater for cultural dietary requirements such as Halal products, vegetarian and vegan. Please discuss your child’s specific requirements with us upon enrolment.

Children also love cooking and the many learning experiences and skills it brings with it. Measuring, volume, adding, taking away, multiplying, mixing colours, textures, smells, money, and change are just some of the learning topics covered through cooking. Our rooms try to incorporate different cooking experiences when it fits with the safe use of the kitchen. In every centre we also have veggie patches, it is important to teach children where food comes from and how it is used and processed to make the food we eat.

Our Program

The Prepared Environment

Dr. Montessori developed what she called the “Prepared environment” “The environment is prepared so that children can be free to express themselves, to reveal their needs and attitudes which otherwise might remain hidden or repressed”.

“Children must be free to act spontaneously in an environment that allows them to manifest their natural traits”. (Maria Montessori). Order plays a very important part in the lives of small children.

Order consists in recognising the place for each object in relation to its position and in remembering where each thing should be.

Such awareness is essential for a child to feel secure in its environment and to build on existing experiences. Order in the environment makes children feel safe.

Education is a Whole of Life Experience

Montessori education is a whole of life experience; the child carries what s/he has learned through to the home and the community; Respect for life and the natural world, the environment, for peers, family, and community.

Children in a Montessori environment are treated with a deep respect, every child is an individual and has needs and interests. It is listening to and observing the child, which directs the development of curriculum in a Montessori School. Children need to feel accepted valued and safe in their school and wider community.

Children explore and develop an appreciation and awareness of different cultures and customs throughout their world, which gives them the opportunity later to become a citizen of the world.

The Absorbent Mind

Montessori believed that children from the age of birth to 6 have a heightened ability to absorb information and experiences. “Sensitive periods” a window of opportunity for intellectual and physical development.

Montessori’s emphasis on children being allowed the freedom to work alone and to develop concentration does not mean that she underestimated the importance of social development. Instead, what she saw was that it was precisely because the children were allowed to work in such freedom that they could display such love and care towards others.

She saw that children literally absorbed the world around them, and that true discipline and harmony was something that came from within and was not something that could be enforced.

Education for All the Senses

Learning through the senses is based on an empirical natural philosophy it is part of a tradition that goes back to Aristotle. Marie Montessori and almost all progressive primary practice are based on the same philosophy.

Montessori theorised that anything that is absorbed into the brain must first pass through the senses. Montessori developed a range of activities to develop children’s sensorial experiences visual, hearing, sense of smell, taste, touch.

Montessori saw that children built on their physical experiences of the world through their senses, and by carefully designing interesting Materials which the children were drawn to and experiment with, she could help them extend this understanding.

She did so by taking each of the senses in turn and developing materials that isolated certain aspects that could be increasingly explored by the children.

Friendliness with Error

Self -correction leads the child to self-education or what Montessori calls auto- education. An error in any type of work is never brought to the attention of the child, the Montessori teacher will take note and then invite the child to use the materials again at a later stage, presenting the activity to the child again or as many times as it takes for the child to absorb the information.

Montessori believed that experimenting with the Montessori materials, leads the child to finding a solution. Much like a scientist, systematically observing scientific matter, reaches a hypothesis, then continues with the experiment until the hypothesis is proven.

When working or learning with children we believe in Montessori’s plea for the child: “Let me do it myself”.

Freedom and Discipline

‘Freedom of movement’ in a prepared Montessori environment, is something Dr Montessori learned observing nature. Already, before we are born, we are in a specially prepared environment where we have freedom of movement – the womb.

Maria Montessori believed that during all of our formative years, depending on our stage of development, the preparation of the environment should vary according to the physical and mental needs of a child. If the child is free to learn, it is because he/she has acquired from his exposure to both physical and mental order, “an inner discipline”.

This is the core of Dr Montessori’s educational philosophy. An ordered motivated child becomes a self- disciplined child. Montessori introduces children to the joy of learning at an early age and provides a framework in which intellectual and social disciplines go hand in hand”.

We are a Child Safe Organistation

Thornhill Montessori ELC is commitment to the safety and well-being of children is based on our duty of care and responsibilities to children and always acting in their best interests.

Thornhill Montessori ELC has zero tolerance for child abuse and are committed to actively contributing to a child safe preschool where children are protected from any form of abuse.

Thornhill Montessori ELC is committed to providing a child safe environment where children feel safe, empowered and are taken seriously if they raise concerns in relation to their safety and well-being. We value and support diversity, inclusion, and equality. In acknowledgment of the vulnerabilities of these groups of children, and in accordance with the Child Safe Standards, we particularly support the cultural safety of Aboriginal children and children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, as well as the safety of children with a disability.

Every person involved in Thornhill Montessori ELC has a responsibility to understand the important and specific role he/she plays individually and collectively to ensure that the well-being and safety of all children is at the forefront of all they do and every decision they make.

Partnership with families

We aim to work in partnership with parents to provide the best possible environment for children to grow and flourish.

Thornhill Montessori ELC will:

  • Take a preventative, proactive and participatory approach to child safety.
  • Value and empower children to participate in decisions which affect their lives.
  • Foster a culture of openness that supports all persons to safely disclose risks of harm to children.
  • Respect diversity in cultures and child rearing practices while keeping child safety paramount.
  • Provide written guidance on appropriate conduct and behaviour towards children.
  • Ensure all staff and volunteers are suitable to work with children and provide high quality supervision.
  • Ensure children feel safe and can openly discuss their feelings in a comfortable and supportive environment.
  • Report suspected abuse, neglect, or mistreatment promptly to the appropriate authorities.
  • Disclose information appropriately and lawfully with other organisations where the safety and well-being of children is at risk; and
  • Value the input of and communicate regularly with families and carers.