The focus is on healthy, caring, independent students.
Academic success, university, trades, entrepreneurship, philanthropy — a Montessori approach doesn’t limit your student.
(New to Montessori? We’ve summarised why we love it and think you and your family will too.)
A Montessori education aims to unleash a student’s full potential in a caring environment where they progress at their own pace. Want to sit NCEA at 14 and start their own business? Absolutely possible if that’s what their goal is. Harbour will support them. Students don’t need to be 18 and have left school to achieve career success.
Instead of memorising ever-changing facts, learning can be about examining motivation while questioning and challenging the status quo.
It also introduces a healthy social approach — independence, personal relationships with teachers and other students — at a place they’re happy to come to each day.
Throughout the year, we cover all of the subjects below as we do in everyday life — science, maths and cultural exploration are all mixed in cooking, for example — rather than in rigid one-hour blocks.
Opportunities for learning
Humanities is a hybrid learning area which includes English, Social Studies, History and Geography. It is the study of humanity, key inventions and culture through time, told through stories, connections to community groups, elders, experiences and drama.
English and language skills are integrated throughout all other learning areas, especially Occupations and the Humanities. Project work can have certain general skills relating to listening, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and presenting. Specific skills and literature study workshops are also part of this.
Mathematics can be taught as a practical life skill in the earlier stages, then more abstractly as the student progresses. These abstract concepts are more difficult to apply directly, as they require a complex skillset, so practical connections are made wherever possible to ensure the student recognises the benefits of these advanced learnings.
Occupations is the applied science and technology curriculum. It focuses on practical work and real-life problem solving. It can be integrated with Micro-economy to maintain an ongoing student engagement. End-of-term achievement outcomes should have a practical and written outcome. Examples include Botany and understanding light through setting up of a greenhouse; Chemistry and History of Cheese/Bread-making.
Exercise and sports are extremely important for adolescents, providing focus for their physical energy, allowing them to develop skills and challenge themselves and others. Physical Expression includes skills in a variety of sports and health. Physical expression is also developed as part of other subjects and can be part of organised sports and incidental exercise during lunchtimes.
Creative expression is essential to adolescent development as students explore and experiment with their emerging identities. At this age, the developing personality has a natural predisposition to creative expression in many forms. Students have the opportunity to participate in formal lessons, and use those new skills to create and express themselves.
Micro-economy connects to all other aspects of the curriculum. The teacher facilitates the management of small businesses, through which students can have a range of experiences. Examples could be: planting a seedling nursery, handmade cosmetics, up-cycled and repaired goods, recycled paper products, bake sale, market stalls. Special care is taken to choose businesses for which there is a market, and where students are capable of taking key roles in development and maintenance.
Independent work is embedded within every working day, with students free to get on with any of the work from their other learning areas.
Community work is a time to connect, help out and build relationships with the wider community. Opportunities could be: garden development, aged care support or soup kitchens. It could also be maintenance work and cleaning around the classroom spaces.
Supporting our families and community
Regular events for parents and families are an important part of building and supporting our community. Get in touch to find out more.