09 Apr 2018

ISMS Alumni Newsletter Term 1 2018

Since the last newsletter, much has happened and 2018 is looking like a great year.

Probably the biggest news is that ISMS has finally purchased a property!! I know many of our past families have been involved in the process of looking for buildings for the school to use and know the difficulties involved so you can imagine our delight at finally owning something. This will be a third campus with Smith Street remaining the main school site. Look out for more news to follow during the year.

The end of last year saw us celebrate Pam Staton’s 25 years of service at the school; she is such an amazing asset to our school and the 0–3 community in general.

Much fun was had at the annual fundraising event Bollywood and Bellylaughs in May, raising money to put towards the makeover of our outdoor space this January.

In September, we held our wonderful Green Day Out where we were graced with glorious weather to celebrate all things sustainable. This is becoming an established event for the school community and we are working towards implementing systems within the school to enable us to function more sustainably.

October saw us farewell our Principal Bill McKeith who provided us with much wisdom and guidance over three years bringing the school to the stable position it finds itself in today. We look forward to his ongoing support with various projects in the future.

We have been blessed with some amazing Principals over the years and would like to acknowledge two of them in this edition while also introducing you to our newest principal, Zoe Ezzard.Since the last newsletter, much has happened and 2018 is looking like a great year.

Probably the biggest news is that ISMS has finally purchased a property!! I know many of our past families have been involved in the process of looking for buildings for the school to use and know the difficulties involved so you can imagine our delight at finally owning something. This will be a third campus with Smith Street remaining the main school site. Look out for more news to follow during the year.

The end of last year saw us celebrate Pam Staton’s 25 years of service at the school; she is such an amazing asset to our school and the 0–3 community in general.

Much fun was had at the annual fundraising event Bollywood and Bellylaughs in May, raising money to put towards the makeover of our outdoor space this January.

In September, we held our wonderful Green Day Out where we were graced with glorious weather to celebrate all things sustainable. This is becoming an established event for the school community and we are working towards implementing systems within the school to enable us to function more sustainably.

October saw us farewell our Principal Bill McKeith who provided us with much wisdom and guidance over three years bringing the school to the stable position it finds itself in today. We look forward to his ongoing support with various projects in the future.

We have been blessed with some amazing Principals over the years and would like to acknowledge two of them in this edition while also introducing you to our newest principal, Zoe Ezzard.

Introducing Our New Principal

Becoming the new Principal of Inner Sydney Montessori School is an absolute privilege that has already been filled with lots of positivity and fantastic learning experiences.

I have had the honour of working in schools for many years. Every role, each school and all of those individual child that I have worked with have played such important parts in my own development and I look forward to continuing my journey here at ISMS.

We recently enjoyed our ‘Past Graduates Event’, welcoming back five young people, of various ages, who had once graced this school. Listening to their speeches about moving from our school to High School and beyond was nothing short of inspirational. For the audience and I, we had the luxury of a glimpse into what the  future may hold for our current children and saw before us Maria Montessori’s aspirations for education  reform encompassed within these articulate, confident, balanced and happy individuals.

As we come to the end of Term 4, we look towards 2018 and the exciting projects ahead of us. To name but a few, we will be welcomed back to school with the completion of our Outdoor Learning Project, the planning and evolving of our third ISMS campus, the development of our staff including our newly promoted leaders, the growth of our Buddy Visits project enabling our staff to visit and observe each other in action and our tailor-made training package led by our very own highly-skilled professionals.

What a fantastic time to be a part of such a brilliant school!

Zoe Ezzard

Alumni – Fiona Campbell

I came out of Cooinda virtually overnight to take on the role as interim Principal. I had thought that my role as a classroom director was multitasking, nothing prepared me for what was required as Principal. I did miss those precious moments and smiles from the children. The school had recently moved from Smith Street and so the funds were not exactly flowing! All those wonderful initiatives that I had dreamed up when classroom teaching was just not going to happen!

So, what did I enjoy about being Principal for those 4+ years?

I felt very privileged to have the opportunity to gain knowledge around the workings of the 6 – 9 and 9 – 12 classrooms and to see the young children grow into these very individual, motivated and self-thinking older children.   I was delighted that we commenced an under 3s program initially just with one session and then growing so rapidly  to 1 – 2 sessions every day of the week. To be able to provide a Montessori education birth to 12 “under the one roof’ was a career realisation.

Learning on the go would have been an understatement and with the knowledge that I now have there is no way that I would have accepted the invitation to be Principal! I was dealing with Board meetings, government agencies, building regulations and the odd parent whinge (the easiest to sort!)

I enjoyed working with an already strong and dedicated team of Montessori educators from very diverse backgrounds and building that team to be bigger and better! We had some fun times as well – it wasn’t just about the work – barefoot bowls provided a few laughs and Pilates above the cafe a few more!

I loved squeezing through that funny front door and on rainy days being meet by a waterfall from roof leaks above that no one seemed to be able to fix or arriving at Lilyfield and walking along the church cloisters. I did feel mildly disrespectful when planning and building Sintonia and the church altar became the bathrooms!

Even now I remember most of the students’ names and can even remember their dates of birth from the hours pouring over the waitlist (which was always too long) resulting in the delivery of some sad news to parents whilst others heard the news they hoped for.

When I see the teachers of Inner City Montessori School (ICMS) at varying events I notice how many of them began their Montessori journey under my guard and that is definitely a rewarding aspect of those few years, however probably the most rewarding aspect was enabling the continuation of an authentic Montessori community with a strong foundation to ensure growth into the future.

Alumni – An Morison

It’s timely that I get to write something about my years at ISMS as I am retiring at the end of 2017. This will be my 34th year teaching in Australia, 3 years in the English Montessori School, Madrid, 19 with ISMS and 15 at the Castlecrag Montessori School, totalling 37 years involvement in Montessori education.

From Director to Principal to Director I have remained a strong and committed advocate of Montessori education. I have seen how the Montessori method supports children to become instigators of change and innovation. It has been a great privilege and honour to work with a diversity of staff who brought their  life experience and engagement to the classrooms of ISMS.  I have also learnt much about myself through the children and families I was privileged to teach and meet, and colleagues with whom I worked.

I saw ISMS grow from two 3-6 classrooms, one in Drummoyne and the other in Lilyfield. I then saw its expansion to Burwood, then Jane Street and finally to Smith Street. This was all made possible through the extraordinary commitment of families and staff, who had a vision and who were prepared to put in the  time and effort to support that vision.

I have taken with me many great memories and enduring friendships made with both children and families, many going back to my first classroom in Kinta.

I am now hugging their babies, hearing about their overseas adventures and professional achievements as human rights lawyers, teachers, musicians, ICU doctors, nurses, designers, chefs, volunteers and much, much more, which gives me great joy. I am now excited about the prospect of exploring life after Montessori, although I do believe Montessori will always remain a fundamental part of my personal philosophy and commitment.

Could you identify them all?

 

Could you identify them all?

Dimitri Nicolaou / Reni Johson/ Ben Sockett/ Joe the Bursar!/ Jeremy Scrimes/ Jennifer Chen Chow/ Kelly Waterhouse/ Kate Jeffery/ Claire Talty/ Bronwyn McFadden/ Janine Molyneux/ Kim Costello/ Anne Plummer/ Pam Staton/ Catherine Harding