A brief history of Southside Montessori School

Southside Montessori School is located in a peaceful neighbourhood in the Sydney suburb of Riverwood, and has been serving the children and their families of the Inner/South West and beyond for over 36 years.

In March 1977 one of the founders of the school organised a public meeting in Kogarah Town Hall to ascertain local interest in establishing a Montessori preschool in the area. It was planned to be the first Montessori school in the Southern suburbs of Sydney. This public meeting was well attended by 70 interested parents, proving the need, enthusiasm and commitment for this new venture was definitely viable.

The founding teacher had an Association Montessori Internationale (A.M.I) Diploma from Washington Montessori Institute. She welcomed the first group of seven students in 1978, and set a firm foundation for the school.

A number of the founding members are still actively involved in the school. Their ongoing commitment shows dedication and a firm belief in a Montessori education. One of the school’s founding parents continues to teach in our Stage 3 classroom as well as running the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program.

Over the years Southside parents have made significant contributions to Montessori education at both State and Federal levels. This has included active roles in the creation and leadership of the NSW Montessori Association, the setting up and administration of the Sydney Montessori Teachers College and contributions to the work of the Montessori Australia Foundation.

Within this history we have seen a process of development at Southside Montessori School not unlike what Dr Maria Montessori herself realized is inherent within all children – that given opportunities, encouragement and respect they grow into eager and self-directed mature adults.

In similar terms we have seen Southside Montessori School grow from toddler beginnings, progress through the primary years, and blossom into a fully functioning educational community.

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