Newsletter October 2017

Dear Parents

We had a very well attended Parent Evening on the ‘Fostering of Independence’ this term. We are delighted that so many of you were able to make it and do hope those who missed it can make the next one.  Both staff and parents get a lot out of these meetings and they help foster the sense of community we all  appreciate and they give us the opportunity to get to know the Montessori philosophy and each other better.

Ex-pupils and ex-Montessorians wrote testimonials regarding how their experiences at our school (and in Montessori) helped them develop independence (see below).

With this topic fresh in our mind we want to encourage independence in every way possible. We will continue to do this in the school and we ask for your continued support.

Read more…

Drop-off

After the break we will return to the one-way movement system at drop-off. That is children and parents enter through the back door and exit through the front door.

If children who are not part of Early Morning Supervision arrive before 8.45 we ask that you wait outside or wait in the small hall outside the 9-12 Class until 8.45am. In both these instances parent supervision is required.

Please allow your children to hang up their coats, sort out their shoes, etc.

When you have said ‘Goodbye’ at the door it is best for your child/children and their peers if there isn’t a second farewell. It can unsettle your child/children and the ones who don’t have their parents with them.

We hope to leave the front blinds up but need to ensure that children aren’t distracted as they work by continued goodbyes.

To balance this speedier drop-off I want to remind you that following an appointment you are all more than welcome to come and observe your child/ren at work within the class.

Pick-up

Regarding the one-way system in practice we totally understand that it is not practical for parents in the front room to come in through the back of the building. Coming in through the front is more efficient and comfortable at this time.

Punctuality

Please remember to collect your children promptly as it is hard for them if you are late and staff have other responsibilities to attend to after pick-up. Thank you for your cooperation and thank you for helping make this the best school possible on an ongoing basis.

We hope you enjoy the concert (if you attend) and the Hallowe’en party and the Temple Street Hospital Fundraiser afterwards.

Thank you to all the staff for all your continued hard work.

Have a restful and not too scary break!!

Micaela Kuh

 

 

TESTIMONIALS

How TCH helped develop my Independence of Thought

I was in the CH for 9 years from 2004 until 2013. I was in the Junior, the Middle Class and the Senior Class.The CH is a school where everyone is usually working on something different. We were all in the same classroom but doing different things. I remember in the small class you didn’t have to think too much about what everyone else was doing. Just on what you were doing. I think that helped you to become focused in your own work and what excited you and interested you. In the Senior Class I remember that it was OK to just do your own project or to watch someone else doing theirs, or you could work in a team. So having that choice about how you learnt things and how you worked got you to think about things in different ways and to realise that there wasn’t just the one way.

 

What I also remember was that every idea or comment you might make on a topic or about something we were discussing as a class was listened to. No one ever told you that you were wrong. Usually Ms Kuh would say “mmm that is interesting”, so in that way you never felt that you should all be thinking the same thing but that all sorts of different thoughts were welcome. In fact, you could were encouraged to think about really unusual angles on things, and today I see that as thinking outside the box! I am pretty good at that!

 

Often in the CH there were no right or wrong answers. You would be told to have another go or try again and I think that helps with your confidence. I found some of my old story books once and they were full of awful spelling mistakes but they had “excellent” written at the bottom. The thinking behind your story was more important to the teachers than a silly spelling mistake and that gave you confidence. I still love telling stories and now I am involved in drama and in creative writing for drama. and I am glad to have that confidence.

 

In my secondary school experience we all work together more all looking at the same problems and the same books, but there are plenty of opportunities to contribute and make comments. I think my time at the CH has helped me to feel confident in making comments that are different to other people and also the confidence to contribute.

 

I also think that I am not a “herd” man or a “agree with everything that someone else said because they are important” man. It’s good to just be your own man.

 

But what I really want to know is did anyone beat my goal record in the CH? Fionn told me that John came pretty close . . . . . I may have to call by for a few kicks of the ball if that is the case.

 

Naoise Lynch, A Children’s House graduate

 

 

I was a student in the Children’s House for 4 years from 1965-69 and my children during the noughties.

The stand out for me was the strong foundations it gave to me, my children but also observed peers of both generations, for subsequent schooling at both Primary and Secondary level and beyond.

Central to these foundations were

  • support for thinking for one’s self,
  • developing a sense of wonder,
  • and encouragement to explore.

 

In short, independent thinking.

Past Pupil

 

I spent 9 years in The Children’s House and these 9 years taught me a lot. As well as a strong academic side because of the use of the materials it helped to plant a seed of confidence and determination. I learnt to work by myself, for myself and also as part of a team. In the Children’s House you are never worried about asking questions if you don’t understand something. In The Children’s House everyone’s opinions matter and you really have a say.

The Children’s House has taught me so many things but mostly it has taught me about staying true to yourself and to always treat others as you would want to be treated. I loved my time there and I love secondary school now (though maybe not so much the homework!!).

Zoe Morris, A Children’s House graduate

 

I’m not sure how developed my independence of thought is now as an adult but I do know that I remember how engaged I was when working independently at The Children’s House. I felt like I was in my own world – there was no competing, no aspiring to good grades. It was akin to being engrossed in a hobby that you are deeply interested in. the materials absorbed me, no matter the subject.  I can compare it to my years in school from 3rd Class up. It is different. It is fantastic to have experienced the Montessori method. It is a lesson in seeing that there is another way.

Past Pupil

 

Of course, Montessori has many aspects to it that promote individuality and independence but I think the main reason my independence was fostered by Montessori is very simple. I think the basic concept of a child choosing the work they’ll do that day at an age as early as three really encourages self-determination. Being able to decide what work you want to do, to me, is the biggest difference between traditional school and Montessori school. It’s such a simple concept but creates an environment when children have to think for themselves, be self-directed and self-analyse their preferences, among other things. These skills are valuable throughout life and I definitely feel Montessori has strengthened these characteristics in me.

Clara Kuh-Hogan (ex Montessori pupil)

 

In the Junior Class you could choose your own work and move around the classroom. You could also choose who to have snack with and to sit with as well as when to have your snack.

In the Senior Classes you could correct younger children’s work, as well as, call out spellings on Fridays. You were encouraged to do projects about your own interests, as well as planning of school tours & outings & writing the Christmas plays. Because there were no formal sports at lunch, you could make up or play your own games in the garden.

All of these things helped me to become the Independent person I am now & make up my own mind on what I like to do & feel about things.

A Children’s House graduate