Thursday, December 22, 2011

‘Tis the Season to Reflect and be Jolly….

 Dear Maria Montessori Education Foundation Supporters

Thank you for your on-going support throughout the year. 

We look forward to sending your more MMEF News next year and in the meantime wish you all a joyful Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous 2012!

MMEF Trustees – Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley & Lynne

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A One-off opportunity – be an AMI student for 3 weeks….

Dear Maria Montessori Education Foundation Supporters

Picture this – have a fabulously relaxing Christmas and New Year with family and friends, then re-connect your neural pathways and join the students of the AMI 3-6 Course for a three week introduction to Montessori’s unique yet profound approach to child development.

What you will experience during these short three weeks underpins EVERYTHING we do in the Montessori 3-6 environment. This is THE core Montessori experience, delivered by AMI trainer Cheryl Ferreira—one of the world’s leading Montessori trainers.

We cannot emphasise its value enough…!

These three weeks offer a unique opportunity for  Montessori school owners, parents, prospective parents, and ECE teachers working in Montessori environments –everyone, really—to understand the enormous potential of young children.

One of the already enrolled attendees said,

“I am neither a Montessori teacher nor a parent, yet, but I don't want to miss the opportunity to learn about child cognitive development and the Montessori method from one of the world's leading Montessori educators.”

You do not want to miss this.  Follow the link to download your registration form and send it to us with your deposit by November 28th:

Now, for students aiming to make Montessori their career, we remind you  that MMEF will hear  next week about our application for TEC funding, the success in which will enable you to apply for student loans. A final reminder, therefore: ALL applications for the full AMI 3-6 Course for the next year must be processed by November 30th. Simply text Carol on 021 2601802 and she’ll look out for your application.

Ka Kite,

Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley & Lynne – MMEF Trustees

Sunday, November 6, 2011

We did it with minutes to spare!


Dear Maria Montessori Education Foundations Supporters

We did it, at 4.45p.m with a deadline of 5.00p.m on November 1st , thanks to your wonderful letters of support and overwhelming encouragement: to be precise, MMEF submitted our funding application to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC)!

Why does this matter? Because with TEC funding, WE can offer the course in 2012, and YOU can apply for a student loan and enrol!

You can sense why we're so excited.

A huge and resounding thank you to every one of you for springing into action when it really was needed the most.

And a special thank you to Montessori Aotearoa New Zealand for so promptly providing us with the facts and vital statistics to tie up all the loose ends.

Now then, for those of you keen to study for the AMI Diploma in January, even while waiting to hear of the outcome of our funding application, we urge you to complete your application and send it in today.

We say this because we must process all student applications before the end of November, and this will involve an interview, reference reports and a police check, which all take time.

So please don't delay. Please download your application form from, complete your application, and send it to us at MMEF, PO Box 108054, Symonds St, Auckland - simply add a covering letter stating that your application is pending the outcome of TEC funding.

Don't wait. The end of November will be too late to apply, so download your application form TODAY at

That’s all for now dear friends & thank you once again.

Anna, Tia, Carol, Shirley & Lynne – MMEF Trustees

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Don’t delay – act today!


Dear Supporters of the Maria Montessori Education Foundation
We did request applications by October 1st, though there are still spaces!

We are however, fast running out of time though to process applications for the January 3-6 A.M.I. course. If a career in Montessori education is one you are seriously considering – please don't delay contact MMEF on before Wednesday October 26th! 

 Reminder - Theory-Only Module January 2012
We will be offering the opportunity to study the basic Montessori theory (psycho-pedagogy) components of the AMI 3-6 course in January. This theory component will commence on Tuesday January 3rd with the anticipated duration being 3 weeks of full time study. (Further details will be available in November). In the meantime, please email with enquiries or expressions of interest.

Simon’s Cat in “Double Trouble”
And finally, this new Simon's Cat video was so laugh-out-loud funny, probably his best one since the first, I couldn’t resist leaving you with it. It's so lovely to see Simon's Cat get bested by... Simon's Kitten! [Hat tip Noodle Food]

Please email with your comments, thoughts and suggestions.
Ka Kite,
Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley, Lynne


Sunday, August 7, 2011

MMEF NEWS: “Send in those enrolments soon!”


Dear Supporters of the Maria Montessori Education Foundation, from MMEF HQ this month…..

Montessori Orientation: “Follow the Child!”

On a delightful long weekend in Matakana recently, 20 receptive participants at our Montessori Orientation Weekend – “Follow the Child” revelled in 3 days focusing on the wonder and limitless potential of young children!

One participant said how “wonderfully indulgent” the workshop had been—

to discover Montessori’s philosophy through passionate speaker Cheryl Ferreira, and to be able to devote three days to purely focus on the child, a distant cry from the completion of endless paperwork and countless meetings!” 

I hasten to add that this attendee was just introduced to Montessori over the weekend and therefore not yet attached to a Montessori school, though she’s certainly considering her future options now…

Here’s the glorious mix of teachers, assistants, school owners, parents and grandparents who travelled from as far afield as Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland to join us at Totara Hill Montessori School, Matakana.


Keep your eyes peeled here for the announcement of our next MMEF event.

Sponsorship for 3-6 AMI Training Course

MMEF has received several inquiries from potential A.M.I. students seeking sponsorship for the next 3-6 course--some are from teachers currently working in ECE settings and with teacher registration who are seeking a different approach to the education of the young.

This is an ideal opportunity for schools to acquire that rare resource: a fully-registered and N.Z-qualified A.M.I. staff member!

Please contact us at if your school is looking to sponsor an A.M.I. student. (Just let us know if you have any particular criteria important to you, e.g. you would prefer a B.Ed (ECE) and Teacher Registration or in process of the latter etc. ). The two factors MMEF always emphasise are, first, that it will be a requirement to live within travelling proximity to the sponsoring school, i.e. moving to the school’s location to commence employment and, second, that terms of sponsorship are negotiated between the school and the employee.

Applications to be received by October 1st!

  We know from the many inquiries we’ve been receiving that there are a number of course applications ‘in process’ – can we ask you to complete your application enclosures and send them to us ASAP! 

Due to the timing of this next course, (i.e. starting in January, 2012,when much of New Zealand is *closed* for the holiday season) our final planning will be underway very soon—so please help us by sending in your applications as soon as possible.  Thank you.

Theory-Only Module January 2012

In response to our last newsletter, many of you inquired about the possibility of studying for the theory and psycho-pedagogy components of the course in January.

To give you a little background information, MMEF offered school owners and administrators the opportunity to enrol for the theory-only module of the last course, thus offering the opportunity to those in administrative roles (including school owners) to gain an understanding of the theoretical underpinning of Montessori’s approach to child development. By all accounts these have been extremely popular in other parts of the world!

We will be offering this again next year, with the theory component commencing Tuesday January 3rd and the anticipated duration being 3-4 weeks of full time study. (Exact dates, times and cost will be finalised and sent to you all shortly.) In the meantime, please email with any further enquiries or expressions of interest.

Date for your Diary

Here’s an upcoming event to add to your diary:

  • MMEF Information Evening – Monday August 22nd, Ponsonby Montessori
    Kindergarten, 244 Richmond Road, Ponsonby – 7.00 - 8.30p.m
    Come along, bring a friend and find out all about the next AMI 3-6 Course!

That’s all for now. Stay warm, reflect on this thoughtful Zen Proverb ….

If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking”

Anna, Carol, Tia, Shirley & Lynne 
MMEF Trustees

Monday, July 4, 2011

AMI 3-6 Interviews NOW being Scheduled – You Know You Want To!

Dear Supporters of the Maria Montessori Education Foundation

We’ve been receiving many inquiries about the next course –great - do keep those inquiries coming! As a general response we’re inviting each of you who are even contemplating applying to send in your applications as soon as possible!


Because Director of Training – Cheryl Ferreira is coming to town!

Cheryl will be in Auckland until 23rd July, offering the perfect opportunity for interviews to be scheduled. Email or call Carol 021 0260 1802 today and let’s arrange a time!

Expressions of interest for the Theory ONLY lectures in January

At the beginning of the last AMI 3-6 Course, MMEF invited school owners and administrators the opportunity to join us for the first module only, to hear the theory lectures that joyfully unfold the intricacies of child development according to Maria Montessori.

With the next course commencing in January we are seeking expressions of interest from anyone who would like to study the theoretical underpinning of the Montessori Philosophy and discover – why we do the things we do?

  • Sensitive Periods
  • The Absorbent Mind
  • Human Tendencies
  • The Four Planes of Development

These are just some of the topics we explore. Intrigued to know more? Then email with your expression of interest.

Questionnaire – can you assist us?

As many of you may well know, the Maria Montessori Education Foundation (that’s us, folks) has gone to considerable lengths establishing a New Zealand AMI Montessori training centre – offering an AMI qualification here at home that is internationally recognised. Our aim, as articulated by many of you, is to continue delivering high quality and a greater choice of Montessori-trained teachers here in New Zealand.

We love receiving your feedback and your questions. So here are the answers to the most frequently received questions from you, followed by some of our own for you:-

Q: Is the MMEF AMI course only offered in Auckland?
A: To date, numbers in Auckland and availability of rental space there means Auckland remains our location of choice currently.

Q: Can I get a government loan for the MMEF AMI course?
A: Due to funding caps, we are presently unable to access the government student loans facility for our students. However, both ASB and The National Bank are amenable to offering Tertiary Loans to our students.

Q: Why do course fees seem so high?
A: The course fees are comparable to those in Asia, Europe and Australia. While we have done everything possible to reduce costs for you, the fees are determined by the cost of the experienced trainer(s) and examiners, and the rental of premises to meet all NZQA requirements and to furnish and equip a complete training environment and practice classroom. This is the cost of quality.

Now, could you please take a moment to answer the following six questions to assist us with our future planning (and to fulfill our ongoing NZQA compliance!): Click the link on questions to respond.

Thank you for assisting us to assist you!

Ka Kite,
Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley, Lynne


Monday, May 23, 2011

Workshops, ‘Babies’ and more. But first …

Dear Supporters of the Maria Montessori Education Foundation, we’ve got another event-packed newsletter for you this month…..

“The child will show us the way…”Clarisse with Geo Cabinet

At Birkenhead Point Montessori School last weekend, we enjoyed our very first MMEF/AMI Alumni gathering! 

Thirteen enthusiastic Montessorians gave up their normally leisurely Sunday morning to discuss the unique characteristics of the The Absorbent Mind no less! Summing up the morning, Cathy Woodhouse, our MMEF Alumni Co-ordinator, said:

It was great to merge the energy and enthusiasm of newly qualified students with the passion and wisdom of experienced Montessorians. To see so many minds engaged, enthusiastically discussing the child’s acquisition of movement, language and culture during their first six years was so beneficial for us all.”

Carol Potts opened the discussion with a reminder to refresh ourselves with the Montessori principles as a guide to our actions.  And then Molly O’Shaughnessy was quoted to set the tone for the prevailing gatherings….Molly, who at the recent refresher entitled Theory to Practice spoke of two Montessori principles –

a passion for truth  where Montessori believed that one of the greatest truths or principles she discovered was that ‘we’ are not in charge – nature is – and all of our work with children must follow from this basic principle.
“The second principle she discovered was that it is the child that will show us the way; if we do not follow the child we do not encounter the truth

A lofty beginning indeed, followed up by a brief overview of the much under-utilised Geometric Cabinet.

A stimulating morning indeed—and the first of many more to come.

If you hold an AMI diploma and would like to join us for the next meeting, contact Cathy Woodhouse on

* * July Workshop Reminder:

‘Montessori Orientation – Follow the Child’

  • Wellington – Wednesday 20th July – Friday 22nd July
  • Auckland – Saturday 16th July – Monday 18th July

Enjoy an end-of-term break in the glorious wine region of Matakana! Or check out New Zealand’s largest Montessori school! All while exploring Montessori’s key principles.  That’s what these two workshops, which you can attend in either Auckland or Wellington, give you the chance to do.

(And the start time of the Auckland 3-day workshop allows you to visit the famous Matakana Farmer’s Market en route.)

The workshops are open to classroom assistants, ECE teachers, parents, school administrators and owners. They’re an ideal workshop for:

* those working as an assistant in a Montessori environment

* anyone considering Montessori teacher training in the future

* parents to deepen their understanding of Montessori in the home

Cheryl colourDuring the first six years of life, each child creates their individual personality. They acquire language, co-ordinate their movements and take in the cultural traits of those around them.
The experiences of the child from birth to six will shape the unique adult he/she will become. What guidance can be gleaned from Montessori to support the child’s natural development? Is the physical environment key? What is the adult’s role? How do we elicit each child’s inner potential?

These ideas and more will be the springboard for a lively 3 day workshop with our Director of Training - Cheryl Ferreira.

* * Babies

And as a little light entertainment - this brilliant movie currently doing the rounds is a must see!!

The masterful filming follows four babies from Namibia, Japan, San Francisco & Mongolia. Without narration, the camera begins rolling as the babies take their first breath and concludes as each one begins to walk…. As the film finished at my nearby cinema, a communal sigh could be heard!

It is priceless!

And finally….

It’s time to start thinking about the 2012 3-6 diploma course, starting in January!

Visit the MMEF website for the next AMI 3-6 diploma course dates and download your application form today—or send the link to someone who might benefit.

MMEF is accepting enrolments now with interviews being arranged for July! And, of course, please approach us if you have any questions about having your school sponsor a student who might become the next (or the first!) AMI director/directress in your environment.

Please email with your comments, thoughts and suggestions.

Ka Kite,
Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley, Lynne


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March Musings…Next Course Dates Announced

Dare we mention the start of the year when it’s already nearing the end of March…though before telling you all our news let us first recap one or two momentous event from January….


ON JANUARY 19TH, the ecstatic students of the first New Zealand AMI 3-6 Course graduated! As the students received their diplomas from Director of Training Cheryl Ferreira, it was standing room only as family, friends and distinguished guests, including AMI examiners Amy Kirkham and Pamela Nunn, shared the celebrations.

AMI External examiner, Hilla Patell spoke reverently of the importance of the work that the students were about to embark on. Student Teresa Durrant delivered an emotional thank you speech on behalf of the students with particular gratitude to Cheryl for her support, encouragement and inspiration throughout the course.

Frivolity ensued as one of the students presented all graduates, Cheryl and Carol with a T-shirt with what became Cheryl’s catch-phrase during the course printed on it….

Think About It!  


NZQA gives MMEF glowing External Evaluation Result

OUR FIRST CLASS OF  graduates wasn’t the only excitement in January. MMEF also received positive results following the NZQA External Evaluation Review at the beginning of the year. The NZQA reviewers were impressed by the camaraderie of the students and their approach to their studies - rather than seeking external support, NZQA said, the students searched within themselves and tackled their tasks!

A couple of snippets from the report,

“Many of the students compared the AMI training experience to their early childhood
education degree programme and, although the Montessori training was in-depth and
challenging, they said it was very rewarding and gave them a greater knowledge and
understanding of children’s potential and the respect required to nurture positive


The AMI director of training who is currently delivering the programme is an inspirational teacher and actively attracts and engages the students in learning. The director has a wealth of experience and knowledge in Montessori education, has a sound reputation in the sector, and is highly respected worldwide.

The overall result was Highly Confident in Educational Performance and Confident for Self -Assessment. We are delighted!

AMI 3-6 Course Dates 2012 - 2013

5th Jan 201120110112_P1120133 Module 1 - Tuesday 3rd January – Saturday 11th February 2012   (6 weeks)

Module 2 - Tuesday 10th April – Friday 4th May (4weeks)

Module 3 - Monday 18th June – Friday 13th July (4weeks)

Module 4 - Monday 17th September – Friday 12th October (4weeks)

Module 5 - Monday 7th January – Saturday 16th February 2013 (6 weeks inc. written and oral exams)

Note: Occasional Saturdays may be required during Modules 2 & 5 to make up for the statutory holidays.

Applications now being received, please email for the Course Application Pack.

WORKSHOP: ‘Montessori Orientation – Follow the Child’

WE ARE ALSO DELIGHTED to announce two forthcoming workshops in Auckland and Wellington presenting some of the key principles of the Montessori philosophy.

Auckland – Saturday 16th July – Monday 18th July

Wellington – Wednesday 20th July – Friday 22nd July

During the first six years of life, each child creates their individual personality. They acquire language, co-ordinate their movements and take in the cultural traits of those around them. The experiences of the child from birth to six will shape the unique adult he/she will become. What guidance can be gleaned from Montessori to support the child’s natural development? Is the physical environment key? What is the adult’s role? How do we elicit each child’s inner potential?

Ferreira_CherylThese ideas and more will be the springboard for a lively 3 day workshop with our Director of Training - Cheryl Ferreira.

The workshop is open to parents, ECE teachers, school administrators, school owners. This workshop is ideal for anyone considering Montessori teacher training in the future including those working as an assistant in a Montessori environment and for parents seeking to have a deeper understanding of Montessori to integrate valued learning between school and home.

Workshop registration forms will be emailed to you all soon!

Meet-up with Ginni Sackett at MANZ Conference in Rotorua – Sunday 17th April.

For anyone interested to hear more about AMI 3-6 training, come and join us on Sunday lunchtime at the MANZ Conference. The exact space is yet to be decided though come and see us on the MMEF stand and we’ll tell you where and when for this informal gathering!

That’s all for now,

Carol, Tia, Anna, Shirley & Lynne

MMEF Trustees