Lower Secondary (ages 12 to 15)
Critical thinking and exploring deeper moral and social values.
We prepare students for adult life through Montessori’s ‘Plan of Study and Work’.
The holistic plan underlines the interdependency of everything that surrounds us instead of breaking learning up into small disciplines, and it is an approach that supports the moral, social and personal development of each student.
The focus for the adolescent students is on the development of the personality, on moral and social development and their preparation for participation in society as future adults, both through theoretical knowledge and practical experience.
Social and economic independence the third plane of development.
The adolescent seeks independence from their caregivers and aims to serve the community in a larger content.
Montessori based her educational philosophy on the idea that children develop through a series of four planes. At this age (12-15), children enter the third plane of development, which is a period when they desire social and financial independence while trying to find their place within society.
Want to know more about Montessori’s planes of development? Check out our glossary:
Theoretical knowledge and purposeful work.
Learning at this age happens through social interactions, and the task of the adolescent is to develop their personality in the context of a social organisation – this happens through purposeful work that serves the community.
As children transition to adolescence, we address their changing developmental needs and prepare them for adulthood and the real world by developing theoretical knowledge and putting it into practice.
We believe that by supporting the adolescents in their task to become adults through immersion in meaningful learning, they gain the skills needed to become self-motivated and invested learners.
Through adult-level interaction and purposeful problem-solving work, we encourage individuality and support each child in developing their personality, all within the context of a social organisation.
While projects may focus on specific disciplines, all work incorporates language, writing and mathematical skills, as well as practical components, with progress monitored by subject teachers and the advisory teacher.
At this time, the studies ought to be directed toward humanity, toward human life… the feeling of society, which ought to contribute to more understanding among [people], and as a result, more love.”
– Dr Maria Montessori
Working on the land and in our micro-economy.
Montessori recognised the need for the adolescent to become economically independent. The Montessori adolescent syllabus prescribes that students should be actively involved in the production and exchange of goods and services – the result is the micro-economy program.
At our school, our micro-economy program within our lower secondary class (Years 7-10) engages students to work in four different groups: Food, Farm, Factory, and Structures. Every student gets the chance to experience the four groups throughout the year and, as they progress through lower secondary, their involvement within the program evolves.
We partner with Landsdale Farm to enable our students to connect with the earth, make a meaningful contribution to their community and integrate farm experiences into their academic work.
Within the micro-economy program, students have established a business: Honkey Nuts. Their best-known business endeavour is a waste-free café, which they manage and operate themselves. The students have maintained a waste-free ethos so all products such as coffee, sugar, tea, are purchased in refillable containers; they serve beverages in keep cups or fully compostable take away cups. In addition, they also produce amazing products, such as candles, soaps, and bath bombs – with the flagship products being lip balms and body butter.
The Montessori National Curriculum is approved by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).
The secondary academic curriculum covers:
- Language (English & German)
- Mathematics, Geometry and Measurement
- Science and Occupations
- Creative Arts (Visual Arts, Drama, Music)
- Health and Physical Education
Helping the community while understanding their place in society.
During this period of development, children are refining their moral compass while developing a stronger sense of responsibility.
Over the years, our students have been heavily involved in the community, helping those in need and stepping outside their comfort zone to explore the world around them. Their community work has included sponsoring a child through the Sunshine Foundation, collecting backpacks and purchasing much-needed items to fill those backpacks for Youth Futures, and travelling to Thailand to immerse in a new culture. In addition, they donate 20% of Honkey Nuts’s profits to charities that support causes close to their hearts.
Welcoming children from different learning backgrounds.
Our lower secondary multi-aged classroom houses up to 30 students, split into two groups: Lower Secondary 1 (Years 7 and 8) and Lower Secondary 2 (Years 9 and 10). We welcome students from different education paths, including international students. For families wishing to transfer their children from mainstream schools to our school, please note that we can offer trial days to ensure that we are the right fit for your child and for your family.
Above all it is the education of adolescent that is important because adolescence is the time when the child enters the state of [adult]hood and becomes a member of society.