02 December, 2019, By Christine O'Leary

It’s a big week and big day at MIC as all of our transitioning students say goodbye to their Guides and classmates and embark on the next stage of their journey,.

Our 5-year-olds joined their Early Years Prep classes, our 6-year-olds left Early Years and joined Junior Primary, our Year 3 students made the journey over to Senior Primary, our Year 6 students are enjoying their first day in the Adolescent Community and our Year 9s are now in the first day of the Senior Phase. So many changes!

Of course, change and growth is always an exciting adventure but it can be a challenging time as well. At MIC our transitions are handled gently and with great care, while also ensuring the children are ready to embrace the new opportunities that await them.

A core tenet of the Montessori philosophy is that children learn how to persevere despite challenges, and on transition day it’s never more clear how much this serves them. The ability to make mistakes without being corrected, to challenge themselves without fear of being ‘wrong’ and to freely interact and collaborate with others, all creates an inner confidence and determination that holds students in good stead in all situations – and this includes walking into a brand new classroom, with new classmates and a new Guide. Challenging and new? Absolutely. Scary? A little bit. Exciting and something they have the confidence to take on fairly easily? Without a doubt.

Which locker can I use? Where do I sit and what do I do first? MIC children are encouraged to ask questions so they have no qualms with asking what they need to know the moment they enter a new environment.

This morning our Early Years students were walked upstairs to Junior Primary and although there was a few “I’m nervous” comments, they all looked more excited than nervous. Met at the door of their Junior Primary class with a warm handshake and a greeting by name, before being quickly introduced to their ‘buddy’ – the children adapted to their new environments quickly, with nary a wave to their Early Years Guide who was trying to say goodbye. (It has to be said that some of the Guides looked more emotional saying goodbye to the children than the children were! Which is understandable given they’ve been guiding these children for three long years.)

It’s a big moment for the Early Years students staying behind as well! Saying goodbye to their friends and mentors, they know that before too long it will be them making the big move to Junior Primary. This morning the Bama children formed an impromptu guard of honour to farewell their friends moving up to Junior Primary.

An impromptu guard of honour by our Early Years students in Bama.

Meanwhile our Year 3 students were walked over to Senior Primary by their Guides and delivered to their new Guides and environments. Similarly, warm hand shakes, eye contact and a welcome by name were all the norm.

In Gawung, a specific lesson for the new students quickly got underway to orient the new Year 4s to the class. This week, the Year 6s will be in charge of all Year 4 lessons and have been planning this for some time. Lessons to be delivered this week include the 7 Wonders of the World, Space, Class Cooking and more. This will serve not only as a great way for the new students to get to know their classmates but also as an important opportunity for the oldest children in the class to practice their leadership skills. Some days it really is so clear why multi-age classes work so well here at MIC.

How we do things around here! A Welcome to Gawung lesson for the new Year 4s.

And over at the high school, the new cohort of transitioning Year 7s made their way over the bridge to join the Adolescent Community for the first time, and our Year 9s joined the Senior Phase. Today they will each join their advisory and mentor groups, which will be their ‘home group’ for the next three years. This week students will be oriented to their new environment with a strong focus for the adolescents being preparing for Odyssey (a 10-day epic journey that the whole Adolescent Community will take in Term 1 next year).

Off to High School! A big day for our transitioning Year 6s as they start their high school journey at MIC.
Our Year 9s are looking forward to their final years of high school as they join the Senior Phase this week.

We wish all of our transitioning students the very best this week!

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