I do apologise for not being in touch since we left. The last year in Melbourne has been fun but daily life was pretty much a state of organised chaos. I home schooled T because the kindergarten standard was appalling and I did not want her to regress.
T still tells everyone Smart Start Montessori is the best kindergarten and wants to send the twins across to you. We would if we hadn’t relocated to Tauranga. T is currently schooling at Bethlehem College and loves school life. The hardest part is getting her out of school, and during school holidays when she insists no one needs a break from school.
T sends her warmest regards to all of you. When we do go to Auckland on some weekends, she always asks to go to Smart Start. We usually stay with I and S Wong and she remembers the route we travelled so she knows they live near Smart Start. She also remembers some of her classmates like A and M. She walks up and speaks in Cantonese to them. I didn’t think she would remember them but amazingly, she does!
T has certainly blossomed and she still credits Smart Start for her love of school. She remembers Mrs. Sarah carrying her when she was upset and tying her ‘princess’ hair. T also remembers some Sri Lankan and words that you’ve taught her, Mrs. Annulani. And the songs! She teaches the twins songs she’s learnt at Smart Start too.
You lovely ladies are all thought of and talked about often at our home. I would like to thank you all for being such amazing influences on T! You have set the bar very high that even a city such as Melbourne pales in comparison. Your team is one of a kind and we are grateful to have been a part of Smart Start. We hope that you ladies will continue to inspire the many children who come through the doors of Smart Start Montessori!
J moved to Smart Start about 9 months ago when we moved into the area. He was already familiar with the Montessori environment, so we were keen for him to continue exploring the world around us and travel deeper into topics of interest.
J quickly made a new friend on his first day and settled in faster than we could have hoped. While all the teachers were fantastic, we would like to especially thank Sarah for encouraging and guiding J’s interest in words and numbers, and Summer for nurturing J’s kindness and helpfulness experiences.
J starts school next week and we are confident he is more than well prepared for the next step in education.
Thank you so much for growing our little treasure! We will all miss the Smart Start team.
Our daughters transition into Smart Start Montessori has been such an easy, smooth transition. The teachers create an incredibly calm and welcoming atmosphere, and hold control of the room in a warm and caring way.
Drop offs in the morning have become a stress free and quick experience which is a complete 180 on what drop offs were like at her last day care.
She is really happy when we pick her up and it has been so nice to see her so settled so quickly. In just a few short weeks we have really noticed her confidence grow, we have seen her actively wanting to get involved in group activities and now having the confidence to do that. We can’t wait to see her confidence grow even more!
Thanks again Rebecca, we have been so impressed with how O has settled and how her confidence is growing already.
Dear Mrs Anulani and Ms Sarah, and other lovely teachers,
We want to write to sincerely thank you for taking good care of our daughter E.
We can not thank you enough for your hard work, patience and for giving E everything needed to have fun during learning.
The reading and writing concepts are working really well. We are so pleased to watch her growing and learning from step to step.
We greatly appreciate your enthusiasm and passionfor children and for comforting them when they're crying or unwell.
Thank you for everything that you do.
Merry Christmas to you all and Happy New Year.
All the best to Smart Start Montessori. Warmly, V, L, E and A.
To the wonderful Smart Start family.
Thank you for loving C and helping her to grow into the confident, happy and creative young lady.
The teaching of respect, social and acedemic elements has been wonderful for C, and prepared her well for school.
Much love and thanks,
A heartfelt thank you to the entire Smart Start family!
Our little K has grown so much over the past 2 years at Smart Start. We have come to be absolute believers in the wonderful Montessori philosophy.
We have witnessed a tremendous growth in K and we're so proud to share that week 2 into primary school, he has been bumped up a grade for excellence in reading!
We are very grateful to the wonderful teachers at Smart Start Montessori for all their care and hard work and will truly miss you all.
We wish you all the very best in everything you do!
E has enjoyed her time at kindy very much. We are so impressed with your teaching, caring and professional approach to child care.
Thank you so much for all you, Mrs Anulani and Mrs Sarah and the other teachers have done, in making our daughter feel happy, cared, well educated and teaching her good manners.
We will bring a treat in one day of her last week, to celebrate her birthday and graduation.
Best Regards, L and V
Mrs Anulani and Mrs Sarah,
Thank you so much for everthing you have taught E and F over the last few years.
Your patience, dedication, support and encouragement have transformed them into polite, happy, confident and sociable boys. It is wonderful how far they have come during their time with you.
E and F have felt safe and happy at Smart Start Montessori and consider it more a second home than a school.
We truly believe that Smart Start Montessori gave E and F the very best start to continue their individual Journey through "big" school and beyond.
Thank you, C and M
Dear Mrs Sarah, Mrs Anulani and the rest of the "Smart Start" teaching team,
Thank you SO much for taking such wonderful care of our K and for helping her be so ready to move on to "big school".
K has genuinely loved her time with you all!
We wish you all the best for the future.
G joined Smart Start aged 2 years and 10 months and left when he turned 5 and moved on to primary school. He loved his time there.
The environment provided just the right balance of structure and freedom for him to flourish in all aspects; socially, academically and creatively.
He discovered a love of learning and in particular reading. He started school 3 weeks ago and so far has transitioned really well.
Thank you for providing such a wonderful learning environment. It is an inspirational warm and unique place you all have created.
I cannot speak highly enough of this wonderful little school. Z. has gained practical, social and intellectual skills to last her a lifetime.
We shall miss you all at Smart Start Montessori.
I wanted to drop you a quick note now that S has graduated from Smart Start Montessori.
C started Smart Start when he was 2, back in 2013, he absolutely loved attending and being in Year 3 now still has very fond memories of the work he did there, the friends he made, and of course the wonderful teachers. He felt well placed to start ‘big school’ following on his experiences at Montessori. When dropping off S he often wanted to pop in to see his old work stations and say hi to Miss Vivian.
S also started Smart Start when she was 2, back in 2015 and had a wonderful time making friends and learning. She has told me she is going to miss her teachers very much and would like to go back to visit and share her ‘big school’ adventures.
As a parent it warms my heart that my children had such a safe and caring environment to grow up in. I remind the children often of the Montessori philosophy which they love, and is reflected more and more as they get older through their continual kindness, generosity, and eagerness to learn. Thank you very much for their experiences, and Smart Start Montessori will always hold fond memories with myself, C, and S. We will all miss you greatly, but will be sure to visit occasionally!
Dear Anulani, Sarah, Rebecca and the many support teacherrs at Smart Start.
Thank you so much for your support of G in his preschool years at Smart Start.
He has loved his time with you and develpoed an incredible amount.
While he is ready to move on I kniow he will miss you all, as will I.
Thank you for everything.
A huge thank you to you and all of the teachers at Smart Start for the wonderful (almost) three years that S has spent with you.
I’ve never had a single reason to worry or grumble and S’s confidence and abilities are exceptional. So much of this has been down to the excellent support and guidance she has had from your team.
The teachers are just so warm and caring and a real credit to the school. Please say a special thank you to Miss Mei.
I’ll pop in during the new term with a gift for the school and the teachers as a gesture of our appreciation for all of the care you have given S.
On another note, we had our first parent teacher conference for C at Mt Eden Normal today. Her teacher stated that she wished all parents would just send their kids to Montessori as all the kids she has had through (she had C G, S’s brother last year) have been so well prepared for school and just jump ahead so quickly. She said not only did they have reading and maths capabilities but also that they also socialised and listened in class beautifully. I thought I would pass this on as it really is a credit to Smart Start and the great teachers you have.
To the beautiful team at Montessori.
We are so thankful to each of youfor the incredible, kind, nuturing care you have shown towards our boy.
After moving him from a local kindy, we are blown away in the difference you have made in his confidence as well as his learning.
You all have unigue personalities with beautiful gifts and combined have created an amazing, caring, loving atmosphere. A place where our son has felt at home. H loves all of you (his hugs prove that!) and we feel very blessed with your input. Thank you.
Thank you very much for all you have done for our K.
You have all been so loving, kind,caring and shown K how to respect, have good manners and values.
She has grown into such a woderful little girl and has learnt so much during her time at Montessori. We really do appreciate all you have done. Our family will miss you all.
You are awesome. In A's life you have played a priceless part and no words to express my gratitude. You must know the special place you hold in A's and our heart.
A's transformation is awsome. All the credit should gpo to all the teachers. You are very talented, skilled and very caring. You know how to teach your children good manners, skills , knowledge and all the important characteristics.
Shame about the weather today, G is having his graduation next week and I just want to say such a big thankyou to you for walking beside me and talking to me about concerns I feel incredibly spoilt and blessed to have found you guys and you have be so flexible with hours and having G until he turned 6.
I wish he could spend another year with you guys and I hope one day children have the benefit of this with early childhood education. However I know now that I made the right decision in holding him back he has made enormous progress over the past year and I can see he will be ready for the formalities of school now.
He has also made the most wonderful friends who are so kind and respectful of other children and adults. He has made an extra special friend in Mrs Sarah who has worked so hard with him and comforted him when i haven't been there to do so.
Seriously I feel like you guys saved my parenting and I'm so so grateful. I have tears in my eyes as I write this and I know how much G will miss everyone and I'm also glad we get to pop back in when picking L up thank you again.
My son started Smart Start Montessori at the age of 3. Prior to Smart Start, he was at a day-care. He was a typical boy, couldn't sit still for more than 1 second, took no interest in writing. He has eczema which was out of control (day-cares are too busy to cream him on a regular basis and lacked confidence).
A friend of mine recommended Smart Start Montessori, after I spoke to her about my concerns regarding my son.
The change in him after commencing at Smart Start Montessori has been phenomenal.
From performing in the yearly concert, to writing his name and speaking with confidence in front of the class. This change is all thanks to the wonderful, nurturing and caring, yet firm boundaries set for all the children.
They understand each and every child's personality and help them develop and grow. They went above and beyond to help my son manage his eczema, on top of their already busy work load.
Credit to all the teachers and the principal Rebecca for what they achieve with every child at the centre, on a daily basis.
My son also loved the holiday programme at the end of each Term. They are interactive, crafty and fun.
I recommend Smart Start Montessori to my friends and family. The foundation that is created for a child, to set them up for school, is priceless.
I am very pleased to have the opportunity to write this testimonial. We have been lucky enough to have had two children attend this centre (so far) over the last 4 years. Our family has experienced the full range of childcare options in this neighbourhood over the last 6.5 years; attending Playcentre, Kindergarten, creche and daycare, as well as Smart Start all for periods of at least 1 year! We believe that the Smart Start PreSchool in Grange Road has provided the best care of our children and we have reorganised our lives so that they could all benefit from
Firstly, the staff here at Grange Road are very experienced and very stable. Across this whole time period Ms Mei and Mrs Vivian have been there and built very strong relationships with our two girls. Both teachers exemplify for us the values we wish to model for our children. They are incredibly kind, very creative, and really respond to childrens’ interests.
They take time to wonder at the little insects in their vegetable garden, or pick fruit and talk about this in a wider context: how plants grow, healthy food, changes in our environment. We also appreciate the constructive way the teachers deal with disruptive behaviours they are gently firm but very positive with the children; upholding values of respect and consideration for others with great consistency. This ensures a very safe, calm and happy atmosphere where children can experience how to behave effectively within a group. The children recognise that they are cared
for and they also behave in a very caring, inclusive way.
Mrs Raman has also been an absolutely wonderful teacher for Georgia. She is so warm and patient, and always gently guiding the children through their day. We are so very happy for her that she is having a baby and wish for her all the joys of that first baby. Hopefully, she may return in time to care for our last daughter!
Secondly, the teaching of maths, science and language concepts has been outstanding. I am a teacher and did not have any goals for my children’s learning prior to them starting school; believing that it is important to play, explore the world and love listening to stories. However, I have been thoroughly impressed with the Montessori approach to learning it has never felt forced and has a wonderful emphasis on ‘learning how to learn’ by using a range of really enjoyable reinforcement techniques and encourages questions from children.
The teachers spend quality oneonone time with each child, and they encourage each child very effectively. It
feels very childlead our girls have learnt at their own pace, and have been given the freedom to pursue their different interests and strengths whilst obtaining a very good grounding of maths, language and scientific skills.
I was a little worried that our kids would enter school with so much already learnt that Year 0/1 would be boring perhaps they might even be put off learning at school as they ‘knew it all’ : this was absolutely wrong. Both girls have started well ahead of others in Maths and Reading/Writing but they have held onto their love of learning, been sufficiently challenged in the Year 1 classroom but also keen to extend themselves in an independent way. We credit Smart Start for this.
Thirdly, all of these important values and skill are learnt seemingly effortlessly mixed in with a great sense of fun and a true appreciation for differences amongst people and how special each person in the room is.
Thank you so very much for your care and attention to our children. We hope to see you all again in two years time with our last!
J and D Cunningham.
23rd May 2016
Thank you Mrs Sarah and Mrs Anulani for providing M with a stimulating, secure and loving environment here at Montessori.
M has learnt so much in her 15 months with you. She is always reciting new songs from her sessions and her writing and general confidence have grown immensely!
Thank you very much for your part in M's growth and development as she heads off to school.
10th May 2016
It is with great sadness that S’s last day has arrived, but so thankful for the 2 years and 1 Term she was a Montessori girl. Oh how they Blossom!
Thank you for all you have done, shared, educated and encouraged S in her development and growth. Smart Start Montessori has been the perfect fit and choice for S’s early education. For this we have been blessed.
Arohanui and Be well.
28th April 2016
Our daughter M attended Smart Start for just under 1 year. Thank you so much to Mrs Sarah and Mrs Anulani, you both were so kind and caring to M and she loved coming to learn and play.
Her transition to school was made so much easier thanks to everyone at Smart Start - on her first day of school she went up 5 reading boxes!!
Thanks heaps to you all, I am so happy we chose Smart Start :) T & K
Thank you so much for everything you have done and continue to do for our family.
You are so lovely and we can’t put into words how grateful we are for your kindness, understanding, patience organization and wisdom.
You have made this chapter of our lives so much smoother and give us great peace of mind and for that we are eternally grateful.
Wishing you and your family a well-deserved break and lots of special time together.
Quick note to say thank you - the girls have settled in much quicker than expected and we're very grateful for the warm, supportive and nurturing environment created by yourself and your team.
Please pass on our sincere thanks to Miss Vivian and Miss Mei!
Our aim at this stage is for K and C to really look forward to school and associate learning with a highly positive, enjoyable experience. We love that they run in to hug their teachers every day and are very chatty about school!
Thank you again for helping them with this big step.
L and A.
Dear Sarah, Anulani, Rebecca and Raman,
Thank you so much for everything you have shown O. - a mini world of knowledge and experience. A. and I are so grateful for all the care and attention you have given O over the past 2 and half years. I feel sad that the time has come for her to leave you all, but happy that she is so well prepared for school thanks to you.
THANKS A MILLION. WE LOVE SMART START!
I just wanted to touch base with you as I haven't seen you since our initial meet. C has already completed her first 2 weeks at Grange Rd...it's gone so quickly! The teachers have been warm, welcoming and very caring to both C and myself.
She seems very happy to go every morning and doesn't want to leave when I pick her up.
Your school is a wonderful learning and caring environment!
Many thanks again,
Thank you so much for your text message on Friday, that was very sweet of you and no need to apologise for not being there. It was very low key!! :)
You know how grateful I am to you and the teachers for all that was done for W while she was at 'Smart Start'.
The experience that we had there went well beyond my expectations and I really feel that W has been given an amazing start in her life journey. I couldn't have wished for more.
It is a very special little kindy. We will miss you.
We will see you on Friday though, when W will return for her guest appearance in the performance! :)
All our love,
P and W xxx
How are you? I am J and T’s mum M. It was very nice to talk to you today.
I wish my reference can help you to know how J transfer well to primary school.
At the age of 3, he started going Smart Start. He learnt many different things there, such as practical life, Social skill, math, reading, writing, etc. To learn how to read was a huge benefit when he started going to School. Not only reading skill, teacher at Smart Start taught him comprehension before going school. At school, the teacher recognised him as a very advanced student. She asked me how J learnt so many things. When I said he went to Smart Start, she understood why.
One of the greatest things at Smart Start was to gain how to concentrate. J likes drawing a picture. (Smart Start’s)Teacher gave him an opportunity to draw as long as he wants. At home he spent time for drawing for a few hours every day! He learnt concentration.
He has no problem with his peers. At Smart Start children’s age are mixed. It is very good for them how to treat each other. J. learnt a lot of things from older children.
My first impression at Smart Start was that the children were very calm, quiet. I was wondering he could be like them. Under wonderful teacher’s care, he has changed a lot since then! I have a lot of respect for the teachers . They always give me good advice, tell me what I need to teach him. (still now!)
Having good teachers and the Montessori method made J. so much easier to transfer to school.
Our son has attended Smart Start Montessori for the past 2.5 years and we can't recommend it highly enough! He has thoroughly enjoyed his 'pre-school' experience, whilst having the benefit of gaining a wealth of knowledge and a true passion for learning new things. His individual needs and interests have been encouraged and catered for, whilst being exposed to a board curriculum and learning experiences that are interactive, hands-on, real-life, challenging and FUN!
The teaching staff are friendly, firm, kind and extremely supportive and nurturing. They keep parents well-informed of their child's progress and interests and maintain a detailed portfolio of students' achievements.
I am more than confident that my son is well prepared for his first year at school thanks to the valuable lessons he has learnt during his time at Smart Start. We are certainly sad to be leaving the Smart Start family.
My son's been attending Montessori Preschool for over a year now. I love how much attention he gets from his teachers who are very friendly and caring. They encourage him to express his true feelings and they know him very well. He is receiving fantastic education, I believe the best possible start thanks to his dedicated teachers and strong academic Montessori Program. My son's made amazing progress within a year, he's learnt independence and made lots of friends. Ben is very lucky boy to be part of Montessori Preschool on Ellerton Rd.
I want to thank you so much for making Ben's time at kindy such a happy and settled one.
I am M's father. Today is M’s fifth birthday and his last day in Montessori. I am writing to give our special thank you to Mrs Alpana Chandra and Mrs Anulani Liyanagama.
We are greatly grateful for the excellent work they have done with M. M was a very shy boy and not confident enough to make friends or learn new knowledge. But thanks to their patience, love and great teaching skills, M is now a totally different child. He is good at reading , writing, math and basic computer skills. He has friends at school, and most of all, he is a happy kid. When we ask M who he wanted to invite to his Birthday party, he replied “Mrs Alpana and Mrs Anulani”.
We know we have made the right decision to send M to Smart Start Montessori, and we have been lucky to have Alpana and Anulani as M’s teachers.
Once again, thank you for all your efforts and remarkable work.
W is leaving Montessori once he completes this 4th Term due to starting Primary education from February 2010.
His experience at Montessori has made a strong fund towards his confidence in his next step. M and I are pleased to see William’s development led by Mrs Chandana, Mrs May, Mrs Vivian and other teachers.
Thank you for all your support.
We (my husband and I) feel that the environment (atSmart Start Montessori,Grange Rd) is truly terrific. attends two full days a week. She has developed tremendously over the year that she has attended. The outstanding staff has been/are truly wonderful in providing her with a gentle, calm and nurturing environment to shine in. loves all her teachers and feels safe and secure.
We are very happy with the ‘curriculum’ as it is providing A with a good knowledge of the content and skills essential to the basis of literacy and numeracy. We recognize there are two three hour programmes that A partakes in, within the day. She has less outside free play time then other providers, but we are comfortable with this balance. She has plenty of time to run off energy in those slots. We also provide her with opportunities for imaginative play in the home.
The flexibility that Smart Start offers around the structure of the hours has given the opportunity to join the work force again. This opportunity does not present itself within the local Kindergartens – providing a long day programme.
We are very happy with our decision for our daughter to be educated within a Montessori environment. She is a well balance little girl. Once again the staff is truly exceptional in the job they do.
I just wanted to pass on my thanks to the teachers at Ellerton Rd for their great work. They have been organizing some great activities for the children and I think it is marvelous. B particularly enjoyed the yoga and gardening. He is really keen to do some activities again. It is wonderful for him to have the opportunity to explore his world and his body, and find himself capable of doing things. It can only help with building his self esteem, so important in our beautiful little ones.
You have a great team at Ellerton Rd with Anulani and Alpana.Anulani seems a lot more comfortable in her new role and that confidence is visible in the calm of the classroom. It is the lovely place to be. Alpana is an absolute gem. Her love of children radiates from her and she is great at keeping me about what is doing, both when I pick up B and in the stories she has added to B’s book. We all value the book as a family and share it with extended family. T is so proud of his little brother and B loves sharing his book. Alpana is truly wonderful with the children.
Oh Rebecca you are more than welcome - sorry it wasn't much but we really do appreciate everything our Smart Start family have done for us!! I told Mrs Mei it was the best decision we ever made to send M and N there and we thank everyone for making their time there such a success.
N is settled into school nicely (said he found the first day "awesome, awesome, awesome") and M has been keeping an eye on him, making the transition a little easier. I think it has been harder for me and I am really missing him being around most of the day - the house is too quiet now!! I am such a sook!
We are missing everyone at Smart Start already so don't be surprised if we pop in for a visit every now and then (please!!). If its possible - can we please be kept on the mailing list as we would like to stay in touch and possibly come to future events (eg. the show).
Rebecca, I cannot speak more highly of your preschool and the amazing teachers you have - I would not hesitate to recommend Smart Start to anyone.
Once again, thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Thank you just doesn’t seem to be enough!
You have been such an integral part of S’s life for the past 2.5 years. He has thoroughly enjoyed every minute of his Montessori schooling and much of that is attributed to you.
We cannot thank you enough for all your love, support, care ad patience you have shown and given S.
You have helped him in developing a true passion for life-long learning and we are forever grateful.