Both of my children have attended Horizon’s preschool. Both have loved it, as have we. From the moment you and your children walk in it is a welcoming and exciting place. The environment created by the teachers is warm and stimulating, there is always something to catch the children’s interest and inspire them to learn about the world around them. There is a good balance in the activities from exploring nature and the world around them to learning about reading and writing as they prepare for school. Helen and Mike are fantastic generous people as are their lovely group of teachers – they have created something truely special at Horizons. I know our daughter (and us) will miss them when she heads to school but I know we have given her the best start with Horizons.
My son, Oscar, started at Horizons Montessori in January 2013 and we have been extremely pleased with our experience. I would like to take a moment to say a massive “thank you” to all of the wonderful teachers who have taken such great care of Oscar over the past 3 years. Oscar has learnt and developed so much. We really appreciate the safe and secure facility you have provided and it’s always such a clean and well organised centre. We really appreciate the educational curriculum you have provided such as the extension table to learn math, science, reading and writing; a book bag given to children who turn 4 to take home to read with their parents; different topics every month as well as the activity days from time to time, such as bike days, role play days. I have always been so impressed by the quality of your systems. You are just like a home away from home, play, fun and educational. Being a parent, I have to say Horizons Montessori Preschool has exceeded my expectations. Oscar has been so happy and he is now a fully grounded and rounded child prepared to go to school and meet new challenges ahead. In short, I’m so pleased with our decision to send Oscar to Horizons, and it will be sad to leave in October, but I am happy he is moving on in a positive, fully equipped way.
Children are always kept happily occupied with various tasks facilitated by the dedicated staff. It’s an inclusive, loving, dynamic environment and my girls loved being there
Our two children have attended Horizons over the past 4 years. The team have been awesome at taking care of their every little need – They really get to know the kids and there is just a lovely vibe to the place. We love the Montessori resources and the way the best of Montessori and the Early Childhood Curriculum are blended to provide an experiential environment. This is full of discovery and driven by the children’s inquiring minds. The kids are always busy & engaged. As well as heaps of this active free play, the children can join in with tons of ‘extension’ learning activities involving science, maths and literacy. We love Horizons!
We have adored Horizon’s. Helen and Mike are the absolute life-blood of the place, their caring ways extending to all their wonderful staff. Firstly, the staff were like another family to our girls and their philosophies coincided with ours — helping kids grow and learn through gentle, caring, fun methods. Secondly, the children are always…
You participate in regular trips up to Arahoe School to participate in Jump Jam and Assemblies etc. You’ve also had visits from Arahoe Cultural Groups to perform at Horizons too. Both of which give the kids at Montessori a glimpse of what school will look like. This gives the kids confidence and takes the fear out of the transition to school. You and your staff have taken part in Professional Development run by Arahoe. Opportunities to reflect on what you can use in your environment. Open dialogue with the school and specifically the Junior Syndicate Leader about children coming through who might attend Arahoe. Learning such as taking home reading books in book bags, and writing in books most days are designed to mirror school. Strong routines about hanging up bags, sitting on the mat and using your hand up to speak is a great introduction to what will happen when they move on to school. Parent/teacher meetings and feedback about progress on a regular occurrence; gives parents opportunities to ask questions and find out what sort of school would best suit their child’s needs.
Just a few things I have noticed about the children coming from Horizons Preschool:
On school visits:
The children are settled and willing to join in on the mat. They leave their parents and come and talk to the classroom children. They offer and answer questions.
Organised and independent. Work quietly on classroom activities. Colouring, cutting and pasting is great. Fine motor skills is great and they move off the chalkboards very quickly. Friendly and play nicely with new children in the classroom. Helpful.
My name is Kara Wilkins and my son George has been at Horizons for the last 2.5 years. I am also a Year One teacher at Kaurilands School and have had the pleasure of watching children arrive from Horizons and settle into school life so easily, thanks to the wonderful programme created by Helen and Mike.
As you know, children’s development varies hugely at this level but one thing is certain when they come from Horizons, they are all prepared for the classroom learning environment.
In my experience, these lucky kids are settled, happy, willing to try and experience new things. They know how to sit on the mat, listen, contribute, question, pack up, look after each other, carry out tasks as independently… basically making a new entrant teachers job MUCH easier.
Children are regularly given the opportunity to extend their knowledge/skills. This helps takes the pressure off when they get to school as they are familiar with certain routines (a teacher led writing lesson, taking a reader home each night).
I have absolutely no concerns about my own son starting school (next week!). He has been encouraged to take risks in a safe and inclusive environment and couldn’t be better prepared to enter the classroom. I recommend Horizons to anyone who will listen and only wish all children got the opportunity to attend such an amazing preschool.
I am a parent with two children who attend Horizons Preschool and also I am a teacher at a local primary school teaching New Entrants. I really feel that Horizons do a great job at preparing children for school. In my class I have several children who attended Horizons and it is clear to me that they have been prepared well for school. The children are taught at Horizons about reading to an adult and taking a book home each night in their book bags and returning it each day, just like at school. Children are taught what is expected of them at mat time, sitting nicely and putting their hands up when they want to speak. They are taught to become independent at morning tea and lunch time and not needing assistance while eating. All these things, when a child turns 4, are really important to start being worked towards, so that when the children arrive at school, its not totally alien to them. Horizons clearly do this very successfully. My child who is nearly 5 years old is currently really enjoying writing time at Horizons, and comes home eager to write me a sentence! It is also this love towards learning that somehow Horizons instill into many of their children, that make it such a special and successful place. My son also loves the fact that he brings a book and book bag home and his sister doesn’t. He clearly knows that he is getting ready for school and this makes him feel special and also excited! In summary I think Horizons are doing a fabulous job in preparing children at their center for school. They are clearly implementing many routines for these 4 year olds that are directly related to school preparedness.