Knysna Montessori School is a close-knit, vibrant and passionate school.
Through observation, guidance and encouragement, each child is steered towards independent learning, through balancing freedom of choice with responsibility, and within a prepared environment. The result is empowered individuals, realising their full potential.
The school lies on the outskirts of Knysna, nestled between forests and natural vegetation in the picturesque village of Narnia. Sunlight pours into the windows of Knysna Montessori School. Flowers, trees, ponds and vegetable gardens – fruits of the middle school students which brings learning outdoors.
The design of the classrooms reflects the Montessori teaching method with classrooms where students of multiples ages interact and individuality is valued.
The campus serves as a “learning classroom”. Here spaces that blur the distinction between indoors and outdoors are developed to promote easy movement between both learning environments. At Turaco Boarding House, the informal and cooperative environment gives the students a distinctive home away from home experience.
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Awareness of the environment and taking care of our Earth helps build creative thinking skills and teaches us how to work with others.
Eat locally & seasonally
All students at the school experience the joy of the outdoor classroom in the school’s vegetable garden and farm yard. Here they can see where eggs really come from and they discover their own green fingers. They learn how to plant, grow and pull up a carrot to eat! Students are mentored in entrepreneurship as they sell their produce to the school kitchen to produce healthy meals for students. If there’s surplus, parents are given the opportunity to buy the students’ produce too!
Composting to reduce waste & regenerate our soil
Students are also encouraged to collect egg trays, cereal boxes, toilet rolls, pizza boxes and scraps of paper from home. These are brought to school to contribute towards the school’s organic composting. An initiative which has been established in order to nourish the school gardens.
Knysna Montessori also makes use of ShareWaste. ShareWaste connects people to recycle their organic waste, make more soil, and grow more produce. The school brings together hosts (who receive organic waste) with donors (who donate their organic waste). Thus processing kitchen scraps into new soil.
Contribute towards our community
From toddler to matric we learn and work. As toddlers take a walk in the peaceful village, they are already observed in action – keeping the environment clean! Junior school students partake in regular lagoon clean-up walks. They collect on average 10-20 black bags of waste, hooks, broken glass each time. They have even returned a lost shopping trolley to Spar!
Knysna Montessori sustains its eco education through continued green school programmes in its community. Life Science high school students give back to the community every week through the Knysna Basin Project. They do water tests in the industrial area and at strategic water spots in the lagoon, testing nitrates and potassium. A member of the Knysna Basin Project brings his or her scientific equipment to the school’s laboratory. Here the students participate in the testing and finding of results. The chemicals for the test are sponsored by the school. This enables checking the condition of the water in the Knysna lagoon on an on-going basis.
Instead of throwing it away, use it another way!
Fabulous Art projects are created at Knysna Montessori School where up cycling projects are initiated in the art department. One of these is repainting old plastic chairs and grubby dustbins around the school. Another was up cycling old plastic bags into an attractive and useful vertical plant holder. Re purposing old clothing has also been a popular project. Students learn & work collaboratively, making use of limited resources and saving energy while creating masterpieces and having loads of fun!
Report a leaking tap or running toilet
Water is treated as a precious resource at Knysna Montessori School. Rain water is always collected and all students know where to report a leaking tap or running toilet. Turning off taps is how we learn at work. Attention has also been brought to shorter showers!
At Knysna Montessori School every classroom has paper boxes for recycling! Students are encouraged to pop all their waste paper in them so that this paper can be recycled. This is such an important concept to learn as recycled paper produces 73% less air pollution than virgin paper!
Reduce our electricity consumption campaign
The school’s newest goal is replacing all old light lamps with LED energy saving lamps. They are also moving from electric geysers to gas or solar. Apart from energy saving, this also allows work to continue at school when load-shedding means the lights go out!