Our collective vision for the Chameleons Montessori School is that we are surrounded by a beautiful, sunny garden with lots of trees. There is generous space, with children engaged in various activities. They are joyously and freely expressing themselves on their learning journey. Staff are calmly observing and happily engaging with the children. Everything is well organised and functional with spaces that are safe, beautiful and well maintained. Our Chameleons Montessori Community shares and works together as a supportive and respectful team.
As an authentic Montessori school, Chameleons values are to:
· Nurture the wellbeing and potential of all in our community.
· Create an openness, acceptance and respect through communication.
· Serve, learn and grow with a commitment to creating a positive, safe and harmonious environment.
· Ensure security for sustainable growth.
· Ignite a love of learning.
· Develop self-confidence and independent learning.
· Build the habit of concentration.
· Foster the child's inherent wonder and curiosity of our world.
· Nurture a close connection with nature.
· Develop habits of initiative, persistence and completion.
· Foster inner security and a sense of order.
· Promote the development of sensory motor skills.
· Encourage social and emotional intelligence.
· Facilitate the use of creative intelligence and imagination.
· Allow freedom with responsibility.
· Promote a fully conscious & wholesome lifestyle at school and at home.
Our principal Emma Medell studied the Infants, Toddlers and Pre-School Montessori Courses at the Maria Montessori Training Organisation (AMI) in London and then gained 8 years practical experience as Principal at Beehive Montessori. In 1999 Emma began our Toddler's Group.
Emma's sister Claire soon joined the team and Montessori Tinies, as it was called then was launched at Claire’s home in De Bron in April 2000. This was to become the foundation for the Chameleons Montessori School. The group comprised of an infant and a toddlers group. Both groups flourished in the classroom and stunning garden that Zhu-Zhu created for this purpose. In 2003, a log cabin was built adjacent to the house and a small pre-school class was started.
In 2003, the Veller Family offered us the opportunity to open a pre-school class on their picturesque Nitida Wine Farm. Very little persuasion was needed to make the decision to grow again, taking fullest advantage of the most unique environment on this renowned Cape wine farm. The opportunity was seized and an old labourers’ cottage on the farm was soon transformed into the home for the pre-school. At this point we became Chameleons Montessori School.
January 2006 saw the opening of the Primary Class at Nitida.
In January 2008, we renovated and moved into the former farm house building adjacent to the cellars (our current premises) – the perfect home for our school.
The Nitida Wine Farm has been the most inspiring educational environment for our school for almost 10 years!
The Chameleons team was further strengthened in 2010 by the formation of our Parent Teacher Association - which has been a constant support to the school.
In January 2014, the Toddlers Group will move from De Bron to the farm to share the stunning environment with the Pre-schoolers.From our humble beginnings our School has grown to accommodate approximately 80 children with a staff of 12. We look forward to many more years of exploration and wonder.