'Gamarada' means 'friend'. Gamarada Montessori Learning Centre offers a Montessori playgroup for children aged from birth to three years of age. The playgroup builds on the legacy of the Gamarada Montessori Playgroup first established in Redfern in 1998 by Barbara Stephen and the recent Montessori Playgroup in Marrickville from 2014 to 2017.
GMLC’s objective at Woolloomooloo is to demonstrate the positive impact of Montessori early childhood and family support programmes on children’s development as a foundation for education and life. Long term aims include securing a permanent facility and supporting the Montessori training of local Indigenous educators. Involving the local community, particularly the local Indigenous community, is very important as well as
developing a sustainable funding and support base. The current situation involves a shared premise. GMLC is very grateful to WEAVE for the opportunity to share this premisis.
- The educational environment is calm, peaceful and ordered and includes specially designed activities to foster young children’s natural desire to explore and Learn.
- Activities are very attractive and encourage young children to develop control of their whole body and hand movements and skills, their oral language and independence in caring for themselves.
- Practical activities such as preparing food and washing dishes assist young children to develop competence in selfcare. Through activities such as sweeping, mopping, cleaning windows and arranging flowers they learn to take care of their indoor environment. Watering plants and raking leaves encourages them to look after the outside environment also.
- Language development is strongly emphasised with many attractive and interesting language materials and games. Culture is celebrated through stories, singing and movement games as well as music, art and craft activities.
- There is an area for babies with activities to develop their movement and language.