Welcome to Horizons Montessori

Inspiring a life-long love of learning

About Us



Our Mission


Within the Montessori Approach to teaching, young children are viewed as naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment.  It is an approach that focus on the whole child - cognitive, physical, social and emotional based on foundations of respect for self, others and the environment,



Our Mission


The vision of Horizons Montessori is to offer children and their families the opportunity to experience the Montessori Method of education underpinned by the principles of Te Whariki, the New Zealand Early Childhood national curriculum.


Our Mission

Our Mission

Our Mission

It is our mission to offer children opportunities to participate in an environment that triggers each child's love of learning in the hopes that will motivate and inspire all of their future learning experiences.

Our Programmes

The Kowhai Programme

The Pohutukawa Programme

The Pohutukawa Programme


For 2 to 3 year olds

The Kowhai Programme is designed for the I-can-do-it-myself two-year old.  The entire space is designed for our youngest children to fully and freely explore and engage in our unique Montessori environment.  The learning experiences available in this environment are focused on encouraging independence, self-care skills and the development of social skills while building learning foundations that children will build on in the future.  Children have the opportunity to participate in music sessions, shared morning teas and plenty of free play inside and out.

The Pohutukawa Programme

The Pohutukawa Programme

The Pohutukawa Programme


for 3 to 6 year olds

The Pohutukawa Programme offers children an endless array of materials to support them in developing concepts and theories they will use to make sense of their world.  With special focus on science, geography, language and numeracy, children are able to learn at their pace and through their own interests.  Children continue to build on the learning foundations layed in their prior learning experiences and continuously expand their knowledge.  Children are able to take these skills along with a love of learning with them on their journey through their schooling.

Holiday Club

The Pohutukawa Programme

Holiday Club


During the term breaks, Horizons Montessori offers a programme to support our families who need care over the holiday periods.  The Holiday Club consists of a small group of children participating in themed days.  The Holiday Club is available to children who have existing enrollments with Horizons Montessori.  Parents can register their children for the Holiday Club during the second half of each term.

A teacher holds a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart

Meet The Teaching Team


Liana Drummond


Director and Manager

Diploma of Teaching (ECE)

Diploma of Teaching Montessori Method

Fully Registered with the Teachers Council


Shirley Faulkner


Senior Teacher

Diploma of Teaching ECE

Diploma in Montessori ECE

Fully Registered with the Teachers Council


Kayla Saunders


Bachelor of Teaching ECE

Provisionally Registered with the Teachers Council.


Nic Leppien



Bachelor of Teaching ECE

Fully Registered with the Teachers Council.


Kelly Lusty



Diploma of Teaching ECE

Fully Registered with the Teachers Council


Samantha Trevurza

  Student teacher

Studying a Bachelor of Teaching ECE


Rebecca Tian


 Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching 

Provisionally registered with the Teachers Council

The Montessori Method of Education



The Montessori method of education, developed by Maria Montessori, is a child-centred educational approach based on her observations of children from birth to adulthood. It is an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child – physical, social, emotional and cognitive.

Principles of the Montessori Method


Respect for the Child

Respect for the child is the cornerstone on which all other Montessori principles rest. As Montessori said,

Teachers show respect for children when they help them do things and learn for themselves. When children have choices, they are able to develop the skills and abilities necessary for effective learning autonomy, and positive self-esteem.

The Absorbent Mind

Montessori believed that children educate themselves: “It may be said that we acquire knowledge by using our minds; but the child absorbs knowledge directly into his psychic life. Simply by continuing to live, the child learns to speak his native tongue" (Montessori, 1966). This is the concept of the absorbent mind.

Montessori wanted us to understand that children can’t help learning. Simply by living, children learn from their environment. Children are born to learn, and they are remarkable learning systems. Children learn because they are thinking beings. But what they learn depends greatly on their teachers, experiences, and environments.

Montessori teachers emphasize the idea that children are born learning and with constant readiness and ability to learn. 

Sensitive Periods

Montessori believed there are sensitive periods when children are more susceptible to certain behaviors and can learn specific skills more easily:

A sensitive period refers to a special sensibility which a creature acquires in its infantile state, while it is still in a process of evolution. It is a transient disposition and limited to the acquisition of a particular trait. Once this trait or characteristic has been acquired, the special sensibility disappears....(Montessori, 1966).

Although all children experience the same sensitive periods (e.g., a sensitive period for writing), the sequence and timing vary for each child. One role of the teacher is to use observation to detect times of sensitivity and provide the setting for optimum fulfillment.

The Prepared Environment

Montessori believed that children learn best in a prepared environment, a place in which children can do things for themselves. The prepared environment makes learning materials and experiences available to children in an orderly format. Classrooms Montessori described are really what educators advocate when they talk about child-centred education and active learning. Freedom is the essential characteristic of the prepared environment. Since children within the environment are free to explore materials of their own choosing, they absorb what they find there. Maria Montessori was a master at creating environments for young children that enabled them to be independent, active, and learn.


Montessori named the concept that children are capable of educating themselves auto-education (also known as self-education). Children who are actively involved in a prepared environment and who exercise freedom of choice literally educate themselves. Montessori teachers prepare classrooms so that children educate themselves.

The Teacher's Role


Montessori believed that “it is necessary for the teacher to guide the child without letting him feel her presence too much, so that she may be always ready to supply the desired help, but may never be the obstacle between the child and his experience" (Montessori, 1967).

The Montessori teacher demonstrates key behaviours to implement this child-centred approach:

  • Make children the centre of learning - Because, as Montessori said, “The teacher’s      task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives for      cultural activity in a special environment made for the child” (Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook).
  • Encourage children to learn - By providing freedom for them in the prepared      environment.
  • Observe children - So as to prepare the best possible      environment, recognizing sensitive periods and diverting inappropriate      behaviour to meaningful tasks.
  • Prepare the learning environment - By ensuring that learning materials are      provided in an orderly format and the materials provide for appropriate      experiences for all the children.
  • Respect each child - and model ongoing respect for all children and      their work.
  • Introduce learning materials - Demonstrate learning materials, and support      children’s learning. The teacher introduces learning materials after      observing each child.

Excerpt from Early Childhood Education Today, by G.S. Morrison, 2009 edition, p. 140-143.


Additional Information


20 Free ECE


Our centre offers the 20 hours subsidy which is provided by the Ministry of Education to all 3, 4 and 5 year old children. To be eligible you must complete an Attestation form which confirms your attendance and that you are not attending another Early Learning Centre at the same time as you have applied for funding at our centre. If you change your enrollment hours you must complete another form. You may apply for this subsidy from more than one centre, but you must indicate this on your form. You may apply for the 20 hours subsidy and receive money from Work and Income, but we recommend that you discuss this with your case worker. 



Our fees are$6.50 per hour – invoices are sent out monthly

For children receiving the 20 free ECE hours we ask for an optional charge of $5.00 per week. 


WINZ Childcare Subsidy

Work and Income operates a subsidy for parents whose children attend the Centre. The subsidy is subject to an income qualification. Contact Work and Income for further information and forms. Full payment of fees is the caregiver’s responsibility and will be required until a subsidy has been approved. 

Contact Us

We would love to hear from you

Horizons Montessori Education Limited

424 Main Road Riwaka, Riwaka, Motueka, Tasman Region 7198, New Zealand

03 5289099