Meet the Principal at Montessori International College Sunshine Coast
Montessori International College (MIC) is a K–12 non-denominational, independent school located at Forest Glen. We chat with Chiray Fitton, Principal at MIC – a Montessori College Sunshine Coast – to find out more about this progressive college which is transitioning to a ‘learning village’.
Can you tell us a little about MIC and your philosophy and vision for a Learning Village?
MIC is a learning community inspired by the legacy of Dr Maria Montessori. Our vision for the Learning Village, is to co-create a new learning context which is multi-faceted and enterprising. The Learning Village recognises that a vibrant and active learning culture provides intellectual diversity, drives social development and positively impacts our community and the local region.
What makes MIC different to other schools?
Everything! Education for the 21st century should look different to the models of the past. A key difference at MIC is that children learn how to manage their own learning. With the extra attention we provide in a small school environment, we offer flexibility with learning that is personalised to each student allowing children to learn at their own pace with the support of a caring and inclusive community. We also offer the International Baccalaureate Career-related Program in Years 11 and 12, which is a first for the Sunshine Coast.
Tell us more about your beautiful location!
The campus is situated on a 22 hectare biologically diverse site which provides a rich and limitless field for trans-disciplinary learning. Surrounded by such a natural environment, it really is an absolutely gorgeous place to be!
What is your favourite thing about your role?
I have two favourite things. The passionate, like-minded people I work with who are open to new ways of working and knowing – and hugs from the children.
What do you do when you’re not at work?
I relish quiet time for thinking.
Can you tell us something about the school that people might not know?
Two things come to mind. One is our ‘service to others’ philosophy which starts in the early years where children are encouraged to learn from one another and take care of their own environment, to the primary years where children are encouraged to care for their community and often choose to support a cause or charity – right through to our high school where students get involved in community projects including helping at a homeless shelter and even travelling overseas. Recently, a group of senior students visited a primary school in Cambodia where they built furniture by hand, taught English and set up a farm so the children could grow their own produce.
The second thing is the unprecedented interest we are experiencing from families interested in our Learning Village vision and seeking to enrol their children at MIC. This interest is increasing and it is global – every year more families move here from interstate and overseas to attend MIC.
What defines a MIC student?
Our students do stand out – in a good way! They genuinely love learning and are curious about the world. They are self-assured and confident and consistently demonstrate independence, accomplishment, civility, responsibility for self and others and an enthusiasm for distinction in all they do.
For more on what’s happening at our local school, try Why all kids need STEM skills and The innovative school raising kids that care about the land.