Children’s House

We have two Children’s House classes. Our Skippers class takes its name from the skipper butterflies. There are more than 3500 recognised species of skipper butterflies worldwide.

The Triangles class takes its name from the triangle family of butterflies. They are widespread throughout the world.

In the children’s house, teachers give full attention to one individual child at a time or a small group. Careful observation of the teacher will show they are constantly on the move in a quiet way, as they go from child to child, and are to the needs and actions of the child. The 3 to 6 year old child is engaged in a process of self-construction. The application of the Montessori philosophy and the specifically designed Montessori equipment aids the child’s ability to absorb knowledge and continue this path of self-construction and independence.

Practical Life

The Practical Life component of the Montessori approach is the link between the child’s home environment and the classroom. Skills, such as fine and gross motor, learned in this area of the classroom lay a foundation for the rest of the curriculum. They encourage independence and promote the development of a sense of order. Practical life encompasses four main areas: Control of Movement, Care of Person, Care of Environment, and Grace and Courtesy.


“Nothing comes to the intellect that is not first in the senses”. Children learn through their senses and the Montessori Sensorial curriculum promotes the development and refinement of the five senses. All materials in a Montessori environment provide learning through touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing or hands-on manipulation. The sensorial materials give the child experience initially in observing distinctions between similar and different things. Together, these activities form the foundation for language, mathematical, musical, scientific and cultural studies.


The Children’s Houses emphasise spoken language as the foundation for all linguistic expression. The Language curriculum is phonetic in nature and utilises activities and powerful teaching tools to help children learn to decode phonetic words, high frequency/sight words, diphthongs and digraphs. Writing and eventually reading are often learned spontaneously. Language work extends to science and culture studies, led by the child’s curiosity.


Montessori mathematical materials allow the child as a sensorial explorer, to begin his/her mathematical journey from the concrete to the abstract through manipulation, repetition and exploration. Through concrete material the child learns to add, subtract, multiply and divide, the decimal system and gradually comes to understand many abstract mathematical concepts with ease and joy.


Incorporated into the four areas of the Children’s House curriculum are materials, activities and exercises that introduce children to music, physical education, science, geography, botany, zoology, cooking, art and craft and history. French is a specialist subject where children are immersed in the language through literature, games, puppetry and songs. The children work with globes, maps, land and water forms, and collections of pictures of life in different cultures and countries of the world.

Early Years Extended Day Program

The Early Years Extended Day Program is offered for students attending half days in the Children’s Houses, and was initiated in response to Chrysalis families who expressed an interest in having such a program available.

The optional extended day program runs from noon until 2:45pm on school days, and all fees for this program are included in the regular Children’s House fees. The program is firmly grounded in Montessori pedagogy. After their half day in the Children’s House, the students staying on for the extended program eat lunch and have some quiet time, opportunities for outdoor play and access to a carefully selected range of Montessori-jobs and activities as well as arts and crafts materials.

Advantages for the children remaining on site is the close proximity to their classroom, their familiarity with staff and having access to the school’s outdoor nature playground, an environment they are comfortable with.

Our Children’s House Teachers

Sandra Johnston - Skippers Classroom

Whilst studying a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at Curtin University, Sandra came to Chrysalis Montessori School for her practicum placement. During this time she decided Chrysalis was the school she wanted for her own child, and enrolled her daughter in Children’s House in 2011. Sandra began her role as Lead teacher in the Skippers classroom at Chrysalis in 2018.

Sandra has teaching experience at SmartStart Montessori Childcare, Applecross Primary School, Casa Mia Montessori School, and has also completed a Diploma of Montessori Education.

She has a strong interest in the ‘Science of Reading,’ design technologies in education, photography, and European culture, with her family being Dutch. Sandra was born and raised here in Perth.

When not in the classroom, you’ll most likely find Sandra at a local cafe reading someone’s autobiography, or she might be at a reformer Pilates class. At home Sandra enjoys cooking with her daughter Emily, or playing with her pet Pekingese, Furbie and Faraday.

“I chose Montessori for my own child as I believe in a philosophy which supports each child’s individual academic potential and embraces their social-emotional well-being. Montessori aligns with my beliefs of children being capable, confident, and self-motivated learners.”

Jocelyn Gilroy-Widdis - Triangles

A Fine Arts graduate, Jocelyn began her teaching career as a secondary school Art and Media teacher, working in both government and private schools in Perth. She was won over by the Montessori pedagogy once her daughter began to attend a Montessori school.

She is currently completing a Masters degree (research) in Montessori Education, juggling her studies with raising two teenagers.  When she has free time, she enjoys bike rides, hiking, gardening, and travelling around our beautiful state of Western Australia.

“When our first child was two, my husband and I attended a Montessori Open Day out of interest and we were completely ‘sold’ on the pedagogy. Now as a teacher, I feel honoured to be able to share the early childhood journey with children and their parents and to guide them according to Dr Montessori’s vision and pedagogy.”