In upper primary school our aim is to create an active, collaborative learning environment for students to take ownership of their learning.

The majority of tasks are open-ended, allowing children to work to their potential. Group work here increases perceptions, point of view and empathy while developing vocabulary and appropriate social skills. The focus is on fun and challenging tasks that address the National Curriculum, while using Montessori methods and philosophy (where appropriate) to reinforce the main concepts.

Through observations and empowering the child to identify and ask for assistance, they are provided with individual or small group support targeted to specific areas. As a class at least twice each year students are given the opportunity to ‘take control’ of their learning. This includes how to pose questions, research, collate information and present findings on a topic they are passionate about. In second semester, students are set homework in order to prepare them for high school.

Students in the upper primary years have the opportunity to participate in surfing classes, camps and graduating students undertake our famous Vision Quest Challenge.

Our Primary Teachers

Zana Jancic - Swordtails

Zana believes the Montessori pedagogy, which focuses on the whole child, supports students to become capable, healthy and fulfilled individuals, who are able to make a positive contribution to the world around them. 

This is especially important in the Upper Primary years, where she helps prepare the Year 6 students for their upcoming transition to high school.

Zana feels it important that each student in Swordtails learns how to effectively manage their time, knowing and understanding how much time should be spend on academic commitments, such as studying and completing homework, but also allowing themselves time for ‘downtime,’ to maintain an important and positive work/life/fun balance.

The Swordtails classroom is slightly different to other classrooms at Chrysalis, and each aspect is carefully curated to help students prepare for their upcoming school transition and academic expectations.

Students have individual desks, rather than tables, although group work is actively encouraged. Each day starts off with acknowledgement and discussions of school values, making an important connection with academic study and socio-emotional well being.

Originally from former Yugoslavia (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina), Zana first studied Accounting and Finance at Belgrade University in Serbia. After moving to Perth, she studied a Bachelor of Education (Primary) at Murdoch University.

Outside of the classroom, Zana enjoys dancing; she is proficient in not only salsa, tango, and forro, but other styles as well. She also loves singing, playing the guitar, heading out for a bushwalk, and travelling around the world.

“Teaching is a beautiful profession that allows me to inspire and support children during the precious time of their lives, a privilege that should never be taken lightly. Teachers have the opportunity to allow students to work at their own pace and to follow their interests, as well as supporting them to reach more challenging outcomes. I’m so grateful to be a part of the Chrysalis community, as both a parent and a teacher, helping children to become independent and confident thinkers, with a lifelong love of learning.”

Veronica Massang

Originally from Ipoh, Malaysia, Veronica has over 35 years of teaching experience in both Montessori and private education systems, and has been a teacher at Chrysalis since 2002.

After completing an intensive year training at the Association Montessori Internationale in Hyderabad, India, Veronica returned to Malaysia where she worked in a Montessori school, and the Garden International School in Kuala Lumpur.

In 1988, she moved to Perth with her family and worked at Riverlands Montessori School for 10 years. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Curtin University, as well as various Montessori certifications, including in Cosmic Education. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership.

In addition to being the lead teacher in the Mariposa classroom, Veronica is Chrysalis’ Deputy Principal.

“One aspect of the Montessori pedagogy that never fails to inspire me is the Cosmic Education, which provides children with an understanding of who they are as individuals, and as members of the human race. The Great Stories give children a bigger picture of the world, their place in it, and the interconnectedness of everything around them.”

Nate Doherty - Spitfires

A former Chrysalis Montessori School student, Nathaniel (Nate) completed a double Bachelor of Arts at Curtin University and holds a Graduate Diploma of Education in Montessori Primary Education 6-12 from the Montessori Institute (MWEI).

When Nate isn’t in the classroom, you’ll likely find him eating at any new restaurant or cafe that has been recommended to him. He loves watching the footy on the weekend, firing up the BBQ, and going to the gym. Nate also loves collecting strange facts about the world (and everything in it), especially learning more about ancient civilisations. A former cartoon enthusiast as a child, Nate also enjoys creating digital artworks.

“The greatest gifts Montessori education provides for a child is empowering them to pursue their passions, enabling independent responsibility for their social and academic choices, and providing the strongest foundation for sustained lifelong learning.”

Natalie Morse - Papillon

Originally a Murdoch University Theatre and Media studies graduate, Natalie worked as a children’s entertainer (often dressed up as a fairy or a blue-haired clown), puppeteer, and a Scitech presenter. She later decided to take up teaching studies at Edith Cowan University (ECU). While completing her Graduate Diploma in Primary Education, she was inspired by a fellow student to explore the Montessori pedagogy further, having attended a Montessori school herself as a child.

When not in the classroom, Natalie loves to browse the second-hand stores for treasures, repurposing objects and restoring old items back to their former glory. A self-proclaimed ‘average cook,’ she likes to dine out with friends, finding the best vegetarian (and gluten free) dishes in town.  Natalie has a crazy tabby named Squiggy and she is happiest reading a book in her garden, with her furry companion on her lap.

“I appreciate that we are all individuals and I support an education where children are given the opportunity to ‘sprout’ at their own speed and develop a passion for learning.”