From the moment you walk in, you’ll be impressed!
Everything, and I mean everything, has been created with purpose. Every little detail has its place and leaves a warm impression on you.
From the outside, the beautiful bluestone and restored features give you a sense of a homely environment with class and care taken to create the physical environment. This is before I even met with the director and staff of the centre who are ever so friendly and passionate.
Each space, both internally and externally, has been designed with purpose to create an ideal learning environment for children at the centre.
As you walk in, you are greeted by a grand hallway, a stunning chandelier and a miniature grand piano. With a beautiful quote “Great Symphonies Begin With Just One Note” beside it. What a wonderful and thought provoking quote.
Inside the Centre
As you wonder from room to room, you get a sense of warmth and a natural homely feel.
Each room is designed with a theme in order to create a learning environment supportive of each child’s development.
The front room is a Music Room, specifically designed for group music activities. The themes of melody, movement and harmony are embedded throughout the physical space and Lilliput Villages’ philosophical values too.
Their toddler, aptly named ‘Bambini’ space is designed to reflect two fundamental needs of that age group: the desire for movement and their insatiable curiosity! As such, one room is wide open, with minimal furniture, allowing plenty of room for music and movements and the other is filled with intriguing treasures and materials to explore.
The toddlers also use the kitchen area, engaging in practical life experiences just like their older peers and since the centre focuses on creating a wholesome community experience, toddlers are always welcome in the preschool classroom.
The Preschool environment consists of a ‘Cultural Room’ where children explore subjects such as geography and science, the ‘Literacy and Numeracy Room’ and a large open space which features ‘Practical Life’ and fine motor exercise on one side and ‘Sensorial’ materials on the other.
The kitchen also belongs to the children, providing a space where they all gather to engage in cooking experiences.
The outdoor space is something to be seen and to experience. It’s viewed as an extension of their classroom, providing countless opportunities for learning, exploration, discovery and growth.
The Outdoor Space
As you step outside, your eyes are drawn to a variety of fun-filled areas ready to be explored.
The SA Montessori team had a clear vision for the space. To create a natural oasis in the midst of an urban location, using natural materials and providing flexible spaces that defined the area.
And to help make that vision reality, they engaged two talented individuals.
Steve Dedrick of Endemic Environments, a highly passionate ‘environmentalist, horticulturalist and landscaper’ designed the unique outdoor playscape. Combining his passion for preservation together with his ability to see the world through the eyes of a child, he was able to offer a sense of wonder and create a space for children to explore.
The space tells a story. A story of the Australian home and way of life. From tropical rainforests to the searing desert. From sandy beaches that surround our country, to cricket fields (with scoreboard to boot), retro petrol stations and cars (connecting children to the traditional values of a bygone era), through to outback shearing sheds and a natural landscape.
This is all finished off with murals painted by Daren ‘Daz’ Allen, a mural artist, and the visionary for the paintwork that surrounds the perimeter fencing of the centre.
Everything ties in just perfectly, and will leave you and your little ones forget that you’re in the middle of suburbia, and keep you exploring for hours.
Whilst the physical environment is important, it’s the educators that form the foundation of learning for our children.
They are the ones that educate your children and help them learn, explore and grow into fine human beings. The team at Lilliput Village consists of passionate Montessorians. Individuals who live and breathe and who have grown up with Montessori influence throughout their lives.
The centre is led by co-owner and centre director, Adriana Francescangeli, who has been with the SA Montessori family for almost 30 years after starting out as a teacher at Jescott Montessori Preschool. Adriana taught alongside Barb Langford, (CEO of SA Montessori and co-owner of Lilliput Village).
One of the other co-owners of Lilliput Village, Jessica Matheson, was in that classroom with Adriana too, but in a different way. Jessica, daughter of Barb, was 3 years old when she met Adriana and was taught by her in her early years. Adriana has been a guide and role model for Jessica and both are honoured to work together as colleagues today.
Adriana has an unwavering dedication to Montessori. Her focus is on facilitating the delivery of a truly authentic Montessori program by supporting educators, refining the environment and engaging with families.
Adriana’s commitment to Montessori is matched only by her passion for music. She combines these two loves by taking the children on musical adventures! Adriana is a talented maestro, playing several instruments including the piano, guitar and percussion. She brings her talent and passion into the classroom by providing music and movement classes, promoting music appreciation, self-expression, confidence, body awareness and coordination within children.
Then, there’s Terrence!
The cheeky resident tortoise that children, adults and all visitors adore! He has been part of the family for over 7 years and has a habit of getting out and joining in on the festivities at the centre.
Providing quality childcare goes far beyond a fancy logo and a quirky headline. A lot of thought goes into creating a wholesome environment that nurtures children and their developmental outcomes.
So, if you’re considering your options, be sure to visit Lilliput Village Montessori, book a tour and experience it for yourself.