Elaine Low

Elaine Low

Owner - Licensee - Supervisor

Trustee and Chairman of the Aperfield Trust

I trained as a Primary Teacher over 30 years ago.

After exchanging teaching for various other successful business enterprises in Akaroa, I returned to teaching and discovered the Montessori Philosophy.

I completed my Early Childhood Training and operated a Centre in Akaroa for 5 years- the ‘Ngaio Akaroa Preschool.’
When numbers dropped, as is the demise of many small towns, I closed the Centre and began looking for a suitable site in Christchurch.

Before opening the Centre I have completed my early Childhood Diploma and the M.W.E.I Montessori Primary Diploma. I also completed papers for my Bachelor of Teaching and Learning Degree in 1999.

I am a trustee of the Aperfield Trust. The Aperfield Montessori Early Childhood Diploma course is administered by the Aperfield Trust.

I am committed to working with children in a Montessori way and to our philosophy of helping children to “adjust their sails to always reach their destination.”

It is only through the teamwork of the professional and dedicated teachers here at Airdmhor that we are able to provide a special place and time for your child in this ‘Grand Old Home.’

  • Diploma of Teaching Primary (Dunedin College of Education)
  • Higher Diploma of Teaching (Christchurch College of Education)
  • Diploma of Teaching ECE (Christchurch College of Education)
  • Bachelor of Teaching & Learning (Christchurch College of Education)
  • Aperfield Montessori Early Childhood Diploma
  • M.W.E.I Org Montessori Diploma (Australia)
  • Lecturer Aperfield Montessori Diploma (Christchurch)
  • Registered Teacher
  • Trustee and Chairman of the Aperfield Trust

The Airdmhor Montessori Staff

Deborah Gath

Debbie Cocks

Assistant Supervisor
  • Certificate in Specific Learning Disabilities with Seabrooke McKenzie
  • Certificate in Infant and Toddler Mental Health
  • Aperfield Montessori Diploma
  • Certificate in Training for SPACE (Supporting Parents Alongside Children's Education)
  • Bachelor of Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education
  • Certificate in Integrative Counselling
Gemma Ballinger

Gemma Ballinger

Airdmhor Montessori Teacher
  • Diploma in Nursery Nursing (N.N.E.B, England)
  • Diploma of Teaching
  • Aperfield Montessori Early Childhood Diploma
  • Registered Teacher
Kylie Connolly

Kylie Connolly

Airdmhor Montessori Administrator
  • Trade Certificate in Hairdressing
  • Aperfield Montessori Early Childhood Diploma
Chris Carlile-Smith

Chris Carlile-Smith

Airdmhor Montessori Teacher
  • Bachelor of Teaching and Learning
  • Aperfield Montessori Early Childhood Diploma
  • Registered Teacher
Suzy Burgess

Suzy Burgess

Airdmhor Montessori Teacher
  • Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Aperfield Montessori Early Childhood Diploma
Julie Long

Julie Long

Airdmhor Montessori Teacher
  • Bachelor of Teaching and Learning
  • Aperfield Montessori Early Childhood Diploma
  • Registered Teacher
Alex Davidson

Alex Davidson

Airdmhor Montessori Teacher
  • Bachelor of Teaching and Learning
  • Provisionally Registered Teacher
  • Studying towards her Aperfield Montessori Diploma
Mandy Roekphichit

Mandy Roekphichit

Airdmhor Montessori Teacher
  • Aperfield Montessori Early Childhood Diploma
  • Senior Florist
  • Taught Floristry
Leigh Thomson

Leigh Thomson

Airdmhor Montessori Teacher
  • Bachelor of Comprehensive Nursing
  • Studying towards her Aperfield Montessori Diploma

About the Method

Montessori Education is based on a lifetime of observation and study on the part of Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman doctor in Italy (born 1870, died 1952), who became an eminent educationist.

Dr. Montessori revealed the true nature of how children develop and learn, and sought to meet their needs by providing appropriate activities, opportunities and environments.

She defined Four Stages of Development which roughly correspond to the current school system.

  • 0-6 years Early Childhood
  • 6-12 years Primary
  • 12-18 years Secondary
  • 18-24 years Tertiary

Each stage has particular characteristics and needs, and the environment, activities and programmes vary accordingly.

The children are given freedom to choose from a wide range of specially designed activities which help them to acquire concepts, knowledge and skills.

The children develop competence, self esteem, self discipline, and caring, and show a deep interest and enjoyment in learning, socially, mentally and spiritually.

Worldwide the Montessori Method has been operating since early this century, in families and private and state schools.

In New Zealand there have been Montessori Schools since before 1920, with a considerable upsurge of interest since the 1970's. There are now over 100 schools throughout New Zealand involving about 3,000 children.

It is a well tried and proven method applicable to children of all cultures, nationalities and social and economic groups, and can lay the foundation for a happy, fruitful and stable society.


Author and Aperfield Trust Founder

Miss Binda Goldsbrough, M.B.E. (1912 - 2008)


NZQA with Te Rito Maioha

Te Rito Maioha are handling the NZQA courses. As we get more information we will add it into our site.
There is also some information here.. www.aperfield-montessori.co.nz




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