Montessori at Port Ahuriri School

The Montessori class at Port Ahuriri School is a mixed age classroom, catering to Years 1 through 6.

The Montessori students at Port Ahuriri School are fully integrated within the School. They participate in all aspects of the general school activities. They receive the State curriculum, which is delivered using the Montessori method of education.

The School is located in the Napier Port district. Close to State Highways 2 and 50, the school is convenient to all of Napier, and other areas such as Bay View and Eskdale, Taradale, Clive, Hastings and Havelock North. The school has a roll of approximately 270 students. Students in the Montessori class are enrolled at Port Ahuriri School. All enrolments are made through the school. As students of the School, they have access to all facilities, services and programmes, including cultural and sporting activities, IT, and before & after school care (Oscar approved).

Class teaching staff

The Montessori class at Port Ahuriri School benefits from having a both a lead teacher and a full-time, dedicated teacher aide.

Tracy O’Sullivan – lead teacher

Tēnā koutou katoa

Port Ahuriri School Montessori Lead Teacher Tracy O'Sullivan

My name is Tracy O’Sullivan. I grew up in Hawke’s Bay and lived here until I was 18. I left home and went to university in Palmerston North and completed a Nanny course. 3 years later I moved to Auckland where I started a psychology degree. I finished all my studies off with a Bachelor of Education majoring in Montessori Education. I have been teaching for the last 16 years in 4 schools – 3 lower deciles, and I worked in the Brethren schools nationally and internationally.

I have always kept the Montessori principles close to my practice. My teaching pedagogy has always fallen in line with Montessori practices. When I was working with the Brethren they were open to change, change change of the old 4 walls and single cell classrooms model. I was excited about this adventure. We changed the learning environment and we joined 4 classes together with year 3-6 students. The students were taught to their needs and what excites them, extension students were extended, supported students very much supported. Each student knew where and what they were learning and what they needed to do to progress even more in all their learning. Each student learnt to set goals and reflect practical strategies we all need when we are in the workforce. Our unit became a visual for all the other campuses in New Zealand and around the world. Over 8 years being at that school I have worked with amazing teachers and students where I learnt a lot.

I moved on back to a state school where they also wanted to change some classroom models. We moved a group of multi levelled students into an open space with a group of teachers with opportunities for play, being creative, designing, modelling, writing, dancing, role plays, inventing etc. Wherever I have been in the last 16 years I am still learning how amazing children are, they have potential to be whatever they want given the opportunity. As a teacher that’s what I want for all my students, to have the opportunity to be whatever they want. I go to school each day to offer learning opportunities and for students to smile and have fun doing whatever they choose. I am very excited about joining the Port Ahuriri team and can’t wait to meet all the students.

Ngā mihi nui
Tracy O’Sullivan


Manpreet Kaur – teaching assistant

Manpreet Kaur

I have a Bachelor in Education and Masters in Science (Mathematics) from Punjab University in India.  In 2014 I went to Montessori 3-6 (preschool in Napier) for my practicum as a student of Workforce Development doing the level 4 ECE course. I fell in love with the Montessori materials and really liked the Montessori Philosophy.  I wish I had learnt Maths with Montessori materials when I was young. 

I started the Aperfield Montessori Diploma in 2015 and worked at Montessori 3-6 preschool while studying Montessori. The calm, peaceful nature of the prepared Montessori classroom creates a feeling of wellbeing and facilitates a natural love for learning. I taught at Montessori 3-6 from 2015 to 2020. Then I got the opportunity of doing the Montessori 6-12 Assistant course in 2020 and I really enjoyed it. Now I have the opportunity of teaching as Assistant Teacher in the Montessori class at Port Ahuriri.

I am excited and grateful to help as teacher aide in the class. I love Montessori philosophy and love the ways children respond to learning and how we are able to work one on one with children in Montessori class.

I love teaching Maths to children and helping them understand the importance of Maths in daily life. I was very excited to apply for this job as it was my dream to teach in primary when I was studying in India.