How is Pakiri Montessori run?

Mahurangi Montessori Primary Trust

The Mahurangi Montessori Primary Trust was set up by a group of parent volunteers who wanted to extend the benefits of their children’s Montessori education from pre-school into primary school. They formed a charitable Trust in September 2007, opened Mahurangi Montessori Primary at Matakana School in 2009, then relocated to Pakiri School in 2019.


The Trust is independent of Pakiri School and is responsible for the governance of the Montessori Pathway.


Additionally, the Trust works closely with the Pakiri School Principal and the Pakiri School Board of Trustees, as well as other key stakeholders such as Totara Hill (the local Montessori pre-school), parents, other Montessori primary schools, donor organisations and suppliers.


Three to eight parents sit on the Trust at any one time and cover the roles of Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Enrolments, Communications and Fundraising.

Pakiri School and Board of Trustees

Pakiri Montessori runs under the policies of Pakiri School’s Board of Trustees, and the Guide is employed by Pakiri School. They have the same weekly responsibilities as every other teachers at Pakiri School, which includes staff meetings, playground duties and presenting to the Board of Trustees.


Our Head Guide is Kelly Norton. Kelly is passionate about and committed to Te Reo Māori and Tikanga Māori and centres her teaching on creating rich learning opportunities that are personalised to each child.


Her hobbies include reading, gardening, Te Reo Māori, bushwalking and spending time with whanau. She is married to Lonny and has four daughters.


Evidence of learning


Evidence of learning is process-focused, not outcome-based. Evidence includes observations of both academic learning and developing dispositions, progression through, and mastery of the Montessori learning materials and the students own voice through Conferencing. Observations are recorded daily by the Guides in students’ individual work plans.


Reporting to parents is done through parent/Guide meetings in line with the wider school.


 In addition, Kelly hosts a number of sessions throughout the year that give parents a greater opportunity to share in their child’s learning:

  • Term 1: Parent orientation session.
  • Term 1 & 4: Goal-setting interviews.
  • Term 1, 2 & 3: Open afternoons (last week of term).
  • Once a term: Parent evening.


We rely on parents being active members of our Montessori community. Parents can contribute through volunteering for The Trust, helping with fundraising and working bees, contributing to our curriculum by sharing skills (e.g., coding) and coming to regular meetings and group celebrations.