History of Titoki Montessori

Titoki Montessori School was established in 1989 as an Incorporated Society, administered by a dedicated committee of parents whose children would attend the school. The school is governed by a Council, and adheres to the School Constitution, the School Charter, and the Policies Handbook as required by the Ministry of Education.

The school began in the basement of a house of one of the parents. Initially there was very little equipment and the council couldn’t afford to order any from Holland; at that time the only place to source specialized Montessori equipment. A generous parent loaned the money, which enabled the founding families to purchase the first lot of equipment. 

Shortly after opening, the school ‘graduated’ to a tired and dismal community hall called "The Hut". The building itself has a notable history on the North Shore as it was originally the Catholic Church situated in Browns Bay. Once the building had been re-sited to Stredwick Drive beside the lush Awaruku wetland reserve, the Titoki Montessori Incorporated Society applied to the North Shore City Council securing a ten year lease on a "Peppercorn Rental". With a committed and hard-working parent community "The Hut" was amazingly transformed into the warm, caring and visually pleasing environment it is today.  

The Titoki tree planted in the playground commemorated the opening of the school. The name of the school, 'Titoki', comes from the native Titoki tree, commonly referred to as the New Zealand Oak, which was chosen as a symbol to encourage our children’s growth, inner strength and independence.

Our young Titoki sapling has been given a lot of care and dedication to allow it to grow and prosper to what it is today. 

In 1996 the Incorporated Society Council (often referred to as "the Parent Committee") and community voted to take out a small loan to build an extension at the rear of the building. This added a small amount of classroom space, necessary storage, and a mezzanine office and teacher retreat space, but did not allow for an increase in enrolment due to restricted outdoor space.

The exterior environment (garden and playground) was designed and built by John Allen, with the aid of parent working bees, in 2003. It continued to evolve over the years and in 2010, the Auckland Council extended the school's footprint which enabled us to further increase our outdoor area. The extended and redesigned outdoor space enabled us to increase our licensed roll to 35.

Generations of Titoki children and their families have continued to benefit from the stewardship of Titoki's resources through its parent council members.

Emphasizing continuous professional development for teaching staff , commitment to the Montessori philosophy of a 3 year cycle of development and careful stewardship of Titoki's assets, the parent council  ensure that the school continues to provide an authentic and affordable Montessori programme for children in the community.

Titoki Montessori School was evaluated by the Education Review Office as "very well placed" to promote positive learning outcomes for our tamariki in their latest review (2014). We hope to continue the culture of reflective teaching practice, self-reviews and continuous improvement through close collaboration with whanau, tamariki and the wider community to make Titoki a place where peace, love and joyful learning are evident. 

In partnership with parents and whanau, Titoki Montessori continues its vision of being an exemplary Montessori school which fosters independence, respect, concentration and creativity; a place where each child can reach their fullest potential.

"We stand on the shoulders of those parents who have gone before us, and have an obligation to ensure this programme not just lasts, but thrives so it is here for children to attend in the next 20 years".


“My daughter could not have had a better pre-school experience.
Titoki Montessori pre-school exceeded my expectations and helped develop my child into a caring confident person.
A must for all 3 - 6 year olds!"

— Allan Rutledge