Situated on the school’s beautiful campus in Narnia Village, Turaco Boarding House is not your typical Middle and High School boarding experience. Established in 2004 as the only Montessori Boarding House in Southern Africa, it houses national as well as international students, who are drawn to it’s safe and beneficial teenage environment. 

As students approach adulthood, it is natural to expect the pushing of boundaries.  In a boarding environment, student’s dependence is no longer focussed on a parental opinion, but rather on the opinion of their peers.  Here, social development takes place between older and younger students from 12 -18 years.  Students are encouraged to form relationships and memories with peers of diverse backgrounds and ethnicities, while learning to respect each other as they share in the responsibility of communal duties. 

 Through this sharing of responsibility, students are encouraged towards becoming thoughtful, helpful, responsible young adults in a warm and friendly communal atmosphere, under the guidance of our resident boarding parents.

 Our Boarding House currently has space for 34 boarders.
We accept students from Grade 7 upwards.

Montessori methodology and principles divide children into three-year environments according to the particular educational needs and abilities of each age. Consequently, after Toddlers class and 3-6 year old classes in the PreSchool environment, the children move up to 6-9 and 9-12 year old classes in the Junior environments, followed by 12-15 year old classes in the Middle School and finally 16 – 18 year old classes in the High School environments.

According to these Montessori principles, 12 – 15 year olds are encouraged to join the hostel environment during term time from Monday to Friday during the three years of their Middle Schooling. There are several reasons why this is beneficial to parents and of course most importantly, to the students. At this stage of their approaching adulthood, children are pushing boundaries and often verbally trying to attain and assert independence from their parents (otherwise known as “chirping!”). Their dependence is no longer focussed on parental opinion but rather on the opinion of their peers. Although it is a normal and natural process, it can be a difficult time for both parent and child, when no lack of love and care, but often very different points of view, make it hard to maintain the peace.

The first important reason for joining hostel is social development. The Knysna Montessori Hostel, known as the Turaco Hostel (Turaco being a family of Loeries) , welcomes the 12 to 15 year old students into a warm and friendly communal atmosphere, encouraging all to acknowledge and be responsible for their duties, and giving the older students an opportunity to guide and mentor the younger. They all learn respect for each other in the environment, and when they have to do things for themselves, they appreciate what their parents have been doing for them.  Spending weekends and holidays at home, they have learned a new respect for their parents.

The second important reason for joining hostel is moral development. Children coming from different homes obviously have different moral values. Moral values are cemented between the ages of 12 to 15 years, and these values carry them through their lives. When living with their peers and being guided by teachers and mentors, the students tend to take on the moral values of the whole group. The few whose home environment may not allow them to agree are still tolerated and accepted, but move peacefully in their own direction. In hostel, Prep time is set after supper and monitored by teachers, a routine establishing a good work ethic. The students learn the responsibilities of caring for their own rooms and taking part in hostel duties, for example setting tables, helping in the kitchen with cooking, baking, clearing and washing up. They also run an outdoor occupations classroom, where they learn technology, cement and woodworking, grow organic vegetables and plants and take care of farm animals. They are responsible each term for running their own businesses and handling the finances from the produce they make and sell .The moral responsibility is upholding both self and group ethic.

Besides moral values, the emotional self-image is greatly enhanced during these particular years. This is not entirely to do with academic achievement, but includes the values of kindness, empathy, honesty, perseverance, friendship, team effort, consideration and other important values which develop and positively re-inforce each child’s self-image and confidence.

This is a core-development time for 12 -15 year olds, and being in hostel provides opportunity for them to think and evaluate for themselves, shoulder responsibility and develop empathy with their peers.

The Knysna Montessori School encourages as many parents as possible to consider hostel as an integral part of child development, particularly during the Grade 8 year (13-14 years). Those who stay for the full three years have the added opportunity to develop leadership and mentorship skills.

Once they have spent the week participating in the social and moral skills involved in being ‘part of the whole’, both students and parents have reciprocal delight in enjoying each other and what has been learned, over their holiday and weekend time together.


“The unknown energy that can help humanity is that which lies hidden in the child”

(Maria Montessori)


06h30 Wake Up
06h45 Kitchen and setting duties
07h05 Room inspection
07h10 Everyone to Dining Area (Make Coffee/Tea)
07h15 Breakfast
07h40 Dorm Lockup
07h45 School Starts
15h30 – 16h00 Tea
15h30 Snr Device hand-out
16h00 Tea wash-up
16h00 – 18h00 Shower times
16h30 Jnr Device hand-out
17h00 Kitchen and setting duties
18h00 Device Hand-In
18h00 Supper
18h45 -19h45 Prep- Homework/studies
19h45– 20h00 Tea and wash-up
20h00– 21h00 Prep / Reading
21h00 Everyone to their own Rooms, get ready for bed
21h15 Quiet time
21h30 Bed time & Lights Out
Knysna Montessori Boarding House



Boarding is booked per term and payable upfront, the day prior to the start of the school term.

Weekly boarders stay in Turaco House from Mondays to Fridays, and return home over weekends and school holidays.

Boarding fees include all meals.
Laundry service is optional (wash, dry and fold) @ R575 per term, for one load per week.

R11 400 per Term

Term boarders stay in Turaco House from Mondays to Sundays, for the duration of the school term. They return home for school holidays and designated long weekends.

Boarding fees include all meals and laundry.

R16 800 per Term

International, term boarders stay in Turaco House from Mondays to Sundays, for the duration of the school term.

Boarding fees include all meals, laundry and holiday care for the March / April and September / October. International boarders must return home or make alternative accommodation arrangements for the June / July and December / January school holidays.

R23 015 per Term

Casual boarders can stay, per night, in Turaco House from Mondays to Sundays, for the duration of the school term.

Boarding fees include all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner).

R240 per Night

Boarding fees may not be paid off monthly.
Transport for extra-murals and / or to the airport is outsourced and billed separately.

Knysna Montessori VISION
Knysna Montessori aims to offer an inclusive and holistic education to all children based on Montessori philosophy and teaching methods in preparation for life.

Children become like the things they love.
Maria Montessori

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