School History

School History photo of whole school

Our School History

In 1981 a group of parents living in the inner city areas of Sydney formed the Inner City Montessori Association (ICMA). The first Stage 1 class was established in the same year in Annandale. The School quickly expanded to other inner city locations adding more Stage 1 classes. In 1988, ICMA’s first Primary 6 – 9 class (Stage 2) was established in a church hall in Hunters Hill.

At the beginning of 1992, with the exception of the Lilyfield site, all of the then existing classrooms came together under the same roof at Jane Street in Balmain as the Inner City Montessori School. In 2001 the school relocated to the current premises at 44 Smith Street, Balmain, the site of the former Convent of the Immaculate Conception and Sydney Art School. Our Lilyfield campus continues to remain operational with two Stage 1 classrooms.

In 2004, a Parent Toddler Program (PTP) was introduced at Balmain catering for children from 18 months to three years old (PTP). In 2005 this program expanded to cater for children from birth to 18 months (NIDO) and now caters to expectant parents from pregnancy onwards.

We must let the child walk and notice how he walks. His legs are short in comparison to ours and therefore he walks more slowly. Not only this, but the child explores the environment. 
Maria Montessori

In 2009 the school changed its name to Inner Sydney Montessori School (ISMS).

Our largest campus is at Balmain and now hosts three Preschool classes catering for 3 – 6 year olds and seven primary classes, for children aged 6 – 9 or 9 – 12; as well as the vibrant Infant Community. Demand for our Infant Community classes facilitated the opening of an additional Infant Community in Rozelle in 2019.

ISMS is Sydney’s largest Montessori School – comprised of 7 Primary classes, 5 Preschool classes and an esteemed Infant Community in high demand.

Our programs have extended to include:

  • Integrated Drama, Art, Music, Spanish and Sports lessons with specialist in house staff.
  • Well established Before, After and Holiday Care, managed by ISMS staff.
  • A range of co-curricular activities including Robotics, Drama, Mandarin, Choirs and Bands.
  • Regular incursions, excursions, sports carnivals, external swimming lessons and camps.