Bella Mona

Bella Mona is thrilled to rejoin Kerry Street as part of the K/PP team in 2024. Having previously been a parent at the school, Bella and her family moved from Scarborough to Hamilton Hill in 2018 to ensure their son could experience the unique educational environment offered by Kerry Street.

As a qualified Primary Teacher, Bella furthered her education by obtaining a postgraduate degree in Early Childhood from Edith Cowan University. Her deep passion for working with children is evident, and she consistently finds herself captivated by their curiosity, capabilities, and intelligence as they navigate the world around them.

Bella’s introduction to Community Schooling occurred through her experiences at Bold Park Community School, where she taught Italian and later co-teaching in Kindy, Pre-Primary/Year 1, and Year 3/4. Over time, she has come to value a collaborative approach to learning, placing great emphasis on socially constructed learning, project-based inquiry learning, and utilising the learning environment as a ‘third’ teacher. Reflection and community engagement are also central to her educational philosophy.

In 2006, Bella continued her teaching journey at Como Children, a privately run preschool following the Reggio Emilia approach. As a Cooking Specialist, she integrated learning areas such as numeracy, literacy, technology, and science through daily cooking activities with the children. This hands-on approach fostered social and emotional intelligence, connecting with nature and the seasons through producing and inspiring art and storytelling experiences.

Bella’s commitment to progressive education led her to Reggio Emilia, Italy, where she participated in a study tour of preschools as part of an International Conference. The magical atmosphere of the landscape after snowfall inner gardens and the impactful work with the children left an indelible impression on her.

Bella’s dedication to education and passion for fostering positive learning environments make her a valuable addition to the K/PP team, contributing to the holistic development of each child at Kerry Street.

“In early childhood education, we plant the seeds of curiosity, water them with wonder, and watch as the blossoms of knowledge and resilience bloom. It’s a profound journey of co-discovery, where every child’s story becomes a vibrant chapter in the book of lifelong learning.”

Bella Mona
Tom Francas

Tom Francas has worked at Kerry Street since 1998 in a variety of roles and classes, mainly in the Early Childhood years. For six years, beginning in 2014, Tom ran our Kindy class in our Hall, prior to the Pre-Primary and Kindy class joining together. The hall has since been named the “Francas Ruckus Hall” in his honour. Tom is currently the Education Assistant in the Kindy/Pre-Primary class, and also teaches Drama and Music one afternoon a week.  

Our past and present students know Tom as the funny jokester, and our parents know him for his nurturing, caring and loving personality. Many parents say that Tom makes them feel welcome, and offers security during those daunting first few weeks of school. 

Tom is an advocate for play-based learning, and also utilises the outdoor environment for engaging children in student-led learning. Tom always joins in on games as much as possible, which enables him to guide, influence and be a good role model, as well as have some fun.

“I am – and have always been – a big believer in play-based, hands-on, FUN education… especially in the early years. I use humour, silliness, wordplay, games and imagination to encourage creativity and self-expression.”

Tom Francas

Tom craves an Inquiry-based environment in which children strongly influence games and activities. It encourages independence and self-regulation and provides opportunities for the children to play, play and play some more. (Just don’t tell them they’re learning!)