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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Montessori still relevant for today’s modern child?
Definitely! Current research strongly supports Montessori’s philosophical ideas and educational theory; in fact much of the Early Years Foundation Stage is based on Montessori practice. In today’s busy world it is important that children get the space and time they need to develop and learn in an environment specifically tailored to their needs and interests.

I’ve heard children can do what they like in a Montessori nursery, doesn’t that result in chaos?
Children can do what they like in respect of matters such as choosing which activities to play with, when to have their snack, or when to go outside. Children are shown how to play respectfully with the materials, to show concern for their friends and teachers, and how to behave within the boundaries of our expectations. Contrary to what you may expect, our classroom is calm with an air of industry and happiness.

I’ve also heard that Montessori nurseries too strict?
It is undeniable that Montessori nurseries hold high expectations of their children. However, this is based on the knowledge of what children can do, and an in-depth understanding of child development. The practitioners act as excellent role models in their own behaviour which encourages the children naturally to follow their example.

How is discipline dealt with in your nursery?
We believe that discipline should come from within a child, not always be imposed on the child. We do not rely on rewards and punishments, therefore children learn to act with self-control. Our practitioners will only step in if the child’s behaviour is upsetting or disruptive to others. In those instances the child is spoken to with respect and sensitivity and stays by the side of an adult until they are ready to continue in their play.

What is the main difference between your nursery and a non-Montessori pre-school?
This is a difficult question to answer, the introduction of the Early Years Foundation Stage means that many pre-schools are offering a good standard of care and education for young children. However, we believe the things that make a Montessori nursery special are the in-depth training a Montessori practitioner undertakes helping them to understand children’s behaviour better, and the unique sense of order, routine and calm which prevails within a Montessori environment.

Is it okay to send my child to both a Montessori and non-Montessori pre-school?
It is best not to for a number of reasons. Children need consistency and predictability in order to become secure and confident, mixing settings can confuse children, affecting their self-esteem and ability to learn. Montessori settings rely on the children freely working with the materials to fully understand educational concepts, if children are not at the setting they do not have the opportunity to practice or build on their skills. Putting the conflict of Montessori and non-Montessori to one side, it is obvious that the more we see your child the better we get to know and understand them, meaning we can better tailor experience to the individuals leaning style and interests.

How will my child fit in with a mainstream primary school?

Children leave the Montessori nursery environment very well prepared for school life, because they have been encouraged to problem-solve, think and act independently. They are happy, confident, resourceful and eager to learn – usually a teachers dream!

My child is starting school where he doesn’t know any other children, should I be worried?
Obviously it is easier for a parent if they know their child will be going to school with existing friends. However, research shows the overriding importance is for a child to have the social skills necessary to form friendships, not necessarily that they start school with their friends. The most secure friendships for children are those outside of the pre-school/school environment, so making play dates with children who will be in your son’s class through the summer holidays will be a good idea.