The Montessori School House
Between Newbury and Hungerford
Bsc (Hons) Psychology
Mont Dip, OCR, Cert S.P.L.D (Dyslexia)
Telephone 01488 208 652
Mobile 07810 797 170
Nursery school in Hungerford and nursery in Newbury.
A Child's Space in a Caring Place
Where children have the opportunity to learn, develop and
grow in a secure, caring, calm and stimulating rural
environment, appropriate for every child’s needs.
We provide a prepared environment where children are free to respond to their drive to work and learn.
Every child in a Montessori environment is an individual and instruction is largely 1:1.
We are an independent, purpose built OFSTED registered Nursery School welcoming all children from 2 1/4 to 5 years.
Formerly the Bistro Roque in Kintbury, Berkshire, the
building was originally the ‘Christchurch Church of
England School House’ and it has now been restored to this
We have a glorious rural setting with our own enclosed Nursery garden and small wood for children to explore in safety. Designed to promote natural learning by putting children in touch with their environment; with ducks, hens and a veggie patch to dig - come rain or shine! We also have a large hard play area.
The school follows the principles of Montessori, putting the needs of the child at the heart of learning and allowing them to develop in a natural way. Montessori shares the underlying principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) as required by OFSTED.
The Montessori approach is about developing the whole child; intellectually, socially, physically, emotionally, linguistically and spiritually whilst building on the child’s intrinsic desire to learn and their ability to absorb knowledge.
The Montessori School House provides a prepared environment where children are free to respond to their natural drive to work and learn. The children’s inherent love of learning is encouraged by giving them the opportunities to engage in spontaneous, meaningful activities under the guidance of a trained teacher. Through their work, the children develop concentration, motivation, persistence, and discipline.
Montessori nursery education provides a broad range of learning experiences and focuses on six areas of learning in accordance with the principles of the compulsory Early Years Foundation Stage. These are:
Stimulating apparatus and equipment is organised on accessible open shelves enabling children to acquire and perfect skills within all six areas of learning.
The Montessori School House offers a broad range of learning materials and apparatus to enrich the learning of every child, whatever their needs or abilities both inside and outside the classroom.
What is Montessori?
Montessori gives children freedom of choice and movement in a prepared environment, to pursue their own interests and enjoy their own achievements where dignity, respect and independence are of paramount importance. Montessori discovered structure was important to help children feel safe and secure.
Montessori is based on a child’s innate desire to learn. Their enormous capacity to do so is stimulated when provided with a favourable environment and appropriate materials, under the guidance of a professionally trained Montessori teacher. Fundamental to the Montessori approach is the belief that a child’s early years (from birth to six) are the period when they have the greatest capacity to learn and the greatest appetite for knowledge. What happens during these critical years lays the foundations for their future.
The role of the Montessori teacher is to guide rather than control. They are not there to impart knowledge but to provide opportunities to learn in an environment where this can easily be achieved. Children progress at their own speed. Montessori educated children are generally seen to be well rounded, eloquent, with plenty of initiative and self-esteem. They have an ‘I can do’ attitude and a belief in their own abilities.
The key to the Montessori Philosophy is the specially designed equipment. There are specific learning tools for each core area of learning, created to help children develop essential physical, cognitive, linguistic and social skills.
How it Started
Dr Maria Montessori (1870-1952) started the Montessori method. She was a pioneer of child-centred education whose interest in education started while working with special needs children. She realised that her methods and ideas applied to all children and moved on to establish several schools where she used the classroom as a laboratory for observing children and finding ways to help them achieve their full potential.
Her scientific approach underpins much of the Montessori philosophy and the design of the Montessori didactic materials demonstrates a remarkable insight into children’s learning dispositions.
The Montessori Classroom
Montessori has become an amazing worldwide movement and provided generations of children with a very special start in life. At The Montessori School House we are part of this great movement, inspiring a new generation of children and giving them that greatest of all gifts, the joy of learning!
Three characteristics identify a Montessori school:
A Prepared Environment
This aids a child’s development, getting them to do things for themselves, freeing them to learn through activity in orderly and inviting surroundings adapted to their size and interests. The classroom invites activity by ensuring that everything has its place, and that the environment is as accessible as possible for children to work in. Taking personal responsibility, they can be given the maximum freedom to move and develop.
The key to the Montessori philosophy is the specifically designed materials. There are specific learning tools for each core area of learning. The wide range of specially designed materials support the individual interests and needs of the child. They are colourful, tactile and radiate quality - helping the child to concentrate on activities, with a purpose to them. By repetition in using the materials they define their sensory appreciation and build up practical competency and knowledge. Children need to successfully build on their previous experiences.
They are professionally trained to observe, to respond to the needs of the individual child and to guide rather than control. They are concerned with the total development of the child on all levels: physical, social, emotional, spiritual, creative and intellectual. They are loving, safeguarding and kind and always ready to encourage the child. They will recognise the child’s readiness to move on and in this way are the link between the prepared environment, the materials and the child’s needs. The interplay between the prepared environment, the teacher and the child creates the unique learning situation which is offered at The Montessori School House. Every child in a Montessori environment is an individual and instruction is largely 1:1.
EYFS Personal, Social and Emotional Development
EYFS Personal, Social and Emotional Development
AND Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
EYFS Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
EYFS Communication, Language and Literacy
EYFS Knowledge and Understanding of the World
EYFS Creative and physical Development
We use a Montessori sensorial approach with sandpaper letters to make learning tactile. Later we use a simple word-building approach using a large movable alphabet.
We have a nature/growing table and hands on displays such as mirrors and reflections, magnets, the senses and floating and sinking. We deal with issues such as ideas of weight, height and distance, volume and mass, measurement and introduce the concept of time. The children are also able to explore a range of natural substances such as clay, sand, wood and water. We also like to cook.
We have constructions toys, puzzles and equipment for stringing, matching, counting and sequencing.
Art and Design
We have a range of activities such as painting and making models and cards.
These sessions are optional and entertaining. Self-expression and individuality is enriched by a specialist teacher for music. The music session is fun and children take part in some singing, percussion and music and movement.
These lessons are optional and entertaining. They contain various activities such as games, songs, simple commands, rhymes and photo stories.
Cooking is available most weeks on a Monday if children want to cook.
Resources and Facilities
The two spacious classrooms are fully equipped to cater for the children’s development. They are split into areas dedicated to different activities.
The Montessori curriculum is supported by the range of materials that are organised on low accessible open shelves, grouped according to the areas of learning. The environment is organised so that children learn through all the senses. They take part in specific experiences using practical materials which are designed to develop manipulative skills. All learning in Montessori environments starts from real experiences.
Language and Listening Area
A cosy area with soft furnishings and brightly coloured scatter cushions. The room can also be used for group activities. It houses a wide selection of children’s books, puppets, storytelling aids and a range of musical instruments including a piano.
Imaginative Play Area
This gives the children the opportunity for role play in the home corner, dressing up and small world play such as the garage, dolls house and farm.
This deals with science and maths activities.
This area contains materials for art and craft activities such as paints, paper glue, scissors and a variety of resources used for collage work and model making.
Outdoor Area for Physical Activity
The Nursery has it’s own secure enclosed garden and small wood which has plenty of space for the children to run, jump and climb and in doing so improve their strength, co-ordination and awareness of space. We have a play house in the wood for imaginative play, a vegetable patch and an enclosed area with chickens and ducks. The children have the optional opportunity to dig the vegetable patch, plant seeds, feed the ducks and chickens. This area also has play equipment with climbing frames and slides.
Proprietor and Head of Nursery
The Nursery is privately owned by Rhian Rees who is also the Principal. She is a fully trained and qualified Montessori teacher with further qualifications in special needs education and a BSc (Honours) degree in Psychology.
Rhian has qualifications and experience in nursery education having worked extensively with pre-school children. She held posts at the Norland College working one to one with children with special needs. She also trained as a dyslexia teacher at an independent primary school, with children aged 5 to 11. Rhian also taught A-Level Psychology at an independent college.
However, it is pre-school teaching and nursery education where her real passion lies.
Whilst all of her own children were young, it was through watching and observing them that Rhian became interested in Montessori education, and could see the Montessori ideas and results first hand. Rhian has four children and her youngest is just 5. As such her teaching methods and approach to pre-school education remains fresh and fun having just experienced her own daughter‘s journey through nursery education.
There is a high teacher pupil ratio and all of the staff at The Montessori School House have relevant qualifications in the field of pre-school childcare and are experienced in this type of work.
The Role of Parents
The Montessori School House recognises parents as the first and most important educators of their young children. We aim to support parents and recognise the importance of effective communication, working in partnership with parents/guardians to monitor their child’s progress.
The term before your child is due to start he/she will be invited to come and visit and familiarize themselves with the environment and staff. We ensure this is a happy experience and an opportunity for parents/guardians to ask any questions.
Before your child starts they are required to complete an "All About Me" form. This gives parents and guardians the opportunity to give as much information about their child as possible.
Parent Teacher Meetings
The purpose of these meetings is to discuss individual children and their progress and to build on our partnership with parents/guardians.
Observations, Record Keeping and Planning
Children are continuously observed which helps follow and develop an individual plan for each child. This forms the basis of the child’s record of progress or record of achievement, often supplemented by samples of work, photographs and other records.
9.00 am to 12.15 pm
12.15 pm to 1.15 pm
1.15 pm to 3.00 pm
The Montessori School House is a private Nursery funded only by the fees. We operate a policy of payment in advance, with fees due in the first two weeks of term. Notice of at least half a term is required from parents prior to a child leaving the nursery. If a child is unable to attend for any reason such as holidays or illness, we regret that the fees are non-returnable.
A child can be registered to start at the Nursery School at any time during the academic year. To register your child a non-refundable registration fee of £20.00 is payable. Children are able to start at the Montessori School House from age 2 years 3 months, although there may be some flexibility depending on the readiness of the child (but no sooner than the day of their second birthday). Once a child has been offered a place they may attend an introductory morning accompanied by a parent/guardian held during the half term prior to starting.
Calendar 2015 - 2016
Monday 7th September to Friday 23rd October
Monday 22nd November to Wednesday 16th December
Wednesday 6th January to Friday 12th February
Half Term: Monday 15th February to Friday 19th February
Monday 22nd February to Thursay 24th March
Monday 11th April to Friday 27th May
(Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May)
Half Term: Monday 30th May to Friday 3rd June
Monday 6th June to Friday 15th July
In order to feel free to explore and experiment with all kinds of materials, including messy ones, it is advised to send children dressed in clothes that are easily washed. It is good for children to practice the skills which will make them independent, so simple clothing which they can manage themselves will enable them to go to the toilet when they want to and to put on and take off their outdoor clothes and shoes without being too dependent on help.
All children require a pair of wellington boots for outdoor play and a pair of pumps or plimsolls for indoor wear.
A school smock (which can be purchased from the Nursery) is required to wear over clothing. We ask that all articles of clothing and personal belongings are clearly named.
Policies and Procedures
Collecting a Child from Nursery
All parents/guardians must fill in a collection consent form. Children can only be collected by someone other than their parents or carers with their parents/guardians consent and will not be permitted to leave the nursery without this.
Each child is able to progress at his/her own rate in all areas of development, and this is true for children with or without disabilities or learning difficulties. We are experienced in working in close liaison with professionals across the range of special needs. The nursery adheres to the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice and if you would like to discuss the group’s ability to meet you child’s special needs, please talk to the Nursery Principal Rhian Rees.
Special educational needs are at the very heart of Montessori philosophy since it was the studying of such children that Dr Maria Montessori first developed her teaching methods. Every child in a Montessori environment is treated as an individual and instruction is largely 1:1.
You can contact us by letter, telephone, in-person during term time, or alternatively use the contact form on this page.
The Montessori Nursery School House
(Nursery school in Hungerford and Near Newbury)
RG17 9ST School Principal Rhian Rees
Bsc (Hons) Psychology
Mont Dip, OCR, Cert S.P.L.D (Dyslexia)
Telephone 01488 208 652
Mobile 07810 797 170
Nursery in Newbury
Nursery in Hungerford
The Montessori School House is located just south of Kintbury in West Berkshire (approximately 5 miles from the centre of Hungerford and 7 miles from the centre of Newbury).
Nursery in Kintbury
Nursery in West Berkshire