The Clevedon Montessori School mission is to:
- Commit to the Montessori Philosophy
- Lead the way in Early Years’ Best Practice
- Endeavour to achieve the highest standards
- Value each child’s uniqueness
- Excel in team work between the school, children and parents
- Deliver the Montessori and EYFS curriculum
- Open the child’s eyes to natural wonders
- Nurture the spirit of every child
Our Aim is
To enhance the development and education of children under statutory school age in a challenging prepared learning environment.
To provide a safe, secure and stimulating environment.
To work within a framework which ensures equality of opportunity for all children and families.
We offer your child:
A specially tailored curriculum covering all aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Individual care and attention made possible by a high ratio of adults to children.
Friendship with children and other adults.
Opportunities for you and your family to be involved in your own child's progress.
Our school is open at the following times:-
Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday and Thursday:
9.00 to 12.30pm (mornings)
9.00 to 2.30pm (mornings + lunch and extra activities)
9.00 to 4.00pm (full days)
Our school offers education and care for children below school age (the term after the child's 5th birthday) and over the age of two years.
We also offer an optional 8.45am start and a 4.15pm finish.
Within the school, all children are supported in developing their potential at their own pace. Our system enables us to ensure a planned curriculum tailored to the needs of each individual child. By means of developmentally appropriate activities and a high level of individual adult input, we offer a curriculum which leads to nationally approved learning outcomes and prepares children to progress with confidence to the National Curriculum at the age of 5/6 years.
Communication Language and literacy
In both small and large groups and individually, children are encouraged to extend their vocabulary and fluency by talking and listening, and by hearing and responding to stories, songs and rhymes.
A well-stocked book corner gives every child the opportunity and encouragement to become familiar with books, able to handle them and aware of their uses, both for reference and as a source of stories and pictures.
Children are helped to understand that written symbols carry meaning, to be aware of the purposes of writing and, when they are ready, to use drawn and written symbols for themselves.
In small groups and individually we use a wide range of fun activities to support children in the skills they will need for successful reading and writing.
If the children become ready during their time here they follow the Montessori language programme (synthetic phonics). The scheme is based on phonics using the 44+ sounds of the English language and is highly structured, covering individual phonetic sounds and progressing through simple phonetic words to all irregular spellings. It also includes simple grammatical rules.
Personal, Social and Emotional development
Within a nurturing environment, children are individually supported in developing confidence, autonomy and self-respect. They are encouraged to work and concentrate independently and also to take part in the life of the group, sharing and co-operating with other children and adults. Through activities, conversation and practical example, they learn acceptable ways to express their own feelings and to have respect for the feelings of others. All children are given the opportunity, as appropriate, to take responsibility for themselves and also for the school, its members and its property.
Mathematics: Numeracy, Shape and Measure
Children learn basic mathematical concepts including quantity, size, shape and symbols through the Montessori mathematics programme. This is highly structured and extends to decimals and fractions.
By means of adult-supported practical experience, children become familiar with the sorting, matching, ordering, sequencing and counting activities which form the basis for early mathematics. As they use their developing mathematical understanding to solve practical problems, children are assisted to learn and use the vocabulary of mathematics, identifying objects by shape, position, size, volume and number. Songs, games and picture books help children become aware of number sequences and, when they are ready, to use simple mathematical operations such as adding and subtracting.
Understanding of the world
A safe and stimulating environment allows children to explore and experiment with a range of natural and manufactured materials. They learn to observe the features of objects and substances, recognising differences, patterns and similarities, and to share and record their findings. Children are assisted in exploring and understanding their environment, both within the group and also in the wider community. A range of safe and well maintained equipment enables children to extend their technological understanding, using simple tools and techniques as appropriate to achieve their intentions and to solve problems. They also have access to carefully chosen computer programmes, in support of current interests and topics.
A range of equipment and opportunities, both indoors and outdoors, allows children to develop confidence and enjoyment in the use and development of their own bodily skills. A very high level of adult supervision enables children safely to create and meet physical challenges, developing increasing skill and control in moving, climbing and balancing. At the same time, children are supported in the development of the fine motor skills required to use tools, including pens and pencils, and to handle small objects with increasing control and precision.
Expressive Arts and Design
Children are encouraged to use a wide range of resources in order to express their own ideas and feelings and to construct their individual response to experience in two and three dimensions. Art equipment, including paint, glue, crayons and pencils as well as natural and discarded resources, provides for open-ended exploration of colour, shape and texture and the development of skills in painting, drawing and collage. Children join in with and respond to music and stories, and there are many opportunities for imaginative role play, both individually and as part of a group. When-ever possible these activities take place in the school garden which is accessible to the children by choice.
Children have free access to the enclosed back garden for many months of the year. When the weather is too cold to leave the conservatory door open they have opportunities to go outside in small groups. The outside area comprises of a natural garden and lawn, a safe play area for climbing equipment and a large individually designed area based on the Principles of the 7C’s This has a large variety of resources for physical challenges and imaginative play. The garden also has a fully equipped Wendy House and an Octagonal building used for various projects and interests. The children grow fruits, vegetables and flowers. The fruit and vegetables are harvested and prepared by the children for the school lunches and snacks.
We are proud of the high ratio of adults to children in our school. This ensures individual attention to the needs and development of each child.
Regular members of staff are:
Qualifications and Experience
* ‘St Nicholas’ Training Centre’ Diploma for the Montessori Method of Education –
* ‘Montessori Centre International (MCI)’ Certificate in ‘Early Childhood Trainers’ Course.’
* Teaching and running own nursery schools since 1972.
Principal Directress and Joint Deputy Principal
* ‘Montessori Centre International (MCI)’ Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy, Early Childhood Course – Birth–6 years.
* ‘Montessori Centre International (MCI)’ Certificate Stage II, Montessori Theory and Methodology – Birth – 6 years.
* GNVQ/BTEC Health & Social Care National Diploma.
* Teaching since September 1996.
Principal Directress and Joint Deputy Principal
*‘Montessori Centre International (MCI)’ Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy, Early Childhood Course – Birth-6 years.
*‘Montessori Centre International’ (MCI)’ Certificate Stage II, Montessori Theory and Methodology - Birth – 6 years.
* Teaching since April 2004.
At Montessori since May 2000
Montessori Teaching Assistant and School Cook
*‘Montessori Centre International (MCI)’ Foundation Certificate – 2008.
* Registered Childminder – 2003-2007
* Qualified Cook City and Guilds
Teaching and cooking here since 2007
* The College of Modern Montessori - Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy, Early Childhood Course 2 - 6 years.
Teaching here since November 2020
Early Years Foundation Stage Practitioner and Montessori student
* NCFE Cache Technical Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator)
In addition, we usually provide work placements for college students, studying for a variety of relevant qualifications. We are also in partnership with the University of the West of England, Weston College and Bath University and accept and support students on Early Years Degree placement. Students and any voluntary staff are supervised at all times. All staff are checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
We are proud of the fact that all staff at our school are trained or are training in the care and education of very young children, enabling us to maintain our high standards.
Special Responsibility Teacher (Key Person)
During the period of introductory sessions each child is assigned a Special Responsibility Teacher (key person). There are two introductory teachers assigned to each new group of eight children and providing the child’s booked sessions for the following half term match at least one of the teachers the key person will be one of the introductory teachers. This teacher is responsible for the child’s planning, record keeping, reports and liaisons with the child’s family, as well as being there for the child as her/his special teacher. However in keeping with Montessori principles all teachers will care and work with the child.
We implement an excellent record keeping system in which observations of the children in the group are used as a basis for drawing up an individual curriculum for each child. We also make up a Progress Record for each child in which parents and child can make their own contributions. With the support of a teacher the child makes up a scrap book of photographs and comments. These are presented to the child at the end of his/her time here.
We are constantly in touch with new thinking in the field of child education and care through Montessori training organisations and North Somerset Partnership networks. We receive two quarterly magazines offering practical advice and up-to-date information, and have access to a range of professionally produced publications. In addition, on-going training is available through Pre-school Learning Alliance, Local Training Organisations, North Somerset CPD Early Years, Montessori Centre International, Montessori Education U.K., Montessori Schools’ Association, Montessori Partnership and our own in house courses. Information on these is always available.
The role of parents
We recognise parents as the first and most important educators of their young children. Our school aims to support parents. Parents are welcomed:
- to assist with fund-raising
- to attend training courses, workshops and conferences
- to accompany our school on educational trips.
- as visitors to share their skills with the children
- to share in any specific occasions such as visits, open days, celebrations etc.
- to contribute to their child’s planning and assessment records
Planned individual EYFS assessments are prepared three times over the usual two year period of the child’s time here. The first two assessments are accompanied by parent conferences to discuss the child’s progress and parents are invited to contribute. This will comprise of an assessment at 2/3 years old, 3/4 years old and 4 years old which is the summative assessment (transfer document which with your permission is passed onto your child’s next setting i.e. reception class). Parents are always welcome to arrange a time to meet with their child's ‘Special Responsibility Teacher’ to discuss any specific concerns or information needed, as well as to impart relevant information to us, at any time.
Workshops offered to parents include: Introductory Workshop and Early Years Foundation Stage;
Pre-Literacy; Early Literacy; Pre-Maths; Early Maths (Numeracy and Shape and Measure).
Our policy statements are always available in school and on the website.
All our policies are designed to offer the best possible experience for the children and families in the school. Our policies are reviewed on a regular basis and comments and suggestions from parents are always welcome.
The number of adults present in our school enables us to provide individual attention for each child. Each child is able to progress at her/his own rate in all areas of development, and this is true for children with and without a special need. We follow the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) requirements as defined by the DFES. We are experienced in working in close liaison with professionals across the range of children’s special needs. If you would like to discuss the group's ability to meet your own child's special needs, please talk to a member of staff or the Principal.
Collection of Children
In the interest of safety, children must be collected on time from school, this is especially important at 12.30 p.m. when staff deployment and procedures over the lunch time period have to be strictly maintained.
If you need someone not named on the child’s personal form, to collect your child you must send a written note or email with full details of the person. They will also be asked to produce some form of photo identification or asked for a password given beforehand by the parent. This may also happen if the person collecting is named on the form but is not known by any of the teachers present.
If a parent is collecting another child apart from their own on a regular basis, then a note will need to be written by the parent to say that on occasion this will be happening (rather than writing a note every time). This information will then be put on the child detail form and placed in the child’s personal file for future use.
We ask for your patience and full co-operation in this and hope you understand that it is for everyone’s safety.
Management and Administration
The school is owned and managed by Mrs Maureen Burgoyne and during her absence is in the hands of two Principal Directresses trained in all aspects of the management of the school. The Administrative Manager deals with all administration matters
Fees are payable termly in advance. Fees continue to be payable if a child is absent. Each child’s attendance at the school is conditional upon continued payment of any necessary fees and/or valid claim for nursery funding.
The school opens at 8.45 and remains open until 4.30pm for those who need it and the charge for this is pro-rata.
Starting Nursery School
What to wear
In order to feel free to explore and experiment with all kinds of materials, including messy ones, please send children dressed in clothes which are easily washable or not too new.
It is essential that children come prepared for gardening at all times. These can be sent in a named, waterproof bag. Please note that for reasons of Health and Safety children will not be able to join in when their clothes are not suitable for the task.
Please do not send children with jewellery, valuables or Alice bands as they are likely to get broken or lost. The same applies to toys other than a transitional toy i.e. a comfort toy or object.
It is good for children to practise the skills which will support them in attaining independence. Simple clothing (i.e. elastic waists, Velcro fastenings and no dungarees or tightly fastened jeans) which they can handle themselves will enable them to go to the toilet when they want to and put on and take off their outdoor clothes without being too dependent on other people's help.
We have a really attractive emerald uniform with our own school logo. This is high quality, very hard wearing and reasonably priced. We ask that you order at least one sweatshirt but other items are also available, i.e. polo shirt, t-shirt, cardigan and a bottle green, reversible waterproof/fleece. Please ask if you would like to see a sample before ordering.
We hope that your child's time in pre-school will be a very happy and productive one. If you have any queries or if we can be of any help, please contact the staff at any time.