Our children were at Children’s House for three years. I see, through their eyes and their time there, some fundamental ways and means of life. The surroundings, the pedagogy, the hopes, the time and energy invested by everyone, are fleeting without the teachers. For in my experience they are unfailing in sharing these fundamentals with the children: authenticity; sincerity; attention to detail; quality of materials and work; diligence; enthusiasm; honesty; humanity; compassion; respect.
The children come to inhabit these values, these ways of experiencing childhood and being part of shaping that experience, in an environment fully attuned to their individualities. These words – the fundamentals I mentioned – are meaningful to children because they are taught by example. The teachers challenge the children; they teach that there are many ways to do a task; they teach that work yields satisfaction and a measure of autonomy and pride. And all this within an outward-looking community which may be the child’s first of its kind outside her home.
Trust me on this. The teachers at Children’s House are the kind of people you want your children to have in their lives. And Children’s House is the kind of school you want to have in your life as part of the community we live in.
Peter. father of Greta and elsie
“I think if I had to pick one thing, the first thing which captured my attention and made me take a closer look at Montessori Education for my son Jack, it would be the emphasis on the development of the whole child. It was apparent to both myself and my husband right from our very first meeting, that Judith and Natasha have a gift for really seeing who our children are. I remember being surprised, that after only a few days in their care, how much they had already discerned about Jack and his character – insights which had evaded previous caregivers for three years!
As a parent I have developed a keen interest in education and in research which tells us what is good and what is bad. Many studies tell us about the vital connection between movement and the brain when engaged in a learning activity. In Children’s House this connection can be plainly seen. Judith and Natasha and their staff provide a calm nurturing environment where Jack’s natural exuberance and physicality was not checked but instead utilised and honed so that he could bring the best out in himself and, in time, others.
The natural progression Jack made through the Montessori materials – from practical life, through sensory to the literacy and mathematical materials have made his transition to traditional schooling seamless and a far more positive experience than we could have otherwise hoped for. I feel deeply that his strong sense of self and quiet confidence in his own knowledge and abilities are very much thanks to his experiences at Children’s House. Watching him learn to read and write, with none of the strain and exhaustion I remember so clearly from my own childhood, has been a joy and a privilege. This I know for certain is wholly due to the genius of the Montessori literacy materials and in the wonderful way he and we, as a family, were guided through them. Already I can see that my daughter’s journey is likely to be even smoother having been surrounded by it all from birth.
Any nursery or school stands or falls on the quality of its staff. In this respect, as in so many others, we are more than lucky. I believe Judith and Natasha, and indeed all their staff, are truly special people. They don’t just ‘go the extra mile’ for our children they go far beyond that. To watch how they bring out the best in each and every child and to even witness the surprising transformation of some in their care is a humbling experience. If you want the best educational start for your child then you need look no further. It is here.
Emma, Mother of Jack and Ellie
Children’s House has been a great gift to our daughter and our family. Judith and Natasha care deeply and individually for each child and invite them forward to grow and develop in a manner appropriate to each child. The nursery environment is safe and peaceful, which has allowed our daughter to find a real home there. The opportunities for learning in the Montessori classroom are endless and so purposely designed; I am encouraged as a parent to know that, regardless of the activities our daughter chooses for each day, she will be growing and learning. As a bonus, the guest presentations, music and art times, and outdoor time in the ‘Secret Garden’ have all been welcomed and delightful additions to the already excellent structure. I highly recommend Children’s House!”
Forrest and Janelle, parents of Bella
“We couldn’t be happier with our daughter’s progress at Montessori. She absolutely loves going into school, enjoys every day and has grown in confidence thanks to the nurturing environment fostered by Natasha and Judith. It is a really special place and we feel very fortunate to have found such an incredible school on our doorstep.”
Tom and Suzie, parents of Lottie
“Our daughter has attended the Montessori Children’s House since it began and we have found it to be wonderful in all ways. It has provided her with a nurturing, creative, child-centred start to her education and has given her a secure foundation when making her first steps away from the family home.”
Sarah and Werner, parents of Saffron
“My daughter has been at the Children’s House for a year now and I have noticed a transformation in her as she has flourished in the creative structured learning opportunities offered. I have sat in the classroom as an observer and marvelled at the children as they learn progressively through the Montessori materials they are so lucky to experience.”
Sharon, mother of Freya
“Our daughter has thrived at the Montessori Children’s House. It is a wonderful addition to the educational options of St Andrews.”
Vivienne and Angus, parents of Thea
“Our sons have loved Montessori from the very start. Judith and Natasha have been caring and supportive and they have created an environment which has truly sparked our sons curiosity and learning. We have seen clear development in many areas including creative art, basic maths and reading.”
Nicole, mother of Luke and Ewen
“I couldn’t be more delighted to have my precious 3 1/2 year old attending the Children’s House. I highly value the patient, kind and positive approach taken by Judith and Natasha in everything they do. Their care and attention to detail is exceptional and this in turn creates a simply beautiful environment for the children. My daughter is extremely happy and has been made to feel special through an exceptional child-centred approach to her overall care. This has fostered in her a self-directed, independent and enthusiastic attitude to learning. I am only sorry that more children don’t benefit from such a great introduction to their formal education.”
Louisa, mother of Marie-Louise
“The Montessori Children’s House is a fabulous resource”.
Ruth, mother of Francesca
“The school provides an unmatched opportunity for pre-school age children to develop their natural inquisitiveness and confidence in learning and hopefully set them up for school in a way that no other pre-school programme can. I can think of no better way for such young children to develop such a healthy and positive start to their formal learning.”
Tina, mother of Beinn
“We found that the children attending Montessori Children’s House, St Andrews, were settled and enjoyed being with the staff and other children. The parents/carers we received questionnaires from, and spoke to, were extremely happy with the service provided. Many told us their children’s confidence and self esteem had improved since attending the group.”