CHRIS AND TARA, PARENTS OF ELLIOT
Elliot has absolutely thrived in Children’s House – it was the best start we could have hoped for him. We loved watching him grow in confidence socially and emotionally, under the care and supervision of Natasha and all her wonderful, dedicated staff – we particularly appreciated that they were trained professionals, with a real love of, and interest in, early years care. His language, imaginative play, physical coordination and emotional regulation and self-awareness grew in leaps and bounds. The new ideas, expressions and activities he brought home were delightful. Elliot made good friends with many of the other children and it was clear to us that the staff at Children’s House really got to know him intimately in a very short period of time. Elliot talks about school all the time, and leaving Children’s House was the hardest thing for us about moving to the US. There were tears on the last day – ours!
KATIE, MOTHER OF THEO
It’s hard to express in words the gratitude we feel for the Children’s House. The endless patience and kindness that our son was shown, combined with the creativity and fun of the Montessori classroom, was an endless joy to see. The teachers at the Children’s House are really and truly exceptional and I trusted them implicitly from the very beginning. Under their guidance, Theo developed a love of learning that I fully credit to them. To be so young and yet able to guide and navigate his own learning leaves us speechless sometimes. He’s now leaving the Children’s House so well equipped and with a quiet confidence in his own abilities, meaning his next step to school is something that feels exciting with no anxiety attached to it at all. We have been blessed to be part of this wonderful place for 2.5 years and I will miss the teachers, the other children and parents and my daily walk through the magical garden, but I will always be filled with the most sincere gratitude that the Children’s House was the start and a very important part of Theo’s journey. My heartfelt thanks.
CHRISTINE, GRANDMOTHER OF ANNA.
It has been clear to me that the nursery is very special, providing a unique and individualized place for children to be, grow and flourish. Having seen a little bit more [after a “soft start” visit], my sense of your nursery and the life within it has expanded. The children who benefit from the community and experiences you provide are very privileged.
As an old granny, I can be a little despondent about the fast pace of childhood and the lack of opportunity for our young people to be calm, peaceful and engaged in exploring their world. I was able to see the careful way the environment is prepared and arranged to promote independence, choice and depth and quality of experiences. The range of opportunities was truly wonderful to see — but there was no overcrowding or bewildering choice. … I was struck by the opportunities for self-direction and exploration. While for all of you this may have become the normal routine, I believe there is nothing mundane or everyday about any of it.
CATHERINE AND WILL, PARENTS OF ARTHUR.
We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the sheer quality of everything about this wonderful place. Every day both of us have been hugely impressed with everything Arthur has been engaged with. [He] has been immensely well cared for by you all; we have absolutely loved his time with you and we all feel blessed that he (and we) have had this experience.
Parental comment given to the Care Inspectorate, 2018.
The Montessori Children’s House has been amazing for my two children. They have been nurtured, cared for and given plenty of learning opportunities that have stimulated them and given them a love of learning … The environment provided is of a very high quality and they are given many opportunities to explore … The staff could not be better and they really care for the children – always picking up on their strong points and giving lots of positive praise.
Parental comment given to the Care Inspectorate, 2018.
I am delighted at the level of care provided by the staff of the Children’s House. My child is nurtured, protected and educated by consummate professionals in an idyllic setting. In an ideal world, all nursery provision would be like this.
PETER, FATHER OF GRETA AND ELSIE
Our children were at Children’s House for three years … In my experience, [the teachers] are unfailing in sharing 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 … 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.
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.
EMMA, MOTHER OF JACK AND ELIE
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.
FORREST AND JANELLE, PARENTS OF BELLA
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!
TOM AND SUZIE, PARENTS OF LOTTIE
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.
SARAH AND WERNER, PARENTS OF SAFFRON
Our daughter has attended the Montessori Children’s House 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.
SHARON, MOTHER OF FREYA
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.
NICOLE, MOTHER OF LUKE AND EWEN
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.
LOUISA, MOTHER OF MARIE-LOUISE
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.
TINA, MOTHER OF BEINN
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.
LINDA WOOD, CARE INSPECTORATE (20I5)
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.