About the Montessori Pavilion School
The Montessori Pavilion School is situated in Vine Road Recreation
Ground, adjacent to Barnes Common and in a magnificent setting of
trees, grass and space.
The school has access to a fabulous playground with swings, slides,
climbing frames and a summer paddling pool.
The school was founded in 1984 and has established an enviable
reputation for providing local children with a happy, secure and
stimulating environment within which they can develop as young learners.
The Montessori approach has been chosen in recognition of the individuality
of each child and the need to foster trust and independence within
the security of a carefully prepared environment.
The school is open to all children and is interdenominational.
As part of our belief in a global community we encourage children
to understand and celebrate a diversity of cultural beliefs and
About the Montessori method
Maria Montessori was born in 1870 in Ancona, Italy. To understand
her unique method of education it is important to know
something of her background. The child of a progressive and ambitious
family, she chose to study engineering and mathematics at a time
when higher education for girls was considered unnecessary. Even
more remarkably, she went on to qualify as the first woman doctor
in her country's history. It is hardly surprising therefore
that from such a remarkable woman came remarkable views.
Her early work with handicapped children showed her that with
a special kind of help and encouragement, they were capable of learning
much more than hitherto had been considered possible. She began
to develop special learning materials to help them follow a normal
academic programme and enter the state school system.
The results of these early experiments were so impressive that
Dr Montessori was inspired to continue her work on a much broader
basis. Her aim was to show that if her special children, working
with carefully structured materials, could achieve a standard approaching
the national average, then other children working with the same
material could reach an even higher academic standard. However even
she did not dream that her theories would result in the discovery
of an almost limitless academic potential within the average child.
In 1907 she opened her first school, in a slum area of San
Lorenzo. So encouraged was she by her results here that she began
to share her discoveries with others by publishing books and giving
lectures: thus the Montessori method of education was born. In 1946
she helped found St Nicholas in London, and after her death in 1952
her innovative system was also carried on by centres in Holland,
the United States and Ireland, and many other parts of the world.
Dr Maria Montessori left behind a wonderful legacy: a philosophy
of life, a unique method of education, materials with which to educate,
and a system of training which is capable of producing teachers
who give the children the best possible foundation for life. In
essence, our aim is to create better, more complete children, who
can grow into men and women able to build a better world.
Dr Maria Montessori's objective was to help children everywhere
reach their maximum learning potential, while becoming well-balanced
individuals able to cope with the emotional, social and practical
pressures of modern-day living. Montessori education provides
a range of experiences which will stimulate a child's love of learning
With the right approach children learn willingly, so the Montessori
teacher is gentle, sympathetic and full of encouragement for
the child. She is viewed more as a friendly helper, there to give
guidance, than as a teacher to be obeyed. Her role is to encourage
positive attitudes, to help create strong individuals, and to provide
the stimulus and inspiration for the child to learn and progress.
The essence of Montessori education is that every child is treated
with respect, given freedom within the limits of a carefully structured
environment, and allowed to develop naturally at his or her
The Montessori child pursues the same basic activities covered
in any classroom, and is taught in a way that does not pressure
him into learning, yet encourages the maximum response. He chooses
from a wide range of self-educating activities to assist this process,
working at each for as long as his individual attention span will
ensure success. The teacher will be on hand at all times to encourage
, to answer questions, and to promote a harmonious environment in
which to learn.
The Montessori educational approach looks for more than retention
of knowledge. It aims also to generate security, trust and independence
in the child; it will prepare him to fit into any situation and
to move on to primary or secondary education with confidence.