Wirral Montessori Nursery & Pre School Prospectus

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Wirral Montessori Nursery
20 Balls Road
CH43 5RE

Tel: 0151 363 9330

email: info@wirralmontessori.co.uk

At Wirral Montessori Nursery, we aim to:

– provide a happy, safe and secure learning environment
– encourage each child to develop lively enquiring minds
– add to the life and well-being of the local community
– encourage each child to think imaginatively, question, and apply
themselves to problem solving
-develop physical, social and practical skills
-offer children and their parents a service that promotes equality and values

We aim to ensure that each child: is in a safe and stimulating environment; is
given generous care and attention, because of our ratio of qualified staff to
children; has the chance to join with other children and adults to live, play,
work and learn together; is helped to take forward his/her learning and
development by being helped to build on what he/she already knows and
can do; has a key person who makes sure each child makes satisfying
progress; is in a setting that sees parents as partners in helping each child to
learn and develop.
Parents are regarded as members of our setting who have full participatory
rights. These include a right to be: valued and respected; kept informed,
consulted, involved and included at all levels.

An Introduction to Maria Montessori, the Montessori philosophy and the
Montessori method:

Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori was a highly intuitive woman whose observations of child
behaviour and child development continue to hold truths that bear
relevance today. Born in Ancona, Italy in 1870 she was very much ahead of
her time. In 1896, she became the first woman to graduate as a doctor from
the University of Rome. She subsequently went on to delve into paediatrics,
psychiatry, psychology and then continued her postgraduate studies
specialising in the intellectual and cognitive development of children. Her
research took her into the field of education, and it was in 1907 when she was
appointed as the medical officer for the Casa dei Bambini (Children’s House)
that she made some revealing discoveries and significant observations. These
led her to mapping out what has now become widely known as the
Montessori philosophy

Montessori identified five sensitive periods in which a child’s concentration is
absorbed by order, an exploration of the environment, movement, an
intense interest in tiny objects, and the social aspects of life.

Montessori emphasised the need for educators to pay particular attention to
the sensitive periods through equipping a classroom environment
appropriately. In doing so the right materials will be at hand in order that a
child may find what they are looking for in order to fulfil their individual
sensitivities at any given time. Montessori believed this requirement was a
necessity for the development of personality and the intellect.

The Montessori Method
The genius of Maria Montessori was that she developed a method through
which her philosophy could be implemented. This ensured that, future
generations would be served and her philosophy would have longevity. The
Montessori method focuses upon how the classroom is organised, and the
role of the teachers who prepare it, and work within it. Montessori envisaged
that each classroom would be an idyllic environment where children are
happy, contented, and learning is taking place. To achieve this desired goal
there needs to be certain aspects of the environment that are met. And
these are as follows: There needs to be freedom, structure and order, reality
and nature, beauty and atmosphere, the Montessori materials, and
development of community life.

Freedom refers to giving the child the opportunity and space to develop.
Given the right environment and materials the child will have the resources to
lead them through a pathway of development which is precisely in tune with
their individual pace. It is thus a fulfilment of having their needs satisfied.

Structure and order is an essential ingredient for without it the child would be
in chaos, and his development interfered with. Montessori observed how the
child’s personality unfolds and flourishes amongst order and structure.
Intrinsically linked to this order is the work cycle. A cycle begins with a child
taking materials to use from the shelf, and then ends with a child returning
them back to the shelf. Purposeful activity then has a beginning and an end,
and the decisions are made by the child, as to what to pick, he knows where
to get it, (as everything in the classroom has a place), and then he is able to
sit and work with it till he has decided that he has finished, which is symbolised
by him putting it away. Order is crucial to a child’s development.

Reality refers to both the concept of moving from the concrete to the
abstract, and also learning about real life. If a child were to learn about
musical instruments the concrete experience would be to bring the
instruments into the classroom. The children would be able to feel them, play

them and absorb their reality. Subsequently, the abstract could be
introduced where the child is given a picture of the instrument. The picture
has meaning because of the child’s previous contact with the real
instrument. For Montessori understanding is best achieved by always
introducing the concrete, and in Montessori classrooms this is achieved
through the selection of materials that show the concrete first and then move
to the abstract.

Reality also refers to grace and courtesy and the acceptance that there will
be a sharing of materials, and having to take turns just as in real life situations.
Understanding social graces of saying please, thank you and sorry all of
which are fundamental to human life.

Montessori understood the importance of classrooms having to be inviting
places for children. She stressed the importance of vibrancy, bright colours,
and wooden materials. All of which add to the beauty of the classroom and
capture children’s imagination and inspire them to participation and activity.
Alongside this a relaxed atmosphere is derived in which children are happy
and contented.

The Montessori materials were developed in order to assist a child’s selfconstruction
and aid growth. The materials are beautiful and they act as
stimuli to capture children’s attention, and initiate concentration. The
materials move in accordance with a child’s development from the simple to
the complex and from the concrete to the abstract. They are well placed to
meet the child’s needs at each of their sensitive periods.

Montessori encouraged the development of community life within the
classroom. She stressed that the classroom belongs to the children, and
taking ownership of the classroom leads to both order and taking care of
each other. Looking after the classroom through putting work away
encourages children to keep the classroom neat and tidy. Often in a
Montessori classroom if something is spilled the other children nearby will
come over to help clear up the mess.

The children have a natural interest in looking after their classroom. The care and attention focused upon the classroom is also shown to one another. As the children become familiar with each other through greeting each other in circle, and finding out how
everyone is, a sense of community becomes established in which the
children are sensitive to one another. They seek help on each other’s behalf
and show concern for the members of the classroom. Older children are
particularly mindful of the needs of the younger children in their class, and
exhibit consideration and often display a nurturing side.

Montessori stressed the importance to teachers that, as a pedagogy, the
Montessori method was not set in stone. That is, as society changes, teachers
need also to change and be innovative in the classroom.

The Montessori educational method has been recognised and valued
worldwide for its many benefits. It has enabled children to grow harmoniously
in accordance with their nature. It has given many the foundations for a
future path of learning and success. And above all it has done all this through
fostering a positive, and holistic, approach.

Foundation Stage (EYFS) within the Montessori Environment
The National Curriculum for 0-5years is the Early Years Foundation Stage

Although we are a Montessori school we nevertheless have to cover the EYFS
as we are also a Registered setting, and are open to inspection by Ofsted.
This, in practice has little impact as the Montessori method covers and in
some respects, extends the six areas of learning outlined in the EYFS. As a
simple outline the EYFS is covered in the following way at Wirral Montessori

Personal, social and emotional development:
Being part of the Montessori classroom community, Practical life activities,
Grace and Courtesy, Ground rules, Role modelling by peers and adults,
Freedom of choice enabling healthy sense of independence and the care of

Communication, Language and literacy:
Freedom of speech, Circle time, Opportunities for dialogue, Opportunities to
develop listening skills, and vocabulary, Pre-literacy skills with emphasis on
phonics, Literacy activities, development of general skills leading to writing, A
language-rich environment.

Problem solving, reasoning and numeracy:All areas of the classroom give children opportunities for problem-solving and
reasoning by virtue of the autonomy they are encouraged to access in the
environment in addition to the following: Exploration of the environment,
Sensorial education and activities, working with shapes, sizes and patterns,
Cultural activities, Counting activities in a mathematically-rich environment.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World:
Cultural activities, Exploration of our environment both inside and outside,
Social graces, Special topics, Sensorial activities, Care of the environment.

Physical Development:
Children develop gross and fine motor skill, a high degree of hand-eye
coordination and balance through practical life activities as well as; Sand
play, Accessing the washing hands basin, Accessing the snack table, Play in
our outdoor area, using the ride on toys, playing with hoops and balls and
working through play stations, Creative activities.

Creative Development:
Individual children, small groups and sometimes the whole group engage in
freely-available activities such as; Art and crafts, Music and movement,
Drama and story-telling, Spontaneous role play usually occurring in a
practical life area, cultural area and/or during outdoor play.
We encourage each child to develop moral values, knowledge of and
respect for their environment and for people of similar and different
backgrounds, cultures and beliefs.

Learning through play or ‘work’:
In the Montessori classroom, play is referred to as ‘work’. This enables the
children to build up a positive approach to work, and the activities
undertaken in the classroom. Such activities help young children to learn and
develop through doing and talking, which research (now supporting the
Montessori philosophy) has shown to be the means by which young children
learn to think. Our setting also uses the practice guidance Early Years
Foundation Stage to guide our planning and help children to make progress in each of the areas of learning and development. In some of these activities
children decide how they will use the activity and, in others, an adult takes the lead in helping the children to take part in the activity.

We assess how young children are learning and developing by observing
them frequently. We use information that we gain from observations, as well
as from photographs or videos of the children, to document their progress
and where this may be leading them. We believe that parents know their
children best and we ask them to contribute to assessment by sharing
information about what their children like to do at home and how they as
parents are supporting development.

We make termly assessment summaries of children’s achievement based on
our ongoing development records. These form part of children’s records of
achievement. We undertake these assessment summaries at regular intervals
as well as times of transition, such as when a child is moving onto school.

Learning Journals:
Wirral Montessori Academy keeps a learning journal for each child. On entry,
each child is given a book in which observations and work are recorded
along with an assessment form for each term. Staff and parents working
together on their children’s learning journal is one of the ways in which the
key person and parents work in partnership. Your child’s learning journal helps
us to celebrate together his/her achievements and to work together to
provide what your child needs for his/her well-being and to make progress.
Your child’s key person will work with you to keep this record. To do this you
and she/he will collect information about your child’s needs, activities,
interests and achievements. This information will enable the key person to
identify your child’s stage of progress. You and the key person will then
decide on how to help your child to move on to the next stage.
Working together for your children the ratio of adults to children in our setting
is set through the Welfare Requirements as follows: – 2 years of age= 1 adult: 4
children; 3-5 years of age = 1 adult: 8 children or 1 adult:13 children (if
qualified teacher status) However, we always aim to have higher ratios than those standards. This helps us to give time and attention to each child; talk with the children about their interests and activities; help children to experience and benefit from the
activities we provide; and allow the children to explore and be adventurous
in safety. The staff who work at our setting are: Sharon Willoughby, Ann Kelly

How parents take part in the setting:
Our setting recognises parents as the first and most important educators of
their children. All of the staff see themselves as partners with parents in
providing care and education for their child. There are many ways in which
parents take part in making the setting a welcoming and stimulating place
for children and parents, such as: exchanging knowledge about their
children’s needs, activities, interests and progress with the staff; sharing their
own special interests with the children; helping to provide, make and look
after the equipment and materials used in the children’s play activities;
taking part in events and informal discussions about the activities and

curriculum provided by the setting;! joining in community activities in which
the setting takes part; and building friendships with other parents in the setting.

To help parents understand our aims and methods, a celebration will be held
once a term. This will be a small presentation by the children based upon the
work that they have done that term. After the presentation, the ‘celebration’
will take on a more social aspect. A ‘pot-luck lunch’ will be served and there
will be ample opportunity for parents to mix with staff and each other.
In addition, parents who have particular questions or concerns are
encouraged to arrange a personal appointment with the owner – Sharon
Willoughby. All parents are welcome to visit with us at some time during the term.

Key persons and your child:
Wirral Montessori Academy uses a key person approach. This means that
each member of staff has a group of children for whom he/she is particularly
responsible. Your child’s key person will be the person who works with you to
make sure that what we provide is right for your child’s particular needs and
interests. When your child first starts at the setting, he/she will help your child
to settle, and throughout your child’s time at the setting he/she will help your
child to benefit from the setting’s activities.


Learning opportunities for adults:
As well as gaining qualifications in early years care and education, the
setting staff take part in further training to help them to keep up-to-date with
thinking about early years care and education. The setting also keeps itself
up-to-date with best practice in early years care and education, as a
member of the National Day Nursery Association

The session: We organise our sessions so that the children can choose from and work at a range of activities and in doing so, build up their ability to select and work through a task to its completion.

The Montessori method believes that all children should make their own
decisions within the learning environment to build up confidence and selfesteem
which leads to a sense of achievement and a sense of healthy independence. In this respect, they are encouraged to choose/change activities which are accessible to children at all times.

Children are welcomed into the Academy Circle Time. Every child is
welcomed and asked for any news. Within the circle we discuss a topic e.g.
the solar system, dinosaurs, etc. Montessori ‘Work Cycle’: Every child is able to go into the environment andselect an activity to work on e.g. number rods, puzzles, painting, sand play.

Break Time: The children are encouraged to either listen to a story or have
free play in our outdoor area.
Focus Time: Within the Montessori day there is a focus to some sessions and
children are encouraged to take part in this, for example, music and movement, physical development.

Snack Time: In keeping with the Montessori method during the morning and afternoon
sessions the children are free to access the snack table at any time. The
snack table contains fruit/vegetables, milk and water. For children who
attend a full day session lunch time will be 12.00-1.00pm. (Parents must
provide a packed lunch). Please tell us about your child’s dietary needs and we will make sure that these are met.

Policies and Procedures:
Copies of the Academy’s policies and procedures are available for you to
see at the setting and on our website. The setting’s policies help us to make
sure that the service provided by the Academy is a high quality one and that
being a member of the setting is an enjoyable and beneficial experience for
each child and his/her parents.

Safeguarding children:
Our setting has a duty under the law to help safeguard children against suspected or actual ‘significant harm’.
Our employment practices ensure children against the likelihood of abuse in
our setting and we have a procedure for managing complaints or allegations against a member of staff. Our way of working with children and their parents ensures we are aware of any problems that may emerge and can offer support, including referral to appropriate agencies when necessary, to help families in difficulty.

Special Needs:
As part of the setting’s policy to make sure that its provision meets the needs of each individual child, we take account of any special needs a child may have. The setting works to the requirements of the 1993 Education Act and The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2001).Our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator is Sharon Willoughby.


Parents’ Complaints:
Any complaints should be made in the first instance directly to Sharon Willoughby and every effort will be made to deal with the matter swiftly in a fair, unbiased and satisfactory manner. If parents are, however, not satisfied with the actions taken by Sharon Willoughby or any member of staff, they should call OFSTED’s Early Years Complaints Helpline on 0300 123 1231 or 0161 618 8524 for text phone/Minicom users or Type talk Prefix 18001 about children’s services or any other aspect.

Or write to: National Business Unit, Ofsted, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester, M1 2WD

Starting at Wirral Montessori Academy:
We want your child to feel happy and safe with us. To make sure that this is the case, the staff will work with you to decide on how to help your child to settle into the setting. We have a policy about helping children to settle in. A copy of this is available from Sharon Willoughby

Parents are invited to visit with their child and complete a registration form at the earliest reasonable opportunity. There is a non-refundable administration fee of £25.00. A refundable fee (at the end of your child’s time at the Academy or with 1 months’ notice) of £75.00, and a signed contract is required to secure your child’s place.


We are open for 49 weeks a year as follows: –
Term Dates:
Autumn Term 2017:Monday 4th September – Friday 22nd December 2017
Spring Term 2018: Monday 8th January – Thursday 29th March 2018
Summer Term 2018: Monday 9th April – Friday 31st August 2018

We offer morning or afternoon sessions or alternatively full day provision.
AM Session Mon-Fri 8:00am-12.00pm
PM Session Mon-Fri 1.00-5.00pm
FULL DAY Session Mon-Fri 8.00-5.00pm.
We provide care and education for young children between the ages of 2 and 5.

Wirral Montessori Fees:
For your child to receive the greatest benefit from the Montessori method of education they must attend for a minimum of 5 sessions per week. Fees must be paid a month in advance. Fees must still be paid if children are absent, without notice for a short period of time. If your child has to be absent over a long period of time, talk to our Directress. For your child to keep his/her place at the setting, you must pay the fees. Funding is available for 3 and 4 year olds for up to 15 hours per week. Where funding is not received, then full fees apply.

Fees for children aged 2 – 3 years old:
Morning Session 8.00-12.00pm = £24.00
Afternoon Session 1.00-5.00pm = £24.00

Fees for children aged 3-4 years old:
Morning Session 8.00-12.00pm = £6.00 (3 hours per session are government funded hours)
Afternoon session 1.00-5.00pm = £6.00 (3 hours per session are government funded hours)
Please note that your child becomes eligible for government funding the
term after their 3rd Birthday.

Fees for full day attendance:
Full day 8.00 -5.00pm = £54.00. (Fees will fluctuate according to government funding eligibility). Parents must provide a packed lunch.


Notice of Withdrawal:
A month’s notice of withdrawal is required. Otherwise, a full month’s fees will
be charged. Notice must be in writing to the Owner to be received on or
before the first day of the month at the end of which the pupil is to be

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