Why Sheen Montessori?

Set in the space and woodland of Palewell Common, Sheen Montessori has unrivalled access to the outside environment, which we use regularly to support learning. We created our classrooms to be filled with light and to provide a beautiful, calm environment – enabling children and teachers to think and breathe.

“The teachers always give almost daily feedback, reassurance and advice”


circle time

“The teachers are wonderfully caring and incredibly dedicated”

Our highly professional teaching team use the full extent of our Montessori resources to create carefully considered learning opportunities for the children.  We know that children develop more fully with adult support, so we always maintain a high teacher to child ratio.

Beyond the morning Montessori curriculum, children have the opportunity to enjoy yoga, music, language lessons, PE, cooking and nature sessions.  This optional afternoon programme extends to 3pm each day, offering teaching, care and a full day of learning and discovery for every child.

And to help our children understand the value of giving back, we encourage their involvement in our charitable partnership with a school in Zimbabwe.

To fully understand the Sheen Montessori offering, please come and look around.

“Every afternoon is different, and the teaching is of the highest quality”

working it out

About the principal and founder

Principal Fiona MacLeod

Sheen Montessori Nursery School was founded by Fiona MacLeod in 2010. Its reputation and popularity reflect her professionalism, warmth and commitment to creating the very best learning environment for 2-5 year-olds.

A Chemistry graduate from Imperial College, Fiona held several senior marketing roles at Coca Cola and GlaxoSmithKline before a change in direction beckoned. She graduated from the Montessori Centre International (MCI) and committed to a new career direction as a leader in Montessori teaching.

Fiona and her husband, Steve, handpicked Palewell Cottage and its idyllic location in spacious, wooded parkland to create a bespoke learning setting where children would thrive.

Fiona’s love of life, and in getting the most out of it, shines through everything she does. Fiona, Steve and their two teenage sons, Finlay and Seumas, share a passion for dance, music, rugby and travelling the globe – they are a family ever learning about the world. An avid reader, Fiona always has a good book on the go. She is at her happiest over dinner with friends and family, sharing thoughts, opinions and much laughter.

Our Montessori approach

bouncy bouncy

“This is a true Montessori nursery and I am delighted that my daughter was fortunate to attend”

Observing the movement of a group of one-year olds at a birthday party highlights just how differently every child learns and develops. There will be one brave child scaling the furniture, another will be tottering along holding its edge. Some will be speed crawling, one happily lying on their tummy, and possibly a demon bum shuffler! Yet, a year on, barring disability, and with the right encouragement and support, all will be competent and confident walkers.

“Our son’s happiness and progress while at Sheen Montessori exceeded both our hopes and expectations”

As Montessori teachers, we know this is the same for all aspects of learning. Pushing a child to read when they are not ready crushes their motivation to learn and diminishes their self-esteem.

Our Montessori pedagogy recognises that each child learns in a different way, taking at different path and travelling at a different pace. Teachers are skilled and scientific observers, recognising when children are ready to take the next developmental step – and ensuring that the environment is prepared with challenging activities to extend their skills. Teachers work 1:1 with children at a level just beyond their current ability to entice them toward their next milestone.


independent learning

Children become independent learners, excited by overcoming challenges and solving problems. They are given time to work things out for themselves. They take risks, make mistakes, develop perseverance and concentration – and build both empathy and resilience.

At Sheen Montessori Nursery, our light-filled classrooms and large, safe garden are prepared with a vast and creative range of materials. Children are free to make their own choices of activity across a rich curriculum. They are encouraged to manage their own belongings and clear up their own mess to recognise their capabilities and promote their independence. Everything they do contains a discovery, and teachers and children enjoy travelling the journey of learning together.

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