Frequently Asked Questions
When should I register my child to start at Sheen Montessori Nursery?
Early registration is usually advised as places can be limited depending on sibling applications. You can do that here.
A viewing is recommended before registration, to ensure that you have had the opportunity to observe the teachers and facilities, and to confirm that a Montessori based pedagogy is right for you.
How do I register?
An application for registration can be made directly here. Registration will only be complete on receipt of the form and a non-refundable £75 registration fee.
Which start date should I apply for?
Children usually join the nursery in September following their 2nd birthday, and most will spend two years with us before transitioning to primary school. Places occasionally become available at other times during the academic year and these will be offered to those that have expressed an interest in an earlier start date.
How many days do children attend?
Children attend for a minimum of five mornings with afternoon sessions optional and booked a term in advance. Once the morning places have been filled afternoon-only places are available.
How are places allocated?
We tend to be oversubscribed for morning sessions, so our policy is firstly to prioritise siblings of children currently at Sheen Montessori Nursery, followed by children attending our afternoon sessions, before offering places to new families in order of the date of registration.
If my child turns two in the Autumn term can my child start in January?
Usually, all places are filled in the Autumn term but if you feel strongly about your child joining in the Spring term there is the option to accept and pay for a place from September.
This should be considered carefully as the full-term fee is payable but your child would need to wait for their 2nd birthday before joining. This does however avoid the need to wait until the following academic year for entry to the school.
How many children are there at the nursery?
The nursery has three classes, each welcoming up to 20 children. Bronte and Darwin classrooms are situated on the ground floor, with Newton upstairs.
All classrooms are fully equipped with a full range of Montessori materials, and all offer free-flow between indoor and outdoor learning spaces.
Are the classes organised by age group?
All classes are mixed in age – with younger children learning from their older peers and our older children becoming little leaders who take responsibility for their own tasks within the group.
What qualifications do the staff hold?
Each class is led by at least two fully qualified Montessori teachers, some of whom have also achieved a level 6 ‘Qualified Early Years Teacher’ status. Other staff will be on a pathway to a Montessori qualification, and often our classrooms host Montessori students from our partner colleges whilst they complete their supervised teaching practice.
All staff are Paediatric First Aid qualified and have been thoroughly DBS checked. Our specialist teachers will have qualifications relevant to their area of expertise e.g. music or PE.
What is the staff to pupil ratio at Sheen Montessori nursery?
We work at a staff ratio that is well above the statutory requirement. Our usual ratio is 1:5, but often we have specialist teachers and students on placement and then we have even fewer children to each member of staff.
Is lunch provided for children staying until 3 pm?
The nursery has a small kitchen and we do not have full catering capability. Children, therefore, bring a packed lunch. This can be a hot meal in a thermal container or a range of cold food options. We encourage you to include favourites as well as new foods – as children are often more open to new flavours when away from home.
We are a strictly ‘no nuts’ setting as occasionally a pupil may have a severe nut allergy.
Are children able to sleep in the afternoon?
The afternoon session follows the same Montessori curriculum as the morning, with the addition of break-out groups for the focussed activity of the day e.g. yoga or Spanish. Most children who stay for the full day have, therefore, dropped their afternoon nap so that they can take advantage of this teaching.
Occasionally sleep will overcome one of our little ones and a comfortable beanbag will allow then a short nap. We do not have a formal sleep time or sleep room.
Does Sheen Montessori work with the government funding scheme?
The nursery works with both the 15-hour universal offer and the 30-hour extended funding schemes. Sheen Montessori Nursery receives early education funding (EEF) for your free childcare at a rate of £5.25 per hour. Any charges applied to additional hours and services accessed are set at a rate to support the quality and sustainability of our provision whilst working within the statutory conditions for EEF. For access to extended 30-hour funding, the child needs to attend all five morning and afternoon sessions and the family will need to meet the financial criteria prescribed by HMRC.