Strong, vibrant, joyful – our school in January 2021

Michel Capobianco has just joined us as the new Head of the Maria Montessori School, relocating from California with her family.

After many months of delay due to the pandemic, my family and I were delighted to finally start settling into our new home in London. The welcome I have received at the school has been truly heart-warming and throughout my days visiting our classrooms, that same warmth carried through in the teacher’s interactions with the children and with each other. Montessori education calls on all of us to bring our very best to the children each day, and it is working alongside a dedicated team that makes it all possible.

Whilst the start of 2021 has brought its challenges, our school community remains strong and vibrant. At our Notting Hill Children’s House the children were thrilled to start working again. They chose challenging work such as the Decanomial Square or the Metal Inset. Both activities require concentration and precision, helping children to develop both motor control and focus.

At our Abbey Road Children’s House this month the children learnt to prepare their snacks, encouraging independence and supporting the development of hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. The children enjoyed their snack together in a peaceful way and completed the cycle by washing the dishes and replacing them on the shelf.
At our Bayswater Children’s House, the children built on their knowledge of letter sounds, working with the Capital Letter materials, matching the capital letters to the corresponding lower-case letters. This activity inspired the children to sing the ABC song, sparking them to write all the letters, taking pride to work hard and correctly form every letter. While at our Hornsey Rise Children’s House, the children enjoyed working and exploring in the outdoors, particularly in the mud kitchen where they served up chocolate chip biscuits and strawberry cupcakes.
At our Hampstead Children’s Houses, the children have been enjoying the fresh air outdoors – climbing trees, building obstacle courses, watering plants, splashing in puddles, making homes for creatures and collecting rosemary to make tea indoors. They have also enjoyed taking great care and pride in their environment, paying attention to the smallest of details when washing, dusting, cleaning and polishing precious objects in their environment.
Due to the national lockdown our Bayswater Elementary community welcomed three new children via Zoom. Everybody else was happy to see each other after the Christmas break, even if it was only virtually. Before the Montessori kits arrived at the children’s homes for remote learning, stories about Florence Nightingale and the Crimean War engaged the children. They were also interested in learning about the evolution of human beings and atoms.
At our Hampstead Lower Elementary, the children enjoyed playing with each other outdoors. Glorious sunshine sparked an impromptu session of kicking multiple balls around the pitch. Meanwhile, hula hooping in the garden was momentarily paused due to a raptor speeding across the stage. At Hampstead Upper Elementary, the children enjoyed a Zoology Zoom quiz presented and designed entirely by two of their fellow Upper Elementary classmates. The children also enjoyed using their imaginations to create and develop new fantasy board games.
The graciousness, resilience, and flexibility demonstrated by the children, their families and our staff amid another national lockdown has been truly inspirational and has enabled us to not only work together in serving the children but also to continue to move the school forward as we embrace 2021.

Michel Capobianco, Head of School