Following initial enquiry, an invitation is extended to visit the nursery or school. Prospective parents may either visit the Nursery or School on our Open Day, or arrange an individual visit. The Open Day usually takes place in the Summer Term.
Prospective parents will normally be shown around the Nursery or School by the Headteacher who will show them the facilities and answer any questions.
Entry requirements and selection criteria
Nursery Children are admitted into the Nursery in the term that they turn 2 years old. There is no necessity for them to be potty trained. Assessing children at this age is difficult, so as such, there is no academic selection process, but children are encouraged to attend settling in sessions in the Nursery prior to their start date.
Children can start with a minimum of 2 morning sessions per week. These can be extended at the beginning of each term when the child is ready to cope with a longer day. A maximum of 10 sessions (full time) per week is offered. Parents may change their requirements for morning/afternoon sessions in the Nursery on a termly basis.
Pupils who are in our Nursery and wish to progress to Reception are expected to reach an acceptable standard of behaviour, academic progress and social interaction before a place in Reception is guaranteed.
New children who are seeking admission into Reception or Years 1 -6 are required to have already attended an accredited Montessori nursery or school. We feel it would be unfair on the child who had not had a Montessori education at nursery level to be able to follow it at primary. Any child who has left at nursery level and has found mainstream not to their liking can return to continue their education at Henley Montessori (within one academic year). In such cases the school would like to meet with the child and encourage them to spend time at the school to see if the environment would benefit them. New children are expected to come into the School and spend a day with the other pupils. During this time, they are expected to take part in normal lessons and activities. Where appropriate, parents are invited to meet with the Headteacher and discuss their child’s academic and pastoral needs and care is taken to ensure that the School can provide adequately for those with learning difficulties.
A place is normally offered if most or all (depending upon the age of the pupil) of the following criteria are met:
- There is space in the relevant year group.
- The child has satisfactory Mathematics and English ability and satisfies the school’s current expectations.
- The School is happy that the child will be able to access the curriculum.
- Should the child have specific learning difficulties, the School is able to provide relevant support to enable the child to thrive within the School’s normal learning environment.
- There are no apparent behavioural problems.
- The Headteacher believes that the child will complement the class and benefit from being in it and will fit in socially.
- The report from the child’s present school is satisfactory.
- The Headteacher is confident that the family wishes to commit themselves to the School and the Montessori philosophy.
On completion of the Registration Form and payment of the Registration Fee, acknowledgement is given of a pupil’s future intended date of entry and year group (subject to satisfying entry criteria and standards). If all places are filled, the pupil’s name will be put on a waiting list.
Offering a Place
When a place is offered, the parents are required to give one term’s written notice in advance of their child’s intended start date if they wish to withdraw their application, otherwise a term’s fees will be charged in lieu of notice. The deposit is non-refundable if the place is not taken up.
When a pupil joins the School partway through his/her primary education, the School reserves the right to contact the child’s previous school and request educational/academic records.
Parents will be asked to complete a Pupil Information Form with relevant medical information and permission for use of school transport and photography.
When the nursery and school is full (60 total: nursery 40, primary 20) a waiting list will be drawn up. Places will then be allocated as they become available to children, in order of the date and payment of their Registration Fee and completion of the Registration Form (assuming entrance criteria and standards have been met). However, preference will be given to (i) siblings of current pupils (ii) families requiring a place for two or more siblings at the same entry point.
Children cannot learn or play successfully if they are anxious and unhappy. We therefore want all pupils to feel safe and happy in the absence of their parents. In the nursery most children begin by doing two or possibly three sessions per week. This starts them in gently, and helps them to adapt to being away from parents and carers on a more regular basis than they may have been before.
Different arrangements may be possible after a consultation with the Headteacher, and sessions may be added as required. Different children have different needs, and we are happy for parents and carers to remain with the child for the first few sessions if that seems best.
We are also equipped to deal with those children who find it difficult to settle. It can be very hard to leave a crying child, and we’ll be happy to give you a mid-morning telephone report if you wish. The pre-school children who will go to school in the following September, have different needs from those of the younger children and they will probably be doing 5+ sessions per week.
Parents are also encouraged to feel welcome into the Nursery and School from the day that their child starts. We aim to create a partnership with parents in the following ways:
- By ensuring plentiful opportunities for parents to inform staff about their children’s current achievements and interests.
- By creating opportunities for the exchange of information at all available opportunities.
- By making clear to families from the outset that they will be welcome and supported during the time their child attends the School.
Children for whom English is not a first language
Children for whom English is not their first language are welcome at our nursery and school. Although it is not always possible to assess these children, the nursery or school will meet and discuss the children’s needs with parents. These children will be encouraged to take part in all activities within the School and will not be discriminated against in any way.
Procedures for withdrawal
If you wish to withdraw your child from the nursery or school, the policy states that we require a minimum of a term’s notice in writing or fees in lieu before your child is to leave. Obviously, we are prepared to consider exceptional circumstances, but we feel that this is the fairest policy for children who are already attending, for those who are trying to plan, and for any children waiting for places. If you have completed the registration section that details where and when you expect your child to start school and these details remain unchanged, this will suffice as written notice. However, if your intentions change during the time your child is at nursery, it is vital that you let us know.