Montessori is my magic formula

20th November 2009 at 00:00

I found my feet when, after 15 years of mainstream primary teaching, I discovered the Montessori approach ("Finding their feet," TES Magazine, November 13).

Not being bound to a timetable is the greatest change for me. The children determine the pace of the day: they eat their snacks when they are hungry; they can repeat an exercise as many times as they need to.

Careful observation determines when lessons are presented. Sometimes children ask for specific lessons - until I retrained I had never had a child ask me to tell them about pronouns.

I now work in a mixed-age class. The range of needs and abilities is wide in most single-age classes so I do not find this more challenging. Children will ask each other for help and learning can be consolidated when showing another child how to do something.

I do miss being part of that large dedicated group of teachers working within the state system. I wish all children had the opportunity to have a Montessori education, regardless of their parents' income.

Stephanie Garrett, Primary teacher, Brighton Hove Montessori School, Brighton.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today