We are so excited to move into our bigger space. This will be our new home from September 2021 and will also have our nursery & 11yrs+ classes in separate spaces either side.
"Traditionally the Montessori curriculum is separated by the developmental stages of the child which are 3-6, 6-9 and 9-12 years. At Cedarwood Montessori Primary we have developed a more modern and blended approach that offers the Montessori primary curriculum from the age of 5.”
Who we are...
Cedarwood Montessori Primary is an educational setting that was originally founded in South Hams in 2015 as Skylarks Primary. When it moved premises in 2020, it changed its name as it no longer formed part of Skylarks Nursery School.
Established by Dyane Osborne, a qualified Montessori Teacher*, Cedarwood Montessori Primary offers a flexible, environmentally conscious education for primary-aged children. A team of qualified teachers and specialist sessional workers use imagination, conviction and empathy to redefine relationships with the environment and society. This focuses on an exploration of how to bring themes of sustainability, simplicity and social responsibility into their lives.
Our educational ethos…
Cedarwood is based on the work of Dr Maria Montessori and the teachings of E.F. Schumacher. Learning is collaborative and project based with the inclusion of direct teaching methods. The holistic curriculum attempts to bring education into alignment with the fundamental realities of nature. Nature at its core is interrelated and dynamic. We believe in the three basic principles: balance, inclusion and connection; together they underpin the foundations on which our curriculum is built.
Our emphasis on nature-based learning aims to support the academic curriculum and bring a sense of balance between knowledge and skill.
Whilst aiming to deliver some focused elements to the children’s education, the teachers do not force the learning process. We do not see education as a process of “cramming information in”, but prefer to honour the Latin root of the word which is “to draw forth or lead out”.
The central focus of our curriculum is the link between knowledge and skill, which has subject, connection and self at its core. Our curriculum is project-based and includes traditional subjects such as Maths, English, Science, Art and Environmental Studies. Within this, children are facilitated to follow their own interests as part of their self-directed study. Based on Montessori and E.F. Schumacher we believe…
“When subjects matter to the inner life of the child, subjects become less abstract and more relevant and thus a different kind of learning takes place.” (Montessori 2001)
As we feel that communication between home and school is crucial, each child has a home/school journal which ensures on-going close communication between parent/primary carer and teachers.
The school day…
The school day starts at 9.15 and finishes at 3.15.
We use the beautiful grounds of the Seale Hayne estate to the maximum which includes going on short expeditions and playing in the woods.
Our curriculum-focused classes are currently on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays** at our Seale Hayne site. We charge £35 per day (with sibling discounts available) and we require a minimum commitment of two days’ attendance per week to ensure continuity and progress.
**From September 2021 we will also be offering a Tuesday although we will still only be offering a maximum of 3 days per child.
We don't currently offer lunches but may do so in the future. We (and the environment) would appreciate that all packed lunches are contained in recyclable/reusable materials as much as possible.
Community participation: we are all active participants, responsible for the environment that we share. In preparing the classrooms, aesthetic consideration is applied equally to the outdoor environment and the indoor environment. The prepared environment sets the scene, and a great deal of time and thought is spent preparing both spaces in readiness for the following day’s learning.
“A classroom, beautifully organised, is like a breath of fresh air - nourishing and full of opportunity.”(Osborne 2007)
Children, staff and parents/primary carers form a network that results in a strong sense of community. Roles and responsibilities are given, taken and shared equally. Each term, Cedarwood provides an opportunity for parents to engage in the ‘work party’ which is a time for the community to come together and do jobs around the place.
Relationships, Communication and ^Restorative Justice…
Acceptable behaviour is essential in any community; Cedarwood Primary has an underlying expectation of this. We aim to nurture relationships that are based on kindness, grace and courtesy and we actively encourage, through central awareness, three guiding principles:
1. To take care of yourself
2. To take care of others
3. To take care of the environment
Children are guided by these principles and are reminded, as and when necessary, of the reasons why we have created them. The result is usually self-regulated positive behaviour with the children showing a commitment to the principles and each other.
We are committed to and actively support the philosophy of Non-Violent Communication (NVC). To be truly progressive in the art of communication, our staff volunteer their time to attend workshops and seminars directly related to NVC. NVC is strongly linked to emotional literacy which helps children to express themselves clearly and easily.
Our long term vision…
We plan to incorporate weekly outdoor tasks which include things like spending time caring for the culinary and medicinal herbs in the raised planters on the estate.
We are also slowly creating an organic garden and landscape that will be wholly integrated into the educational syllabus. The produce would also be used for making seasonal lunches and snacks.
We would involve all our students in all aspects of growing food throughout the year following the seasons - “from seed to plate” -incorporating a thorough exploration of soil, food, fruit, and herb growing. Food growing is complemented by engagement with the ecology of the site including the woodland, meadow and pond flora and fauna.
For adults, we would like to offer various courses during the holidays so keep an eye out for more information on these.
**Dyane gained her qualification at LONDON MONTESSORI CENTER (MCI) and MONTESSORI PARTNERSHIPS UK
^For more information on restorative justice check out our useful links page.