Analysis: What goes on in a Montessori nursery?

The Montessori teaching method was developed by Italy’s first female professor in the slums of Rome in the early 1900s.

Working with special needs children, Dr Maria Montessori developed a child-centred approach using the classroom as her laboratory.

Utilising children’s natural instinct to learn through play, children are free to develop at their own pace.

They choose the activities they want to pursue, in effect being trusted as the masters of their own development.

Much Montessori philosophy has been incorporated as best practice in regular nurseries.

Staff may lead activities, such as identifying sand paper numbers, which children will be encouraged but not obliged to take part in.

Montessori nurseries can be quite different however, with some following the principles more closely than others.

To use the name, a nursery must have a Montessori-trained member of staff.


Prince William was the first senior royal to go to nursery and not start his education in a palace.

Prince William2