|Name||The Montessori Place|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Outstanding|
|Inspection Date||19 September 2017|
|Address||45 Cromwell Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 3ER|
|Number of Pupils||126 (45% boys 55% girls)|
|Local Authority||Brighton and Hove|
|Percentage Free School Meals||0.0%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||0%|
Information about this school
This is a Montessori school, led by Montessori principles and practice, following the training and guidance of the Association Montessori Internationale. The school’s stated aim is ‘to aid [each] child’s natural development from birth to maturity’. The school’s previous standard inspection took place on 2–3 May 2012. Since then, the school has had successful ‘material change’ inspections. Following these inspections, the school has been permitted to operate across two sites, expand its age range up to 16, increase its capacity to 130, and, very recently, to admit boarders. The boarding provision was not part of this inspection. There are three communities at the original site in Hove. The Infant Community, which provides for children up to the age of three, is registered and inspected separately and was not part of this inspection. The Children’s House caters for children aged three to six, and the Elementary for pupils aged six to 12. The school’s second site, Eason’s Green in Framfield, also has a Children’s House and an Elementary Community. In addition, a Young People’s Community has operated for slightly over a year, catering for ages 12 to 16. Currently, the oldest pupils are aged 13. The boarding provision accommodates up to 15 residential pupils, aged 11 to 16, in two separate wings. The school uses no alternative provision. Few pupils are identified as having special educational needs and/or disabilities. A small but growing number of pupils speak English as an additional language.
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is an outstanding school The culture, ethos and approach of this school are deeply embedded throughout the mixed-age learning ‘communities’. The exquisite environments across both sites have been expertly designed to support pupils’ learning and development. All teachers, known as ‘guides’, use their incredibly detailed knowledge of each pupil exceptionally well to ensure that they thrive. Pupils’ own interests and choices are paramount. Using these as a catalyst, adults’ meticulous and carefully considered planning underpin pupils’ excellent progress. The guides use their expert subject knowledge to great effect, skilfully judging the most effective ways to help pupils take the next steps in their learning. They also steer their very effective ‘assistant guides’ so that the agreed approach never wavers. In this safe and incredibly nurturing environment, children and pupils of all ages are routinely deeply engrossed in their learning. Pupils are highly self-disciplined. Their behaviour is impeccable. The exceptional diversity within the curriculum means that pupils develop an extensive range of knowledge, understanding and skills, often beyond typical age-related expectations. Early years children take significant strides in their development in the remarkable ‘Children’s House’. The first secondary-aged pupils, now moving through the ‘Young People’s Community’, do as well as younger pupils. The early stages of careers guidance for them are getting off to a promising start, but leaders recognise there is more to do as the school’s age range widens. There is no hint of complacency among the school’s directors. They have introduced simple but effective systems to maintain the very high standards and continue to meet the independent school standards as the school expands. There are important, well-conceived plans in place to continue this process. Parents unanimously agreed that they would recommend the school. A very small number are more anxious about the less familiar ‘pioneering’ Young People’s Community. Compliance with regulatory requirements The school meets the requirements of the schedule to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 (‘the independent school standards’) and associated requirements.