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Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori (1870 to 1952) was the first woman doctor to graduate from the University Hospital, Rome. The Montessori Method is a method of education that combines a philosophy with a practical approach, based on ideas of freedom for the child, within a structured and carefully-planned environment.

Dr Montessori suggested that all children are intrinsically motivated, and have an absorbent mind from birth to six years. This absorbent mind gives the child an amazing capacity for absorbing information, concepts and their environment.

Montessori’s ideas developed as a result of observing and recording children’s behaviour, and responses to apparatus and activities. It is a scientifically-based method that is structured and directed by the teacher in the classroom.

Montessori Training Centre

We are proud to be a licensed centre for Montessori Centre International (MCI), one of the largest Montessori training organisations in Europe, dedicated to providing training for all those who wish to work in childcare and early years education based on the Montessori system.

The courses we offer are demanding and challenging – because young children deserve the very best.  Their future depends on the expertise of their teachers.  Being a Montessori teacher is a responsibility, but it is also one of the most rewarding careers.

Our students include people of all ages and from a range of disciplines.  So whether you are a parent, someone interested in initial teacher training, or a teacher wishing to expand your qualifications, you will find a course suitable for you.

At our MCI training centre in central Winchester, the courses are all part-time and include:

  • A state of the art part-time course for the Early Years Educator in Montessori Pedagogy at Levels 3 and 4 for teaching children aged birth – 7 years, jointly certififed by Crossfields and CACHE
  • The Montessori Approach in the Home – A Guide for Parents and Carers

Please click on the link below for more information about the courses:

To make an appointment to visit the Centre or discuss your specific interest, please telephone 01962 856201 or email

Alternatively, please click on the link to below to find the Application Form:

The Application Form can be returned via email to or via post to MCI Hampshire, Worthy Lane, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 7DZ.  

We also run Continual Professional Development courses from our ‘Early Years Training Centre.’  The link below provides information and the booking form for our Food Hygiene,  Health and Safety, Paediatric First Aid and Safeguarding Level 3 and Level 4 courses:

The Montessori Method

Hartley House Montessori aims to make the child’s first experience of school happy and stimulating.

The Montessori Method provides education for life and each child is considered as an individual. Our aim is to encourage the child’s natural development, as well as introducing social behaviour and good manners.

Our approach is child-centred, and the child is respected within the school’s special environment. Children are encouraged to develop and broaden their educational experiences in a caring and gentle atmosphere. This enables the child’s first steps in education to be enjoyable and inspiring.

The key components of the Montessori Method are the special qualities of the environment and the teacher.

The Montessori Curriculum is made up of core areas:

Practical Life/Skills for Everyday Living

(Personal, Social and Emotional Development)


(Physical Development & Mathematics)



Communication, Language and Literacy

(Communication and Language & Literacy)


(Understanding the World)

Creative Development

(Expressive Arts and Design)

Physical Development

(Physical Development)

The Universal Characteristics of Childhood

  • All children want to learn, to investigate and find out. They enjoy active learning where they are involved as much as possible.
  • From birth to six years children have Absorbent Minds.
  • The qualities of early experiences influence self-construction and personality development.
  • Children pass through Sensitive Periods, which are periods of intense sensibility to a certain area of development or concept forming, for example, walking, writing and reading.

With these characteristics in mind, we encourage children to cultivate their own personality and individuality, as well as allowing natural development.

Our specialist approach and apparatus assist in the delivery of the highest quality education for the young child. We lay down foundations for future development and concentrate on every aspect of development, thus educating the whole child. Children learn to balance responsibility with freedom of choice. The emphasis is on self-discipline, self-esteem and co-operation.

Children foster a love for learning and develop at their own individual pace.