Headfort is a unique and very special place which provides a Montessori education for children between the ages of 3 and 8. It is idyllically located in converted stables on the picturesque Headfort estate. The school itself and its early years’ curriculum is purposefully designed to meet the individual developmental needs of the children enrolled through sustained warm, accepting and respectful interactions.
In Headfort Junior School and Montessori our main concern is how the child is viewed and best supported. Only then can we can plan, create, organise and implement a developmentally appropriate curriculum that takes into consideration issues of knowledge, power, equity, truth, freedom and ethics. We also strive to empower children, supporting their right to play and offering them new possibilities for thinking and learning. Our Montessori approach respects the child’s uniqueness and individual learning styles, encourages the child’s natural growth and development to thrive and flourish and supports the promotion of positive emotional well-being, innovation and resilience.
The main approach is to use the Montessori pedagogy, in conjunction with the principles set down by Síolta, Ireland’s National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education, Aistear, our Early Childhood Curriculum Framework and the Primary School Curriculum. The school also implements the Healthy Ireland Smart Start programme; a holistic programme that focuses on health promotion, oral health, nutrition, health and safety (accident prevention), physical activity and emotional well-being. And with an increasing recognition that effective learning is linked to happiness and enjoyment, we very proudly take a whole school approach to implementing positive psychology and education.
Practical Life Skills
Arts and Crafts
Music and Movement
‘Stay Safe’ Programme
“The best classroom and the richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky”.
Margaret McMillan c1925
In Headfort Junior School and Montessori we take every opportunity, and in all weathers, to play, run, feed the horses, explore and risk assess, discover and learn in our amazing outdoor forest playground, beautiful maze gardens and vast open spaces.
The children are invited to keep a pair of wellingtons and a raincoat in school.
– Morning Session – Monday to Friday 9.00 to 12.00
– Afternoon Session – Monday to Friday 12.30 to 3.30
Junior School – Junior Infants, Senior Infants and First Class
– Monday to Friday 8.45 to 2.45
– After school club available from 2.45 to 5.45
Headfort Junior School and Montessori offers equal opportunity for all children to access the ECCE free pre-school year as well as full time and part time options available.
The very large and spacious Montessori Classroom caters for children between the ages of three and five. Believing that children are intrinsically motivated doers we provide a hands-on learning environment that values friendships, individuality, uniqueness, play, problem-solving, freedom of choice, community, curiosity, concentration, collaboration and real world application.
Our teacher child ratio is 1:11.
Allowing for a gradual and natural progression, the Junior School caters for children in Junior and Senior Infants and First and Second Class. The curriculum in the junior school integrates the curricular programme prescribed by the department of education but continues to be underpinned by Montessori philosophy. This method as a whole encompasses the learning and developmental needs of all children with the curriculum being appropriate to the young child’s stage of learning rather than focusing solely on age related outcomes to be achieved. A Montessori education also equips the children with the life skills and tools necessary to thrive in a rapidly changing and unpredictable world.
Throughout the Junior School and Montessori experience, the children maintain a strong sense of belonging with the pupils and staff from the senior school through scheduled programmes and activities such as ‘reading buddies’, timetabled visits from specialist teachers i.e. music and art or simply dining socially together in the schools canteen.
Our teacher child ratio is 1:15.
As individuals, we are very passionate about professionalising the sector and personally strive to be creative and innovative in our practice.
Ms Tracey Maree took over as Early Years Manager in September 2014. Tracey holds a HDip in Montessori (3-12 years), a BA (Hons) Degree in Early Childhood Education and is currently studying for her Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and Management in Trinity College. Throughout her career development, she has operated in a variety of educational settings which include the establishment of one of the first Montessori Schools in Singapore, seven years as a Junior School Teacher in St. Conleth’s College, Dublin, and over fifteen years’ experience of lecturing and tutoring in Montessori Pedagogy, Philosophy and Early Education. Tracey is particularly interested in children’s emotional well-being and implements a positive psychology approach to her teaching and learning.
Mrs Olivia Carry joined the school in June 2004 as an assistant teacher. She became a full time member of our staff in January 2005. Olivia is qualified in Montessori and holds a Level 6 Major Award in Early Childhood Care and Education. Olivia has recently obtained a Level 7 Degree in Early Childhood Studies and is currently working towards her Level 8 qualification.
Mrs Denise Svensson joined the school in April 2015. Denise worked in social care prior to obtaining her qualification in Montessori teaching and holds a Level 6 Major Award in Early Childhood Care and Education. Denise also has a Level 7 Degree in Early Childhood Studies and is currently working towards her Level 8 qualification.
Parent/Guardian Teacher Partnerships
In Headfort Junior School and Montessori we recognise that parents are experts when it comes to their children’s lives. Therefore we promote and support the development of reciprocal partnerships with parents which can effectively provide an opportunity for us to work successfully together. This constructive collaboration can support and deepen knowledge and understanding of the role each other plays and is consistently found to be positively associated with a child’s general and academic performance and achievement.
Within the school there is an open door policy which welcomes parents/guardians any time and we encourage parents to contribute their own skills, knowledge and interests through curriculum activities and to help with outings and fundraising events etc.
It is the policy of Headfort Junior School and Montessori to ensure that children are protected and kept safe from harm while they are with staff and volunteers in our service. We have a duty to care and operate within the Children First National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children.
Headfort Junior School and Montessori is committed to providing equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice for all children and their families.
For further information or perhaps to organise to come and see for yourself the magic and beauty of Headfort School email firstname.lastname@example.org