The school is run by a team of six senior managers. The team is of the view that, in today’s world, it is not practical for the traditional role of a “Head Teacher” to be carried out by one person alone. The Senior Management Team (“SMT”) therefore combine their skills and experience to replace the role of a “Head Teacher”. Each member of the team has an equal say in decisions regarding the running of the school and, at the same time, has a particular area of responsibility. The six roles and areas of responsibility are:-
Principal - Ethos, Objectives and aims
Head of Foundation Stage - Pre school and Reception
Head of Key Stage 1 - Years 1 and 2
Head of Key Stage 2 - Years 3 to 6
Head of AEN - Additional Educational Needs
Bursar - Finance, Administration and Procedures, Admissions
Three members of the team oversee the running and development of the secondary department, which has a Director of Studies.
The pre-school teaches children aged 3 and 4 years of age using full Montessori principles. As a result of this many children are reading and writing basic words and have knowledge of numbers and simple sums by the time they move into the reception class of the primary school in the year they become 5 years of age.
Children in the early years of the primary school continue to use Montessori teaching materials and methods and, as they progress through the school, more mainstream practices, such as group learning, structured lessons and tests, are gradually introduced.
The concept of tests and examinations is introduced to the children gradually as they progress through the school. Assessment tests are set twice yearly and take place as part of the normal school day at times which are not previously announced. Consequently "revision" is a term not used within the school until the final year, when children are shown how the methods they have learned can be brought together and used as successful exam technique. At this stage they undertake assessment tests under formal conditions to provide preparation for secondary school entrance exams.
In keeping with the school's philosophy of teaching each child as an individual, class sizes are small, with an average of sixteen to eighteen pupils per class. Each class teacher of children in the age range 3 to 7 has a teaching assistant.
The school has a, currently small, secondary department for students aged 12 to 16. At present admission to this department is reserved to students who have attended the primary school although the intention is that this will be expanded in the future.
© River House Montessori School - 2011