We have two After-school Montessori Classes
MEfA 'Montessori Moles' After-school Nurture Group
(4-12 years) Tuesdays 15:30-17:30 during term-time
Montessori House, 135 Westcombe Hill, Blackheath, London SE3 7DP
Our Tuesday After-school Nurture Group, 'Montessori Moles', takes place at Montessori House, 135 Westcombe Hill, Blackheath SE3 7DP from 3:30 - 5:30 on Tuesdays during term-time. The class is fully funded by charitable donations, with no charge to the families attending.
The group is called ‘Montessori Moles’ because it was originally held in the basement of a local community centre. Children with autism are often ‘hidden’ inside themselves and the so the name of the group seemed fitting.
Our group supports disadvantaged children with mental health needs. We engage with hard to reach children who are having difficulty accessing their education at school because of issues related to their autism. The group is for primary-aged children (4-12 years). The children attend with their parents who later continue the ideas and activities at home. The children feel safe and supported, they engage in a variety of fun activities which help them work on the social, communication, language and behavioural difficulties which are causing them problems at school, home and in the community. These difficulties prevent the children, most of whom have autism, but some also have additional and/or second language needs, from accessing their education effectively at school. The children and their families often live socially isolated lives. The group also offers volunteering opportunities for disadvantaged and vulnerable young adults with autism.
In 2014 we moved into our own premises - Montessori House; this made a great difference as we did not have to pack everything away after each class. Our Montessori Moles thrived in our homely, nurturing environment.
In 2019 we opened our Forest School and Well-being Garden in a former builders’ yard immediately behind our school. The difference this has made for our special children has been spectacular. There was an immediate positive impact on their well-being outdoors. They helped the teachers and parents to roll out grass, shovel gravel and build the tree pits, and we can say that our Montessori Moles are truly thriving.
Here is what one parent has to say:
"I have a four-year-old daughter who's been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has been attending the MEfA Montessori Moles After-school Nurture Group for quite a few months and the difference in her since she started going is substantial.
The atmosphere is friendly and relaxing and she loves going there every week. She's improved in many aspects and I know that her attendance to the Montessori Moles group has played a big part in that. There's always a wide variety of activities available for her to take a part in (from puzzles to building blocks and everything in between) and all these activities have a practical side to it which is helping her improve her speech and her communication, her social skills, her physical skills and they also help with her sensory issues.
The group also provides a very welcoming break for parents who can talk about their ordeals and circumstances with others in similar situations and offer help and advice to each other. It is pretty hard when you find yourself in a situation that completely changes your world and alters the outlook you had on life and the future. And having the possibility to talk freely with others who are or have been in very similar situations is priceless. This group provides that as well. So, in a way, not only the children get nurtured, but the parents and carers do as well.
Last but not least, I have to mention how fantastic Ms Wendy Fidler is to this group. She's a funny, positive and caring lady and her knowledge and understanding of the children's special needs is second to none; she always comes with the most interesting ways of helping them. There's many positive things I could say about her, but all I will say is that without her this group would not be the same.
To summarise, I am really glad I found this group and I am sure many more people would benefit from it were they to know of its existence." Alicia
The group is for children aged 4-12 years - We also enjoy support from young people who volunteer with us, for example as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Awards, and students on placements from local schools and London universities as part of their courses.
. It can be fast paced and exciting! Our students, many of whom have been with us since they were babies, are forging ahead with their education, but they, and their parents, still love our very specific support.
We enjoy puzzles, strategy games, math conundrums, grammar quandries and etymology indoors, and also a variety of nature and loose parts activities in our Forest School outdoors. If astronomy, geology, natural history or gemstones are your child's go to - we have it covered!
Call Wendy for more details: 07710 433 994