Here is a short history of Montessori education and the recent history of Wildwood Montessori School. We hope you enjoy reading it!

Montessori is a way of education devised by Dr Maria Montessori - the first lady doctor in Italy. Montessori was very interested in how children learn; she analysed the small, developmental stages which children instinctively progress through as they learn to move, talk and acquire new skills, knowledge and understanding. In her role as a doctor Montessori worked with children with special learning needs and behavioural and social difficulties; she developed a range of learning materials and a teaching method for introducing the materials to children at 'sensitive periods' - just when children were ready for the next stage of learning.

The children with learning difficulties developed so well that teachers came from all over the world to watch the boys and girls working with the specially designed materials. The early Montessori schools were called 'Casa dei Bambini' - or in English - Children's Houses. Montessori ran many International Teacher Training courses and many teachers were sent to Rome from the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) and many other areas in the UK. Subsequently, the 'Montessori Method' was adopted as the state education system in many countries around the world. These days there are Montessori schools everywhere from Palm Springs to Putney and from Nigeria to Nepal.

Many modern Montessori schools do not have any children with special needs, but they all follow the same philosophy; an orderly, peaceful classroom where girls and boys learn to respect themselves, others and their learning environment. Here in England most Montessori schools are in the private sector, but occasionally children with learning or behavioural difficulties are referred to Montessori schools by doctors or social workers.

A Montessori teacher is called a 'directress' or 'director' because s/he directs, guides or facilitates learning rather than imparting information. Montessori teacher training involves studying child development and learning to spot the 'sensitive periods' - just when a child is ready to move on in his or her own learning.

Wildwood Montessori School's Directress is Ms Wendy Fidler. Wendy has an Honours Diploma in Montessori Education, a second degree in management and many years' experience of teaching children using the Montessori philosophy. Wendy is also a Registered OfSTED Section 5 Inspector, an OfSTED Special Educational Needs (SEN) Inspector, and an Expert Witness in matters of Education Law, Education Negligence and Special Educational Needs. Wendy is a Reporting Inspector for the British Accreditaion Council (BAC) for Further and Higher Education.

In September 2002 Wendy was awarded the inaugural Early Years Educator (EYE) MONTESSORI SPECIAL AWARD and the third award for the SPECIAL NEEDS PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR. In 2003 Wendy retained the SEN award and was appointed a trustee of the Dyspraxia Foundation. Wendy is a member of the Expert Witness Institute and a member of the Chartered Management Institute. In 2005 Wendy was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA. In 2006 Wendy became chair of the Education Panel for the Dyspraxia Foundation. In 2007 Wendy successfully completed her Section 5 training and to also inspects mainstream nurseries and schools with children aged 0-18 years. In 2014 Wendy became a member of the Institute of Directors.

Wendy speaks regularly at conferences around the world, and continues to run bespoke training and assessments of special educational needs. In 2009 she was a founder-director of the charity Montessori Education for Autism (MEfA) and she continues in this role today. Most recently Wendy spoke in Lublin, Poland at the 2015 Montessori Europe conference; the subject was 'Do our children understand what they hear?' and on 7th November she will open the 5th Annual MEfA Montessori Conference for Families and Professionals at Mycenae House, Blackheath, London SE3 7SE. Please see separate page for full details and booking information.

Please contact Wendy by email at or mobile +44 7710 433994 to talk about your child/ren's learning or just for a chat!

Best wishes and good luck on your learning journey!

Wendy Fidler
0208 858 4368 or 07710 433 994