School Information

Sheila O’Neill a qualified and experienced state teacher with a diploma in Fine Arts, who had been teaching since 1962, originally set up High Elms Manor School in 1991. It did not take long for her to recognise the enormous benefit to the child of the Montessori Method of teaching; she trained and qualified with Distinction at the A.M.I. Training College in Hampstead.

Three of her daughters now run the School and all the staff responsible for the children are qualified teachers and/or Montessori teachers assisted by qualified personnel. Specialist teachers are engaged for extra curriculum subjects. Welfare helpers assist at the school. We have policies for ‘Equal Opportunities’ and ‘Children with Special Needs’.

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THE NEST (1 – 3 years)

A loving and sociable environment is provided using a key worker system. Children are made familiar with the early Montessori material and encouraged with plenty of language and physical stimulation. The child’s development is enriched with; songs, books, eye-hand-control, movement and language.

Our policy is to follow the needs of the child. The main aim is to encourage the child to become independent through interaction with the environment: i.e. washing activities, dressing oneself and toilet training.

The outdoor play area is bright and friendly with lots of activities, it also has a covered area for when it rains.

LITTLE ELMS – The Children’s House (3 - 6 years)

For the younger children an informal Montessori programme is maintained where the child chooses his/her own activities. The child is encouraged to be independent and help prepare and tidy the environment. There are opportunities for creative and imaginative play.

At each session there is an opportunity for storytelling and to join in with singing, rhymes, finger plays or keeping time to music with assorted percussion instruments. Small groups of children are taken for project work, handwork, cooking, gardening, woodwork, practical life exercises such as dressing and undressing, polishing etc., and demonstrations of the Montessori equipment.

The aim is to introduce basic skills and ensure a sound beginning to literacy and numeracy.

The outdoor play area is bright and friendly with lots of activities, it also has a covered area for when it rains.

HIGH ELMS - Elementary School (6 - 12)

The older children are shown how to record their work and make use of reference books and computers. They are given individual and group tuition and they work at their own pace.

Our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum. Subjects covered are English, History, I.T., D.T., Geography, Mathematics, Biology, Science, R.E. and French.

Other activities include Project Work, Crafts, Movement, Singing, Drama, P.E., Swimming, Sports, Art and Music.

Extracurricular activities include; Ju-Jitsu, Piano, Flute, Clarinet and Street Dance, Singing and Chess Club.


Regular and punctual attendance is required. Pupils should only be absent through illness or through leave of absence after a written request either by letter or email.


Hot lunches are served between 12:00 and 13:00. Standard, vegetarian or dairy free options are available and children are automatically booked in and charged for a standard meal during a full day session unless parents have specifically opted out. The teachers sit at the tables with the children to encourage good manners.


A continuous record of each child’s progress is kept at the school. After the child reaches five years of age, a report is sent to parents once a year and also when a child leaves the school. Parent evenings are held regularly throughout the year.


The wearing of school uniform helps to establish the identity of the School and pride in that identity. We expect parents to support us in the detail as well as the principle, for it is in neglect of the detail that overall standards rapidly begin to fall, to the detriment of the whole School’s appearance.

No jewellery may be worn but plain stud earrings are allowed.

Any clothes the children have at school must be marked with their name; please check periodically that it is still legible. Indoor shoes should be the slip-on type.

Uniform is compulsory and is available from Some items i.e. girls’ pinafores and summer dresses must be bought from the school, a list is available from the Office.


All children should have their routine vaccination, including diphtheria, measles, tetanus, whooping cough and polio. Please advise if your child is not vaccinated for any of the above.

It is a requirement that children who have measles or German measles or other infectious diseases including conjunctivitis and diarrhoea be kept away from school until their doctor advises that they may return. Children should be kept away from school while on medication. Please inform the School with a note, email or telephone call when children are absent for whatever reason.


Although the Principal and Staff are available for interview by appointment, we have an open door policy so most queries are dealt with daily. We hold ‘open days and evenings’ and talks during the year. We have a ‘Complaints Procedure’ policy.

The class teacher will advise parents of any necessary approaches needed for settling young children. However, the best method is usually to leave your child for a short time on the first day and gradually lengthen the time you stay away. Your child will not expect you to be there and will accept this routine from the start. At the end of a week or two your child should have settled happily.


The Nest 09:00-15:00. Wrap around care is available from 08:00-09:00 and 15:00-16:00.

Little Elms 09:00-15:00. Wrap around care is available from 08:00-09:00 and 15:00-16:00.

High Elms 1 09:00-15:15. Breakfast club is available from 08:00-09:00.

High Elms 2 09:00-15:30. Breakfast club is available from 08:00-09:00.

Parents must be very prompt about collecting their children. Once a child has been collected, he/she ceases to be our responsibility. If you cannot collect your child, please authorise permission for another person to do so by telephone or letter. Please shut the outside door and any gates whenever you come in or go out.


For more information about the Montessori method please go to