Montessori’s garden city links extended as new school opens in Letchworth

PUBLISHED: 14:10 12 September 2015 | UPDATED: 12:42 15 September 2015

Sir Oliver Heald cuts the ribbon to officially open the new Garden City Montessori School in Letchworth.

Sir Oliver Heald cuts the ribbon to officially open the new Garden City Montessori School in Letchworth.

Archant

Long-established links between the Montessori method of child-centred education and Letchworth’s garden city pioneers have been extended with the official opening of a new school.

Head of school Sarah Cummins cuts the cake to mark the opening of the new Garden City Montessori school in LetchworthHead of school Sarah Cummins cuts the cake to mark the opening of the new Garden City Montessori school in Letchworth

North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald, helped by an enthusiastic group of children, snipped the ribbon to declare the building – formerly the home of the Letchworth Christian Fellowship – open.

He told guests at the event: “Congratulations to you all on this initiative.

“Many of us have wondered over the years what the future held for this marvellous old building, a real Letchworth landmark.

“I think it is great that the links between Montessori and Letchworth have been restored, and it provides an important option for parents.”

Former lead pastor Dominic de Souza, MP Sir Oliver Heald, chair of governors John Draper and head of school Sarah Cummins at the official opening of the new Garden City Montessori school in LetchworthFormer lead pastor Dominic de Souza, MP Sir Oliver Heald, chair of governors John Draper and head of school Sarah Cummins at the official opening of the new Garden City Montessori school in Letchworth

The venture is operated by Letchworth Garden City Church, which moved to a larger site nearby a decade ago and has been searching for an appropriate use for the building on the corner of Icknield Way and Norton Way North, originally known as the Elim Hall, ever since.

Chairman of governors John Draper said: “The church runs this school but it is not a church school.

“We are involved with lots of projects which focus on children, children are really important to us as a church and it seemed that this was something that Letchworth did not have.”

The school welcomed its first pupils earlier this year but the first day of its first full academic year on Thursday was chosen for the official opening.

Staff at the new Garden City Montessori school in Letchworth include Martin Gardner (business manager), Kim Connor (classroom assistant), Sarah Cummins ( head of school), Rebecca Rees (elementary teacher), Annabelle Cattin (French language assistant), Lisa Salloway (admin), June Harman (housekeeping), Valerie Homfray-Cooper (catering) and Irene Ewing Adam (catering)Staff at the new Garden City Montessori school in Letchworth include Martin Gardner (business manager), Kim Connor (classroom assistant), Sarah Cummins ( head of school), Rebecca Rees (elementary teacher), Annabelle Cattin (French language assistant), Lisa Salloway (admin), June Harman (housekeeping), Valerie Homfray-Cooper (catering) and Irene Ewing Adam (catering)

Head of school Sarah Cummins enthused about the education which will be available as what’s billed as ‘the only authentic Montessori school in the area’.

She said: “This is so much more than a school, it’s a real community.

“I’d like to thank the team which has worked so hard to make this happen.”

The school caters for children aged two and a half to 12 years old – you can find out more about its facilities and philosophy online at montessorigc.comor by calling 01462 889271 to arrange a visit.

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