Ros Bowles first became interested in Montessori as a parent, when her children attended the Battersea Montessori School. A few years after obtaining her AMI Montessori diploma in 1988, she founded Clapham Montessori, in St Paul’s Community Centre in Rectory Grove. Some years later, the demand for places was such that Ros decided to expand and, in 1995, Clapham Park Montessori opened its doors in St. James’ Church Hall, West Road. In the summer of 1998 Lucia Gomez-Santana met Ros and after a short interview and a tour around the premises, Lucia joined Clapham Park Montessori. Later on, Ros and Lucia became business partners (and have never looked back!).
Ros and Lucia opened the Montessori Infant Community in 2006, with the help of Wendy Thompson, a former parent at Clapham Montessori whose enthusiasm for Montessori led her to obtain a Montessori Diploma to work with children from 0 – 3 yrs. From its beginnings, this thriving community has been housed at the Contact Centre in Hambalt Road.
Clapham Montessori has developed and expanded over the years, and received a large grant for the further development of the wonderful outdoor space which now includes raised beds for gardening and for digging in, wooden seats, benches and stepping stones. A more recent initiative has been the introduction of a small group for children from 2 to 2 ½ years, offering a gentle introduction to a Montessori environment, prior to joining the main group in the Children’s House.
Clapham Park Montessori later moved to the upstairs rooms at the Contact Centre. Being housed in the same building as the Infant Community has eased the transitions into the Children’s House, as well as enabling our teams to share ideas and resources on an ongoing basis. Furthermore, the upstairs rooms, which are exclusively for our use, have provided us with the opportunity to create a wonderfully homely and cozy environment.