Clapham Park Montessori

Clapham Park Montessori occupies the upstairs rooms at the Contact Centre, just off Abbeville Road, above our Montessori Infant Community. Our bright, cozy and self-contained space is ideal for a Children’s House. We have access to an outdoor area as well as to the large hall downstairs, at certain times of the day, which offer many opportunities for exploration as well as for physical activities and play.

First day/settling in process

Following the visit, when your child comes for their first day at CPM, we have a morning group, which lasts about 15/20 minutes.  We welcome and introduce the new child to the other children, sing songs and do some name-games.  A parent is welcome to stay for the duration of the group; at the end, the parent says goodbye and explains that he/she will be back later to collect the child.  Some children find separating from their parent quite distressing, but please rest assured that the directresses are always ready to comfort and reassure your child.   Please help your child by being short and clear when saying goodbye.  In our experience, this is the best option as it ensures the minimum anxiety.

We assess new children continuously and if necessary we ask their parents to collect them a little early during the first few days.  Occasionally we have advised parents to start with a shorter morning (two hours rather than three) but this is quite rare.

Some children become distressed at home-time during the first few days at nursery, even if they have been quite settled during the morning.  Therefore, it is worth pointing out that if your child seems tearful when you collect her/him, this does not necessarily mean that s/he has been distressed throughout the whole morning!

It is important that parents feel at ease throughout their child’s process of integration into the wider environment of the Montessori Children’s House.  Whilst we have many years of experience, we acknowledge the fact that each child is unique and so we are more than happy to discuss any concerns with you to be sure of making the transition from home to the Montessori environment as smooth as possible.

Useful Information

Please bring the following with you on your child’s first day at CPM:

  • A full set of spare clothes, clearly labelled, in a labelled bag
  • Extra clothing for the ‘bottom half’, which is more likely to need changing.
  • Nappies and wipes, or extra pants, as appropriate.
  • A pair of labelled comfortable indoor shoes.  These should be of a kind that your child can put on and take off by her/himself.  Crocs plimsolls and slippers with adjustable Velcro straps are popular choices
  • If your child has any special dietary requirements/food allergies, please provide a list of foods to avoid.
  • Children who stay for lunch should also bring a clearly labelled toothbrush.  We provide toothpaste, but they can bring their own if preferred.   NB we provide cutlery, napkins, plates, cups and drinks, so no need to bring these.
  • A list of ideas and suggestions for lunchboxes is available on our website
  • Both the spare clothes and the indoor shoes will be kept in the classroom.


The Contact Centre,
60 Hambalt Road,
London SW4 9EH


We welcome children from 2 ½ until 6 years old

Session Times

Mornings (9:15-12:15)
Lunchtimes (12:15-1:45)
Whole day sessions (9:15 – 3:45)
Afternoon sessions: (12:45 – 3:45)
Induction sessions: (2:15 – 3:45)

‘Extra school’ sessions:

Monday 12:20 – 12:50

Tuesday 12:20 – 12:50

Thursday 12:20 – 12:50

Friday 12:20 – 12:50

Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and when the grass of the meadows is wet with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath its shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning.

Dr Maria Montessori