Our Team

All members of our team share a love of working with children as well as a commitment to offering authentic Montessori. This is reflected in their dedication and hard work, and in their gentle and caring approach towards the children.

Between us we have a great diversity of interests and skills, as well as speaking a variety of languages, all of which enrich our Montessori environments and enable us to support children from different backgrounds.

Our Team

Ros Bowles

Head Directress & Manager - Clapham Montessori

Ros Bowles BSc, Int Mont Dip,(AMI) and Early Years Professional Status.  Ros studied Zoology and Botany at University, but after having children her focus changed.  Her children attended a Montessori School and the opportunities to observe them there and to find out more about the Montessori ethos and the materials led to her interest in training with the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI).   While her children were young, Ros was also an active member of the Clapham NCT branch, and worked as a Breastfeeding Counsellor for several years.

Lucía Gómez-Santana

Head Directress & Manager - Clapham Park Montessori

Lucía Gómez-Santana BSc (Hons) Psych GSMD Dip Int Mont Dip (AMI) is the Head directress and Manager of Clapham Park Montessori. Lucia holds 0-3 and 3-6 Montessori Diplomas. She is fluent in Spanish and English, and competent in Italian and French.  Her singing career brought Lucia to London, where she studied and sang professionally, before returning to her Montessori work.  Lucia combines her love of music and children in the Montessori environment, where she runs the weekly music sessions.  Lucia completed a psychology degree with the Open University in May 2016.

Wendy Thompson

Manager & Co-Directress - Montessori Infant Community

Wendy Thompson Int. Mont Dip (AMI) Directress, Parent Liaison Manager.

Wendy gained her 0-3 Montessori Diploma from the Maria Montessori Institute in 2006.  A former parent at Clapham Montessori, Wendy has worked at the Montessori Infant Community from its inception.  Wendy is in charge of the day to day running of the Community as well as liaising with parents to organize visits and to support the transition from home into the infant community, and from here into the Children’s Houses.

Magda Brydiuk

Assistant Manager - Clapham Montessori

Magda Brydiuk, MA, Int Mont Dip (AMI) is Assistant Manager of Clapham Montessori. Magda has a Masters degree in Philology from The University of Maria Curie-Sklodowska in Lublin, Poland. She has always loved working with children. Starting by training as a Montessori Assistant, Magda joined Clapham Montessori in November 2009.  She then studied part-time at the Maria Montessori Institute and  obtained her AMI Montessori Diploma as a 3-6 Directress in 2012. Magda is the day-to-day Manager of the main Children’s House class.

Aleksandra (Ola) Zieba

Deputy Manager - Clapham Park Montessori

Aleksandra (Ola) Zieba (Deputy Manager) BA, Mont Dip Wimbledon.

Ola is a qualified Montessori Directress who joined CPM in September 2005.  Ola has a degree in Care and Education Pedagogy from the Baltic Graduate School in Humanities in Poland, as well as a qualification to teach Yoga to children.  Ola runs our Drama and Yoga sessions.  Ola is fluent in Polish and English, and has knowledge of Russian.

Tamara Riley-Smith

Deputy Manager & Directress - Montessori Infant Community

Tamara Riley-Smith MA (Cantab), PgDL . Int  Mont  Dip (AMI).

Tamara joined us as a staff member in May 2012, achieving her AMI 3-6 Diploma from the Maria Montessori Institute in June 2016 and level 3 Early Years Education qualification in March 2017.  She also obtained her AMI 0-3 Assistant’s Certificate in May 2017 and her AMI 6-12 Assistant’s Certificate in June 2020.  Tamara was one of our inaugural parents at the Infant Community in 2006, and her children also attended Clapham Montessori.  She is half French and graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in French and Spanish.  In addition to working at the Infant Community, Tamara teaches French at Clapham Park Montessori.

Silvia Donati

Directress - Clapham Montessori

Silvia DonatiMSc Psych, Int Mont Dip (AMI).
Silvia joined our team in September 2018. She qualified as a Montessori Directress (3-6) in 2018 and she also has a Certificate as an Elementary (6-12) Assistant. Silvia has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from La Sapienza University of Rome, and a Diploma in Teaching and Sociology Studies. Silvia also has Qualified Teacher Status.

Silvia is interested in family psychotherapy and has studied Bert Hellinger’s Systemic Family Constellations approach.


Shiyin Zhang

Directress - Clapham Montessori

Shiyin Zhang Shiyin joined our team in April 2019 and she obtained her Montessori  3-6 Diploma from the  Maria Montessori Institute in June 2019.  Shiyin also has a Master’s Degree in Early Years Education from Fujian Normal University in China. She moved to London in 2013, and it was here that she found her love for Montessori.

Elisa Obando

Directress - Clapham Park Montessori

 Elisa Obando Int Mont Dip (AMI) Directress.

Elisa holds Montessori diplomas for 0-3 and 3-6 levels from the Maria Montessori Institute in Perugia where she studied from 1996/98. Her mother tongue is Spanish; she is also fluent in Italian and understands a little Dutch.  Elisa joined the Infant Community team in October 2015 on a voluntary basis, and now works full-time at Clapham Park Montessori, providing support for SEN.

Grace-Anne Finlayson

Directress - Montessori Infant Community

Grace-Anne Finlayson Mont Dip., Wimbledon Montessori College. Grace-Anne came to Clapham Park in 2003 as a student and has since enjoyed several roles within each of the three environments.   Grace-Anne continued to work in the Children’s House eventually swapping the classroom for the home while her daughter attended Clapham Park Montessori. Upon returning, Grace-Anne worked with Wendy in the Infant Community and now is based at the Clapham Children’s House looking after our 2 year olds.

Indre Silkiniene

Assistant - Montessori Infant Community

Indre is a mother of three whose interest in Montessori philosophy was ignited when her daughter first started at Clapham Park Montessori some years ago. Her mother tongue is Lithuanian. Indre joined the Infant Community in April 2015.  She is delighted to have joined the team, and over the years she has gained much experience and understanding of Montessori principles.


Leila Robinson

Assistant - Montessori Infant Community

Leila Robinson, PGCE (primary), Roehampton University

Leila qualified as a primary school teacher in 2005 and has taught children age 4-11. A former Montessori child herself, Leila rediscovered Montessori when her daughter started at Clapham Park Montessori.  She joined the Infant Community team in November 2016 and is currently working towards her Montessori Diploma for 0-6 year olds.

The child is capable of developing and giving us tangible proof of the possibility of a better humanity.

Dr Maria Montessori