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) is Head Directress and Manager of Clapham Montessori. Ros is also an Early Years Professional. She studied Zoology and Botany but after having children found child development to be even more interesting. She also trained and worked as a volunteer Breastfeeding Counsellor with the NCT while her children were young.

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 has been the Manager of the main Children’s House class for the last two years.

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 qualified as a Montessori Assistant (AMI) in Dec. 2012. She joined us as a staff member in May 2012. Tamara qualified as a Montessori Directress for 3-6 year olds in June 2016. Tamara was one of our inaugural parents at the Infant Community in 2006, from where her children continued at Clapham Montessori. Tamara, who also speaks fluent French, has a background as a barrister.  She has put her skills to good use, collaborating with Wendy to ensure the smooth running of the Infant Community.

Silvia Donati

Directress - Clappham 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 and will receive 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 two 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 looks forward to learning more about Montessori principles.







Mercedes López Palao

Assistant - Montessori Infant Community

Mercedes is a qualified Early Years Teacher and Speech Therapist.  After graduating in Spain, Merche came to London to improve her English and worked as an Au Pair and a Nanny.  Her interest in education led Mercedes to work as a volunteer at a school, at the same time as finding out more about Maria Montessori.  Following a visit to the Infant Community, Mercedes joined the team in September 2016.





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