At BUCCLEUCH MONTESSORI, we understand that the first few years of life are perhaps the most critical part of the education process. Your child’s brain is forming 700 new neural connections per second —there’s no other time in life when their brain will be so open to learning or so influenced by their learning environment. (Harvard’s Centre on the Developing Child)

Harvard’s Centre on the Developing Child calls this stage in brain development a time of “early plasticity.” That means your child’s brain is rapidly absorbing the stimuli around to set up the framework for how it will learn and react for the rest of their life. After the first five years of life, the brain loses its plasticity and it becomes much harder to influence how your child learns.

For this reason, choosing your child’s preschool could be one of the most important decisions that you make about their education. You want to find a program that lays a foundation for a lifetime of passionate learning, one that will nurture and guide your child as they set off on their educational journey.

As a parent, you’ve probably heard about how Montessori education helps children thrive. If you’re trying to decide if this type of education would benefit your own child, read on. We’ve outlined the key characteristics of a Montessori classroom and explain how those characteristics set children up for a life of learning.

What is Montessori Education?

Montessori is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play. In Montessori classrooms children make creative choices in their learning, while the classroom and the teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process. Children work in groups and individually to discover and explore knowledge of the world and to develop their maximum potential.

Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori was born in 1870, she graduated to become the first woman doctor of medicine in Italy and went on to be an educator. Through her various observations of how children learn, she discovered that the path to intellectual development is through the hands, this became a major theme in the Montessori Method. She theorized that a secure, caring, and stimulating environment would allow the child to develop to his or her greatest potential. Montessori came to understand that young children learn best through freedom of movement and choice within a stimulating prepared environment.

The Montessori educator’s role is to carefully observe and guide the children in their care using a set of core principles: appreciating childhood as a unique stage of human life, respecting the uniqueness of each individual child, helping and guiding children to achieve their fullest potential; creating a prepared environment; providing for active learning; fostering independence; allowing for multi-age grouping; providing a wide variety of hands-on materials. Allowing each child to work at his or her own pace. A good Montessori environment is one that is based on Maria Montessori’s philosophy and keeping abreast of recent developments in early childhood education and neuroscience.

Principals Welcome

Hello, and welcome to BUCCLEUCH MONTESSORI Preschool and Primary. We value you taking the time to find out more about our amazing school. At BUCCLEUCH MONTESSORI, we embody all that is Montessori and more, pioneering our own blend of facilities and programs based on the latest ‘cutting-edge’ research in education and child development.

Through our very unique approach to education, we achieve remarkable results. Laying strong foundations for our children to go into the world with confidence, enthusiasm, and a powerful urge to learn and achieve more.

BUCCLEUCH MONTESSORI has a track record of consistently high standards; over the past 30 years we have had the privilege and opportunity to watch our pupils flourish both during their time at our school and after. Many of our graduates have gone on to obtain scholarships at premier high schools local and abroad, have achieved top accolades in the academic and sporting arenas, scholarships in music and art, and many have become head girl/boy later on in their school careers. We also have several past pupils who have gone on to become doctors, engineers and PhD candidates – all of whom attribute this to their strong foundations at BUCCLEUCH MONTESSORI during their most formative years.  We endeavour to provide our children with the very best learning experiences to prepare them for a life-time of success!

Why don’t you make an appointment to come and see our school in action for yourself? We guarantee that you will be truly inspired!


BUCCLEUCH MONTESSORI Preschool and Primary is a multicultural community dedicated to promoting quality Montessori education for children from fourteen months to thirteen years. We aim to lead and guide children into becoming integrated, independent, fully functioning adults who will be instrumental in the future development of our country.


BUCCLEUCH MONTESSORI cultivates in its pupils …

A great passion for excellence in things that they do.

A deeply internalised set of core values that one lives by when others are not looking.

A sense of being part of the family of humanity – a global understanding.

Commitments of service back to the community and to people known and not yet met.


To facilitate the child’s unique personality.

To help the child to become socially and emotionally well-adjusted and grow up as a physically strong and happy child.

To inspire and empower each individual child with a passion for learning.

To help make it possible for each child to develop to his/her full intellectual potential.


At BUCCLEUCH MONTESSORI, we identify, promote and nurture every child’s individual abilities and talents, instilling a love of learning in beautifully prepared environments that ensure the intellectual, emotional, spiritual and social well-being of each child. Our safe, happy environments promote learning and a positive attitude to work, as well as an ethos based on empathy, co-operation and respect, where children are valued and teaching is inspirational and forward-thinking.


BUCCLEUCH MONTESSORI Preschool was founded by Mrs. Sally Wigley in 1984, in Nola Avenue, Buccleuch and was amongst the first Montessori preschools in South Africa. In 1993, Lesley Heywood was introduced to BUCCLEUCH MONTESSORI as a ‘parent’. Lesley was truly inspired by the level of learning that took place within this beautifully prepared environment, so much so, that she began to further her studies in child development and Montessori under the careful guidance of Sally Wigley. In 1996, Sally retired and Lesley took over BUCCLEUCH MONTESSORI Preschool in 1997.

Lesley has been involved with BUCCLEUCH MONTESSORI for 25 years and over and above the Montessori Preschool, she has been instrumental in pioneering the Primary and Toddler groups in the 1990’s enabling the success we have come to enjoy at BUCCLEUCH MONTESSORI today.  Lesley holds three degrees and four International Montessori teaching diploma’s from birth to age thirteen. It is through her deep understanding of the Montessori Philosophy and the needs of the ‘Child and Parent’, from the perspective of both parent and education leader that BUCCLEUCH MONTESSORI has become a special place for all who pass through our doors under her careful guidance.

Academic Quality And Results

At BUCCLEUCH MONTESSORI, all our pupils from 14-months to 13-years receive personalised one-on-one individual attention, instilling a strong work ethic that yields exceptional results. We have an enviable record of success, where 100 per cent of our children gain access to their first choice of high school, many with academic, music and sporting scholarships and some with 100% scholarships to prestigious schools such as St Johns College, Crawford College -Sandton, Kingsmead College, St Stithians and Beaulieu College to name a few. Most of our graduates go on to achieve high distinction matric results and many become grade leaders such as head-girl or head-boy in matric, St Peters College is such a school that BUCCLEUCH MONTESSORI pupils have held this title on numerous occasions – including the current year 2017 and another of our pupils elected for 2018! Woodridge College – head boy, 2017…

While academic results are important to us, at BUCCLEUCH MONTESSORI, we place equal emphasis on providing an education that produces children who are emotionally and socially confident. Our children graduate as well rounded individuals with life skills that will ensure a successful future in any field that requires innovators, strong leadership, critical thinking skills, resourcefulness, independence and a very strong foundation in academics built from 14-months to 13-years, instilling a life-long- love of learning that will sustain them through their school lives and beyond.

Many of our graduates have gone on to study in fields such as medicine, engineering, law, accounting, environmental science and film production to name a few…



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