MEfA Montessori Moles After-school Nurture Group
at Montessori 135 Westcombe Hill, House, Blackheath, Royal Greenwich, London SE3 7DP
Information for Parents
The group, which is called 'Montessori Moles', takes place at Montessori House, Blackheath from 3:30 - 5:30 on Tuesdays during term-time. The class is currently fully funded by charitable donations, with no charge to the families attending.
We have launched our Me 4 MEfA Schools Fundraising Campaign (see separate tab) to help us extend our programme for children with autism, increasing our social impact and raising awareness of the needs of children with autism.
There is more information below, but first, here is what our parents say:
"I've got a four-year-old daughter who's been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has been attending the MEfA Montessori Moles After-school Nurture Group at Mycenae House for quite a few months and the difference in her since she started going is substantial.
For starters the atmosphere is a friendly and relaxing one and she loves going there every week. She's improved in many aspects and I know that her attendance to the Montessori Moles group has played a big part in that. There's always a wide variety of activities available for her to take a part in (from puzzles to building blocks and everything in between) and all these activities have a practical side to it which is helping her improve her speech and her communication, her social skills, her physical skills and they also help with her sensory issues.
The group also provides a very welcoming break for parents who can talk about their ordeals and circumstances with others in similar situations and offer help and advice to each other. It is pretty hard when you find yourself in a situation that completely changes your world and alters the outlook you had on life and the future. And having the possibility to talk freely with others who are or have been in very similar situations is priceless. This group provides that as well. So, in a way, not only the children get nurtured, but the parents and carers do as well.
Last but not least, I have to mention how fantastic Ms Wendy Fidler is to this group. She's a funny, positive and caring lady and her knowledge and understanding of the children's special needs is second to none and always comes with the most interesting way of helping them. There's many positive things I could say about her, but all I will say is that without her this group would not be the same, and not in a good way.
To summarise, I am really glad I found this group and I am sure many more people would benefit from it were they to know of its existence." Alicia Montes
.........All of our teachers have either graduated from the MEfA post graduate CPD SEN short course: A Blueprint for Observation, or they are currently studying for the award. There are other volunteers who assist with specific activities under the close supervision of a teacher. All teachers and volunteers over age 18 have a CRB/DBS check.
During the sessions we work closely with our children on activities which will help their social skills, speech, language and communication skills, and their physical and sensory skills.
Activities include songs, stories, role play, social graces, help with literacy and numeracy and many practical life activities which encourage independence, concentration and good coordination.
There are also plenty of opportunities to develop language, planning and team work skills in joint activities , and of course there is lots of 'green' around because we are Montessori Moles.
We hope that all our Montessori Moles experience the joy of discovery!
Our After-school Nurture Group supports disadvantaged children with mental health needs. The group engages with hard to reach children who are having difficulty accessing their education at school because of issues related to their autism. The group, originally for primary-aged children (4-11 years), was recently extended to support young people up to 14 years of age. The children attend with their parents who later continue the ideas and activities at home. The children feel safe and supported, they engage in a variety of fun activities which help them work on the social, communication, language and behavioural difficulties which are causing them problems at school, home and in the community. These difficulties prevent the children, most of whom have autism, but some also have additional and/or second language needs, from accessing their education effectively at school. The children and young people, and their families, often live socially isolated lives. The group also offers volunteering opportunities for disadvantaged and vulnerable young adults with autism.