Montessori la Roseraie
La « Maison des Enfants »
Association « Le train de la Vie »
Facebook :
Contact : Delphine SERRA
Tél : 06 64 67 90 85 Mail :
As mothers, we were looking for a school for our children which would be as
close as possible to our educational principles and values.
Positive education and Maria Montessori pedagogy seemed essential to us.
After doing some research we found out that no school of this kind existed in
Castres or in its surrounding area.
Several other towns have a Montessori School: Lavaur, Albi, Gaillac, and, of
course, Toulouse
If these towns have such schools, our question was; Why not Castres?
That was it ! The project was born !
Opening in September 2019 to a pre-school (3-6 years) a « children’s House » as
it was called by Maria Montessori.
Then a « Nido » for the little ones (0-3 years) beginning of 2020.
And later, a primary class for ages 6-12, as well as a secondary school which
would allow students to continue their schooling with this way of teaching.
1. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) and her pedagogy:
First female doctor in Italy. She initially worked with children declared ‘deficient’ with whom
she has developed a new method based on a different approach to teaching associated with the
creation of specific material which produced excellent results. She then worked with so-called
‘normal’ children from a poor neighbourhood. That’s how she created the first « Casa del
Bambini: children’s House.
Maria Montessori’s principles:
– Maria Montessori observed that, up to 6 years, the child learns spontaneously to walk,
to understand and to speak his native language, to control its movements etc… without
any external intervention. Therefore, it is important to trust him, to follow the child
carefully observing him to then prepare the teaching environment.
– The importance of the working motion of the hand: young children are constantly in
motion and are aware of their environment through their hands. Maria Montessori
infers that the hand is fundamental in the development of intelligence and creates
material dedicated to the development of hand movement.
– Autonomy: the child has a deep need to acquire independence and do things by
– Absorbent mind: the child has the ability to absorb naturally and gradually all the
information in its environment. Focusing and repeating a lot of times the same
activity, the child creates neural connections and develops fundamental structures in
his brain, which has been confirmed by modern neuroscience.
Sensitive periods: the child goes through periods of differing time during which his mind has
the ability to absorb the information and skills without any difficulty. These moments,
sensitive periods, vary from one child to another, and cannot be created by the adult. There
are 6: organisation, language, movement, sensory refinement, the period of socialization and
the period of small objects.
– Practical experimentation: a child needs an experience generated by the manipulation of
objects in 3 dimensions in order to, subsequently, understand the abstract notion.
– The importance of the work: when the child does what we call ‘play’, he actually
acquires skills to become independent and able to live within his culture.
– Sensory experiences: the child understands the world through his hands and other senses.
We therefore offer materials intended to encourage the refinement of his senses.
– Concentration and standardization: when a child is working in a prepared environment,
when he uses an adapted material, when he learns to interact with others respecting
them, he develops concentration, love of work socialization and self-discipline. Maria
Montessori then said the child is « normalized ».
The Montessori rules :
– The prepared environment: it’s an environment suitable for children, in which one can
find everything he needs to grow, flourish and multiply the experiences. There is
harmony and order, each material has its place. The materials are real, true, and it
evolves with the needs of the child.
– The role of the adult: the adult observes, notes the interest of the child, in order to offer
suitable activities, in function of the sensitive period of time. The adult provides help,
they are «visible to the child who has need, and invisible to others».
– One difficulty at once: each complex activity is broken down into simple activities with
each one difficulty. The child can move onto the next activity when the previous is
– The “mentored” Free choice: free choice is done within the environment prepared by the
adult. The adult guides the child by proposals so he discovers all areas.
– Movement: children move freely to collect the chosen activity and put it away.
– An emotional dimension: the material is in one example. Therefore, the child has to wait
his turn if it is already taken. Children respect each other and learn to wait.
– A social dimension: mixed ages. Children are in an environment of positive dynamic
exchange, they learn to live together.
2. What is a Montessori school?
A Montessori school, today in France is a mix between tradition and modernity, by following
and transmitting the Maria Montessori educational principles, principles largely confirmed by
current research. Education as an aid to life, this is the basic premise of a Montessori School:
education to freedom which is the basis for a future society that will become aware and
In a Montessori school, the educator individualizes the vast majority of learning by adapting
to each child in order to allow everyone to move forward at their own pace and to follow their
own path, based on his or her faculties related to their sensitive periods.
Between 0 and 6 years, the student will be able to learn very quickly the concept to which he
is susceptible. The Montessori educator is trained to perceive these periods (which the order
and time span differ from one child to another) and allow the child to integrate learning in
The classes consist of about 20 students mentored by two Montessori educators.
Bilingualism is practised from a young age. (From the Nido).
The educator prepares and presents to the children an environment suited to their learning
needs, with specific Montessori materials, in which they are then free to evolve at their own
pace and with autonomy.
Mixed ages, very important in this pedagogy, are aimed to promote the collaboration between
themselves, mutual respect and development of rich and peaceful social relationships.
Children are free to choose the activity they want, talk in a low voice and move freely in the
We will be able to accommodate children with neuro-development anomalies like autism or
other because Maria’s Montessori pedagogy is well adapted to special needs.
Testimony concerning children with Autistic disorders in a Montessori school
« The progress of these children is amazing. In a little more than a year, one of them has
learned to read, write, count, do additions and subtract, to read the time, etc… He also now has
bases in spelling (the rules of the singular and plural, the rules of masculine and feminine),
grammar (he recognizes the noun, the verb, the determinant and will start to work on the
adjective), in conjugation. He does the CE1 dictations with the other children, he recites
poems he can tell a small story to the students in the class who always listen to him with great
respect and he is playing in the playground with the others. He participated in sports, music
and art courses. There is a real relationship between him and the others.
The second child arrived in the classroom very recently and does not speak very well yet, he
has started to read, knows very well his numbers and he is able to do additions.
What happens between these children and others is absolutely beautiful, it is important that
children without disabilities stand alongside those who have disabilities. This relationship is
very rich for everyone and the perception of the disability becomes totally different. We
admire these children with Autistic disorders that make so much effort to make progress and
to live with others. »
In view of this observation, we would like the Montessori pedagogy to benefit children
with an autism spectrum disorder.
Very important in this type of teaching, children cultivate their garden and care for the school
Our goal is for the children to be happy to come to school, to take pleasure in working, to
have confidence in themselves and to respect others and their environment.
Children follow the National Education program but are taught differently with different
tools. At any time, they can reintegrate into the regular school system.
3. Why are there so few Montessori schools in France?
The effectiveness of this pedagogy has recently been demonstrated by Céline ALVAREZ, a
teacher in National Education that exposes her experimentation on her website However, in a public school, teachers are not imposed one way of
teaching rather than another. This is the principle of pedagogical freedom
And, even if this pedagogy begins to grow gradually, particularly in pre-school, it is almost
impossible to educate a child in a public school where it would be deployed globally and
continuously, by all the teachers, throughout the total duration of the educational curriculum
from pre-school to elementary school.
Montessori schools are private, often with an association status, without a contract with the
National Education system.
This status explains that these schools receive no subsidy from the Government and must
therefore operate in autonomy, thanks to the contributions of parents and the various
donations. Operating costs (including educators wages), and the cost of materials, cause the
tuition fees to be high (350 to 500 euros monthly per child) and limits the development of
these schools.
4. Our « children’s House » of Castres :
This school will be a nursery school 3/6 years, bilingual, Maria Montessori pedagogy. The
national education program will be taught through Montessori pedagogical material. This
pedagogy allows some children with neuro-development disorders to find their place within
this class.
A booklet of skills will be set up to monitor the development of each child as there is no
scored exercises.
To create links with senior people, we will put in place activities conducive to the
intergenerational exchange: gardening through our garden, the care of the school animals,
reading, cooking and many other activities…
Children will cultivate their garden and will take care of their animals adopted from shelters.
The school-family relationship will be developed maximally because of the associative status
of this school and the need for parental involvement.
School days will be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
With respect to holidays, area C Toulouse Academy holiday schedule will be followed.
• Where will the school be?
La Roseraie, lieu dit le Souq Route d’Albi 81100 Castres
• A typical day at the children’s House :
8h/9h : nursery (optional) with breakfast for those interested.
9h/12h : work time
12h/12h15 : Break time
12h15/13h00 : Meal time (optional – lunch box given by parents)
13h00/13h30 : Break time
13h30/16h30 : work time
16h30/18h30 : nursery (optional)
• Why isn’t there any playground time in mid-morning and afternoon in a Montessori
Because Maria Montessori observed the cycle of concentration and absorption of children in a
working environment, what we interpret as fatigue, and then interrupt the rhythm with a break
(recreation), preventing the child to reach the end of the work cycle. She describes this step as
a »false fatigue. »
• Who will be the teachers?
Our educators, as we call them in Montessori school, are both teachers from the National
Education system, trained in the Montessori pedagogy. They are currently available from their
positions in national Education. They are already running workshops on Thursdays and
Saturdays at the Louisa Paulin room.
The school capacity will be 20 full-time students.
• Thanks to which budget will this school function?
This school has no contract with national Education for a minimum of 5 years, only the
tuition paid by parents and the various donations enable it to function correctly. Which to our
great regret demands high tuition fees from the families. We make every effort to reduce
these costs by fundraising and organizing events.
• School fees
Inscription fee: 100€
Annual Association enrollment: 20€
Scolarity fee : 300 €/month
Nursery fee: 2,50 €/ 30 min (income taxes deductible)
Wednesday nursery: 15€/ half day (implemented if enough children registered at the
beginning of the year and tax deductible).
Cost of snacks / meal: €2 per day (includes the morning snack, the afternoon one, daily bread
as well as child supervision during the meal) fresh and organic if possible.
Montessori 3/6 years and after?
Many parents ask themselves the question: and after pre-school. How after having spent 3
years in a Montessori school, will our child be able to return to the normal school curriculum?
A mother even said « he’ll be traumatized… ». ».
Be reassured, they are not at all disturbed. Having discussed with children who have lived this
case, they will be very well suited. Our school allows them to acquire a sizable adaptability
and strong self-confidence.
We plan to continue the curriculum by offering a primary school and a high school in the
same pedagogy.
The Montessori la Roseraie complex is expanding in 2020 with the opening of a microcrèche.
Here are a few personalities of Montessori schools:
• BILL GATES: Microsoft’s creator
• LARRY PAGE et SERGEY BRIN :Google’s creator
• JIMMY WALES : Wikipédia’s creator
• JEFF BEZOS :Amazon’s creator
• MARC ZUCKERBERG : Facebook’s creator
• WILL WRIGHT : Sim City’s creator
who has said « Montessori taught me the joy of discovery. It showed me that you could be
interested in complex theories, such as those of Pythagoras for example, playing with
cubes. It’s about learning according to and for oneself rather than receive the
teachings of the professor. « Sim City is directly based on Montessori – if you give
people this model for building cities they will get the principles of urbanism.
• Princes HARRY and WILLIAM
• KATHARINE GRAHAM : Washington Post owner and editor.

Nous contacter
Le Souq route d’Albi 81100 Castres
06 64 67 90 85
Lundi - Vendredi 8h - 18h30