Questions about the application process
When can my child start?
The two entry points are the beginning of the Autumn Term in August (the main entry point) and the beginning of the Summer Term in January. In Infant Community only, there may also be the possibility of a start at the beginning of the Summer Term in March/April.
How many are on the waiting list/how long is the waiting list?
EMAS operates a Waiting Pool system. Children are prioritised the earlier they complete the application process, as well as if they have siblings at the school or are transferring from another Montessori school. Parents of children in the Waiting Pool are invited to attend a workshop evening prior to enrolment.
Is my child required to attend an interview or undergo any assessment?
We do not hold interviews or formal assessments. For children joining our Elementary class, two trial days must be completed before an offer of place is considered. If your child is transferring from another nursery or school, we request a report from their current setting.
Why do you only run monthly tours?
As we have only two main entry dates, a monthly tour allows a regular opportunity to visit the school. The group nature of the tour also supports discussion and allows families to hear the responses to a range of questions.
Can I visit the class to observe the children?
Once your child has joined our Waiting Pool, you may request a short (half-hour) observation slot in the classroom that she/he will be entering.
Questions about fees
What is included in the fees?
Our fees cover the cost of tuition, materials, school resources such as jotters, art resources, specialist input, and snack (daily for Infant Community and Children’s House, and weekly in Elementary). In Elementary, the fees also cover trips around the local community and some events.
Do you provide lunches?
Hot lunches are available every day, cooked on site by our lovely Chef, Laura. Lunch bookings can be made through the office, additional charges apply. Children are also welcomed to bring their own packed lunch each day. Nursery children are allocated free milk. In Infant Community and Children’s House, a daily snack is provided. Additionally, each classroom does cooking or baking once per week.
How can I pay the school fees?
School fees should be paid by bank transfer in advance. We advise arranging a standing order for payment of fees to avoid late charges. The nursery is able to accept a range of childcare vouchers. The school is unable to accept payment by cheque.
Can my child attend their funded pre-school place at the school?
Our Children’s House is in partnership with Edinburgh Council to provide funded places for 3 and 4 year olds (and 5 year olds who have deferred). Funding is applicable from the term following your child’s 3rd birthday. The school will provide you with a council funding application form.
Questions about attendance
What are the minimum sessions/attendance patterns?
Elementary and P1-equivalent children attend five full days per week, 8:30am-3:30pm. Children’s House children must attend either five morning sessions, and may be able to do add-on sessions in the afternoons depending on availability. Infant Community children must attend at least three morning or three afternoon sessions per week, again with the possibility of add-on sessions.
What is the longest day my child can attend? Is after-school care available?
After-school care is available Monday to Friday until 5 pm. The longest day a child can attend is 8:30am-5pm. After-school care is provided by EMAS staff.
Do you run any after-school clubs?
A range of after-school clubs are on offer each term; these are usually available only to Elementary and P1-equivalent children. Recent clubs have included a photography club, Tae Kwon Do, and Rhythm Club (a percussion group). These clubs are run by approved outside instructors.
What childcare is available for children during school holidays?
EMAS does not run a regular holiday club scheme; the school operates term-time only. However, holiday clubs may be offered during the Spring break and the summer.
Questions about transitions
Do you accept children from non-Montessori schools? How will my child cope transitioning from mainstream?
Children will be considered for admission regardless of their school background. For children entering Elementary, they may find some aspects of the transition more challenging, particularly the need to self-initiate work. Children’s experiences will vary depending on the educational approach in their previous school and their home environment.
Where do children move on to after EMAS? How do children handle the transition?
Children have moved on to both independent and local authority secondary schools. Likewise, children have transferred to a range of other primary schools. Feedback from the receiving schools has been very positive, with teachers commenting on children’s general knowledge, confidence, and respectful attitudes.
Questions about the educational program
Do you follow Curriculum for Excellence?
As a partner provider nursery, the Children’s House classroom adheres to the Curriculum for Excellence (in the Infant Community, the Pre-birth to Three guidelines are followed). As an independent school, the Elementary does not follow the Curriculum for Excellence, although it is used as a reference point.
Are all staff Montessori trained?
Our staff all have Montessori qualifications or are currently undertaking training. As a school accredited by Montessori Education UK, we place a high value on continuing professional development. All staff are also registered with either the Scottish Social Services Council or the General Teaching Council (Scotland).
What provision is there for Additional Support for Learning?
Our staff are able to support children with a range of learning needs. We also work with a range of external specialists. In Children’s House, we can support an audit of your child’s needs in order to request additional funding from Edinburgh Council. However, this funding is not available for school-age pupils.
My child doesn’t speak English fluently/well/at all. How will you support him/her?
EMAS has significant experience supporting children from a range of language backgrounds. Our international staff are able to scaffold children’s language development regardless of their home language. However, for children joining Elementary, we do recommend language tuition prior to starting so that children are able to participate in the range of classroom activities.