Prerequisites for class enrolment:

Places are prioritised for children whose parents/carers value the Montessori approach and seek to engage with the philosophy through their own parenting.

Infant Community

Your child is ready to join our Infant Community when they are over one year of age and are able to walk confidently, so that they are able to navigate our classroom and garden area. Children should also be able to sit in a low chair and join the group for snack and will usually be able to manage without a nap until after lunch time.

Children’s House

Your child is ready to join our Children’s House when they are over three years of age (three and four year olds receive funding from Edinburgh Council). They should be able to separate from you (following their settling in period) and respond comfortably to teachers and other children. Children should be making good progress in toilet learning before beginning Children’s House.

EMAS enrols a limited number of children four years and older to the Children’s House class. Prior to acceptance children are invited to meet the teachers and spend a short time in the classroom without their parents. Teachers are looking to observe that a child is interested in exploring our environment and open to trying new things during this visit.

Places for four and five year olds are reserved for families intending to remain at EMAS through Elementary (their child’s primary school years).


We accept children from other schools into our Elementary class if they have had previous experience of Montessori education or other complementary approaches. Children join the Elementary class from age 5 or 6 (P1 children join Children’s House). To be accepted into Elementary (at P2), children must be reading and writing at least at a phonetic level and have a solid foundation in maths. They should be familiar with a range of Montessori materials where possible, and able to work independently and self-regulate their learning. Both children and parents need to have an understanding of the Montessori approach and a positive attitude towards it.

Elementary children are invited to complete two trial days in the term prior to joining. These trial days allow the child to experience the Montessori approach and also allow our teachers to consider whether the classroom will suit the child and whether we can meet his/her needs. The child’s previous school reports are also considered.

Additional Support

For children with additional support needs (either suspected or diagnosed), parents are requested to provide relevant information during the application process. If we are not sure that we will be able to meet the child’s needs at the school, this will be communicated to parents prior to enrolment. The child may be offered a place subject to conditions and a satisfactory probationary period. Should a child require specialist equipment not already in place in the school, enrolment may be delayed until appropriate funding is available and the equipment installed.

Waiting Pool Guidelines

EMAS operates a Waiting Pool rather than a Waiting List. Siblings of current pupils, and children that have attended other Montessori schools are given priority. We also prioritise families making a commitment to the Elementary programme, and families who join EMAS at 3 years old or earlier.

Other considerations affecting children’s admission are as follows: the balance of ages in the class, whether the school can support any additional needs (including English as an Additional Language), and the family’s familiarity with the Montessori philosophy and approach.