Latest Pisa results show that Asian countries are out performing the UK by a mile. The UK is falling behind global rivals in international tests taken by 15-year-olds, failing to make the top 20 in maths, reading and science.
Shanghai in China is the top education system in the OECD's Pisa tests. Could it be a coincidence that China has recruited more Montessori teachers than ever and that Montessori schools are cropping up all over the city?
Wales has the lowest number of Montessori schools anywhere in the U.K. In fact there are barely three schools in the country. Montessori Centre Wales was opened a few years ago and received a two page feature in the Western Mail to much acclaim from the education correspondent Gareth Evans. Gareth is not known for his generosity when it comes to education comments.
To date the centre has trained a large number of teachers and has attempted to make links with schools colleges and universities. The Welsh Assembly states in its document for the Foundation Phase that Montessori is one of the theories that underpins the Foundation Phase. There is absolutely no evidence of this on the ground. We continually receive requests from students studying at Welsh educational institutions for help and information as Montessori is not on any syllabus in Wales.
If the Welsh government is serious about bridging the gap between Wales and the top achieving countries in the Pisa tests then they must tale the bold step of working with Montessori Centre Wales.
The lamp oil has been burning late most evenings as we have been ensconced in our shed designing and manufacturing new Montessori materials. After many late evenings fuelled by chamomile tea and the odd chocolate bar, we have come up with some sensational materials for children. We will be uploading photos and videos of the materials in use. We have also created extension materials, which can be downloaded with any orders.