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About Us

Fia Russell-Cobb (short for Sophia) is the Headmistress. She started Pangbourne House in 2015 after 30 years of teaching, and then becoming the head of Ladbroke Square Montessori School.

Her ambition had always been to set up her own school which would reflect the Montessori method, and place a strong emphasis on creativity.

Alongside Fia in opening Pangbourne House were Ana Aranha and Olivia Hoare. Ana is currently the Deputy Head and runs all the admin at Pangbourne House. 

At Pangbourne House, we believe that in this modern, technical world, children are given less time to practise their communication skills.

We strive to nurture the development of compassion and empathy through creativity.

We have developed an environment where children can explore and experiment and work together with artistic and creative endeavours of their own, while at the same time gaining an understanding of warm fellowship and community awareness.

“Help me do it myself.”

Maria Montessori


Our curriculum includes the Montessori method complemented by the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance and our unique Creative Studio.


Maria Montessori 1870 -1952 was a pioneer in education. It was she who revolutionised children’s education by introducing child-sized furniture into the educational environment. Montessori recognised and understood the importance of focusing on the individual child. She realised that confidence, independence and inner discipline would develop if children were left to explore and learn at their own pace.

The role of the teacher in the Montessori school is to be a directress, first preparing the environment and then acting as a link between the child and the materials.

The Montessori method encourages the child to enjoy the process of learning. It does not introduce the competitive drive of other curricula and yet leads each child to develop their full potential. The ‘failure to keep up’ approach is avoided by the thorough observations that the teachers make. The teachers, with their knowledge gained through observations, know the appropriate moment to introduce the next activity to each child. The art is to give the child an exercise which is challenging but within their capabilities so that they are being stimulated without the fear of failure.

EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance)

EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance)

At Pangbourne House, we believe that the EYFS guidance complements the Montessori method. It understands the importance of giving a child a holistic education. The main features of the foundation stage guidance are:

  • The recognition that young children need to learn through practical experiences rather than being taught.
  • Play is emphasised as the vehicle of learning for children.
  • The importance of working from children’s interests and needs is highlighted.
  • EYFS is the first curriculum in England to cross the divide between pre-school and school.
  • Personal, social and emotional development of children is recognised as providing the backdrop for other learning.
  • The role of parents is promoted as that of equal partners working together to find the best way forward for each individual child. (Tassoni,2002)

Find out more about EYFS

Creativity in the Classroom

It is our belief that instigating creative learning at an early age encourages imaginative thinking throughout childhood and beyond. The implementation of creativity into early years education encourages the child’s understanding of other people. In creative play the child is able to adopt roles of others which will awaken their awareness of the feelings of others, so introducing the child to the concept of empathy and compassion.

Giving a child access to creativity not only enhances their communication skills but also lays the groundwork for the growth of problem-solving and reasoning skills.

We know that the environment plays a big part in fostering creativity in young children. At Pangbourne House, our job as adults is to keep the environment interesting by providing, alongside the Montessori equipment, creative experiences and materials that will capture the child’s curiosity. It is our job to see each child as an individual and through sensitive monitoring of each child our hope is to further their development by cultivating their creative ideas.

My Montessori Child

Advanced Early-Education System

This pioneering software helps Montessori nurseries to deliver the best possible educational experience for young children. 

The system comprises of two parts:

  1. an iPad-based wireless system for teachers to use during the day
  2. a secure website that parents can access at any time

No part of the system is for children to use directly.

“Receive the children in reverence; educate them in love; let them go forth in freedom.”

Rudolf Steiner

“Receive the children in reverence; educate them in love; let them go forth in freedom.”

Rudolf Steiner