The 5-11 years classroom

In the 5 -11 year old space, there are two Montessori teachers  to support the 25 students (maximum) aged 5  to 11 years old. The atmosphere is fully bilingual as Caroline makes the presentations of Montessori material in French and Rachaël in English.

Caroline LOUSTALOT: French-speaking educator for 5 to 11 years old children

My name is Caroline Loustalot, I worked for 14 years in day care assistant with
children from 3 to 12 years old. I discovered the Montessori pedagogy 7 years ago. I first trained in Dax. These past three years, I have completed my Montessori training for children aged 3 to 12 with the CFRP Montessori organization in Lyon. During this training, I also studied non-violent communication, psychology and child development. I worked for 5 years in a 3 to 6 Montessori class, and this past year, I have been practicing in a Montessori-inspired class for children from CP to CE2. Education is my passion! I really care about supporting children in their development, and it give me much pleasure to see them blossom.


Rachaël CANTELLO : English-speaking educator for 5 to 11 years old children

I have over 20 years’ experience in the classroom and have worked with children and adults of all ages and abilities.

My first teaching experience after graduating from St Andrews University, with a Masters degree in English, was when I moved to a small village in France (St Marcellin) to spend 6 months as an English Language Assistant. I loved it and it was this experience that helped me decide to become a teacher. I returned to Scotland to complete a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education. For over 8 years I taught English in secondary school before transitioning to work with deaf students. These children were aged between 5 and 18 years old and needed intensive language teaching and support across all school subjects. I provided these children with individual tuition that I tailored to meet their needs and their language abilities.

We arrived in Pau in February 2020 and have made our home here, in the Nay valley. More recently I have been teaching English as a foreign language to adults in a private Training Centre in Lons which has been a wonderful experience and allowed me to share my passion for language.

I am very excited to be joining the team at the Montessori School of Pau. As a mother of two children who attend the school, I believe wholeheartedly in the benefits and opportunities that the Montessori approach gives our children. Montessori puts children at the very centre – giving them space to be curious about the world and engaged in their own learning. I am look forward to joining them in the classroom.

The benefits of Montessori Elementary school

It follows the National Curriculum
At the Montessori School in Pau we cover the full range of skills and subjects required by the French National Curriculum. Our Montessori teachers ensure an individual approach, following your child’s own pace and needs. Progress is monitored throughout the year and recorded in a logbook. We organise two meetings during the year in December and June to discuss your child’s achievements.

French-English bilingualism
At the Montessori school in Pau, children are immersed in a bilingual environment. Each activity is presented by a French-speaking teacher in French and by an English-speaking teacher in English. In addition, the mix of French- and English-speaking children allows for a seamless learning of both languages. Children learn how to express themselves in French and English and then learn to read and write in both languages.

Group work
In the classroom, children work together according to their abilities and interests. Cooperation is encouraged so that children learn how to work and thrive together and complete group projects. At this age, children have a real social need. They seek the company of other children, more than that of adults. They like to be with their friends and to act in groups. They want to be part of a community.

A mixed-age classroom
Children aged 5 to 11 years share the same classroom. The mixing of ages creates a friendly learning dynamic whereby younger children learn by observing and imitating older children. For their part, older children learn to take care of the younger ones. By presenting activities to their peers they also consolidate what they have learnt.

Responsibilities in the classroom
At the Montessori school in Pau, children are given responsibilities. They learn to take care of the classroom by cleaning up after lunch and at the end of the day. Every day they clean the tables and sweep and mop the floors. During the day, they also take care of the house plants and vegetable patch. They learn to take care of animals by looking after our little rabbit named Floki. They give her food, water and clean her cage.

Nonviolent communication and inclusive classroom rules
Children are taught how to express their needs, so that they learn to communicate better with one another and without violence. Our Montessori teachers use and teach non-violent communication, meaning children are encouraged to manage their conflicts by using clear messages and expressing their emotions and needs. Children in the 5-11 class discuss and draw up the classroom rules themselves. These can be amended depending on what happens in the classroom.

Arts & crafts and self-expression

The Montessori school in Pau encourages creativity and self-expression. Every day, children carry out various craft projects such as sewing, weaving, felted wool quilting, Brazilian bracelets, clay modelling, papier mâché… They can also experiment with different artistic techniques such as painting, drawing, chalk, watercolour, ink, felt pens… They also develop their imagination by writing and inventing stories, tales, poems.

Opening up to the world
Our Montessori teachers ensure your child’s needs are met by providing a stimulating environment, equipped with a wide range of reading materials for all levels. All activities offered at the school encourage children to be curious and to question the world around them. Throughout the year, children carry out projects and give presentations on a variety of topics.

Children organise their own outings
The 5-11 class get to organise their own outings. They take care of everything themselves. Once they’ve chosen the location, they write permission letters to the headmistress and the parents’ association. The children then calculate the budget they’ll need and prepare the itinerary. They also book transportation as well as the chosen activity. Afterwards they give a presentation about their outing to the the other pupils in the school and finally, they write thank you letters. Our Montessori teachers help the children to prepare and practise their tasks through role play, like making a phone call for instance. During these exercises, children develop essential life skills and gain confidence in themselves.