Free funded places available for children aged 2+, please ask us for details

Kings Castle Montessori Nursery

Open all year – From birth to 5 – Flexible sessions – Funded places available

Welcome to Kings Lodge

Our nature-based nursery with a Montessori ethos

Maria Montessori believed that contact with nature and the natural world was fundamental to a child’s education and well-being and that no amount of books (or TV!) could replace real, physical contact with nature:

“There is no description, no image in any book that is capable of replacing the sight of real trees, and all the life to be found around them, in a real forest. Something emanates from those trees which speaks to the soul, something no book, no museum is capable of giving.”

At Kings we share the Montessori belief that nature-based activities are hugely beneficial for children and so, in 2022 we opened Kings Lodge – our nature-based nursery with a Montessori ethos.

Kings Lodge is situated at the Iford Scout Hut only 400m from Kings Castle Montessori. Kings Lodge is run in association with Kings Castle Montessori and operates as an extension of Kings Castle. Nearly all the toddlers (aged 2.5+) and pre-school children at Kings Castle attend Kings Lodge for 1-2 sessions per week to enjoy lots of nature-based activities, outdoor play and to benefit from the large open-plan hall. Attendance at Kings Lodge is included in the normal Kings Castle fees.

Recent Reviews for Kings Lodge

“For our family, we see the lodge and the Lodge team as a fantastic asset to the nursery.”
“I think the lodge is great! We especially love outdoors and nature walks!”
“All good, our daughter seems happy and it’s been a great experience for her before school.”
“I think the lodge is brilliant and our child really enjoys it.”
“Thanks for the facility and variety offered to the children”

Kings Lodge Facilities

Kings Lodge has excellent indoor and outdoor facilities. Indoor facilities include a large open-plan hall, toilets and kitchen. The hall offers great opportunities for drama and role-play, arts and crafts, music and movement, cooking, sport and games, ball games, trikes, etc. The indoor space is very flexible and can be used in different ways and with different activities and resources according to the interests of the children and current topics.

The Lodge also has a secure playground which offers many different experiences including yoga, den building, mud kitchen, water play, sensory activities, ball games, trikes, garden games, mark-making and of course outdoor maths and language activities. We also have a small herb garden and vegetable patch where the children practise botany, gardening and growing skills (before hopefully eating the produce they have grown).

The best thing about Kings Lodge is its location; the Iford playing fields, Iford meadows and the River Stour are literally “on the doorstep” so the Lodge gives the children amazing opportunities to spend lots of time outside, exploring nature and doing nature-based and outdoor activities which are not available at Kings Castle.

Kings Lodge Curriculum

The Kings Lodge curriculum blends discovery of nature with the Montessori principles of individual learning, independence and a love of learning. We encourage this ethos through hands-on, experimental learning both in the prepared environment of the classroom and outdoors in all the natural spaces offered by the Iford Playing Fields and Meadows.

The curriculum gives the children a sense of wonder and helps them forge a love of nature and the natural world. This approach blends perfectly with the Montessori curriculum which the children experience at Kings Castle. Materials, activities and resources at the Lodge cover all the prime and specific areas of the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) while following the Montessori teaching ethos but with a focus on nature and exploring the outside world.

Kings Lodge Activities

Kings Lodge offers a huge variety of indoor and outdoor activities and these will vary according to the weather, the seasons, the interests of the children and to reflect current and cultural events.

Indoor activities include: cooking, music and movement, songs and poems, expressive arts, crafting, role-play and small world all of which help the children develop their creativity, language skills, social skills, fine motor skills and concentration. Our practical life and cultural activities help the children to learn all about the world around them.

Spending time outdoors is a big part of Kings Lodge and we are lucky to have both a secure playground and access to the Iford Playing Fields, the Iford Meadows and the River Stour!

Garden activities include: access to the garden is usually free-flow and many of our activities and resources spill over from the indoor hall into the garden area. Activities in the garden typically include mud-kitchen, water-play, junk modelling, yoga, music and movement, trikes and bikes, ball games, den-building, balancing games, building blocks and den-building.

We also have a small vegetable and herb garden where the children learn about planting seeds, cultivating herbs and vegetables, botany, pollination, the importance of bugs and bees, etc. If our growing is successful, the children will harvest and cook the produce too!

Daily nature walks – part of the daily routine at Kings Lodge is going for walks and exploring around Iford playing fields and meadows. We take the children on one or two walks per day (depending on the weather, the Childrens’ ages and their interests). Our walks may include a visit to Iford Meadows to see the cows, games and picnics on the Iford playing fields, a nature trail through the woods, bug hunt, botany, a visit to the River Stour, train-watching at the railway and so much more!

More information

We look forward to welcoming you and your child to Kings Lodge very soon. If you would like more information on Kings Lodge, please contact Kings Castle Montessori.

“There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature, to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature… so that the child may better understand and participate in the marvellous things which civilisation creates.”
– Maria Montessori