SUBJECT TO APPROVALS INCLUDING DFE AND OFSTED

about us

Ethos & Vision

Hotwells Children’s House will be a high quality, inclusive nursery and preschool that follows a modern and flexible Montessori pedagogy. We will place children at the heart of our provision, offering them a rich and ambitious curriculum. We offer a relationships based approach, and believe that connection, trust and respect create a harmonious community.

Children’s emotional wellbeing will be at the heart of our practice – our recent Ofsted inspection at the current setting we manage stated: ‘A sharp focus on children's emotional well-being is apparent from the moment they walk through the setting door. The emphasis on secure attachments and meaningful relationships with each child is highly evident.’

about us

Ethos & Vision

Hotwells Children’s House will be a high quality, inclusive nursery and preschool that follows a modern and flexible Montessori pedagogy. We will place children at the heart of our provision, offering them a rich and ambitious curriculum. We offer a relationships based approach, and believe that connection, trust and respect create a harmonious community.

Children’s emotional wellbeing will be at the heart of our practice – our recent Ofsted inspection at the current setting we manage stated: ‘A sharp focus on children's emotional well-being is apparent from the moment they walk through the setting door. The emphasis on secure attachments and meaningful relationships with each child is highly evident.’

about us

Ethos & Vision

Hotwells Children’s House will be a high quality, inclusive nursery and preschool that follows a modern and flexible Montessori pedagogy. We will place children at the heart of our provision, offering them a rich and ambitious curriculum. We offer a relationships based approach, and believe that connection, trust and respect create a harmonious community.

Children’s emotional wellbeing will be at the heart of our practice – our recent Ofsted inspection at the current setting we manage stated: ‘A sharp focus on children's emotional well-being is apparent from the moment they walk through the setting door. The emphasis on secure attachments and meaningful relationships with each child is highly evident.’

People in the office
People in the office
People in the office
People in the office
People in the office
People in the office
People in the office
People in the office
People in the office

What we offer

We offer spaces for children aged two to five years old, and are open from Monday to Thursday, term time only. Primarily we intake children in September, with eight spaces for two year olds attending half days in the morning, and 16 spaces for three and four year olds attending full days each day. Please see our Admissions Policy for full details about admissions. Contact us for fees.

team

Who we are

We will have a dedicated and highly experienced staff team, the majority of whom are either Montessori qualified or qualified teachers, or both. The two leaders of the setting work directly with the children and will often host students to share our practice. 

Sarah Mills

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Founder

Integrating Montessori Practice (IMP), National Award for Special Educational Needs & Development Coordination (NASENDCO), PGCE, BA (Hons)

Sarah has always had a passion for working with children. Alongside school, further and higher education, she worked in after school and holiday clubs, taught swimming, nannied and regularly volunteered in the playroom and school at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. After graduating from the University of Bristol, Sarah completed her PGCE at Bath Spa University where she chose to specialise in Primary and Early Years education. Sarah has many years of experience teaching and leading in primary schools. Only a year into her first teaching post Sarah became the school's Inclusion Coordinator and studied at the University of Reading to obtain her Masters' level specialist SENDCo award. Sarah also took on the leadership roles of Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead and later Acting Assistant Head. In order to broaden her experience of teaching children with additional needs, Sarah worked at a school for pupils with Severe Learning Difficulties and Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, before leaving primary education to work with younger children. She has always felt that these early, foundation years are the most crucial part of child development and education. After always having fond memories of a Montessori nursery that she visited as a Reception Class teacher, Sarah researched the Montessori approach and decided to retrain as a Montessori teacher. Sarah worked at The Clifton Children's House Montessori School from 2017 until its closure in 2024. Sarah and Erin were the Managers of The Clifton Children's House and upon its closure, founded Hotwells Children's House in 2024. In their 2022 Ofsted inspection their leadership was described as 'exemplary' and the setting received an 'Outstanding' judgement. As well as being one of the proud founders of Hotwells Children's House, Sarah is a proud mother to three young children. She will always work tirelessly for all children and families she works with, giving them the best care and support she can.

Erin Blessitt

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Founder

MA Early Childhood Studies, Early Years Teacher Status, Montessori Diploma, BA (Hons)

Erin has a longstanding relationship with Montessori education, having attended The Clifton Children's House Montessori from the age of 2 until she started at primary school. Her mum went on to work there for many years, so Erin remained in contact with the setting, often going to help out or to lead activities with the children. Seeing how Roz, Sue and the team interacted with children set a standard of respectful, trusting and warm communication that has remained at the heart of her practice with children. After graduating from University of the Arts London, Erin remained in the city and studied for her Montessori Diploma whilst working as a teaching assistant. Upon moving back to Bristol she was lucky enough to be offered a job by Mary Lazo (who took over The Clifton Children's House in 2012) and worked there for over ten years, starting as a teacher, and from 2017 as Manager until the closure of the setting in 2024. During her time at the setting Erin completed her Early Years Teacher Status, and a Masters in Early Childhood Studies and she was awarded Montessori Practitioner of the Year in 2018. Looking back at her time at The Clifton Children's House, Erin feels most proud of her work supporting families, her focus on putting well being at the core of provision, and her inclusion and support for children with additional learning needs. Erin also works for Bristol Early Years Teaching School as a Local Leader, specialising in personal, social and emotional development and well being, and was an Expert on the Department for Education's Covid Recovery Project. Her work supporting other settings is important to her, and she feels lucky to be part of the inspirational Bristol Early Years landscape. Erin is a proud mum of twins who were born very premature, due to this personal experience she is involved in supporting settings to understand the needs of premature children and their families as they start their nursery journey. Erin also co-facilitates the Bristol Early Years Forum for Anti-Racist Practice in collaboration with colleagues at Easton Community Children's Centre and Bath Spa University.

Our venue

Where we call home

We are delighted to lease a premises from the wonderful Hotwells Primary School. We are in a light and bright purpose designed space, with dedicated curriculum areas and rich resources. We have access to all of the wonderful outdoor spaces at Hotwells Primary School. This includes a purpose designed early years outdoor area, a larger woodland area and an AstroTurf pitch. We will also offer regular visits to the school library, where children can sit and look at a broad range of picture books. Whilst attending Hotwells Children’s House, children will get to experience snippets of life in a nurturing primary school. 

Due to the replacement of the School’s heating system, we will begin September 2024 in a Portacabin. Whilst this is not ideal, it is a temporary measure. It will be a similar size to our usual space and will have the same beautiful and high-quality Montessori resources.

2024 - 2025

Term dates

Autumn Term

Wednesday 4th September – Thursday 24th October

Monday 4th November – Thursday 19th December


Spring Term

Wednesday 8th January – Thursday 13th February

Monday 24th February – Thursday 3rd April


Summer Term

Tuesday 22nd April – Thursday 22nd May (Closed 5th May Bank Holiday)

Monday 2nd June – Tuesday 22nd July


Inset days (we are closed on these days):

Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd September 2024

Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th January 2025


Bank holidays (we are closed on these days):

Friday 18th April (Good Friday) and Monday 21st April 2025 (Easter Monday)

Monday 5th May 2025 (Early May Bank Holiday)

2024 - 2025

Term dates

Autumn Term

Wednesday 4th September – Thursday 24th October

Monday 4th November – Thursday 19th December


Spring Term

Wednesday 8th January – Thursday 13th February

Monday 24th February – Thursday 3rd April


Summer Term

Tuesday 22nd April – Thursday 22nd May (Closed 5th May Bank Holiday)

Monday 2nd June – Tuesday 22nd July


Inset days (we are closed on these days):

Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd September 2024

Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th January 2025


Bank holidays (we are closed on these days):

Friday 18th April (Good Friday) and Monday 21st April 2025 (Easter Monday)

Monday 5th May 2025 (Early May Bank Holiday)

2024 - 2025

Term dates

Autumn Term

Wednesday 4th September – Thursday 24th October

Monday 4th November – Thursday 19th December


Spring Term

Wednesday 8th January – Thursday 13th February

Monday 24th February – Thursday 3rd April


Summer Term

Tuesday 22nd April – Thursday 22nd May (Closed 5th May Bank Holiday)

Monday 2nd June – Tuesday 22nd July


Inset days (we are closed on these days):

Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd September 2024

Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th January 2025


Bank holidays (we are closed on these days):

Friday 18th April (Good Friday) and Monday 21st April 2025 (Easter Monday)

Monday 5th May 2025 (Early May Bank Holiday)

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