Bolton Abbey Montessori duo win award for delivering the best

Wharfedale Observer: Graham and Jane Lord with pupils at the school Graham and Jane Lord with pupils at the school

A couple who run a Montessori school in Bolton Abbey have received a national award.

Jane and Graham Lord, of Wharfedale Montessori School and Nursery, were selected for a Montessorians of the Year award at the 2014 Montessori Schools Association annual conference, held in London earlier this month.

The award, given by the Montessori St Nicholas Charity, is in recognition of the couple’s determination to deliver the best Montessori has to offer to the children attending their school.

Jane and Graham started the nursery 23 years ago, which led to a Montessori community at Strid Wood that aims to support children in their first 12 years of life.

The Lords first established a nursery on the ground floor of their home and launched a Montessori primary school, which is within walking distance.

Under the initial leadership of Pauline Harter and Helen Wheatley, the school flourished and expansion plans were made to build the primary school close to the nursery and develop a provision for babies and toddlers.

The building of the new and bigger primary school was an ambitious project. The Lords ordered a wooden building from Finland that had to be assembled on site.

With the help of past and present families, the dream was realised and the primary school opened in 2007. Over the past 20 years, Jane has also delivered teacher training, educating several generations of Montessori teachers.

Jane and Graham remain firmly focused on the Montessori ideal of enabling children to work towards their potential in an atmosphere of calm co-operation.

Jane said: “We were the very first Montessori school in the north of England and this award is in recognition of almost 25 years of work in how to do things properly.”

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