Monkey Puzzle was established in October 1999 by Caroline Blondel in a small premise in Vauvert, St Peter Port. On the first day it opened with only 1 child and 4 qualified staff and it has now grown to 19 staff and 96 children on the register at the Les Cotils and 19 Staff and 101 children on the register at Kings Life. (As of September 2014).

The addition of premises at Les Cotils occured in November 2000 when the Guernsey Montessori closed down, and with the help of the existing parents Monkey Puzzle took over. Many of the existing Montessori Teachers stayed on and are still working at the School today. The School caters for Children age 3 to 7 years and is registered with both the Education department and Health and Social Services Young people services.

Monkey Puzzle soon out grew the Nursery at Vauvert but it took until December 2006 to find suitable larger premises. A move into a temporary nursery at Kings Club took place in January 2007 whilst the new bespoke premises were under construction. The construction was completed a year later and the Nursery was able to move into their superb new premises in April 2008.

Monkey Puzzle Nursery at Kings caters for Babies from 6 weeks to 5 years and is registered and inspected by Health and Social Services Young Peoples services. They can be contacted on 01481 716060


Monkey Puzzle School has been based in the beautiful tranquil grounds of Les Cotils centre since November 2000 after taking the premises over from the Guernsey Montessori School. It’s setting overlooks the islands of Herm, Jethou, Sark and the truly beautiful harbour. Monkey Puzzle is registered for 62 children from the ages of 2 to 7. The Staff consists of Qualified Montessori Teachers, Nursery nurses and Support staff.

The Montessori Approach

Maria Montessori’s particular desire was to help children to learn to live together in harmony which she believed was a positive force for good which would last into adult life. She found in her observations of children that they are better learners up to the age of 6 than they will ever be again with exposure to the right environment and stimulation a child can develop behaviour and achievements beyond all expectations.

In a Montessori setting the children are encouraged to choose the activity they wish to “work” with, and to complete it in their own time. The child friendly environment consists of low level chairs tables and shelves, and jugs, basins, brushes, and lots of other important equipment are all of a size which children find easy to use. Many of the items on the shelves are familiar household items but others are specialised materials designed to enable the child to grasp basic concepts without any stress or strain at an early age. Once children are accustomed to making their own choices they are naturally attracted to pieces of equipment that will satisfy their particular educational interest at that time.

Often visitors to Monkey Puzzle remark on the calm relaxed way in which the children are busy getting on with their chosen activity. The children are prepared for their next stage in education by developing and refining their skills and senses with specially designed materials only usually found in a Montessori setting. The Early Year’s foundation stage which is now a constant in Nursery and Early Year’s education has now been produced for the Montessori settings. We strive at all times to provide a stimulating environment with plenty of activities that are fun, that develop a love of learning and a love of life which will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

Not only do our children have endless fun there are many other benefits. We have lovely cooked lunches every day. They have the opportunity to learn French from the age of 3 with our lovely native French teacher. We attend Beau Sejour swim school lessons with our preschool and prep class Children and have the use of a lovely new mini bus to take them out on outings. We have a thriving Prep class programme for children aged 5 to 7 years. This stimulating environment is staffed by 2 qualified Montessori teachers in very child friendly classrooms with the maximum of 20 children in total.

We are open from 8am to 5.30pm throughout the year, providing holiday cover for past and present pupils up to the age of 7. 


‘Play underpins all development and learning for young children. Most children play spontaneously, although some may need adult support, and it is through play that they develop intellectually, creatively, physically, socially and emotionally.’  EYFS Practical Guidance, 2008

Our children will enjoy a breadth of activities and first hand experiences in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Our approach is centered on each individual child, building upon what they already know and can do. With careful observation, suitable challenges are planned that will lead to a high degree of motivation and success. All learning is encouraged through purposeful play, independent learning and self- discipline in line with the Montessori ethos.

Art, music, science and technology, early literacy and numerical activities are a part of our daily routine. Opportunities are provided to develop their language, reasoning, creative and imagination skills. French is offered to all children at least twice a week. All pre reception and Prep children have access to computers and Interactive Smart Board technology with in their classrooms. Our Pre-School department is divided into two school years. Children can join Monkey Puzzle School during the academic year that they will become three years old. They are then sub-divided into age-appropriate groups.

Cherry Tree Group

This group is lead by Christine Le Huray who is a Senior NNEB Nursery Nurse. The majority of Christine’s children will attain their third birthdays by December. This can vary slightly each year depending on the age range of the children that are enrolled for September. Christine is assisted by Graca Griffiths, our very experienced nursery assistant.

Citrus Group

This group is lead by Shelley Samson, a Senior ADCE Nursery Nurse and Cedalia Frietas qualified Level 3 NVQ. Kiana is our other qualified level 3 DCE,  currently studying for her HND in childcare whilst also heading up her own group alongside Cidi.  Citrus group children will all achieve their third birthdays by 31st August.

After spending a year in our nursery classes, the children move through into Pre-Reception where they continue to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. Our Pre-Reception teachers interpret the curriculum using the Montessori philosophy. The children are divided into the following groups.

Mulberry Group

Michele Allen who leads our mulberry group is a LMD certified Montessori teacher and is also our senior staff member. She brings a vast breadth of knowledge and skills to her group each day and the children always go home with lots to tell.

Apples Group

This group is led by Miss Barbara. Barbara has a BA from University of Vermont from which she brings a little piece of American into our everyday school life.

Willow Group

Within this group there are 2 teachers, each responsible for 8 children. This group is led by Sinead Le Noury, a Level 3 qualified Childcare and Education teacher. Miss Sinead works as a job share with Miss Becci, who each work 3 days with the children allowing for an overlap during the middle of the week. Kiana Crowson runs our other group within the Willow Classroom. Miss Kiana is a qualified level 3 DCE teacher and is currently studying for her HND in childcare whilst working full time within her group. She is one busy bee.


The Prep Montessori classroom provides learning opportunities for mixed-aged groups, in this instance five to seven years. This vertical grouping is essential as it promotes socialisation. The emphasis is on children learning spontaneously by independently selecting activities appropriate for their learning from open shelves. Some of the activities will be done alone and others with their Peers. The atmosphere within the classroom is one of harmony and industry.

Our Prep class is lead by our Headteacher Alison Tully, BSC, who holds a AMI Montessori Teaching Diploma. Kathryn Johnson who is also a qualified Montessori teacher ably assists her.

Most of our morning work is centered on the core subjects of numeracy, literacy and science. For these subjects we use the Montessori methods, which encourages the children to enjoy learning while using the specifically designed materials at their own pace. Many of the materials are self-correcting and the children gain great satisfaction from completing tasks independently. Most of the children are at different levels and help each other accordingly. The children are not expected to sit silently and are mostly encouraged to choose their own activities, therefore usually creating a busy hum of activity to be heard around the room! We monitor each child’s progress as an individual and each child is introduced to new work, as and when they are ready for it. In order to keep in line with the National Curriculum, workbooks are also used.

Cultural work and Science play a very important part in our curriculum. We study many of the different continents and countries, investigating the people, animals, history, and beliefs. These projects are made more interesting for the children through the use of art, craft, cookery, and drama. The children are encouraged to explore the world around them and much of the emphasis in Science and Environmental Studies is to introduce the children to hands on experimenting, to encourage questioning and observation. Although there are different age groups in the prep class, all the children work together on the various projects, each child working at their own level. The children are encouraged to bring in any information or items relevant to the projects.

Our Art curriculum is run and organised by Becky Swain. The children explore different materials and colours as well as creating masterpieces linked to various cultural projects. The children are also introduced to the History of Arts and various Artists from around the world.

Prep fees from September 2015 will be £2,240.00 per term payable monthly on the 1st of the month. The calculation for this is 3 terms x £2,240.00 ÷ 12 equal monthly payments ie September—August inclusive. Extended days are available at the hourly rate of £7.20. Holiday clubs are also available and invoiced separately.

Preps Terms


Term dates

Autumn Term 2015

Autumn Term :          Wednesday 2nd September to Thursday 17th December
Half Term        :          Monday 26th October to Friday 30th October 2015 (inclusive)
Term Ends       :          Thursday 17th December 2015

Spring Term 2016

Spring Term     :          Monday 4th January to Friday 8th April
Half Term         :          Monday 22nd to Friday 26th February (inclusive)
Term Ends        :          Friday 8th April

Good Friday     :           Friday 25th March
Easter Monday:           Monday 28th March

Summer Term 2016

Summer term     :           Monday 25th April to Thursday 14th July 2016
May Day             :            Monday 2nd May
Half term           :             Monday 30th to Friday 3rd June
Term Ends         :             Thursday 14th July 2016

Liberation Day  :            Monday 9th May



We will be closing for the Christmas holidays at 5.30pm on Wednesday 23rd December and reopening at 8.00am on Monday 4th January 2016.


How to Enroll

Our school year begins in September each year when we welcome many new children who will be 3 during the coming year to Monkey Puzzle. It is possible for a child to join us during the school year; however it is subject to availability.

If you wish to be added to our waiting list please email us at info@monkeypuzzlegsy.com where we can send you a preference form to fill in and return to us. We will confirm receipt. If you are looking for an immediate place please telephone the office on 725791 and check on availability. We are always happy to arrange a visit to the school.

Our hourly rate of fees is based upon your child’s birthday within the academic school year.  £7.20 per hour  for Pre-School (children who attain 3 years of age after 1st September).  Individual hours are to be agreed between parents and Monkey Puzzle although a minimum of 6 hours a day is required to coincide with the core hours at Monkey Puzzle School.

School Uniform

School uniform is available for all children to wear but is mandatory for our Prep class children. All our uniforms can be purchased online or by telephone. Contact Andrew at “Podgers” 01481 244081 or visit the Podgers website.

Parking at Les Cotils

We are lucky to have a large area of parking at our disposal for drop offs and pick ups. However, The Cotils request that you do not leave your car there all day. Please ensure that when parking at Les Cotils you are careful NOT to park in the Monkey Puzzle Staff Car Park or private marked parking areas. Our Car park is available for you after 4pm to collect from school.