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MEET OUR STAFF

Our greatest strength at Cardiff Montessori is our team of passionate educators. All our staff strive to get to know your child as an individual and ensure they always feel welcome, supported and challenged during their time with us.

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DR ESMA IZZIDIEN

Founder and Head of School

Esma is the founder and Head of CMS. She is a medical doctor (MBChB, MRCGP) and has completed training in Montessori for primary education. She has gained certification for Montessori use for dementia. Esma has also completed AMI Assistant training, 11-18 introductory adolescent training and Montessori Coaching training. Esma is on the Montessori Society AMI UK Committee.  

CLAIRE WATERS

Deputy Head & Elementary teacher

Claire joined our team in 2020 and is currently on maternity leave. She is the Deputy Head of School. She teaches the upper Elementary and is  responsible for overseeing the teaching & learning across both Elementary classes. Claire is the safeguarding lead. She achieved a high distinction in her Diploma of Early Childhood and Primary Education, (Montessori institute, Sydney). She has also completed her PGCE and has a BA Hons in Fine Arts.

ABIGAIL EYNON 

Deputy Head (Maternity cover)

Abigail is the current Deputy Head of school (maternity cover). Abigail is a Montessori teacher. She has experience of working in both 3-6 and 6-12. She was also involved in establishing a Montessori school in Jordan & training the staff for the school. She is a level 3 Forest School leader and has previously worked as a Paediatric Occupational Therapy (OT) Assistant

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SALLY BASHIR

Head of Accounts and Legals

Sally is the head of CMS’ legal and accounting team. Prior to joining CMS, Sally was a practising Corporate Finance solicitor with a large Commercial law firm based in Cardiff. During her legal career she dealt with an extensive corporate client base situated both in the UK and internationally. Sally has also founded a not for profit organisation  in order to assist children with Autism and learning difficulties.

JULIE HARVEY

Upper Elementary teacher

Julie joined our team in 2018. She is currently doing maternity cover as the upper elementary teacher. She has a degree in primary education with QTS and over 20 years of teaching experience. She also completed the AMI 6-12 assistant training, MCI IMP diploma and the complete SEND diploma.

ESTEFANIA MONALDAY

Lower Elementary Teacher

Estefania is the Lead Teacher of the 6-9 class. She has been working at CMS since it opened in 2016. She is a 6-12 AMI Trained Guide. She is also a Montessori qualified 3-6 teacher (IMI) and has completed the AMI 3-6 and 6-12 assistant training. She holds QTS with a degree in primary education. She is responsible for giving children presentations and tracking their progress.

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KIM CAMPBELL

3-6 Teacher

Kim joined our team in April 2019. She  is an 3-6 AMI Diploma Guide.  She has previously completed her 0-3 AMI assistant training . Prior to her Montessori journey, Kim studied Acting & musical theatre at Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, New York.

BRIDGET LAWLER

2-3 Teacher

Bridget is responsible for overseeing the Toddler Community, giving students presentations and tracking progress. She has a Diploma in Montessori Education from the Portobello Institute, Dublin, Ireland. She also holds a Level 6 Certificate in Early Childhood Education. She has a Bachelor Degree in Business and Languages. Bridget has taught in the UK, Ireland, South Korea and Hong Kong.

ZOE HUMPHREYS

ALNCO

Zoe works across the school to help ensure all students are making progress. She supports students through one to one additional lessons or small group work.  She has a degree in primary education with QTS and a wealth of experience teaching.

Zoe works closely with the senior management team to ensure the schools provision for students with ALN is meeting their needs.

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PEARL GARDNER

Assistant Teacher

Pearl is the assistant teacher in the 3-6 classroom. She supports children to make purposeful and constructive choices in the workcycle and delivers various activities in the afternoons. Pearl has completed IMP Montessori training with the MCI. She also holds a BSC (HONS) in Childhood Development. She has an NVQ Level 3 Children's Care, Play, Learning and Development.

ANDA STARKA

Elementary Teaching Assistant

Anda brings knowledge, enthusiasm and joy to Cardiff Montessori School.  She is based in Upper Elementary. Anda is a trained AMI assistant.  She has also completed training in Montessori Football and has a Cache level 3 in Childcare.

TANIA CARVAHLO

Elementary Teaching Assistant

Energetic and driven, we were thrilled when Tania joined our team. Tania is based in Lower Elementary. She is a trained AMI assistant. Tania also holds a Cache level 3 in Childcare and has an interest in gymnastics.

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RACHEL EVANS

2-3 Teaching Assistant

Rachel  helps children to settle into the
environment and make their work
choices. She oversee the children’s independence in self-care and
delivers some of the afternoon activities.
Rachel studied at Trinity London as an early years music educator and Goldsmiths University London as a community musician.

Rachel also teaches drama in the elementary.

MICHELLE THOMPSON

Administrator

Since joining Cardiff Montessori School, Michelle has consistently brought passion and dedication every single day. Michelle is the School Administrator.  She greets and welcomes families to CMS, ensures your queries are directed to the most appropriate person and is involved in auditing processes.

ZARA WEAVIN

2-3 Teaching Assistant

Zara helps children to settle into the environment and make their work choices. She oversee the children’s independence in self-care and delivers some of the afternoon activities. Zara has an NVQ level 3 in Childcare and looks forward to doing her AMI 0-3 assistant training . She has worked both in childcare settings and as contact
supervisor with vulnerable children.

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SARAY MOLINA

3-6 Teaching Assistant

Saray is the teaching assistant in the 3-6 classroom. She participates in taking detailed observations to inform developmental planning. She assists with the day to day running of the class and helps oversee the children’s independence in self-care. She also teaches Spanish. Saray is a qualified primary school teacher (QTS) and has completed AMI 0-3 and 3-6 Assistant training. She is currently training to be a 0-6
Montessori guide.

NIA LAVIS

Intervention Support worker

Since graduating in Education Studies at Bath Spa University, Nia has broadened her
work experience and knowledge of the education system, by working both in Montessori and in Special Education. 

 

Nia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies and is a Registered Behaviour Technician. She works as a 1:1 support as well as an intervention support worker under the guidance of our ALNCo and lead teachers.

JOHANNA FREEDMAN

Wellbeing officer

Jo supports students emotional and psychological well-being to enable successful engagement with the wider demands of life and academic studies. She focuses on enhancing students personal resilience, self awareness and self-management / regulation by facilitating various activities and sessions.

 

Jo has a BSc in Social Welfare, is a registered behavior technician, has completed 'Relax Kids' and 'Mini me yoga' training, has a PGDip in careers guidance and counselling and is currently completing an MA in additional learning needs. 

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