When her first son was in preschool, Marie Atalla desired a school where the principles of Dr. Maria Montessori are purely applied, so as to provide children with a unique stimulating and nurturing educational environment that will allow them to acquire positive work habits and develop the academic basics with joy, pride and sense of accomplishment. The school opened its doors on September 12th, 2007 with one fully prepared Montessori classroom that accommodates twenty-seven children between the ages of two and five. In 2010, the school opened a second classroom with the same capacity.
Our school’s philosophy adheres to the principles of Dr. Maria Montessori who believed that children have a great capacity to learn at a very early age and therefore designed an environment that fosters that capacity and helps children develop both emotionally and academically. Our school further believes that any child can enjoy being and learning in a Montessori environment and it is therefore our policy not to test any child before admission. Testing, we believe, puts the child under an unnecessary pressure and takes away the pleasurable aspect of the educational experience that we would like to offer our children.
Almost a century ago, Dr. Maria Montessori developed an educational approach based on her scientific observations of children. Dr. Montessori realized that children have strong natural tendencies that sprout in the environment she prepared. The Montessori environment is delicately organized and contains specially designed manipulative “materials for development” that appeal to the children and invite them to get involved in learning activities using their own individual choice. A Montessori trained directress is always present in the classroom. Her role is to guide the children as they learn by experimenting with the materials, developing concentration, motivation, self-discipline and a love of learning.
Marie Atalla is the founder and owner of Ava Wanas Montessori School. She grew up in Cairo, Egypt in a French Catholic school and studied for her BA and MA in Economics at the American University in Cairo. She was introduced to the Montessori philosophy through her first job at her son’s Montessori school. She discovered in herself a strong passion for working with children and eventually became very fond of Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy. Marie completed her Montessori training for ages three through six at the American Montessori Society. In June 2004, she quit her job to focus on establishing a school where children could get quality Montessori education and are, most importantly, treated with love, compassion and respect.