School Spotlight: Guidepost Montessori at Paris Monceau
Guidepost at Paris Monceau, our first campus in France, offers a bilingual French and English Montessori education for children ages 20 months to 6 years old.
Located in the heart of Paris, just 15 minutes from the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, Guidepost at Paris Monceau opened in September of last year and is our very first campus in France. The school offers a bilingual French and English program for children ages 20 months to 6 years old.
Visitors to the Paris Monceau campus are immediately struck by its beautiful design and abundance of natural light. Sunlight streams into the school’s large windows, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. Like all of Guidepost Montessori’s environments, the classrooms are spacious, beautiful and thoughtfully prepared to entice the interest of every child and empower their independence. There is child-sized furniture; there are child-friendly stations for cooking, cleaning, and washing their hands; and there are carefully designed, hands-on materials arranged neatly on child-accessible shelves for the children to explore.
Outside of the Paris Monceau campus, there is a small, cozy courtyard, and when it’s playtime, the children head to the famous Parc Monceau, which is just a short walk away. Lined with trees and beautifully maintained gardens, Paris’s Monceau neighborhood is a beautiful backdrop for the campus, and a fun place for children to explore outside of the classroom.
One of the many things that makes Guidepost at Paris Monceau special is that it offers a close-knit, diverse community of children a bilingual Montessori education in English and French. With an emphasis on helping the children develop a love of learning and a sense of independence, the school is also designed to meet the needs of families—both Parisians and expats—who are seeking a bilingual education in a nurturing and supportive environment.
“We have families here from all over the world,” explained Veronique Bevali, Guidepost at Paris Monceau’s Head of School. “It truly is a vibrant, diverse community. While our instruction focuses on English and French, there are times when you walk into a classroom and overhear students speaking Italian or Spanish or Russian. And yet they all seem to understand one another.”
The students receive instruction from trained Montessori guides (teachers) who are fluent in both languages. “We have an incredible staff,” Veronique shared. “We truly believe in the benefits of a Montessori education paired in a bilingual context.” Unlike a language immersion program, where instruction is conducted almost entirely in the “target” language, in a bilingual classroom, instruction is conducted in both languages. In both settings, the goal is for students to learn and become proficient in both languages as they are exposed to various academic content.
“For French or international families looking to provide their children with early exposure to English, or to learn more about the Montessori method before enrolling full-time, we offer some unique programs and playgroups,” Veronique explained. “We have a Wednesday English program that invites children for either a full or half day to experience the Montessori pedagogy with our trained guides. We also offer full and half day camps during holidays.”
As a high-fidelity Montessori program, the instruction emphasizes hands-on, individualized learning experiences for each child. Children are free to move around, explore, and choose materials that interest them. Guides watch the children’s progress carefully and offer individual and small-group lessons—to present the materials, build a rich vocabulary, and help each child achieve their full potential.
Guidepost at Paris Monceau partners with an outstanding catering company, Ressources, which carefully prepares fresh, healthy and savory meals for the children. Cooked by chefs who specialize in sustainable food, the meals are 100% organic, sourced from local produce, and delivered daily by a cargo bike. Children are also invited to participate in cooking workshops with the chefs and the guides.
“We are really excited to welcome new families to our Guidepost community,” said Veronique. “We want families who join us to know that they are part of a large network of high-quality Montessori schools around the world. We are fortunate to have resources and support that help us to provide an especially rich educational experience for the children.”
The team at Guidepost at Paris Monceau is also happy to welcome American and other international families who attend Guidepost Montessori schools for visits while traveling to Paris. This is one of the many benefits of being a part of the Guidepost family – having access to continuous learning experiences in over 120 locations around the world.