Reproduced below are excerpts from parents who have been kind enough to write to us with comments about the school. Identification data has been removed.
Where does one begin thanking you? For your guidance, and incredible knowledge of children, for the way in which you engage them in our world and enlighten them and open their minds to enjoy learning and living and questioning their world, a world which without you would not be such an amazing exploration and adventure into life. These children are very lucky! You will me missed by us but never, ever, forgotten.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking such wonderful care of our children. I have loved every second of my time with you at Iverna and just wish I had 20 more little ones so it could go on for ever. Iverna is a little bit of magic in Kensington that I will always absolutely love and never, ever forget.
Thank you so much for everything. We are so grateful for your having our children at Iverna Gardens this year. It has been such a wonderful experience for them in every way and is a large part of why they have been so happy in London. The teachers have been *so* great, loving and caring. We will miss everyone very much!! We will always treasure our year with you all!!
We wanted to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your guidance, support and assistance in the last two years. We are grateful to you for being so kind, patient and flexible with our son. He is truly blossoming now. We will miss you very much.
Thank you so much for two amazing years. We have been extremely grateful for your brilliant and caring support. Our little boy has made immense progress. We have wonderful memories of Iverna Gardens and will cherish them forever.
Thank you so much for giving our daughter a wonderful start to school life, social life, life in general. She was always very happy at IG (almost instantly!) and we made lots of wonderful friends as well.
Thank you for welcoming me into your school. The teachers, the children and the environment are such that they seem as though they have “jumped out” of a text book. It is people like you in schools like yours that are Montessori’s biggest achievement.
Thank you for being so kind, loving and supportive during my first year at nursery. I’m so sad I won’t be with you next year but I hope to visit!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for creating such a wonderful and enriching experience at Iverna Gardens. We are very happy with the school and the wonderful teachers who have been such an important part of [child’s] life over the past year. We thank you all for your care, dedication, creativity, nurturing and endless patience and energy! [Child] has truly blossomed.
I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful school and what it has provided for my children over the last four years. I couldn’t have hoped for a more nurturing and gentle start to their education and I love how they have come out of Iverna with a sense of the collective human spirit from all your teachings of the world and its cultures. We will for always and forever keep Iverna in our hearts.
Where can we begin? Thank you for the many gifts you bring into Iverna Gardens every day, for making it the most special place on Earth for our two boys, who have had the best possible start in life thanks to your most amazing “Casa Dei Bambini”
He loved his blue card from Iverna Gardens. We took it with us to hospital and he asked me to read the comments from the teachers to him time and time again whilst we were waiting for the surgery. It made me realise once more what an amazing job everyone at Iverna Gardens does for the children and their development. His experience at Iverna Gardens has given him such a sense of community and of belonging and has enriched his life in so many different ways; it gives him strength in difficult times, safe in the experience that there are so many special people (teachers and children) in his life who love and support him and to whom he can bring love, joy and support.
Thank you so much to all of you for giving our two boys the best possible start in life not only with your professional expertise, but also with your hearts and minds, your kindness and also with enforcing boundaries in a gentle way. We are truly lucky to have found such a wonderful place for our two children!
As three wonderful years come to an end, we wanted to thank you from the bottom of our hearts! The environment that you create for the children is simply magical. Our children could not have had a better start
What can I possibly say to express my gratitude for the last eight years? You have created and nurtured three self-confident, fun-loving children who are excited to learn and face new challenges with enthusiasm. We know that this is a direct reflection on you and your wonderful school. You have given all of them such a strong foundation to stand on and, with your kindness and patience, have let them reach upwards and onwards. We are eternally grateful. I am dreading not seeing you anymore – all your words of wisdom and quiet encouragement have meant the world to me. Thank you for raising me and my three kids. We are all better off having been a part of your life and life at Iverna. With a heavy heart we say goodbye and thank you for the best start anyone could ask for
I just wanted to let you know that [siblings] are doing very well at Thomas’s – and that is mainly thanks to you and your fantastic team; the Montessori system accompanied by a sense of freedom and responsibility; and, above all, a fair respect for the child’s personality and individuality. With all these ingredients, you are in my eyes the most remarkable educator I have come across in the last 20 years!
One of the true highlights of our time in London was sharing in the adventure that is Iverna Gardens. Your beautiful school was a real blessing to our family. You and your lovely colleagues did so much to nurture and encourage the children as they learned about learning – as they began to discover the delights all around them. Many friendships that developed between the children remain strong today and I count among my closest friends some of the parents that we got to know through your school. Thank you for your gentleness, kindness and sincere enthusiasm. Thank you for helping [name]’s transition from Bucharest to London go smoothly. Thank you for welcoming us into your school family and for keeping in touch over subsequent years.
Iverna Gardens Montessori is a little gem hidden behind the Armenian Church in Kensington. Owned and managed by Felicity Marrian, Iverna Gardens is a bright, light, busy but calm learning environment with a wealth of interesting experiential learning areas centred around one large main room with supporting rooms on the lower ground floor.
Every part of the main room was used for some learning activity and the carefully prepared wall displays were just enough to show what was being learnt but not so overpowering that you were blinded by colour. The children were immensely polite and focused on the tasks they were performing and the staff are all well qualified, many through Montessori Centre International in London, and entirely devoted to their work
Outside, the school has a large play area and it was hard to believe that this oasis of learning and calm for such young people was within a few yards of the noise and frantic bustle of High Street Kensington in Central London
(This article appeared in Montessori International, April 2008)
We can never thank you enough for the brilliant start you have given our precious boy. You guided him safely through some very turbulent times. We will miss you terribly and we will never forget you.
How do I begin to express my gratitude for all that you have given and shared with [name] this year. Her eyes have been opened, her curiosity packed and her confidence has grown – all in such extraordinary ways. I know people talk about teachers who have had huge impacts on their lives and I know in my heart that you have been that person for [name]. I am so sad to see this year come to an end and I hope that we will return for our next child to attend.Thank you , thank you, thank you; this year has been such a gift.
Thank you so much for all you have done for [name]. He has had a very happy time at Iverna Gardens and he has learned so much. I love all his information on the world, the planets, how oceans are formed etc and thank you for inspiring him so much. It’s been the greatest springboard for life at big school.
I have always thought IG a very special place, and there in no doubt in our minds that you gave [name] and [name] enormous confidence to recognise how special they are, just being themselves. You have a unique ability, Miss Felicity, to celebrate in each child’s strengths and support and develop their weaknesses and for that we have been so grateful
Thank you so much for giving both of our boys such a wonderful start. [Name], [name] and I will always remember the Iverna Gardens years as happy ones
You have given our children so much.You have opened their eyes to the wide world and shown them wonders and delights.You have given them kindness and happiness. Thank you.
Thank you very much for being so understanding and so interesting in our challenging with little [name]. Your support was very comforting and I feel I can trust you. I am a bit worried for the change of school and will turn to you for your reassurance and advice.
I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the last two years at Iverna Gardens. I had very high expectations for where [name] should go when she left me for the first time – a place where she would be nourished, cared for, have great fun and yet be developed as an individual. My expectations and hopes have been completely surpassed. Iverna Gardens is a unique place, thanks to you
We wanted to thank you for all the love, care, patience, understanding, and wonderful teaching you have provided for [name]. She has grown so much in her time at Iverna Gardens and we are so grateful for all that you have done. You hold a special place in our hearts and we will miss you and your smiling, gentle face as we head back to America.
We are very grateful for the incredible beginning Iverna Gardens has been for [name]’s educational journey. To think that with the discovering of colours, numbers and letters and the basics of nursery lessons he has also learnt sciences, evolution, planets, continents, matter and much, much more! Amazing! The collected and individual dedication of the teachers is incredible. We have all enjoyed the experience immensely and will carry with us lasting memories. [name] has truly blossomed! When we look at the pictures from his beginning days and hear and see him now, the contribution Iverna Gardens has made to the curious, outgoing, music loving and personable child he is today will never be underestimated. Your personal attention has touched us and opened our eyes and minds. We have been privileged.
I cannot believe the time has come to finally break my long and happy time with Iverna Gardens. You have created a very special environment for our little bunnies to gently begin their education for life. Thank you for a truly wonderful time at Iverna Gardens; it’s enough to make me want number 4.
[Name] and [name] experienced the most wonderful start to education in your care. The combination of your brilliant school and hopefully their home, shall no doubt put them in good stead for developing into caring, curious people. Long may it last! I re-read your individual reports on them again and again and you really have them down to a ‘T’! [Name] has taken to big school like ‘duck to water’ but does complain it’s too small compared to Iverna Gardens! It won’t be long before my youngest comes to Iverna, walking and laughing. The third child is much more relaxed!
I want to thank you for all your attention and loving kindness to [name]. Your care has been a real blessing and we truly appreciate it
You have created a wonderful place for families at Iverna Gardens and we are very fortunate to have been part of it
We were truly delighted with our parent/teacher talk yesterday evening. We were touched and impressed by [teacher]’s huge effort in assembling such a special record of [name]’s Iverna Gardens experience. The love and attention that you and all the teachers give to the children encourage them in deeply important ways. We thank you very, very, much
Thank you for giving a solid base to both our boys. Over time we have noticed the nature of your teaching methods and can now proudly say that our children are from Iverna Gardens
I wanted to write you a note to thank you for the wonderful experience [name] has had at Iverna Gardens Montessori. She has absolutely loved it, and I am amazed at all she has learned, and at how much she has grown. Some of it is inevitable, but much of it is a result of the happy, positive and loving environment that you and the teachers have provided. We will miss you all so much; it is really hard to say goodbye. Thank you again for taking such good care of my little angel; you have added so much to both our lives.
I asked [name] what she wanted to write and she said “I love you kisses hugs” which I think just about sums things up very nicely! Thank you for introducing both my girls to school life in such a gentle and giving way and for giving them both such enthusiasm for learning and the confidence to try things out.
Thank you so much for making my children’s first years of school so positive and wonderful! You are such an amazing person and teacher. We will miss you more than you know
Thank you for giving both [name] and [name] the best start to their education path that we could have wished for. They both benefited hugely from their schooling with you and have been happy at your school.
Thank you for another, double billed, wonderful year. [Name] I hope is ready for the big world of big school – at least as ready as she will ever be – although the loss of [teacher] will be lasting. [OtherName] amazes me with his confidence and joy at going to school. Thank you for creating the wonderful introduction to school that sets them all on the path of eye-opening experience
I have been dreading this movement ever since [name] left Iverna Gardens! I just cannot believe this is it! I have walked to and from school for many years and I honestly can’t imagine life without it. I may have to take over the lunch bunch when [teacher]’s finished. [Name], like the others, has had such a wonderful experience for which I will always be so grateful. The friends they have made and the world that’s been opened up to them are things that set them on the right path for life. They still tell me about the times like the red period, the planets, flags, sandpaper letters etc. Each time another child does a project the old ones all come out of the drawer and they all live it together!! My bedroom became filled with seven years of glitter from the big bang!! I will really miss the school and seeing you everyday, sitting in that tiny chair greeting the children. I really can’t imagine being without it. Thank you again and again for all the love and encouragement you have given to us all!!
As we are approaching the end of [name]’s stay at Iverna Gardens, we would like to take the opportunity to thank you for providing [name] with an environment in which she has clearly flourished, in this important stage of her life. Thank you for always being available, for addressing any concerns or issues we had. We wish you and the school all the best for the future
You have given [name] such a wonderful start in life – it is hard to express our thanks and your report on him is so perceptive it makes me cry. You must know how much his stay at Iverna Gardens meant to him and to me, so much so that I was unable to hold my tears today although [name] managed much better! You have created a wonderfully gentle, creative and nurturing school – thank you
My heart is breaking at the thought of [name] leaving Iverna Gardens. Thank you for instilling the confidence, for providing the fun and opening her eyes to the world around her. She could not have asked for a better first school experience. You are wonderful. You have made her so happy these last two years. Thank goodness I’ll see you in January. I couldn’t be saying goodbye
I am so grateful for all your wisdom and advice, for both [name] and [name]. You have the most wonderful way of assuaging my fears and giving the best counsel. I have relied on you for so many decisions. [Name] has flourished at Iverna with you this year. With your care and patience she has come into her own and has been such a pleasure. Thank you for everything, for not worrying when I do and for always saying the right thing and showing [name] the way.
It is with a bitter sweet heart that I watch [name] move from Iverna gardens. This was where, under your wonderful care and watchful eye, she truly blossomed. I am so grateful that she had you to help and guide her; she could not have got a better start. Thank you all for your energy and enthusiasm, your advice and wisdom. I couldn’t do it without you. Thank goodness we’ll be back for more
We cannot begin to express our gratitude and appreciation to you for taking [name] at Iverna and providing such a nurturing and loving environment for him. He has truly grown and flourished in every way since January. We have been constantly amazed and delighted with his happiness at school and know that he will have a solid foundation for his future learning. It is with much sadness and regret we have made the decision to return to the US. It is heartbreaking that [name] will not be able to complete another year at your school. After viewing other Montessori schools in the US, I have quickly realised that all schools are not alike. I commend you for creating such a fantastic school. We leave with many fond memories, I wish you all the best
Your school is truly unique and offers children a glorious beginning to the ‘big world’ out there. I am deeply grateful that [name] was able to attend and benefit from Iverna Gardens. Your ‘report’ on her captured the essence of her as a person. It is a report we shall treasure.
After 4 years at Iverna Gardens with [name] and [name], I find it difficult to say goodbye. It has been a wonderful experience for our whole family, so I find it extremely easy to say how thankful we are to have such a fantastic, caring school for our boys’ first learning experiences. You not only taught them well, but opened their world in a way we will always appreciate. You have also helped us to understand the boys better, helped us to love them for what they are. We will miss you, but remember you always.
It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to Iverna Gardens. Your school is so wonderful and you have given [name] and [name] an excellent start to their school years. I can’t thank you enough for all you have done for the boys, for all my boys, for your outstanding teaching, for your teaching staff, and for just the kind and glorious way you have opened their minds to the joy of learning
Thank you so much for all your help with [name]. Thank you, too for the last eight or so years, for all the affection and sensitivity and interest that our children have received from you. We will miss you dreadfully
Thank you so much for all you have done for [name] over the past 2½ years. Sending [name] to Iverna Gardens has been such a pleasure and one of the greatest things about living in London. I can’t wait for [other name] to start. Iverna Gardens is a very special place that will always have a spot in our hearts. I’m sure I will see you, I don’t think I can stay away long!
We cannot thank you enough for the wonderful environment that you have let [name] enter. She has thrived, grown, developed and thoroughly enjoyed her life at Iverna Gardens. I will always remember the way you embrace each child’s spirit and individuality. It has been rewarding, inspiring and a happy experience for us all. We will miss you
How can I convey how much I appreciate everything you have done for [name] and [name]. Put very simply, I love your school. I love the warm, caring, nurturing yet independent environment you have created. I love how you know each child so well. I love how you make the children love learning. I love how you are able to bring out the best in everyone (that includes parents!). I could not, in my wildest dreams have imagined a better place for [name] and [name] to leave having spent their first years of school with you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you
Just a quick note to say thank you very much for everything that you have done for [name]. As I am a fairly old-fashioned parent committed more to a child’s happiness than cramming them with learning at too early an age, your attitude to teaching was a source of great comfort. I have also written to [teacher] to thank her for everything she did for [name]. [Name] is devoted to her and mentions her often. I shall never forget the time when we were in Delhi and she said she wanted to get back to London because she was “missing [teacher]”. Again, when we were in St. Lucia recently she asked to be photographed in front of volcanoes and waterfalls because “I have to show [teacher] where I went”. Many schools impart knowledge but not many care for their children as you do. Thank you
Just a simple note to say thank you for the wonderful start… It is always very satisfying to see how happy child is to go to school in the morning… This is what you have given to me so simply…Thank you
We could not be more pleased with the wonderful year that [name] has had at Iverna Gardens. Thank you, thank you for providing such a warm and educational environment for his development. We have tremendous respect for you as an educator. I am particularly grateful for our open communication and your responsiveness to my concerns. [Name] has thrived under your care and we are very grateful to you.
It is with all our heart that we would like to thank you for the time, care and advice you have given to our three little children over these years. We will terribly miss Iverna Gardens and cherish its memories dearly
What a joy to belong to such a wonderful and caring nursery school which Mummy says has set me up for the most happy school years ahead of me. I will miss you all very much but maybe in time I can help Mummy pick [sibling] up from school at certain times of the year. Thank you for always being there and being such an important person in our lives
You more than almost anyone have been an integrated part of our seven years in the UK, from moving [name] to Iverna Gardens a week after we moved here to this year’s adventures with [other name]! We can’t thank you enough for all the joyous memories, fondness, enthusiasm and learning involved. I am still so impressed by your observations in the school report – very perceptive
What can we say? It has been the most amazing nine years that we have known about Iverna Gardens and that we have seen [name], [name] and [name] have such a happy and rewarding time at the school. We can’t say goodbye because everything about Iverna Gardens has been an hello and an awakening to everything in life . You know we will always be in touch and our children will always have a wonderful, strong bond with the Montessori teaching you have upheld so wonderfully. We are your biggest fans. Miss Felicity, you are the most amazing teacher, thank you for everything you have done for our three boys and for all the children in the future, who will love you as much as we do.
Dearest Felicity. I don’t know where to start. I have had the happiest three years at Iverna Gardens and couldn’t have asked for a better boss and good friend. Not only are you an inspirational teacher but you have supported me when I needed it and you have been so understanding of the increasing pressures of the bump. How can I phrase this? You are one of those people who has changed my life’s path for the better and I am so grateful to have met you
What an awesome time this has been for me. It has been wonderful to have been a part of a beautiful team of talented, funny, caring people. I have learnt so much and enjoyed every minute. You’ve set the bar of expectation now for any future workplace!
Thanks to you and your hard work, my children had a wonderful start in life. I was glad to receive tips from you and the teachers. It helped me a lot and I knew I and my children were in good hands.