Our History


Nicky Rodseth, the principal of Montessori Life, always dreamt of opening a Montessori pre-primary school. Born in Italy she attended a Montessori pre-primary in Rome and as a university student graduated with an honours degree in psychology. She subsequently acquired her diploma in early childhood education through Montessori College International, London. In early 2006 she realised her dream and established “Montessori at the Sands” in the Village of Umhlanga. The School was officially opened by the Italian Consul, Dr. Ugo Ciarlatani.

The School grew rapidly and quickly established itself within the local community. By mid 2008 the School had outgrown its leased premises and in November 2008 Nicky relocated to new premises which she purchased in the Village of Sunningdale.The School was renamed “Montessori Life”.

“I needed to find a house with character, a sizeable and level garden, well established shade trees and that special ‘something’ which would give it a sense of homeliness with which children could identify. When I first viewed the property I immediately knew it would make for the perfect school.”(Principal Nicky Rodseth: Interview Umhlanga Globe, November 2008).

2015 marked an auspicious year in the history of the School as it celebrated its 10th anniversary (2006-2015) serving the pre-primary educational needs of the local community. To mark this anniversary year, joint funding by the School, parents, alumni and friends of Montessori Life saw the building of a sensorial garden which now provides a beautiful outdoor learning space for the children. Adding to the significance and history of this space, commemorative name plaques affixed to a memorial wall within the garden record the names of attending and former pupils of Montessori Life. More about this, including a link to a photographic history of the sensorial garden and memorial wall, can be found under “Our Facilities.”

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