Prince George sparks interest in Montessori Schools

Prince George's influence isn't exclusive to the adorable outfits he wears, as the "George Effect" is also in full swing where the toddler's school is concerned. Since the young royal began attending the Westacre Montessori School in East Walton earlier this month, he has sparked far-flung interest in Montessori nurseries.

The Maria Montessori Institute in London, which runs several schools and a Montessori teacher training centre, has revealed that they have been inundated with calls from parents wishing to send their child to a Montessori nursery since the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced that they had enrolled their son at one in December.

TAP TO VIEW FULL GALLERYPrinceGeorge-Prince George began attending a Montessori nursery in January.

Louise Livingston, director of training at the Maria Montessori Institute, told the Press Association: "When it was announced, our phones were ringing off the hook with people asking whether we had space in our nurseries.

"We're still getting lots of calls from parents. Hopefully, Charlotte will go there, too."

Meanwhile, Stephen Tommis, chief executive of the Montessori St. Nicholas charity, said that the "George effect" has definitely sparked a fresh interest in the Montessori teaching method.

George attends the Westacre Montessori School at East Walton.

"I think people with very young children are a little curious," he said. "Many people have heard of Montessori but they don't know what it means and they're thinking, 'If the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen a Montessori nursery, they have for good reason.' It's increased curiosity."

Prince George is following in the footsteps of his father, Prince William, by attending a Montessori nursery; both William and his younger brother Prince Harry were taught the Montessori way at the insistence of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Montessori method was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori to teach deprived children in Italy. It focuses on the individual development of each child rather than using tests and grades, and children of different ages share classes.

They are encouraged to help each other and learn "practical life skills;" however, the method has been criticized for giving children too much freedom in the classroom and shunning homework.

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