About Us

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Knysna Montessori School comprises a Pre-School,  Primary School and High School.  The High School offers an IEB Matric,  as well as boarding for both weekly and termly boarders.

Knysna Montessori School was formed in 1997 under the auspices of the BMS Trust when founder, Taddy Beyleveld, extended Montessori Methodology and Philosophy from a Pre-School into a 6-9 year old Primary School Group. The Trust operates as a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO 005/940).  Today KMS offers a comprehensive Montessori education, where a child can begin at age 2 in the Pre-school, and emerge at 18 from the High School with an IEB Matric.

Knysna Montessori School is registered as an Independent School with the Western Cape Education Department (WCED). The KMS Curriculum covers the requirements of the National Curriculum Statements, using an integrated approach to attain the outcomes and assessment standards set by the Department of Education.

As a leader in the South African Montessori community, the Knysna Montessori School and teachers are registered both with the  South African council for Educators (SACE).

Knysna Montessori School (KMS) is a close-knit, vibrant and passionate school. We observe, guide and encourage each child towards independent learning, through balancing freedom of choice with responsibility, within a prepared environment. The result is empowered individuals realising their full potential. The school lies on the outskirts of Knysna, nestled between forests and natural vegetation in the picturesque village of Narnia.


Knysna Montessori offers an inclusive and holistic education to all children based on Montessori Philosophy and Teaching Methods.


Knysna Montessori aims to develop the whole child, so that he/she may strive to achieve independence, self-discipline, self-knowledge, decision-making and problem-solving abilities, and as a South African and Global Citizen, to learn respect and tolerance for others and their cultures.


  • Our commitment as teachers and parents is to endeavour to be life-long learners, consistently challenging ourselves, adapting and changing to fulfil the needs of the child and the school environment.
  • Our commitment as teachers and parents is to instil and uphold the values of respect encouraging good manners, courtesy, and grace.


What are our Montessori Educational Goals and how do they benefit our children and prepare them for life?

  • Our commitment is to inspire the love of learning where the emphasis is placed on the process of learning. When the child masters this process, the full potential of the child is reached.
  • Our emphasis is on emotional and academic development. It is essential through guidance, inspiration and mentorship to develop the will of the child fostering concentration and self-discipline.
  • Our goal is to encourage respect for self, others and the environment.
  • Our goal is to develop innate self discipline through choice and freedom with clear boundaries.
  • Our goal is to encourage decision making, problem solving and critical thinking.



Our teachers (called “Directresses” and “Directors”) are all fully qualified to teach in the environments in which they have been placed and are all registered with SACE (South African Council for Educators). Our staff are aware that learning never ends and are always refreshing and updating their knowledge through on-going courses. In-house Montessori Training does take place, but traditionally qualified teachers are encouraged to complete training and practical experience in Montessori Methodology through accredited training institutions.


Head Directress (Principal): Sonia Heaton – Montessori Dip (London Montessori Centre) & NPDE & ACE (NWU)

Management Team: Head Directress – Sonia Heaton, Business Manager – Leighann Campbell, Educational Consultant and Founder – Taddy Beyleveld

High School Staff (15-18)

Academic Head: John Vahey                  Geography   (Part Time)


Mr G Claassen                                 Mathematics and Physical Science

Mr P Vieyra                                      CAT     (Part Time)

Mrs D Ross Miles                            Life Science & Life Orientation (Gr 10,11)

Mr R Mazodze                                Maths Literacy

Mrs N. Ballan                                   English HL

Mrs M. Nigrini                                 Afrikaans FAL

Mrs B Botha                                     Life Orientation Gr 12

Ms A, Knox                                       Visual Art, Design, History (Gr 10)

Mr J Stead BA                      Creative Arts Gr 7 & 8 (Part Time)

Middle School (12-15)   

Mrs D Dearmer                   Mathematics, Culture, Occupations

Mrs Claire Mc Carthy        English HL, Culture, Occupations (term 2)

Mrs M. Nigrini                     Afrikaans FAL

Ms A. Knox                           Creative Arts Gr 9

Mrs G Beyleveld                 Occupations

Mr A Campbell                    Occupations, Life Orientation

Mrs D. Ross Miles               Culture

Junior School Staff

Mrs B Botha

Mr L Mhlakaza

Mrs J Diedericks

Mrs L. Bergstrom

Mrs AJ Lategan

Reading Support: Mrs C. Heaton

Classroom assistants: Johanna Phillips , Lindiwe Leve

Pre School Staff

Head: Mrs B Brownsen

Ms T Smurfit

Ms J Keyser

Classroom assistants: Marlene Jantjies, Modie Mbonde, Hilda Jantjies



Please Visit Our FAQ Section

We highly encourage parents to read our FAQ. Here we discuss common questions about the Montessori education program.