About us

The establishment of Headstart Mercy Montessori Training Centre in Cape Town, arose out of the need for quality Montessori training in Southern Africa.

Su Cunningham used her extensive expertise in Montessori education to create a comprehensive, rich training programme that is practical and creative in its execution. The full-time training centre is based in Kenilworth, Cape Town.

Our Training Centre

  • Headstart Mercy Montessori Training Centre is the only Montessori Centre in South Africa accredited to train at NQF level 6.
  • The Centre has trained a number of teachers who are based in Tanzania, Uganda, Namibia and Mauritius.
  • A number of students have been employed successfully in places like Australia, Canada and The United Kingdom.
  • The Centre is an institutional member of The South African Montessori Association.
  • Trainers have also worked on the SAMA executive Committee.
  • Certificates of accreditation are given to schools who support our students during teaching practice.
  • We run workshops within existing Montessori schools, at all levels.

Our Trainers

All our trainers at the Centre have a wide variety of teaching experience, in different age groups and within in a variety of traditional and Montessori schools over many years. They are registered assessors and moderators with the EDTP SETA. They have both Traditional and Montessori qualifications.

Our International Connection

College founder Su Cunningham has based the course tutoring on the AMI based training she received at Xavier University in Cincinnati, America. Whilst there Su had the privilege of being trained by Sister Eloise and Sister Jacinta Shay, who gave permission for her to use the course in Africa. Our newest connection is with Homerton College, Cambridge University, England.

Su (centre) with Sister Eloise and Sister Jacinta Shay.

News & Developments

Extract from a report by David Khan AMI 1995

In introducing Montessori training to higher education, however, it is important to maintain its autonomy so that students do not receive Montessori concepts diluted with a string of other pedagogical concepts. The best method for maintaining the integral nature of Montessori is by presenting it in an integral fashion, the student taking the Montessori years all at once on a full-time basis, including observation and practice teaching, so that the information is imparted as a cohesive whole, distinct from other courses. The impact of university recognition of Montessori education is that the university will have more students and Montessori will have more trainees simply because a Montessori Curriculum and Instruction degree entitles the holder to a better and more stable job in a state-supported school. Montessori stability is enhanced by a university setting.

David Khan: Report to the Montessori community 1995

20 years after the visitation of the Feasibility Visitation Team of David Khan (Chair), Kay Baker and Joen Bettman, Headstart Mercy Montessori, Cape Town, has finally been able to put this into practice.