International Montessori Trilingual School of Nogent-sur-Marne

E.M.I.T., the International Montessori Trilingual School of Nogent-sur-Marne was one of the first schools in France to sign the Charter and therefore recognised as a school which respects the criteria set by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), the Montessori Association of France (AMF) and the International AMI Training Institut (ISMM).

Member of the Association Montessori de France since the school was founded in 1989 by Patricia Peterson-Fontenay, E.M.I.T., is a non-profit organisation. The school currently has four classes ; a toddler community for the 2-3 ½ year olds, two Children's Houses for the 3-6 year olds and an elementary class for the 6-12 year olds Our school is a private, elementary non-subsidised school recognised by the French Ministry of Education. The school is non-partisan and non-sectarian with a staff of AMI trained teachers and assistants. French, English and FSL (French Sign Language) are used on a permanent basis. Children leave our school to integrate the 6th or 7th grades (public or private) in France and anywhere throughout the world.

More info
The Montessori Charter

*In 2007, the AMF, the ISMM as well as the French Montessori establishment celebrated the Montessori movement centenary and in particular the opening of the first Children’s House of San Lorenzo in Rome. Together we honored the past, celebrated the present and created the foundations for the future. With this prospect in mind, the AMF and the ISMM, the two French representatives of the AMI, through their mutual agreements and with the concern of the development of quality Montessori education decide to create a Montessori Charter. The work to put this Charter of Montessori schools of France into place was important in order to recognise the schools that were representative of the Montessori pedagogy for public opinion, the media and the State. In addition, their wish was for the Charter to make a significant contribution in the legislative right to education as well as in the professional vocational training secteur throughout people’s lives on national and European levels. Therefore, the national and European contexts were kept in mind during the elaboration of the Charter.

* * from the AMF website where you can read the Charter in it’s entirety.

Our Classes

The four classes answer to the international Montessori criteria set by the Association Montessori Internationale. The children are happy to learn in spacious and bright environments. Each class has its own garden which is an extention of their classroom which allow the children to work outdoors.

According to Maria Montessori’s recommendations, the children work with the scientifique pedagogical material between 2 and a half and 3 hours each morning and each afternoon.

Two lead Montessori teachers along with an assistant as well as an LSF assistant accompany the children on a daily basis. The adults respect the individual pace of each child and propose an individual follow-up depending on their personal needs.

Although the entry age varies in individual schools, a child can usually enter a Montessori classroom between the ages of two and four years, depending on when he can be happy and comfortable in a classroom situation. He will begin with the simplest practical life exercises based on activities which all children enjoy. The pedagogical material which he uses at three and four will help him to develop the concentration, coordination and working habits necessary for the more advanced exercises he will perform at five and six years of age. The entire program of learning is purposefully structured.

The pedagogical team

The teaching staff is made up of AMI Montessorri certified people who have participated in continuing childhood education courses, in France and abroad. The teachers are either Francophone or Anglophone and are responsible for the general well being and the pedagogical accompaniment of each child.

The teacher's attitude :
They know how to : observe the child, have confidence in the child, respect the sensitive periods of development, provide an individual follow up of the child, be present with total discretion, encourage the positive, be rigorous without rigidity. For this 2020/2021 school year, we are pleased to introduce an experienced team of excellent reference.

More info
Vanessa -1st Children’s House (3 to 6 year olds
Vanessa holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Science of Education and has always worked with children. Her interest for alternative educational methods brought her to do the ISMM course in 2004. She has been an AMI 3 to 6 teacher in our school since 2005. She worked with Caroline who left us to open her own school in Cadeaujac next to Bordeaux. Vanessa has worked with Tara since 2017 and they complement each other in the mutual passion they have for the children.

Tara - 1st Children’s House (3 to 6 year olds)
Tara holds a bachelor’s degree in human biology with a specialisation in Irish culture.  Of Irish origin, Tara discovered the Montessori method of teaching when she arrived in France to work as the Anglophone assistant in the Toddler Community. She took the AMI 3 to 6 assistant course and moved up to the 3 to 6 level the following year. During her work in the Children’s House she took the two year training course and succeeded her early childhood State diploma (from birth to seven years) and Montessori diploma from Montessori International Centre (MCI) in London (from birth to seven years). She is part of our staff since 2012 and since 2018 is the Anglophone Coordinator for EMIT.

Anaïs - 2nd Children’s House (3 to 6 year olds)
Holder of a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Law degree as well as a Master’s Degree in Bioethic and Health Law, Anaïs worked as a legal advisor and discovered her passion for working with children with special needs. She became a supportive teacher’s helper for these children from the nursery 1 to 2nd grade level. In 2017 she obained her AMI 3 to 6 diploma from the ISMM. In January 2018, she joined our school as the French speaking teacher in the Children’s House.

Florence-2nd Children’s House (3 to 6 year olds)
Florence obtained her diploma in Early Childhood education in 2010 and has been in the field since then. Her years of experience working with young children have shown her that helping them to progress and become autonomous make for happy and receptive beings. Like many of us, Florence discovered the Montessori method of teaching after the birth of her daughter . She succeeded the AMI 3 to 6 course at the ISMM and worked in a bilingual Montessori school in Paris before coming to EMIT in September 2016.

Corina –Elementary Class (6 to 12 year olds)
Corina started out her career with a doctorat in engineering and worked as a research scientist and engineer with the CNRS. She enriched her career path with a solid experience as a consultant specialised in management and organisation withina major consulting firm. Her profound knowledge of company organisations as well as conventional education brought her to discover the Montessori method of teaching. Holder of 3 to 6 (ISMM Nogent sur Marne) and 6 to 12 (Montessori Palau International Research and Training Center of Girona) diplomas, Corina was a lead teacher in the EMIT elementary class from August 2017 to June 2019. After an elementary experience in a provincial Montessori school Corina came back to EMIT to take the lead in the 6 to 12 class in August 2020.

Under the guidance of the lead Montessori teachers, our assistants have taken the AMI Montessori certification classes from Birth to 3 and 3 to 6 years. They accompany the children in their daily school lives and teach them hygiene, grace and courtesy. They are part of the lead teacher’s support system and propose a variety of workshops. They only use their native language and communicate in English, LSF (French Sign Language) or French with the children and staff members.


Brigitte Lemaine – Past Pedagogical Director from 1991 to 2021.
Brigitte was brought up by her deaf grand parents in LSF. She holds a doctorat degree in Sociology and Philosophy of Art and started her career in media in film production. By 1988, she had created and produced 20 documentaries for cinema and television of which some won awards in international documentary film festivals (New York, San Francisco, Bucarest, Brussels, Liège, Cannes, Clermont-Ferrand, Lorquin). Three scenarios (one in theatre and two as photo novels) treated the subjects of the deaf culture, handicap and child abuse and protection. She enrolled her 3 year old son in our school, founded by Patricia Peterson-Fontenay in 1989. Brigitte becomes involved in the project of non-violence and child protection in education and the idea of integrating LSF in the school. She became pedagogical director in 1991.

Laurene Mace - Administrative Director since August 2019
Laurene joined our management staff as Administrative Director in August 2019. She holds a Masters Degree in Cultural Project Mangement from the famous Sorbonne Univerity in Paris. She starts off her career path in the artistic community and becomes responsible for the pedagogical department of an art’s center. In creating sensorial exploration workshops allowing the child to discover art form masterpieces that she becomes interested in intuitive pedaogies. Touched by Maria Montessori’s vision of the child, she takes the ISMM course and gets her AMI diploma in 2013. She worked as a Montessori teacher in Parisian bilingual Montessori schools and became the coordinator for Montessori Koko Cabane during four years. She also became a training assistant for the ISMM in Nogent sur Marne and accompanied future Montessori teachers in their AMI 3 to 6 curriculum.

Florence Mabilon, Pedagogical director since October 2022. Florence obtained her diploma in Early Childhood education in 2010 and has been in the field since then. Her years of experience working with young children have shown her that helping them to progress and become autonomous make for happy and receptive beings. Like many of us, Florence discovered the Montessori method of teaching after the birth of her daughter . She obtzined her AMI 3 to 6 diploma at the ISMM and worked in a bilingual Montessori school in Paris before coming to EMIT in September 2017.

Patricia Peterson-Fontenay – Founder and past general director
Psychologist by training, Patrica settled in France after obtaining her Bachelors’s degree in psychology from Adelphi University in New York. After getting her AMI diploma for 3 to 6 year olds in Paris, she created the Bilingual Montessori School of Val de Marne in Joinville-le-Pont in 1989 which later became EMIT, the International Montessori Trilingual School of Nogent-sur-Marne in 2016. She was a board member of the Association Montessori de France(AMF) for 18 years. In 2010, with the support and advice of Brigitte Lemaine, she decided to add LSF as a third language in the school. At the time, this inovative project, presently well integrated allowed and still allows children aged 2 to 12 a full immersion of French, English and LSF. Deaf and hard of hearing children can integrate perfectly into the program. At the present time, Patricia works as a consultant bringing to schools and future schools her years of experience. In 2019 she created her company, Montessori Consulting France(MCF) and consults in France and internationally.

Teacher’s Helpers
The children also spend time each day with the teacher’s helpers outside the classroom work time : during lunch, their break in the courtyard, naptime and after school daycare. The teacher’s helpers accompany the children in their daily routines.

Kitchen and maintenance staff
Hot meals are prepared daily by our Chef, Roselin and her assistant Siham. Michel takes care of the maintenance of all of the outdoor spaces as well as all of the handiwork that needs to be done inside and out. He is responsible for the housekeeping of the 1st floor. His calm, serious and experienced manner is appreciated by all. Amelie takes care of all of the housekeeping every evening on the ground floor.

School hours

School is open every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday :

The Toddler Community (2 to 3 ½ years) :

- Part-time : 8.30am to 11.00am (without lunch) or 12.15pm

- Full-time : 8.30am to 4.30pm

* welcome time 8.30am to 8.45am

Children’s House (3 to 6 years) :

- Full-time : 8.30am to 4.30pm

* welcome time 8.30am to 8.45am

Elementary Class (6 to 12 years)

Full-time : 8.20am to 4.30pm

Children enrolled on the half day schedule can adapt into an extended day, progressively (subject to the availability of places).

Hot lunch is served daily between 11.30am and 1pm.

Early morning and After school Day-care : Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8am to 8.30am and from 4.30pm to 6pm.

The school year is from September 1st to June 30th, following, as a general rule, the calendar of the National Education system. A pre-adaptation period, which is obligatory for the newcomers, takes place during the last week of August. A dress code which brings visual harmony and better concentration is applied in school.

More info about the dress code
Many parents have a very positive opinion about our dress code. The main reason for the dress code is that we wish to align our school with other international schools in France and abroad. The majority of these schools have instored uniforms or dress codes. The second reason is that it is important that the children feel that they belong to a group of international Montessori schools worldwide.

The dress code (which is not a uniform) avoids major differences amongst the children’s dressing styles. We want to avoid that the children in school become walking publicity for brands. A dress code brings visual harmony and better concentration while in school. The list of positive reasons is long but these are the major points.

Children come to learn that there is a specific way to dress for school, for sports and when they are relaxing at home. In giving parents a large selection of colors, this allows your children to choose the clothes they wish to wear for school.

No clothing with any sort of logo, sports, films, butterflies, hearts, flowers or anything written…

Pants, bermuda shorts (no shorts), skirt or dress in solid colors of navy blue, beige, gray, light blue, red, white or bottle green. Other than solid colors, only plaids or navy stripes. T-Shirt/blouse/polo shirt with collar/turtleneck in Winter –short or long sleeves – in the same above colors as well as pastels.

Pullover, sweater, button down or zipped cardigan or fleece, blazer in navy blue, gray, red, mustard yellow or bottle green.

For girls : plain tights

White or navy blue ankle or knee socks. Ties for girls or boys are optional. No mesh fabrics or flash light shoes of any sort.

Information regarding the children’s meals

In order to ensure proper nutrition for the children in our school, they have the opportunity to eat a home cooked meal daily made up of fresh fish, seasonal vegetables, fruit, eggs and other organic (AB Label) foods. Our chefs have been preparing balanced healthy non-industrial meals since 1992. The fresh baked bread is delivered by a renowned organic bakery two times a week along with the fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy. The fresh fish is delivered every Thursday morning directly from the Rungis market.

We are pleased to be able to serve home made apple pies, apple "crumble", fruit compote, puddings, caramel and vanilla custards. Everything is prepared on site. To sweeten foods, we do not use white sugar, but rather raw cane sugar, honey, jams or chesnut cream. Our seasonings are home made with olive oil and lemon and therefore do not contain any preservatives . A tray of condiments is available for children with salt, olive oil, soy sauce, parsley and herbs from our own garden.