Know Us

Passion for Excellence

Da Vinci Montessori has been setup with the mission to provide for children’s innate love of learning. We nurture a wide range of interests to feed their natural curiosity.

Our program inspires a passion for excellence in children, nurtures their curiosity, creativity and imagination; teaches timeless values and seeks to awaken each child’s full potential as a human being.

Our goal is to sow the seeds of knowledge and culture that will blossom in our atmosphere of kindness, respect and intellectual inquiry

Why Da Vinci?

Our name is inspired by – Leonardo Da Vinci one of the most talented and multifaceted  individuals in the history of mankind. Known popularly for his ‘Mona Lisa’, it was Leonardo Da Vinci who designed the first flying machine on the principles of which modern day airplanes are based. Additionally, Da Vinci was a mathematician, engineer, scientist anatomist, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer.

We believe that every child is born with many different talents that often remain unexplored. At Da Vinci Montessori we want our children to get in touch with each of their senses, talents and emotions and thus discover themselves just as they discover the world around them.

“I do not want my house to be walled on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.”

– M.K. Gandhi
Fresh Air and More…
Babulnath

Our Babulnath environment is situated in the exclusive premises of Aditya Birla Center and has one of the most spacious and airy preschool environments in all of South Mumbai. The school opens out to a large terrace with lots of space for children to revel in outdoor activities—be it skipping, hopping or even gardening!

Marine Drive

Our Marine Drive environment has spacious classrooms lined with large windows to let in fresh air and plenty of sunlight. The interiors designed specifically for our Montessori work provide a comfortable learning environment for children.

Worli

Our Worli premises is in a quiet lane very close to Worli Naka. The windows open up to plenty of greenery and sunlight. The classrooms are spacious and designed for Montessori work.

Medical Emergencies

Da Vinci Montessori partners with Safe Baby for classroom safety and first aid training. All Da Vinci Montessori staff is first aid trained.

Safe Baby is India’s first professional childproofing and baby proofing service focused on child safety.

Since 2011, Safe Baby has worked with India’s leading school, daycares and nursery to make the classroom environment safe for children. They have trained more than 1000 teachers and have provided baby proofing consultancy service to more than 30 clients.

“The child is truly a miraculous being and this should be felt deeply by the educator.”

– Dr. Maria Montessori

Our Team – Expertise, Experience, Commitment

Ashani Hirway

Founder and School Head

As Head of School, Ashani is involved with curriculum planning, parent-relations and provides overall leadership to the school.

After completing her MBA from Wharton School, Ashani worked as a strategy consultant for global clients in New York and Mumbai. Prior to this Ashani worked as a hardware engineer in the Silicon Valley post her BE from Gujarat University and MS from Purdue University (USA).

While Ashani has always had a passion for education, the birth of her daughter Sanaya, inspired her to follow her heart and give in to her passion; the result of which is Da Vinci. Ashani has been trained to teach at and start Montessoris worldwide by Association Montessori Internationale, headquartered in the Netherlands.

Ritu Gupta

Lead Administrator

After completing her post-graduation in Financial Management, Ritu went on to work with corporates such as Indiabulls & Treehouse. Thereafter, she came across Da Vinci Montessori and was quickly drawn to its diverse culture and productive management. After interacting with the founder, she realized that Da Vinci would allow her to fulfill her longstanding passion of working around children to achieve a greater good for all.

She is passionate about this role because it allows her to spend time among children & ensure they have a secure & healthy environment.

Tina Mehta

Directress– Primary, Babulnath

Tina loves working with children and her personal belief that teaching is all about learning, inspired her to take up the AMI course alongside her graduation.

She has over 19 years of enriched experience working with children at schools like Casa Bambino and Activity Infant school. Children’s happy faces and curious minds inspire her to give her best every single day.

Suchi Shah

Directress – Primary, Babulnath

Suchi is a trained AMI directress from the Ratan Tata Institute of Montessori Training. She has over ten years of work experience in  the Montessori  System.

Suchi loves working with children. She creates many interactive and engaging activities so that children can appreciate the little things that everyday life offers.

Virali Doshi

Directress – Primary, Babulnath

After completing her graduation in Commerce from H.R.College, alongside a diploma in Event Management, Virali found her true calling in Education. Her lack of belief in the rat race where a child is not given time to learn at his own pace, stimulated her to embark on a journey as an educator. She strongly believes that the greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence. She has gained her Montessori certification from the Association Montessori Internationale. Alongwith being associated with Da Vinci, Virali also runs her own bakery under the brand name ‘Sweeetilicious’.

Shital Shah

Directress – Primary, Babulnath

Shital is a trained Montessori directress and has acquired her diploma from Association Montessori Internationale. Working with children has always been her passion. She has worked previously at Activity Infant Montessori School for  four years. She loves working in the Montessori environment where children are given the freedom and opportunity to work at their own pace.

Ritu Shah

Directress –Toddlers, Babulnath

Ritu Shah is a trained Montessori directress and has acquired her certification from Association Montessori Internationale.

After completing her LL.B. from Mumbai, Ritu worked as an officer with Hongkong Bank for 4 years and as an Advocate Assistant with a leading law firm – Wadia, Gandhy & Co. in Mumbai for 5 years.

Becoming a mother to Rhea made her realise the uniqueness of children and take up the Montessori training. Ritu has more than 8 years of experience working with children and loves children for what they are and for what they become.

Bhumika Kadakia

Directress – Toddlers, Babulnath

Bhumika Kadakia Awasthi completed her Montessori training from the Ratan Tata Institute in the year 2010. She has worked with children at Activity Infant School.

Yogini Sonawala

Directress – Toddlers, Babulnath

Yogini Sonawala holds a Diploma in Early Child Care from Association Montessori Internationale. She has interned with Activity High School and Little Butterflies.

Nisha Wahid

Directress– Primary, Marine Drive

Nisha is a trained Montessori teacher having acquired her certification from Association Montessori Internationale. Nisha has over 17 years of experience working with children at Activity Infant School, Casa Montessori and Da Vinci Montessori.

Over the years Nisha has continued to train herself through a variety of Montessori refresher courses and has attended many conferences on the subject. She has a keen interest in early childhood education and works towards assisting children in their natural process of development

Fiona Poojara

Directress – Primary, Marine Drive

After working with leading mass communication firms and teaching journalism in colleges as a visiting faculty, Fiona followed her passion to become a full time educator. She gained her Montessori certification from the Association Montessori Internationale, headquartered in Netherlands. She also worked closely with the Ratan Tata Montessori Training Institute. She loves children and believes that education is her true calling.

Aarushi Shah

Directress –Primary, Marine Drive

Aarushi Shah is a trained AMI directress from Ratan Tata Institute.

Her love to be with children and passion to teach led her towards the montessori philosophy. She enjoys learning with and from the children.

Aarushi Shah

Directress –Primary, Marine Drive

Aarushi Shah is a trained AMI directress from Ratan Tata Institute.

Her love to be with children and passion to teach led her towards the montessori philosophy. She enjoys learning with and from the children.

Goral Shah

Directress –Primary, Marine Drive

Goral Shah is a trained AMI directress from Sir Ratan Tata Institute and is also an accounting and finance graduate. She developed an immense love for teaching at a very young age. The Montessori principles and philosophy caught her attention and that’s where she found her calling. Goral loves to work and interact with children.

Ruchi Row

Directress–Toddlers, Marine Drive

Ruchi acquired her AMI diploma from the Ratan Tata Institute (2000, Mumbai). after completing her BA from St. Xaviers’ College. She has several years of work experience at Montessori preschools including Activity Infant School. In addition to setting up multiple environments and developing resources at these schools, she also worked with children with special needs. Ruchi has in the past worked as a Speech and Drama trainer for courses offered by Trinity College London. She has also scripted and presented puppet shows for children. Ruchi views teaching as her calling, passion and joy, and strives to ‘learn’ from the children each day!

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Megha Gandhi

Directress –Toddlers, Marine Drive

Megha Gandhi is trained in the Montessori system from Ratan Tata Institute. She has completed her Master’s in Commerce from Mumbai University. She has also more than 5 years experience in working with little children in preschool environments such as Treehouse, Kids Quest Academy and First Steps.

Nisha Jain

Directress –Toddlers & After School Care, Marine Drive

Nisha has completed her Assistants Montessori Program conducted by Association Montessori Internationale. She  is a certified Early Childhood Care Educator and has worked with preschools such as NMT Academy and Poddar Jumbo Kids. Nisha is an Art graduate from K.C. College, holds a Diploma in Advertising and Public Relation from Welingkar School and is also a qualified jewellery designer. She likes to interact with children and feed their creativity through drawing, art and craft.

Jineesha Choksi

Directress –Primary, Worli

Jineesha is a trained AMI directress from Sir Ratan Tata Institute. After her graduation she singlehandedly setup and ran the RTI Montessori School for a year. She also assisted the RTI training course during this time. In the past year, Jineesha also trained at India’s very first 0-3 assistants course at Chennai.  Jineesha is an Interior Designer and  prior to her Montessori work she worked in this creative field for 5 years. 

Jineesha thinks that the Montessori philosophy has not only enhanced her as a person but also revolutionized her way of understanding the children and working with them.

Bhakti Bhatia

Directress –Toddlers, Worli

Bhakti Bhatia has completed the Assistants Montessori Programme conducted by the Association Montessori Internationale. She is also a certified yoga trainer from Kaivalyadham, Mumbai.

Bhakti has a strong interest in spirituality , linguistics and humanities. Bhakti’s interest in working with children and yoga further deepened while she was expecting her son Yug.

Bhakti has a background in sales and media marketing. After studying Public Relations at Xavier Institute of Communications, she has worked with companies such as The Times of India, BASF and C. Bhogilal & Co.

Komal Chheda

Directress –Toddlers, Worli

Komal has majored in psychology and political science. She is a trained AMI directress from Sir Ratan Tata Institute and has three years of experience working in Montessori schools. 

Tasneem Haveliwala

Class Teacher – After School Care, Marine Drive

Tasneem is a trained pre school teacher and has completed her training  from Sophia College.

She has over 12 years of experience working with pre-schools such as D.Y Patil international school, Children’s Nook (Gamdevi) and Kangaroo Kids. She has worked with children with special needs at the Manu Prem school and is also a qualified interior designer.

Tasneem loves to interact with children and strives to create a happy, comfortable and serene environment for the children.

A Doctor Like No Other

Born on August 31, 1870, in the small town of Chiaravalle in eastern Italy, Maria Montessori was described from a very early age as having a powerful character with a strong sense of duty and an assertive nature. True to her convictions, Maria Montessori went on to graduate from medical school and became the first female physician in Italy’s history. Dr. Montessori opened the very first casa de bambini or “children’s house” in a poor quarter of the San Lorenzo tenements. It was there that she began to develop what would later become known as the Montessori approach to the education of young children.

Her approach to education stemmed from a solid grounding in biology, psychiatry and anthropology. She studied children of all races and cultures in many countries around the world, soon seeing the universality of the laws of human development played out before her.

“A child’s work” wrote Maria Montessori, “is to create the man he will become. An Adult works to perfect the environment but a child works to perfect himself.” “The hands,” wrote Dr. Maria Montessori, “are the instrument of man’s intelligence.” From birth to six years of age, children have what she called an ‘Absorbent Mind’. During this time, children form their personality and self. Mind memory, power to understand, and ability to think through impressions gained from the environment are all constructed during this time.

The Montessori approach offers a broad vision of education as an aid to life. It is designed to help children with their task of inner construction as they grow from childhood to maturity. It succeeds because it draws its principles from the natural development of the child. Its flexibility provides a matrix within which each individual child’s inner directives freely guide the child towards wholesome growth.

Montessori classrooms provide a prepared environment where children are free to respond to their natural tendency to work. The children’s innate passion for learning is encouraged by giving them opportunities to engage in spontaneous,, purposeful activities with the guidance of a trained adult. Through their work, the children develop concentration and joyful self-discipline. Within a framework of order, the children progress at their own pace and rhythm, according to their individual capabilities.

“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.”

– Dr. Maria Montessori
Mind, Hand and Heart

The traditional educational system was designed during the industrial revolution to train generations of factory workers. Children were instructed to memorize and regurgitate facts – to stop working when the bell rings and ask for permission to move.

This system is no longer relevant.

Today, success is marked by creativity and originality rather than the ability to follow orders. We are expected to adapt quickly to changes in the dynamic world increasingly interconnected by globalization.

Our World needs critical thinkers, entrepreneurs and do-ers.

The Montessori system of education brings together the mind, the hand and the heart of a child to provide a unique educational experience. It is designed to meet the individual developmental needs of each child to maximize his potential. The Montessori System helps develop leaders who can think independently and creatively. To know about some of the most successful Montessorians  and Montessori promoters, check this.

Montessori Education
Traditional Education
Views the child holistically, valuing cognitive, psychological, social, and spiritual development. Views the child in terms of competence, skill level, and achievement with an emphasis on core curricula standards.
Teacher has unobtrusive role in classroom activity; child is an active participant in learning. Teacher has dominant, active role in classroom activity; child is a passive participant in learning.
A carefully prepared learning environment and method encourages development of internal self-discipline and intrinsic motivation. Teacher acts as a primary enforcer of external discipline promoting extrinsic motivation.
A three year mixed age group leads to collaborative, supportive and trusting learning environment. Same age group limit collaboration, support and hence learning among peers.
Values concentration and depth of experience; allows uninterrupted time for focused work cycle. Values completion of exercises, time is tightly managed.
Child allowed to spot own errors through feedback from the materials; errors are viewed as part of learning process. Work is usually corrected by the teacher; errors are viewed as mistakes.
Child can work where he/she is comfortable and the child often has choices between working alone or with a group that is highly collaborative among older students. Child is usually assigned a specific workspace; talking among peers discouraged.