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Staff Team

Our highly professional and committed staff team consist of suitably qualified AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) and ancillary staff who provide care to the highest standard ensuring that the children remain happy, learn and follow their own unique developmental needs and interests, as well as have fun whilst being challenged and stimulated at all times.

Experienced teachers come on site and deliver extra curricular activities during the week that include, French, Violin, Keyboard and Forest School.

SENCO Officers at Arborescence

Mrs Venathithan – Owner of the school and Lead Montessori Directress
Mrs Patel – Signing Champion and Deputy Manager

Mrs. Andrea Venathithan

Owner and Lead Montessori Directress

 Andrea Venathithan is the new owner of Arborescence Montessori School, formerly known as Sitara Toto Montessori.

She was born in the Czech Republic and moved the United Kingdom in 1997. Her journey into the Montessori environment and the method of education began in 2004, when she decided this was going to be the educational start for her two young children. Both children were enrolled in Sitara Toto Montessori, where they began their early education. Inspired by their time there, she was introduced to Montessori and began to witness the fabric of this powerful method of education. Quickly, she was inspired and ultimately this led her to choose Montessori and dedicate her life to becoming a Montessori educator.

This path was made possible by the former Director of the school Mrs Shital Shah who offered her a position of an assistant at Sitara Toto. As time went on, her passion and dedication to the school and learning about the true principles of the Montessori approach, she decided at every opportunity that was supported by the school to further her own qualifications.

Andrea went on to be trained at the Maria Montessori Institute in London and holds the AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) Montessori Diploma 3-6 since 2008. She also holds a Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education qualifications since 2007.

She also went on to complete the Montessori Observation course in 2011 at the Maria Montessori Institute in London and with all these qualifications and her experience under her wings eventually become the Manager of the school.

Andrea has also completed the Forest School Leader training in 2014 and has been running the Forest school sessions in the extensive school’s woodland since then.

Today, Andrea is not only the owner but also the Lead Directress who still enjoys teaching. She carries on working in the classroom using her education and experience to deepen her understanding of the pivotal needs and requirements of children’s developments in learning and making sense of their journey to adulthood. 

Her aim is for the school to continue to provide the solid foundation initially set by Maria Montessori and in addition any important advancements related to child development and education.  Andrea and her energetic team will carry on with their dedication and devotion to continue offering the best possible nurturing Montessori setting and environment for all existing children and newcomers. 

Mrs. Savita Patel

 Deputy Manager

Savita Patel is a hard working, caring, and friendly teacher who can adapt to many different situations easily. She was born in India, where she completed her high school education and moved to Kenya with her family. She then moved to the UK, where she married and settled down with her husband. They went on to have three lovely children.

Since April 2007, Savita had been working at Sitara Toto as a Montessori Assistant and now at Arborescence Montessori as the Deputy Manager.  She has completed the AMI Montessori Assistant’s Course at the Maria Montessori Institute and gone on to complete her Level 3 Childcare training (0-3) and (3-6). She also helps support the day to day running of the school.

Savita has also completed her SENCO training.

Ms. Sofia Asbjornsen

Music Teacher

Sofia Asbjornsen is a graduate of the Royal College of Music and holds a Bachelor of Music (BMusHons) degree and also the Certificate of Teaching (CT ABRSM) qualification. She has 15 years of teaching experience in harp, piano, violin and theory of music, and has been the music teacher at Sitara Toto since 2010.

Sofia remains as our music teacher at Arborescence Montessori giving lessons in both the violin and keyboard and also helping to organise our monthly music recitals at school.

A mother of five children, she currently has two children enrolled at Arborescence Montessori. Sofia enjoys working with children and sharing her passion for music, she also loves cooking, gardening, books and spending time with her family.

Mrs. Patricia Linton

French Teacher

Patricia Linton is our French teacher. She was born in Lyons, France where she met her English husband. When his work sent him back to London, she came over here. Patricia has two daughters, Melissa who is 18 and Audrey who is 16.

Patricia goes to four nurseries in North London to introduce French to young children and she really enjoys it! “The children are at an age when they are open to everything and are very enthusiastic and it helps that I come with a huge bag full of soft toys!”.

Mrs. Lynne Richards

Classroom Assistant

Lynne Richards  is  a mother of two children, and has a daughter called Fern who is 25, and works for IAA Limited, and a son called Ben who is 17 and is in sixth form at Queens school in Bushey.

Lynne was born in Malaya, as her father was working out there, and they returned to England when Lynne was eight years old, and she has lived in Shenley for the past eleven years.

Lynne previously worked at Sitara Toto for several years and has remained an important member of the Arborescence Montessori staff team. Lynne does different afternoon groups with the children, and one of the frequent groups she runs is the art and craft group where the children enjoy lots of hands-on learning.  Lynne is very popular with the children and there is always a gentle hum when they are all working together.

Mrs. Angela McCudden

Classroom Assistant

Angela McCudden started her Montessori journey by successfully completing the AMI Montessori Assistant's Course at the Maria Montessori Institute and enthusiastically embarked on the pathway of a childcare career.

She has gained years of experience working at Sitara Toto and delighted to continue working as a part of the Arborescence Montessori because it feels like a family. 

In 2011, she achieved another milestone by completing her Level 3 Diploma - Children and Young People Training. She is a gentle, organised, hardworking, caring and conscientious member of the Teaching team. 

Mrs. Katarzyna (Kasia) Pater-Hayes


Classroom Assistant

Katarzyna "Kasia" Pater-Hayes is a Classroom Assistant at Arborescence Montessori School. She joined Sitara Toto Montessori in November 2015 and excited to start a new chapter with Arborescence. 

Prior to choosing Montessori, she has her previous training in Travel and Tourism. She has completed the AMI Montessori Assistant’s Course at the Maria Montessori Institute and looks forward to expanding her knowledge of Montessori.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two wonderful children and loves singing. 

Mrs. Rambai (Rama) Gami

School Chef

Mrs Gami is the School Chef at Arborescence Montessori.  She worked at Sitara Toto in 2012 and spent her early career working at Colart making colour dyes. 

She enjoys cooking, sewing and likes to travel.  She is a proud mother of three children and has three lovely grandchildren. When Mrs Gami is not working at the school, she spends her time volunteering at her local Temple.

The children all enjoy her wonderful and delicious dishes.