Arlene Finnerty

Early Years

“Working as a tutor for Portobello has afforded such an amazing opportunity to support students on their journey  to becoming Montessori Teachers.”

About Arlene 

I have a B.A Degree in English and History and also a H.Dip in Arts in Early Years Montessori Education. I worked for a number of years as a Resource Teacher in the primary school sector before opening my Montessori Preschool in 2010. Most recently I achieved first class honours in the Leadership and Inclusion Coordinator special purpose award.  I also provide July Provision for children with ASD.

Working as a resource teacher I noted the importance of working as part of a team. I worked with mainstream teachers, the SENO and parents on a distributed leadership model.  This enabled us to share various strengths noticed daily in the children. This had a huge impact on learning outcomes and is an important element to share with future Montessori teachers.

In my personal life I enjoy running competitively with my local athletics club, having completed 2 marathons in recent years.

Arlene’s Teaching Philosophy

I aim to bring to life the academic concepts by discussing practical teaching experiences. My Montessori preschool is in a disadvantaged area. This has given me the opportunity to see first-hand the importance of early years education and the Montessori method. Building a relationship with parents was extremely important. It’s imperative to early childhood education and so is one of the fundamental experiences I share with my students. I encourage empathy and self-reflection using such tools as the Aistear/Siolta practise guide.  These are key graduate attributes which are extremely valued in the sector.  As is the need to stay relevant and fully abreast of the regulatory/compliance needs that impact the early years sector.


  • Higher Dip in Arts in Early Years Montessori Education
  • B.A.Degree in English and History

Modules Taught by Arlene 

Early Childhood Arts and Culture

This module explores Montessori’s pedagogy and how she believed the arts to be a communicative tool.  It opens the discussion of how arts and culture offers diverse cultural experiences for young children.

  • Early Childhood Literacy and Numeracy

This module explores how valuable early literacy and numeracy is for children to make sense of their world. It gives students the techniques to introduce literacy and numeracy at a young age.

  • Early Learning Environment

I feel that the module explores the Montessori pedagogy and how it elevates and empowers the child. The module introduces the student to the Montessori method and demonstrates how children develop skills.

Arlene Finnerty Arlene Finnerty