Over the years the staff of Portobello Institute have undertaken many trips to India to work with disadvantaged street chlidren in India, spending time in orphanges and working with the children on everyday activities.  One of the orphanages Portobello Institute staff spent time at is the BSSK orphanage.  Denise Flood Montessori expert and registrar for the college has carried out many trips to India and in March 2012 she travelled to Pune to visit BSSK again but this time to spend time with the staff educating them in the Montessori Method and setting up a Montessori school in BSSK.  The orphange supports up to 70 children aged 0 to 7.  The trip was lead by Dr Meere Oka, a lecturer at Portobello Institute and a Trustee of BSSK Orphanage.

The first part of the visit was spent training up the staff of BSSK in the Montessori method, demonstrating the various materials and how to encourage early learning with the children.  Denise and Olga McKiernan (Portobello Institute lecturer) showed the staff how to create a friendly learning environment for the children and how to lay out the materials on the shelf.  Doors were removed from cupboards leaving the materials free to the children at all times.  They discarded all the broken materials and replaced them with new Montessori materials deonated from suppporters.  The children and staff were delighted with the new space and as you can see from the pictures are begining to florish in their new environment. 

Denise and staff members aim to return to Pune in July to carry out further training with the staff at BSSK and bring more materials to further develop the new Montessori school.