About Us


Inayat Unissa Inayat - Montessori Instructor

My name is Inayat Unissa Inayat –Khan Bergum.  I was born in France during the Second World War. It was not an easy time and it was a dangerous time, but if it were not by the grace of God, my family could possibly have not survived. While growing up, I received my education in France, Holland and England. Among the many people who were supportive as well as inspiring me during my youth, in particular, were three members of my family that planted a seed deep within my heart in seeking a calling to make a difference in the world.

The principle person was my grandfather, Hazrat Inayat Khan.  He was a writer and a musician.  His global view and mission was in uniting East and West through his message of tolerance, expressed in Love, Harmony and Beauty. He did that by lecturing all over the world. Through his many writings, he eventually founded the Sufi message. During his short life, my grandfather met with Dr. Maria Montessori, and referenced her work.

My aunt, Noor Unissa Inayat Khan, was the daughter of Hazrat, and she had an intense passion for children.  Noor was born in Russia. She had a British passport and served as a British protectorate. Noor wrote several children books in English and in French. A pre-war newspaper, Le Figaro, published some of her writings. A London publisher bought out the Jataka tales that she had written. Noor strongly believed in a non-oppressive way of life to all people, and as a result, she gave her life to the cause of liberation to the oppressed. A book entitled The Spy Princess described her work as well as her short life. To many, Noor was a heroine during the second war. She was the first radio operator to infiltrate into occupied France. She is one of the few women who were awarded the George Cross (British), and the Croix de Guerre (France). In her honor, a bust was placed in London’s Camden Park, at which Princess Margaret performed the unveiling during the ceremony.

My beloved father, Hidayat Inayat Khan, is the brother of Noor. At the age of 96, he continues to be a wonderful mentor for me. Hidayat Inayat -khan  is  a symphony composer, Hidayat made music as his mission in life to bridge East and West together for the common cause of harmony and beauty.

Inayat Unissa Inayat - Montessori Instructor

My calling began shortly after obtaining a superb Montessori training in Paris, France in 1962, and it was to unite children from all aspects of life in the United States, Canada, as well as Mexico through the Montessori way of education. All of my educational training has led me to understand that I inherited my passion for children by way of my aunt, Noor Unissa. In 1962, I took part in assisting Tom Laughlin (an actor and director in the movie, Billy Jack) to start the first Montessori school in Southern California. The name of the school was the Sophia Montessori of Santa Monica. In 1964, I opened the first Montessori school in Costa Mesa, California, known as the Montessori Centre School. Throughout the years, I have trained numerous  teachers using Montessori methodologies and have opened many Montessori schools throughout the Orange County area in Southern California. In 1982, I launched the International Christian Montessori Academies for the expressed purpose of celebrating among children to have them learn to appreciate and to understand the importance of having tolerance of different religions united with an attitude of Love, Harmony and Beauty.

Today, I have immigrated to Canada and have founded another International Christian Montessori Academy located in Duncan, BC. This school is dedicated to honor my aunt, Noor Unissa. The school’s primary function is to include elementary academic programs as well as French immersion programs.


Infants 3 months-24 months, Toddlers 2-3 years,
Preschool 2 1/2- 5 years, Elementary K-8 (varies by campus).


Montessori curriculum based on the principles taught by Maria Montessori.

Extra Curriculum:

Extra-curricular activities vary according to school and the time of the year. Please review each individual school site in order to determine which activities are incorporated into their programs.

Low Student-to-Teacher Ratios:

Our Student to Teacher Ratio is a marvelous 1-4 for Infants,
1-6 Toddler, and 1-10 preschool/elementary


We create independent learners, who attain their personal best at their level of speed and development of growth. The Montessori philosophy is 'Follow the Child.'

Support Staff:

ECE qualified teacher's assistants.

Teaching Staff:

Montessori credentialed lead teachers.

Ingrid Bergum, PresidentMessage from our Academy President, Ms. Bergum

We aim to challenge students spiritually, intellectually, physically and socially, encouraging a lifestyle that integrates harmony and respect.

It is our goal to empower each child to reach his or her fullest potential as an individual and as a member of society.

The school offers a child-centered, developmentally appropriate curriculum within a loving and nurturing atmosphere.

International Montessori believes in the importance of active involvement of parents in support of their children's learning and academic achievements. The program is open to change, continual growth, and new ideas.

International Montessori Academy values diversity, encourages respect of self and others, and seeks membership families of all racial, cultures, religious and economic backgrounds.

 What does our logo symbolize?

The logo represents LOVE, HARMONY & BEAUTY

Children are born with the natural tendency to LOVE. LOVE is the platform from which the children can learn and be nurtured the most effectively.

The wings represent "RISING." It is knowledge that propels us into understanding and thus makes us RISE above differences.

Our view at International Montessori is when one is lifted into understanding, one gains insight and prospective, thus, gains the ability to embrace and celebrate difference (such as color, background and ethnicity).

When there is understanding, HARMONY can be reached.