Lyonsgate Weekly Update | Friday, Oct. 18, 2019

Lyonsgate Weekly Update | Friday, Oct. 18, 2019

Good Afternoon Lyonsgate Families,

It’s haircut weekend! Toddler and Casa students will have their school photos taken on Tuesday, Oct. 22. (Elementary families, your children’s photo day is Monday, Oct. 28). Students will have individual photos taken, as well as photos with siblings where applicable. You will receive a photo proof package a few weeks later from which to choose a photo package.

If you still have an outstanding immunization form for your child, please remember to drop them off at the school next week. Thank you.

This week, your children’s French guides have updates for you.


Can you believe it is already mid October? The classroom is bustling with energy as the children have become comfortable. It has been marvelous to observe the children’s exploration of the classroom environment.

The children have begun to understand and have conversations with me in French. Popular topics are leaves, our classroom fish Poseidon, and how delicious their snacks are. I have been able to do some French activities about fruits and vegetables. The children have been working on connecting the name of the items in English to their newly learned names in French. The children have enjoyed saying “pomme.” I even observed two children take out the fruits and proceed to identify every fruit as a “pomme.” I am excited to see that they are making connections with what I am saying and applying it to their work.

French gathering has become a joyful time to sing “Frère Jacques” and talk about pumpkins. The children have started using my gestures along with the songs.

There is still a lot to learn and navigate in the classroom. Explaining different situations to the children using words they aren’t familiar with yet can be difficult. Together we are navigating through language and making deeper connections. As the children make more connections with the French language I hope to use more new words, introduce new songs, and explain some of the French activities. I am so excited to see what the next few weeks have in store for our community!

A reminder that there is a sign up sheet for flowers at the entrance of the school. The children have such joy when they bring the cut flowers into the classroom. It is a great way for the children to contribute to their classroom environment.

— Mlle Noordam

Reminder Please: Please ensure that Toddler children have appropriate outerwear for the weather conditions every day, and please label everything — hats, gloves and mittens, scarves, etc. too. Also, please avoid cloth or knit gloves and mittens. They are convenient, but inevitably get wet and make little hands even colder.

Casa South

Dear Casa South families,

I hope you all had a restful weekend spent with family and maybe some turkey (or to-furkey)! Although we’ve had some shorter weeks recently, your children have been keeping very busy with lots of work in the classroom. As they settle in, they become a lot more confident with the materials and are so, so eager to be shown new things.

For the children, it might seem daunting when they first hear a new language. They’re still learning their first one and they’ll look at me wondering “what on earth is Mlle Paul saying!” Expecting this confusion, I would repeat the word or phrase over again making sure to give gestures and facial expressions to help them understand. Those are a big part of my job: rubbing my hands together when I ask them to wash their hands, pointing to my shoes while I ask them to put theirs on, or making exaggerated expressions to convey an emotion. At their age right now, having that consistency is so important. I like to make sure I’m using the same phrase and word every time and over time it just clicks. The older children who’ve been with me in the past are also a great help and love to explain to the others what I’m saying. They’ll hear French throughout their day, whether it’s in the class, outdoor at recess and all the other transition periods, and they just soak it up without realizing.

During the work cycles, the first thing I’ll introduce to the new ones are Montessori Classified Cards because they can see a picture of what they’re learning and learn the proper word to associate it with. Having small groups with a set of Classified Cards goes a long way. The cards are something they can hold and have a clear depiction of what they’re learning. For those who are ready, they can read the labels (French and English are on the backs of each one) and practice writing their own. So far this year, we’ve worked a lot with the types of butterflies, construction vehicles, and fruits.

Reading, on the other hand, is something I start to work on once they have a good foundation in English first. When Ms. Moffatt sees that a child is ready to learn their sounds (sometimes they already know some!), she’ll show them the Sandpaper Letters. Once a child has worked with Ms. Moffatt on sounds and reading phonetic words, I’ll start to introduce them to those in French. The biggest difference between the two, in sounds, is the vowels, so I’ll work on those then move towards phonetic words and phonograms. I’ve introduced these to a few children this past week and they were very excited to work with the new material. Just like all the work in the classroom, once they’ve been shown it they are welcome to take it out whenever it is available. In the past, I’ve watched a child take out phonetic words every day and work on sounding them out! Sometimes they will be reluctant or uninterested to practice them and that’s completely fine. It can be a little daunting when there’s a stack of unknown words, but I simply encourage them to practice reading just a few at a time or even partner up with a friend who’s been shown. Finally, we have a set of phonetic readers (beginner French books) that I’ll work on one-on-one with a child who is ready.

It’s only October, but Casa South has already learned so many new songs and poems, and they practice the days of the week and the months of the year in most French groups. I’m excited to keep teaching them new things in French!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

À lundi! Mlle Paul

Casa North


Over the past month and a half, the children have progressed with their French language knowledge and understanding. Our greetings are now more interactive and we can share conversations about what they have had for breakfast or dinner at home.

This week during the French gathering, we have begun to focus on introducing ourselves, such as “Hello, my name is _____”, as well as “please” and “thank you.” I am constantly impressed by their use of French vocabulary –- they can name many fruits and vegetables that we worked on during the month of September.

You have probably heard your child singing or humming “Sur le pont d’Avignon” which is one of the songs we sing together. Just like in September, we continue to read books together and work on our vocabulary on a regular basis.

Thank you to all parents who I hear supporting French greetings each morning and at the end of the school day. It’s really nice to see parents learning alongside their children!

Au revoir,

M. Bouquin


My how quickly the time is passing! Speaking of time, the Upper Elementary students will be taking another look at time in French as a fun way to revise and solidify some of those larger numbers. We might even take a closer look at the 24-hour clock. Upper Elementary students are also busy reading a collection of 28 different comic style books with focus on comprehension and fun language activities.

Year 3 Lower Elementary children began looking at math word problems in French, some of which we will do in the back yard on the black board for as long as Mother Nature will allow us. Year 2 Lower Elementary children are currently writing topical poems reflecting the season and one of its special celebrations. Year 1 students have been colouring rainbows, French flags, and autumnal leaves all the while learning to read the various colours in French. They are all progressing very well and are using various versions of bingo as they learn to count higher in French. We are also including more songs in our learning and will hopefully prepare one or two songs to sing to the residents at Aberdeen Gardens on our next visit there.

The children are always so happy to find new material and activities on the French shelf to work with. They are so willing to continue to broaden their French knowledge. Thank you for sharing them with me.

As always I can be reached at should you have any questions, concerns or comments to share.

À bientôt,

Madame Egan

Reminder for Upper Elementary parents: Upper Elementary students will have their second O.W.L. class next Friday, October 25.  The students each brought home a green duotang with their O.W.L. topics, readings, and homelink assignment to be completed before each workshop.

Don’t forget to get informed and go vote on Monday; the Elementary students did on Thursday:

Handbook Highlight

This week, take a look at “Ref. C: Montessori References and Resources” in your Parent Handbook. [p. 129 in the viewer] This section has a glossary of Montessori terms and links to websites and videos about Montessori covering everything from research into Montessori student outcomes to a parent-to-parent fastdraw video about Montessori.

Coming Up

Please remember to check your Lyonsgate calendar regularly for up to date information.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 22: Toddler and Casa photo day.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 23: Boris Brott, who many of you know from the Brott Music Festival as a conductor of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, is coming to Lyonsgate to give a presentation to the Casa and Elementary students. Elementary students will be walking over to the Primary campus for the 10:00 a.m. start time.
  • Thursday, October 24: Sign-up for November parent observations sent out.
  • Monday, October 28: Elementary Photo Day.
  • Monday, October 28: The new Fall/Winter hot lunch menu begins. This will be a new 4-week rotation of all new meals for the Toddler and Casa students at the Primary campus. We will post the new menu on the website when it comes into effect, and you can always check your Lyonsgate calendar to see which week we are on.
  • Thursday, October 31: Sign-up for Nov. 29 Parent-Teacher conferences sent out.
  • Friday, November 1: PD Day. No school.


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Lyonsgate Weekly Update | Friday, Oct. 11, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving long weekend Friday!

We hope everyone has a feast- and fun-filled weekend. Remember, there is no school on Monday, Oct. 14.

It was a busy week at Lyonsgate with field trips, cross-country running, and Casa and Toddler Show and Share (Elementary families, it’s your Show and Share turn next Thursday).

We have a new photo feature for you this week: once you have read through the entire update ;), you will find a slideshow gallery of your Lyonsgate Montessori students learning about themselves and their worlds.

Your children’s Montessori guides have busy week re-caps for you and notes about how the classroom communities are coming together one month into the school year.


Yesterday’s show and share solidified what has become apparent to us — the children are settling into the classroom beautifully. Their excitement about your presence was very apparent, and of course portrayed in various ways: water spillage everywhere, re-arranging materials on the shelf, stacking different materials on top of each other, etc. This was the children’s way of asserting that the classroom is their space, and everything that seemed out of order is completely normal. As adults, it takes extreme restraint to avoid interference; Dr. Maria Montessori cautioned the adult to avoid interrupting spontaneous learning and concentration. The Montessori environment minimizes the child’s need for adult assistance and maximizes self-regulated activity. Everything the child comes in contact with facilitates and maximizes independent learning and exploration.

Wednesday’s field trip to the Royal Botanical Gardens was another opportunity to combine the best of both worlds — school and home life that are completely separated were now combined into one. Some of the children were not fazed by the occurrence while others were understandably reserved. Both of these events in one week have certainly provided a turning of a page and have been the perfect precursor to the second month of school.

I was overjoyed to have you all join us in the classroom and I am hopeful that Show and Share has provided a small glimpse into your child’s day. Next week, I will be reaching out to provide a one-month update. I look forward to speaking with you about your child’s adjustment and address any questions that you may have.

Wishing you all a beautiful long weekend. Happy Thanksgiving!

Ms. Dee

Casa South

It was such a busy week at school! Field trip, Show and Share, and Thanksgiving celebrations!

We had such a great time at the Royal Botanical Gardens on Wednesday! Our tour guide Danielle was so lovely. She showed us different flora and fauna, taught us new games, took us for a hike, and let us feed chickadees! Field trip highlights for Casa South were lunch and playing in the beautiful natural playground!

Our first Show and Share was a great success! Thank you to all the parents, grandparents, and siblings that came for this special event. The children are so excited on Show and Share day and are so proud to show you the classroom. If you weren’t able to attend, don’t worry, there will be plenty in the future!

The past couple days we have been baking up a storm! It certainly smells like Thanksgiving in Casa South. We made pumpkin pies — FROM SCRATCH! We roasted the pumpkins, pressed in the pastry, stirred up the filling, and baked them ourselves. It was quite the endeavour but totally worth it!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and their families! We hope it is full of food, family time, and relaxation! See on Tuesday!

Miss Moffatt

Casa North

Happy Friday, Casa North Families!

This week, we had a field trip to the RBG as well as a Show and Share. It was chock full of excitement and adventure! Many thanks to our parent volunteers for helping out at our field trip. We had beautiful weather, lots of gross motor exercise, and plenty of fresh air.

Our Show and Shares are always a hit — the children adore inviting in their families and showing off what they’ve been presented (or not presented, for those ambitious ones!). It’s a great opportunity for me to see them reveal their interests and interact with their loving families. Thank you for stepping into the classroom and seeing how they thrive in their environment.

We did some holiday baking in the classroom as we discussed Thanksgiving this week. The children shared what they were thankful for, and some of your family traditions, with one another. Please enjoy our apple cinnamon bread, and feel free to try the recipe out for yourselves.

Happy Thanksgiving! See you on Tuesday.

Miss Boyle


This week, the Elementary class joined with other Montessori schools at La Salle Park in Burlington to compete in a friendly cross-country race while raising funds for education projects in Uganda. Each of the students challenged themselves in different ways. Some were filled with nervous anticipation, eager to achieve a new personal best; some were wary of this group athletic pursuit, finding it more appealing to observe and cheer on their teammates; others fought to master their expectations and disappointments, and resolve to try again another day. The best thing about observing our students on these outings, however, is the way they connect with each other, and the world around them. Our team supported each other with wild cheering sections, hugs and words of consolation, and companionship over competition along the course. Many students paused during the race to enjoy the view of the lake, discover the water fowl, and chat with the teachers stationed on the trail.

Back in class, some of our younger students heard the Third Great Lesson: The Coming of Human Beings, followed by the Timeline of Human Beings, in which they explore pictures of life in the Stone Age. They were also presented with the Montessori Black Strip, a 30-metre long piece of fabric that helps the children imagine the enormity of time that existed for the Earth, and other forms of life, before humans emerged in order to give children a sense of humility in the face of time. The Upper Elementary students continued their comparison of party platforms on key issues in the upcoming Federal election, as well as different types of government.

We can’t wait to share some of our work with you next week during the Elementary Show and Share event! See you on Thursday, Oct. 17, from 3:30-4:30. (If you are changing your regular pick-up routine to attend Show and Share with your child, please let us know well in advance).

PLEASE NOTE: The Elementary photo day has been changed to Monday, Oct. 28.

Don’t forget to drop off Elementary students at the Primary (Aberdeen) campus on Wednesday, Oct. 16, for our outing to the Steam and Technology Museum, The bus will leave the Primary campus at 9:00 a.m.

We are so grateful for our families, friends, and community here at Lyonsgate. We wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving weekend. We’ll see you on Tuesday!


Handbook Highlight

This week we want to draw your attention to “Part 1” of your Lyonsgate Parent Handbook [p. 17 in the embedded viewer]. This part of your handbook contains summaries of each of the three Montessori programmes at Lyonsgate — Toddler, Casa, and Elementary — and each includes a typical daily schedule. Some days we do things differently, but most days run according to these schedules. It’s a handy reference for things like drop-off and pick-up times, and when might be a good time to schedule and pick up for things like dentist appointments.

Coming Up

Please remember to check your Lyonsgate calendar regularly for up to date information on what’s going on at Lyonsgate Montessori School. You can also click in the bottom right corner to add it to your own Google/gmail calendar.

  • Happy Thanksgiving! There is no school on Monday, October 14.
  • Elementary Families:
    • Don’t forget to drop off Elementary students at the Primary (Aberdeen) campus on Wednesday, Oct. 16, for our outing to the Steam and Technology Museum, The bus will leave the Primary campus at 9:00 a.m.
    • Elementary Show and Share: Thursday, Oct. 17, 3:30-4:30 at the the Elementary campus (Locke St.). Elementary parents, if you are changing your regular pick-up routine to attend Show and Share with your child, please let us know well in advance. Thank you.
  • Toddler and Casa Photo Day: Monday, Oct. 22.
  • PD Day Friday, November 1. No school.
  • Parent Observations in your child’s classroom will take place throughout November. Online sign-up for your 20-minute observation slot will be available Thursday, Oct. 24.
  • Parent-Teacher conferences are coming up on Friday, Nov. 8.


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Lyonsgate Weekly Update | Friday, Oct. 4, 2019

Hello Lyonsgate Families,

Thank you for your understanding regarding the PD days this week. We hope it didn't cause too much disruption and that you had some valuable family time together. There is one more day next week when the synagogue building is unavailable to us (due to Yom Kippur), but that is field trip day for Primary (Toddler and Casa) students and cross-country day for Elementary students.

The Primary (Aberdeen) campus building will be inaccessible to all Lyonsgate students, families, and staff for the entire day on Wednesday, October 9. There is no Before Care, After Care, or Extended Care for Primary (Toddler and Casa) students on Wednesday

Please see the very important details below regarding field trips, cross-country, and drop-off and pick-up times and locations:

Toddler Field Trip

The Toddler field trip on Wednesday, October 9, will be at the Royal Botanical Gardens.  We will meet at the RBG Centre, 680 Plains Road West, Burlington.

*Please note that all Toddler students must be accompanied throughout the morning by a parent/guardian. 

We will be meeting at the RBG Centre front entrance at 9:00 a.m. The children will be participating in programming that is mostly outdoors.  Please ensure you dress your child appropriately for the weather.  The field trip will occur rain or shine.

The children will be participating in the following program as listed on the RBG website (click "View Program Options" under ECE and Kindergarten):

Early Years Exploration: The Great Animal Adventure

All kinds of animals call RBG home, but how do they survive in nature? Through role-playing and guided exploration, students search for animals, their homes, and the signs they leave behind to learn more about their habitats and how animals interact with each other.

The program will run between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., after which time Toddler students will be dismissed for the day.  Please note that there is no before or after school care for primary students on this day.

We are looking forward to this fun-filled day of exploration, and hope you and your child are as well!

Pertinent Details:

  • Wednesday, October 9, 2019
  • Royal Botanical Gardens, RBG Centre, 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington
  • 9:00 a.m. arrival, RBG Centre front entrance
  • 11:30 a.m. dismissal
  • Dress according to weather

*Please note: There is no before/after school care on this date.*

Casa Field Trip

The Casa field trip on Wednesday, October 9, will be at the Royal Botanical Gardens.  We will meet at the RBG Centre, 680 Plains Road West, Burlington.

Please drop your child off between 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m., at the front entrance. The children will be participating in programming that is mostly outdoors.  Please ensure you dress your child appropriately for the weather.  The field trip will occur rain or shine.  Also, please note that you will need to pack a lunch for your child on this day.  The RBG requests a litterless lunch that is nut-free.  There is no refrigeration for the day, so please remember to include an ice pack.

The children will be participating in two programs as listed on the RBG website (click "View Program Options" under ECE and Kindergarten)

Early Years Exploration:

Making Sense of Nature

Come outside and learn how to use your eagle-eyes, owl-ears and fox nose! Nature is full of new sights, sounds, smells, and textures, and this program encourages young learners to take it all in. This program emphasizes sensory activities and open explorations.

The Great Animal Adventure

All kinds of animals call RBG home, but how do they survive in nature? Through role-playing and guided exploration, students search for animals, their homes, and the signs they leave behind to learn more about their habitats and how animals interact with each other.

Please plan to pick your child up between 2:15 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. at the RBG playground also located at the RBG Centre, 680 Plains Road West. Please note that there is no before or after school care for Primary students on this day.  If you are not able to pick your child up, please let us know who will be coming on your behalf and please ensure they have identification with them.

If your child naps in the afternoon, and you feel that this day will be too long, please pick up at 12:00 p.m., following lunch, as you indicated on your permission form.

We are looking forward to this fun-filled day of exploration!

Pertinent Details:

  • Wednesday, October 9, 2019
  • Royal Botanical Gardens
  • RBG Centre, 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington
  • 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. drop off at the front entrance
  • Dress according to weather
  • Pack a litterless lunch
  • 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. pick up at RBG playground

*Please note: There is no before/after school care on this date.*

Elementary Cross-Country

Every year, Lyonsgate Elementary students get together with students from a number of other Montessori schools for a cross-country running meet at LaSalle Park in Burlington, hosted by Fairview Glen Montessori. We have been practicing during phys. ed. since the start of the school year. This year’s cross-country meet is on Wednesday, Oct. 9.

There is a $10.00 registration fee for each student as this event supports Fairview Glen’s Uganda Centre for Early Childhood Education. Fairview has designed and implemented theoretical and practical workshops for teachers, developed a teacher mentorship program, and is building school facilities for early years programs. Please send the registration fee with your child prior to the event.

We will have a picnic lunch in the park, so please help students pack an appropriate lunch. Unfortunately, due to event permit capacity restrictions, parents are not able to attend.

We will be departing from Beulah Park by bus at 9:30 a.m. Students can be dropped off at Beulah Park after 8:30. We will leave the Elementary (Locke) campus with Before Care and other students at  9:00 a.m. sharp.

*Note:* For Elementary students registered for Before, After, and/or Extended Care, these programs will take place at the Elementary (Locke St.) campus on Wednesday, Oct. 9. Do not go to the Primary (Aberdeen) campus; the building is not available due to Yom Kippur.


No "Coming Up" section this week because there are lots of field trip and cross-country details to keep track of next week. Please remember to check your Lyonsgate calendar at regularly for up to date information about what's happening at Lyonsgate. We do have a few reminders from your children's Montessori teachers:

  • Toddler and Casa Show and Share: Toddler and Casa parents are invited into their children's Montessori environments next week for the first Show and Share of the year. During Show and Share, your children may present Montessori materials and activities to you or show you some of the work they have completed. It's a chance for them to give you a glimpse into their Montessori days. Feel free to pop in for Show and Share when you arrive to pick up at the end of the day.
    • Toddler Show and Share is from 3:30-4:00 in the Toddler classroom.
    • Casa Show and Share is from 3:30-4:30 in your child's Casa classroom.
  • Weather Appropriate Outerwear: Fall seems to have descended upon us and there can be great variations in weather conditions from day-to-day, or even in the same day. Please be sure to check the weather forecast every morning and send children to school with weather appropriate outerwear. Children need fresh air and space and exercise, and we all get outside in all but the worst of weather conditions. Outdoor time for children during the school day is a legislated requirement, as are specific staff-to-student ratios. We cannot remove a staff member from outdoor supervision to stay inside with a child who does not have appropriate clothing for the weather conditions. Thank you.
  • Mysterious Objects?: Has something new and unusual shown up in your child's pocket or in the laundry? There's a good chance it is a Montessori material. Montessori materials are designed to be appealing to young children, and sometimes they appeal themselves home as treasures. If you have found something new and unusual, please send it back to school; we are missing a few bits and pieces in a few classrooms. Thank you.
  • Late Arrivals at Elementary: When you are late arriving to the Elementary campus, please only ring the doorbell once. We have heard it, but are busy working with the children and cannot always get to the door system immediately. Late arrivals to the classroom are disruptive and repeated ringing of the doorbell makes them even more disruptive. Please do your best to have children arrive between 8:30-8:45 every day. Thank you.

Lyonsgate Weekly Update | Friday, Sept. 27, 2019

Good Afternoon Lyonsgate Community,

Parent Education

Thank you to all of the Casa parents that attended your first Parent Education session of the school year. We host these events for you because we know Montessori can be a little mysterious once you leave your independent little Montessorians at the door. The Parent Education events are intended to explain some of what we do, and why.

Toddler  and Elementary parents, it's your turn next week. This year we are asking ALL parents to let us know if they will be attending Parent Education events, or not, so that we can better plan and accommodate.

Classroom Photos

Speaking of mysterious Montessori, we have photos from each Montessori environment in this week's update for you. The photos are a way to give you a glimpse inside the classrooms each week to see what your children do once they are done making you feel guilty in the morning.

You can use the photos to spark conversations with your child about what happens in the classroom (beyond the standard "I dunno" and "Nothing"). Ask children, "What material is that?"; "What are you/What is that child doing in this picture?"; "Have you had a presentation with that?"; "Is this work that you do sometimes?"; "Who is this in your class?"; the more specific the question, the more likely you'll get an informative answer.

Click on an image to view a larger version, and if you ever want the full version of a photo of your child just let Jason know at

Hot Lunch

Our hot lunch caterers, Wholesome Kids Catering, announced this month that they are now incorporating Ontario Dietitians in Public Health (ODPH) guidelines into their menus. Click here for the announcement from Wholesome Kids.

Updates from Your Child's Teachers

Last week you had introductory updates from your children's French-language assistants. This week, the English-language assistants in your children's classrooms would like to introduce themselves.


It is hard to believe we are already one month into the school year! We have already seen lots of progress with the children during drop-off, largely due to parents giving speedy goodbyes, which goes a long way towards minimizing tears. Their resilience and ability to bounce back and have a productive day is truly inspiring. We have been working hard at letting them do things for themselves: putting on and taking off shoes, hand washing, putting away their own work, and this really gives a jumpstart to that process.

I have been really enjoying my new role as English assistant in the Toddler room. As many of you know, I spent the previous two years in Casa North, often getting to know older brothers and sisters, and it has been great to get familiar with the important role the Toddler program has played in shaping many of those Casa students. I also feel substantially taller in this environment, which is a bonus! I am looking forward to an amazing year and growing alongside the Toddler students.

Mr. Davis

Casa South

My Name is Mlle. Kamongue and I am an assistant in Casa South. I grew up in both Africa and France learning to speak French as my first language. I have experience working with children since the age of 18. My love for children started when I was young and, growing up, I decided to pursue my career in teaching young children. My role as an assistant is to be in class and engage myself  with children, preparing materials, doing activities with children outside when they are on the playground for recess, and helping them with nap. I observe children and be attentive to their needs and identify proper solutions when there's an issue with the students, assist with the classroom instruction, and provide support and guidance, working and communicating closely with Miss Moffatt to identify children's developmental needs and find an appropriate solutions.

Casa North

Families of Casa North,

My name is Ms. Sullivan, and I am the English Assistant in Casa North. I’ve been able to meet most of you as September progresses, and I look forward to getting to know you as the year continues.

As the English Assistant, I divide my time between preparing the classroom and participating in the class. On a typical day, I will be in the class during the morning, on the playground for recess, and in the nap room throughout the afternoon.

While in the classroom, I have had the opportunity to interact with the children in groups and individually. We’ve had the chance to sing songs, read books, practice deep breathing, and share stories in our small group gatherings. One-on-one, we’ve worked on sets of classified cards together, which help enrich the language of the child as they interact with the world around them. It has been wonderful to see the children’s personalities emerging as they become more comfortable in the classroom. I’ve learnt so much from your children already as they open up about their interests and what inspires them. We’ve been able to explore those topics that entice them through discussion and books in the classroom, and on the playground.

I am constantly surprised and inspired by the amount of kindness I’ve witnessed between the children, the scope of their imaginations, and their ability to soak up what they experience in their environment.

I’d like to extend my gratitude for welcoming me into your community. It has been an absolute joy to get to know your children and I am excited about what the coming year has in store for Casa North.

Have a beautiful weekend,

Ms. Sullivan


As we approach the end of our first month, the students at the Elementary campus have settled into their routine. Each week, our students take responsibility for caring for our classroom. These contributions include keeping our classroom clean, our yard raked, our pencils sharpened, and preparing snack for their classmates. A popular contribution this year is breadmaking. Students have been baking white, herb, and cinnamon raisin bread to add to our snack menu each day. Another favourite contribution is the care of our bearded dragon, Zeus. Students prepare her salad of arugula and raspberries, offer live superworms, care for her environment, take her out to visit, and even give her a bath.

As we settle into our work routines, the first years have been keen to count the Montessori Golden Beads and label the Bead Chains. As some of these chains are quite long, this can be a serious investment of time and effort. Our second and third year students have had the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of the Bead Chains by providing their advice and support. This material helps support the students in reading large numbers and learning to skip count, which aids in learning multiplication facts.

This week was our first outing to Aberdeen Gardens to visit the senior residents. Our younger students brought in a special item that they could share with the residents, and our older students brought along a piece of work that they could discuss. Students brought along things they have made, including a model airplane and an origami boat, as well as work such as a musical composition and a volcano project. Before we set out, we practiced introducing ourselves, having conversations about our special items, and politely concluding a conversation. The experienced students had the opportunity to mentor their younger classmates and assist in introductions. The residents of Aberdeen Gardens enjoyed meeting our students and discussing their work with them. It was a wonderful opportunity to contribute to our community, meet interesting people, and practice our social skills.

The Upper Elementary students have had their first O.W.L. class this week. They have also been studying democracy and learning about our upcoming election. As part of this work, they have voted to participate in Friday’s School Strike 4 Climate event. They have researched climate issues and prepared signs in anticipation of the event.


Handbook Highlight

This week, we are highlighting the "Daily School Procedures" section of your Parent Handbook [p. 31 in the embedded viewer]. This section covers important procedures and information regarding:

  • Arrival
  • Late Arrivals
  • Absences
  • Dismissal
  • Authorized Pick-ups
  • Early Pick-up
  • Late Pick-up
  • Extra Care programs; and
  • Parking

Please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the "Daily School Procedures" section. Thank you.

Coming Up

Remember to check your Lyonsgate calendar regularly for up to date information.

PD Days (due to Rosh Hashanah the Primary (Aberdeen) campus is closed).
  • Monday, September 30, is a PD Day. Both Lyonsgate campuses are closed.
  • Tuesday, October 1, is a PD Day for the Primary (Aberdeen — Toddler and Casa) campus ONLY. Elementary is open for a regular school day; Before Care, After Care, and Extended Care will be at Elementary.
Parent Education

Toddler  and Elementary parents, your first Parent Education events of the school year are coming up next week. This year we are asking ALL parents to let us know if they will be attending Parent Education events, or not, so that we can better plan and accommodate.


Lyonsgate Weekly Update | Friday, Sept. 20, 2019

Happy Friday Lyonsgate Families!

This week we have updates for you from your children's French language assistants; there's also a few more photos, and a video in this week's update. There will be more as the Toddler and Casa children become more settled in their environments and routines; click on any photo for a larger version.

Casa Families: Next Thursday, Sept. 26, is your first Parent Education event, from 4:00-5:00 at the Primary (Aberdeen) campus. Your children's Montessori guides will be discussing "Movement: How the Casa Environment Supports and Encourages this Sensitive Period." Child care, and a snack, will be available.

All Casa parents, please click here to let us know if you are coming to your Parent Education session, or not, and to register for childcare if needed.

Primary (Toddler and Casa) families have also received Scholastic catalogues over the last week. Ordering books from Scholastic helps your child engage with reading, and it helps your child's classroom; your orders help build up credit that Lyonsgate can use to order books for the school. For those not familiar with Scholastic, you can return the completed paper order form, with a cheque [no cash please], by the due date, or you can order online and pre-pay.

To order online, visit the How to Create an Account page for a step-by-step walk through and "Get Started."

When you get to the "Select a school" section,

Primary parents: connect to "Lyonsgate Mont Primary" (Hilary Mattar is the teacher)

Elementary parents: connect to "Lyonsgate Mont Elementary" (Marissa Achong is the teacher)

We have confirmed dates for this year's school photo days:

  • Elementary students will have photos taken on Monday, Oct. 21.
  • Primary students will have photos taken on Tuesday, Oct. 22

Check your Lyonsgate calendar regularly for updated information and to keep track of what's going on when.


What a wonderful week three we have had. As the children have become more comfortable with their teachers, their personalities have begun to show. It is an amazing process to watch the children show us who they are. The children have started to interact with us and we have lovely conversations with them.

Having a teacher in the classroom that speaks a different language can be daunting at first. The children have become more comfortable with the language difference. Slowly but surely, the children have come to recognize what I am asking them. Simple phrases such as "laver tes main," "assieds-toi," and "prend ton travaille" have become more familiar.

The children have enjoyed listening to new French songs and books during French circle; "Brille Brille" has become a quick favorite among them.

Thank you for speaking to me in French to the best of your ability! It is a great example for the children to see how the French language isn't so scary because you are also speaking to me in French. A simple "Bonjour" or "Au revoir" makes all the difference. I look forward to showing the children more of the French language through presentations soon!

Mademoiselle Noordam.

Casa South

Dear Casa South Families,

These first few weeks have already flown by. I have absolutely loved meeting your children who are new to Casa South, and for those who are returning it's been so nice to see how much they've grown during the summer.

In the classroom, your children have the opportunity to hear me speak French all day. At their ages in particular, it's amazing how much they soak up from their environment. Already this year they've enjoyed hearing poems, music just for listening, singing songs, and conversations about numbers and colours in French group. The rest of the time, during the work cycles, we look at different classified cards, some read phonetic books, and very soon I'll start introducing some of them to phonetic words, when they will start to learn the sounds of the French language.

In other news, I want to thank you all for doing your best to speak to me in French. Even if it's a quick "bonjour," it's important for your children to see that they too can greet me in French, just like you.

Another thank you for everyone arriving and giving a brief goodbye at drop-off. It's greatly appreciated as it encourages your children to also make the effort.

Quick reminder while I still have you, Casa Parent Education is coming up next week!

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend,

Mlle. Paul.

Casa North

Bonjour! Hello!

My name is Monsieur Bouquin and I am the French assistant in the Casa North classroom. I was born and raised in Paris, France, until I moved to Canada in April 2019. My role at Lyonsgate is to provide the children with French conversation in their environment, while also bringing in bits and pieces of the French culture to enrich their learning experience.

Everyday, we have a French gathering in the afternoon before going outside to the playground. It is a great opportunity for the children to develop their vocabulary knowledge through songs, stories, and group conversations. The students work together to better understand and incorporate the French language into everyday life. Our focus lately has been on fruits and vegetables.

When at Lyonsgate, I communicate exclusively in French with the children, which can certainly create some interesting situations. They are in that stage where they can easily absorb language and process it before they may even understand it clearly. The best thing for an individual learning a second (or third or fourth!) language is to continually practice it on a daily basis. For the parents at Lyonsgate, I encourage you to continue working with your child outside of school hours to promote your child’s development of the French language. There are many ways to bring up French at home in everyday life; why not try making the grocery list in French? Perhaps you could visit the local library and see what other resources are available such as videos, CDs, and French children's books, or even community events that you can attend with your child. The more they practice what they know in French, the more confident they will become.


Monsieur Bouquin.


Only three weeks into the new school year and already the children comprehend my common refrain of "cherche ton cahier de français." They are all busy with French lessons and learning to communicate with me in French on a daily basis. Those in year 1 are currently revisiting numbers and colours and will gradually learn how to apply these important pieces of language in describing the world around them. Year 2 students have taken a look at Euro coins and are about to explore where exactly this currency is used. Our third years are mastering the art of introducing themselves to others in French, and are having fun doing so using secret identities!

Our Upper Elementary pupils are keeping journals in French this year and are reading a Scholastic magazine called Allons-y every week, where they keep abreast of various celebrations, events, and famous people in the francophone world (all relevant and appealing to their age group of course).

All the children are continually made more aware of the francophone world simply by learning the French language, but this week we immersed ourselves in a part of African culture. Jean Assamoa, originally from Côte d’Ivoire in Africa, paid us a visit. His mission is to share traditional story telling and music from his birthplace with children in North America. Your children had fun learning to use various percussion instruments from Côte d’Ivoire, and dancing to Jean’s wonderful drumming. More information about Jean can be found here.

This year, we are fortunate to have a greater number of French speaking children form part of the Lyonsgate Elementary community. Their everyday banter in French is wonderful for their peers to simply sit and listen to, all the while soaking it all up. These children will gradually fulfill the role of helping their peers to practice their French. The naturally kind and nurturing environment of our Elementary classroom will lend itself to this peer support.

At this point, I have met the majority of new parents to Elementary this year. If I have not yet had an opportunity to talk with you I hope that I will soon. Please also remember that I can be easily reached by email at

À bientôt,

Madame Egan

Handbook Highlight

This week, we are highlighting the "Food and Nutrition Policies" section of your Parent Handbook [p. 112 in the embedded viewer]. Food service and nutrition requirements are addressed by a number of different guides and pieces of legislation at all three levels of governance:

  1. Federally through Canada’s Dietary Guidelines (this is the updated Canada Food Guide).
  2. Provincially through CCEYA legislation.
  3. Municipally through Hamilton Public Health.

The impact of diet on concentration levels and health is well documented and the best time to instill in children a healthy attitude to food and nutrition is when they are young. We know how stubborn children can be around food, but quite often children are more open-minded amongst peers.

In this section, you will find information and requirements for both Lyonsgate and parents regarding:

  • The "Hot Lunch" program.
  • "Bagged" lunches — ie. lunches from home at the Elementary level.
  • Alternative and supplemental snacks.
  • Menus.
  • Allergies and food restrictions.

Following the "Food and Nutrition" section is a comprehensive resource from Health Canada with a link to Canada's new Dietary Guidelines, as well all sorts of food and nutrition tips.

Coming Up

Check your Lyonsgate calendar regularly for updates and details.

  • Casa Families: Next Thursday, Sept. 26, is your first Parent Education event, from 4:00-5:00 at the Primary (Aberdeen) campus. Your children's Montessori guides will be discussing "Movement: How the Casa Environment Supports and Encourages this Sensitive Period." Child care, and a snack, will be available.

All Casa parents, please click here to let us know if you are coming to your Parent Education session, or not, and to register for childcare if needed.

  • PD Days: There are some PD days coming up, and there are details to note, especially for Elementary families:
    • On Monday, Sept. 30, both Lyonsgate campuses will be closed. This is to accommodate the Rosh Hashannah observance at the Beth Jacob synagogue, and to give Lyonsgate staff an opportunity to meet after the first month of school.
    • On Tuesday, Oct. 1. only the Lyonsgate Primary (Aberdeen) campus will be closed. The Elementary campus will be open for Elementary students. Before Care, After Care, and Extended Care for registered Elementary students will take place at the Elementary (Locke St.) campus. The Primary (Aberdeen) campus is not available due to the Rosh Hashannah observance — there is no walking school bus.

  • Toddler and Elementary Parent Education: Toddler and Elementary parents are asked to attend your first full Parent Education sessions of the year on Thursday, October 3.
      • Toddler families: your Parent Education session will take place at the Primary (Aberdeen) campus from 3:00-3:30.
      • Elementary families: your Parent Education session will take place at the Elementary (Locke) campus from 4:00-5:00
      • Registration and childcare details will be available next week.

Lyonsgate Weekly Update | Friday, Sept. 13, 2019

Happy Friday Lyonsgate Families!

We hope everyone is settling into school routines both at school and at home. We had some excitement this week with the tree that fell onto the car just outside the Lyonsgate Primary campus parking lot.

In other exciting news, you can now find the Lyonsgate lunch menu on our website. The hot lunch menu works on a rotating 4-week cycle; you can check the Lyonsgate calendar to see which week we are on. The menu indicates the vegetarian option for each meal, where applicable. All other allergy/restriction meal substitutions (dairy, gluten, etc.) are on a per meal basis. Please don't hesitate to contact the school if you want to know what a specific substitution was for a specific meal for your child.


Happy second week of school! First (ever!) for some of our new friends.

This was our first week with all the children. They are settling into the classroom and are becoming more eager to seek work. Consistency in their routines is helping them settle much easier. Thank you.

The daily lunch menu has been posted on the Lyonsgate website; you will find it under the "Parents" tab. Check the Lyonsgate calendar to see which week of the 4-week cycle we are on.

Outdoor play is unanimously a group favourite at the moment as they get to see toys that are familiar and run off some toddler energy.


  • Drop off: Mr. Davis will be in the cloak hall assisting children as they arrive between 8:25 and 8:45 daily. He is helping remove outdoor gear and preparing them for the classroom entry. A quick drop off, although so hard some mornings, is the best thing for your child; it establishes a consistent routine and children are able to settle and enjoy their Montessori days. Once children are dropped off, please know that they are being loved and cared for and comforted, and that they do calm themselves and enjoy their day. Please exit the Lyonsgate property; if a child catches a glimpse of a peeking parent or grandparent it takes them much longer to settle, or re-settle.
  • Pickup: We encourage parents to wait outside of the playground gate where one of the teachers will bring your child over to you when picking up. The daily log is posted on the clipboard on the fence and provides pertinent details about their day. The Toddler school day ends at 3:30, which is when children are to be picked up. If you need extra time, you can register for After School care, which runs from 3:30-4:30. Children in After School care can be picked up anytime between 3:30-4:30 from the Room of Requirement just across the hall from the Toddler room.
  • Water bottles stay at the school and are washed by us.
  • Please avoid shoes with buckles, laces, and anything else that hinders children from doing it for themselves.
  • Blankets are sent home for a wash every two weeks on Friday, starting next Friday, Sept. 20th.

Have a wonderful weekend. We will see you all next week! — Miss Dee

Casa South

Casa South's first full week was a great success. Our third-year Casa students are embracing their roles as leaders in the Montessori environment and are serving as little assistants helping the new Casa children become familiar and comfortable.

The new first-year students are very excited to receive presentations with new and fascinating Montessori materials, and to finally get their hands on materials they may have seen in visits to the classroom while they were in Toddler. Our second-year students are showing us that they are ready to work with the more challenging materials all of their hard work last year prepared them for.

We encourage you to find ways to allow your Casa child to experience and develop independence at home. They are learning to do things for themselves at school, such as entering the school independently every day and getting themselves ready in the cloakroom, and the more practice they have the more confident and capable they will become. The best way we encourage independence as adults is through patience, and by making sure we have the time to allow children to work through their independent tasks.

Please remember to try and save superhero and other popular culture/media emblazoned articles of clothing and accessories for wear at home and on weekends. Even things like socks and hair clips are significant distractions for young children that are learning to develop focus and concentration. Thank you for understanding.

— Miss Moffatt

Casa North

Hi Casa North Families,

Another week down! As your little ones are starting to settle into their new routines, here's a few ideas for helping them along.

Rather than asking "What did you do at school today?" try asking, "What was your favourite thing about your day?" Often, the day is so full of presentations, observing, eating, playing at recess, and socializing it can be overwhelming to say all of the things that happened. A favourite thing might be talking to a friend, having bread at lunch, or simply "recess," but it gives a little bit more insight into their day.

Reminding your child that the weekend is two days at home and then back to school on Monday is helpful as well. A weekend can feel like an eternity for a Casa child, and it doesn't hurt to let them know that the school week starts again Monday morning.

Lastly, please do your best to arrive between 8:25-8:45 a.m. for regular arrivals. It makes such a different in the morning when they arrive with their peers, and before the classroom has come into a settled work cycle. There is extra staff on hand (including me!) to help those who are extra sensitive, and it helps instill the value of arriving at a set time. This will ultimately make a huge difference in how they settle into their routine as well!

Thank you for entrusting us with your children. We don't take the responsibility lightly, and are so grateful that you share each one of them with us. I couldn't be happier with the community we are building.

Enjoy a safe and happy weekend,

— Miss Boyle


As we conclude the first full week of school, the Elementary students are settling into the rhythm of the daily work cycle and developing partnerships with their peers. The Montessori Grammar Boxes and Chequerboards have re-appeared, paintings and calligraphy samples are laid out to dry, and there are student-made kale chips at snack. The youngest students have begun an exploration of volcanoes in follow-up to the Montessori Story of the Creation of Universe, and have received the Second Great Lesson: The Coming of Life.

This week, as we hiked a small section of the Bruce Trail (its full length extends 895 kms from Queenston to Tobermory), younger students learned about the trail system, found creeks and waterfalls, and used their keen eyes and ears to spot and hear wildlife, from squirrels and a variety of birds to a large spider hanging above the trail building a web, and older students heard the history of the Niagara Escarpment and imagined what life was like here 450 million years ago when our area was a warm, shallow sea filled with coral and ancient creatures, and observed spiders, garter snakes, and giant stick bugs, followed trail blazes, and learned about the formation of sedimentary rocks. Despite the heat, the Upper Elementary students were also determined to climb the 289 steps up the escarpment to the lookout at Cliffview Falls! Round-trip, their little legs covered nearly 5 kms, but they returned with smiles on their faces, full of enthusiasm, pride, and stories to share.

NOTE: there is an addition to the Lyonsgate Elementary outing schedule. On Wednesday, Sept. 18, we will begin our day with an hour of yoga instruction at the Primary (Aberdeen) campus. Students can be dropped off at either campus; we will depart the Elementary (Locke) campus at 8:50 sharp to travel to Primary. Students are asked to wear yoga appropriate clothing and to bring a yoga mat if you have one. Our yoga session will be led by Lyonsgate Montessori Mom Lauren Speziale.

Handbook Highlight

This week, we'd like to draw your attention to the "Immunizations" section of your Lyonsgate Parent Handbook (p.94 in the embedded viewer).

Most parents are not aware that each time your child receives an immunization you are required to report it to Hamilton Public Health. This section of the handbook covers how to do that. You will also find information about required immunizations; religious, conscience, and medical objections to/exemptions from immunizations; and links to Hamilton Public Health immunization information.

Families of new children just starting school, or families who may have recently moved to Hamilton, or who have never done so before, are asked to pick up an "Immunization History for Licensed Child Care Centre" form from the Lyonsgate office, complete it, and return it to us so that we can submit them, as required, to Hamilton Public Health. You can find your child's immunization history on the yellow cards we all receive, and then promptly misplace. You can now register for an online immunization record with Public Health so that you can lose the yellow card and not worry about it.

If immunization records are not up to date with Public Health we will receive a suspension notice from them asking us to suspend your child from school until immunizations are up to date. In most of these cases, updating administered immunizations with Hamilton Public Health is all that is required.

Coming Up

We have a quiet week in terms of events next week, but here are a few upcoming things to keep in mind. Don't forget to check your Lyonsgate Calendar regularly:

  • Casa Parent Education, Thursday, Sept. 26, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
  • PD Days for Rosh Hashanah:
    • On Monday, Sept. 30, both Lyonsgate campuses will be closed.
    • On Tuesday, Oct. 1, the Primary (Aberdeen) campus will be closed. Elementary will be open.
  • Casa and Toddler Field Trip: Wednesday, Oct. 9. See your Sept. 9 "RBG Field Trip" email for details; pertinent info is on your Lyonsgate Calendar.

Lyonsgate Weekly Update | Friday, Sept. 6, 2019

One week down, 45 more to go (minus a few for the winter and March breaks). We have some new Casa children still to join us, and we hope everyone had a great first week — both children, and moms and dads that had to say goodbye to tearful tiny people. Your hearts are not permanently broken, and children will be used to their new routines and excited to see their friends at school in no time.

This is your first weekly update of the school year. Every Friday, we post an update to the website. You will find it in the "Updates & Announcements" section under the "Parents" tab. We will also send you an email digest containing any important dates or events to remember and a link to the full update post.

Be sure to read the full website post because it will contain updates from your children's  Montessori guides and assistants, as well as photos of your children in their Montessori environments. We'll start taking photos in the next week or two once children are feeling settled and comfortable.

Keep a close eye on the "Coming Up" section at the end of each update. This week it highlights two parent education events coming up next week:

  • Montessori 101: An introduction to Montessori education for parents of new Toddler and Casa children. It will take place at the Primary (Aberdeen) campus and will be hosted by Lyonsgate principal Rachel Lyons. We hope to see all new Toddler and Casa parents there on Thursday, Sept. 12, from 9:00-9:45 a.m.
  • Second Plane Parent Education: Our Elementary Montessori guides will discuss the Second Plane of childhood development and what you can expect from your changing child. We'd love to see all parents of new Elementary students and all parents of 3rd year Casa children at the Lyonsgate Elementary campus, at 248 Locke St. S., on Thursday, Sept. 12, from 3:30-4:15 p.m. This parent education session will be hosted by Montessori Elementary guide Marissa Achong.


Welcome to the first week Montessori Toddler at Lyonsgate. There were lots of tears, but also lots of comforting.

It is heartwarming to witness the returning older children in the classroom; they have been so empathetic towards the new children. More new Toddler children will arrive next week, so the harmonies during the morning will increase dramatically. It is important for parents to remember to drop children off with teachers in the cloakroom area and to give a quick goodbye. We know it is hard to do, but it is the best thing to do for your child and will allow them to adjust to the daily school routine more quickly.

As children are adjusting, they may choose to eat a few bites of their food and drink very little of their water. It is important to encourage them to eat a full breakfast in the morning so that they don't become too hungry during the school day. Snacks for after school when you've picked up are a good idea too.

Don't forget to register on Seesaw for updates from the Toddlers!

All of the Toddler staff are very much looking forward to this school year and all of the new faces, friends, and memories we will make together. Working together as a staff, as a community with the children, and as partners with parents, we can make it through these first few weeks of change in children's lives, and in yours. Know that you can have faith in your children; they are fine, and they will continue to grow and change and develop, and we are taking great, compassionate care of them. Don't forget to breathe, relax your shoulders, and show them your brave, calm face, and give them the biggest hugs ever when you pick them up every day.

Miss Dee

Casa South

Welcome back to Casa South! What a great first week back, we missed you all! We hope everyone had a great summer!  It was so wonderful to watch the returning children fall back into their routines, friendships, and favourite activities. We welcomed four new friends from Toddler with open arms; it is such a delight watching the second and third year children helping our new friends learn the ropes. Lots of presentations were had (with more in store). We can't wait to see what the year has to offer!

Miss Moffatt

Casa North

Hello Casa North Families!

Wow! What a start to the year. It never ceases to amaze me that the first day of school can be so beautiful, so purposeful, and so quiet! The returning students fell right back into their regular routine — it was evident that they had missed their Montessori environment and were eager to reconnect with the materials they had been missing. A few refreshers about the order of the day and they were well on their way to fostering a happy and functioning classroom.

Last year's Toddler graduates moved up seamlessly and were thrilled to enter their roles as first-year Casa students. I was constantly moved this week by the peer leadership and empathy that our new third-year students showed to the younger ones.

We are looking forward to having a few brand new children join our community next week; by next Friday our group will be complete. Thank you for your patience and support of Casa North, and for encouraging each and every child to start their day independently (right from the front door!). We are looking forward to a great 2019-2020 school year.

With warmth and excitement,

Miss Boyle


The first week of school is always packed with other "firsts," even for those students returning to Elementary. It may be the first time coming to class without a favourite friend, or bravely setting off in the morning to walk to school on your own. It is a new class dynamic with a shifting social structure as children age, friendships change, and new students (and guides) enter the mix. Despite the new challenges facing them, each student rose to the occasion this week and has begun to settle into the rhythm of school.

We played icebreakers, sang songs, listened to the class read-aloud "The Mouse and the Motorcycle," and all together received the classic Montessori First Great Lesson of the Creation of the Universe.

We ended our week happily exploring the fields of Plan B Organic Farm, tasting the produce as we harvested, and returning to school full of joy. Check Seesaw for photos of our day.

Thank you for sharing your children with us and growing our school community. We are excited for the adventure to continue next week!

With love from the Elementary campus,

Marissa, Michelle, Mme. Egan, and Jason.

Handbook Highlight

Every now and then, we will highlight a section from the Parent Handbook for you. This week, we're highlighting the "Disease and Illness" section starting on page 95 [p. 97 in the embedded viewer]. This section outlines requirements from both the Ministry of Education and Hamilton Public Health regarding children's illness, and includes a table from Public Health that provides guidelines on when children must remain absent from school, and for how long, depending on their illness.

Now that children are together at school each day, they are going to get sick. We know that having to leave work to pick up sick children and having to miss work to stay home with sick children can be difficult. If we all work together to manage illnesses in the school we can all have a healthier, happier school year.

Thank you.

Coming Up

Keep an eye on the Lyonsgate calendar for upcoming and updated information about what's going on at Lyonsgate Montessori School.

  • Thursday, Sept. 12, 9:00-9:45 a.m.: Montessori 101. This is a Montessori Orientation event for parents of new Toddler and Casa children. It will take place at the Primary (Aberdeen) campus and will be hosted by Lyonsgate principal Rachel Lyons.
  • Thursday, Sept. 12, 3:30-4:15 p.m.: Second Plane Parent Education. This parent education session is for parents of new Elementary parents, and for all 3rd year Casa families. It will take place at the Lyonsgate Elementary campus at 248 Locke St. S. and will be hosted by Montessori Elementary guide Marissa Achong. Elementary children not registered for after or extended care will be accompanied in the Elementary backyard.

Welcome to the 2019.2020 Lyonsgate Montessori School Year


We are very excited to welcome all of our students, those new and those returning, to Lyonsgate Montessori School for the 2019.2020 school year. Here's what you need to know:

Start Dates:

Tuesday, September 3, is the first day of school for:

  • Returning Toddler students, and Toddlers that have older siblings at Lyonsgate.
  • Returning 2nd and 3rd year Casa students.
  • All Elementary students.

Thursday, September 5, is the first day of school for:

  • Students that were in Lyonsgate Toddler last year and are moving into Casa this year.

Monday, September 9 — Wednesday, September 11:

  • Staggered start dates for students new to Lyonsgate Casa and Toddler. If you are unsure of your child's start date, please contact

Smooth Transitions

There will be tears. In order to make your children's transition to school as smooth as possible, please follow these guidelines:

  • Casa families, right from the first day, please say goodbye to children at the entrance door and allow them to enter the school independently. Do not accompany children upstairs.

If children have extra stuff the first week, extra staff will be on hand to help carry it, and of course to escort and comfort tearful children.

Establishing a consistent routine will make the transition period much easier for your children.

  • Toddler families, please accompany your child to the Toddler cloak area where they will be greeted and assisted in getting ready to enter the classroom. A quick hug and kiss, reassurance that you will see them later in the day, and a definitive departure will help your child adjust to their new school routine more than you can imagine.

Dropping our young children off at school is one of the most difficult things we do as parents. Please be assured that years of experience have taught us that prolonged goodbyes and an extra..., or a just this time, truly makes the adjustment more difficult for children.


At the end of the day, please do not leave with your child before they say goodbye and shake the hand of their classroom teacher on the playground. For your child's safety, we record departure times.

Casa parents, if you have questions about your child's day or information to share, please come into the school before you go to the playground. The Lyonsgate staff supervising the playground must keep their attention focused on the children. Thank you.

Before, After, and Extended Care

We recently sent out a link to register for Before School Care, After School Care, and Extended Care. If you still need to register for Before School Care (8:00-8:30) | After School Care (Elementary and Toddler only, 3:30-4:30) | or Extended Care (Casa and Elementary only, 4:30-5:00), please click here.

All extra care takes place at the Primary (Aberdeen) campus.

Addressing and Contacting Staff

Children at Lyonsgate address the staff as follows:

Toddler Staff:

Ms. Dee

Mr. Davis

Mademoiselle Noordham

The Toddler staff can be contacted at

Casa North Staff:

Ms. Boyle

Ms. Sullivan

Monsieur Bouquin

Casa North can be contacted at

Casa South Staff:

Ms. Moffatt

Ms. Kamongue

Mademoiselle Paul

Casa South can be contacted at

[Note: the Casa and Toddler email addresses are different than last year, but your old contacts will still work]

Elementary Staff:

Marissa []

Michelle []

Madame Egan []

Administration Staff:

Mrs. Lyons []

Mrs. Kennedy []

Ms. Mattar []

Jason (Elementary administration) []


Each classroom at Lyonsgate Montessori uses Seesaw to share photos and videos of your children. Look for an email from your child's teachers soon about how to sign up and join this year's Seesaw classes.

Seesaw is a private system and we ask that families do not share photos or videos to personal social media accounts.

Lyonsgate Website

Our website is

Although it looks and functions the same as last year, we have made some upgrades that make it more secure and that will allow us to make it a better resource for you. Under the "Parents" tab you will now find:

  • An online Lyonsgate calendar. This calendar will be updated throughout the year and is your go-to source for what's happening, and when, at Lyonsgate Montessori School.
  • The Lyonsgate Parent Handbook. The Parent Handbook contains everything you need to know during your child's time at Lyonsgate Montessori School. You can view it on the website in an embedded PDF viewer for easy navigation. The "Table of Contents" is hyperlinked so you can jump straight to the section you need.

Lyonsgate Weekly Update | June 28, 2019

Hello Lyonsgate Montessori Families,

I want to thank you for reading along all year. My hope is that these weekly updates have helped keep you informed about what's going on at Lyonsgate Montessori School, and offered you glimpses inside your children's Montessori environments.

It's been a true pleasure getting to know your children this year. I think you have made an excellent choice in choosing Montessori education for your children. My own children attended Montessori and I have seen many Montessori schools in action. Rest assured that Lyonsgate does Montessori right, and very well. Also, know that we don't rest on our laurels; Lyonsgate staff was back at school preparing for next year the day after the year-end concert and graduation.

Once things are in place we'll be joining your children in a much deserved summer break, and will be back to school mid-August, refreshed and revitalized, getting ready to welcome your returning children to the next stage of their developmental journey, as well as children new to both Lyonsgate and Montessori at all levels. Lyonsgate continues to grow and develop right alongside your children.

Have an amazing summer together; make memories, plan to have no plan every now and then, get dirty, explore the woods, swim, build, grow, pick, eat, drink, laugh, smile, make other people laugh and smile, do something scary, get up and then go back to bed, invite everyone over for an impromptu BBQ, ride a bike, or learn to ride a bike, go to a festival, ride a bike to a festival, read a book, then read another book, climb some trees, buy fruits and vegetables from a local farmer, slide on waterslides, make a backyard waterslide, make a rope-swing, build a big campfire, go camping, teach the kids to mow the lawn, call in sick cuz it's a nice day, play outside in the pouring rain, play board games, build a model, start a puzzle, finish it if you want, or don't, whatever, it's summer and you and your kids deserve to relax and not care and enjoy each other's company, and we'll hear all about it in September. — Jason.

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The Last Week:

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Thank you all for an amazing year. I have enjoyed getting to know each and every one of you. Thank you for entrusting us with your children! I appreciate every attempt and success made in speaking to me in French or trying to figure out what I am saying. It's a wonder to see the understanding the children now have of the French language, and the parents' as well. I wish you all a warm and adventurous summer. — Mlle. Noordham

To the wonderful parents of Toddler Class 2019.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your children's lives for this year. I have had the privilege of watching many of your children go from starting confused and overwhelmed in the classroom to seeing them stepping up and showing their classmates how to take care of their environment and each other. I met children that sometimes had only a few words to use that can now have full conversations with me, and I have loved getting to know them in the process. I know that they have so much more growing to do, and I feel reassured to know that they will have your love and support while they do it.

Thanks for a great year,

Emily Colbert

It is hard to believe that we have reached the end of the school year! I have watched the Toddlers develop their unique potential through their constructive power, and witnessed incredible milestones involving language, motor skills, and toilet learning. They have developed into leaders, attained challenging work that pushes for concentration and critical thinking, and developed their resilience through various changes ranging from new students to unpredictable snow days.

The Toddlers have displayed positive socialization on various occasions — they moved from the natural state of egocentrism to an altruistic state. Empathy was displayed daily — they made it their duty to ask a sensitive child if they are okay, reassured them that they will be, and proceeded to bring their concern to an adult’s attention. The end of the school year has fortuitously transformed some of the works in the classroom to duo or group work in order to fulfill their need for socialization. One of my favourite memories was listening to a child create a song about washing dishes and happily expressing, “We’re washing dishes!”

An explosion of language occurred amongst the younger Toddlers — by the end of the school year they began forming four to five word sentences and were able to actively participate in conversations with their older peers. The Toddlers’ understanding of French has been incredible to witness — they have carried lengthy conversations with Mlle. Noordam and have even translated some of her conversations.

The Toddlers took pride in baking independently and sharing it with some of the staff at the school. There were many moments where we were able to sit and observe them in awe — they had reached a level of independence where they worked as if the adults were not around.

The end of the school year is marked by changes of course — we have a large group of children moving on to Casa and the three children from January will become second year students in the fall. This time of the year proves to be bittersweet — I am proud to see the Toddler’s transition to Casa but will miss the piece of the puzzle they represent in our little community. Nevertheless, I have wonderful memories created by each child, individually upon which I will reflect for the upcoming year, and really throughout the course of my professional life.

I want to thank you all for entrusting your children to our care. I know those precious hours away from them can be difficult, and I am beyond thankful to have been a witness to their developmental milestones. The children have expressed their excitement about summer break — these extra weeks will give you the opportunity to be spectators to their developmental milestones and adjust the home environment to fulfill their current needs.

I will be thinking of them, truly, and will cherish the footprints they have left in my heart. It has been my greatest privilege to watch their personalities unfold. Thank you all for an astounding year, these beautiful children, and wonderful memories.

Cheers to an adventurous summer! — Ms. Dee

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Casa South: I can't believe another school year is complete! I am so proud of all the hard work done by the students in Casa South!

It was so exciting to see children tie their own shoes for the first time, or read their first word... and even the simple moments, such as pouring water into a glass without spilling! Everyone grew, everyone learned.

I also want to extend a huge thank you to all of the Casa South parents! Thank you for attending Parent Education Nights, for bringing your children on time (most of the time!), and for being a part of our Lyonsgate Montessori community.

I wish everyone a very happy, healthy, and fun summer. I hope it is full of lots of time with family and friends. For those of you moving on to new schools and to our Elementary school, I wish you all the best (I will miss you!)

Lots of Love, Miss Moffatt.

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Casa North: Wow, I can't believe the end of our year has arrived. This time of year is always filled with reflection for me — thinking about how far each child has come is all the inspiration we need as Montessorians to stay true to what we are doing. I want to extend a heartfelt thank you for sharing your little ones with us. Whether it be providing flowers, attending parent education evenings, joining your child in the classroom for a Show and Share, or coming in for an observation, your support of the school does not go unnoticed.

From tears and hugs in September to happily skipping up the stairs, the children have progressed in countless ways. I'm sure you see many changes at home, but please know that your child is also a contributing member of a functioning, independent, and beautiful community in Casa North.

Thank you for all that you do. Have a safe and fun summer. For those of you moving on, thank you and good luck! For those returning, we will see you in September for another great year! — Ms. Boyle

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The final weeks and days of school pass by far too quickly, with the classroom humming with busy students, final projects, looming deadlines, and the excitement of sleepovers, canoe trips, and the year-end play.

It is a bittersweet time for guides in the Montessori environment as the students increasingly separate from the adults, supporting each other and showing greater individual grit and determination to succeed. It is wonderful to see each child's growth and development throughout the school year, yet we also know that the child we say goodbye to in June will not reappear in the fall. They will have grown and changed again after a summer full of new experiences and adventures.

Our Montessori students thrive not only because of the wonderful environment you have chosen for them, but because of your on-going support and participation in their life and school. You have kept on top of important dates, reminded your child to have the appropriate clothing and tools, and, most of all, known when to stop helping. You have joined us for parent education evenings, show and share events, concerts, project presentations, community outings, and more. It is because of your efforts and wonderful children that our little community is flourishing, and for that we are very grateful.

Thank you so much for sharing your amazing little humans with us. It has been our privilege to guide each of them as they travel their own paths. Have a wonderful summer together.

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Coming Up:


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Lyonsgate Weekly Update | June 13, 2019

Hello Lyonsgate Montessori Families,

Next week is the last week of school! These last few weeks of the school year always seem to sneak up on us more quickly than a toddler can dismantle a tidy house. Your children are very busy finishing up work and seeking out last-minute presentations, and your children's Montessori guides are busy preparing final reports and making sure everyone is ready for next year, and for a well-deserved summer break.

Your children's Montessori guides have also been busy preparing for your Parent-Teacher conferences, so we don't have individual classroom updates this week. Instead, you each get a personal update, live and in person. We'll see most of you on Friday, June 14. Remember, there is no school on Parent-Teacher conference Friday, but childcare is available at the school during your conference timeslot.

Concert and Graduation Info: Please join us on Thursday, June 20, for our year-end concert and graduation ceremony. Please plan to arrive at the Primary (Aberdeen) campus between 2:15-2:25 and proceed straight to the Sanctuary (auditorium) downstairs. The show will begin promptly at 2:30 and will run until approximately 3:30.

Please Note: There is no After School or Extended Care on Thursday, June 20. This is our last (sort of) full school day for the 2018.2019 school year. The next day...

Friday, June 21, is a PD Day, but we will meet you all at the Dundas Driving Park (71 Cross St., Dundas) at 3:30 for our annual year-end super fantastic picnic of fun. Be sure to pack a water bottle, and a bathing suit and towel as there is a great splash pad.

We have reserved Kitchenette 1.

The picnic will be pot luck, and this year we are asking everyone to please Bring Your Own Water Bottle to help alleviate the plastic in the land fills. Thank you.

Last week, you should have received an email notification for access to an online sign-up sheet for picnic items, or you can click here to sign up. Thank you.

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