Hello Lyonsgate Families,

Please see below for messages and updates from your children’s classrooms, and a few photos from the beginning of the school year.


Casa North & South


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We are now at the end of week two in our Toddler community and I can see that the children are working hard to adapt to the new environment and the routine of school. We have been acknowledging their hard work and their emotions during this transitional period and we hope that, little by little, each day will bring less uncertainty and more joy.

As guides, we know that children thrive best when an established routine is consistent. We include the children in every part of the day-to-day activities. We speak to them about what comes next in the routine so that they can actively participate in the arc of the day.

Our Toddler environment has been prepared for everyone to be an active participant. The children help to care for the plants, clean the tables, tidy up after the work cycle and after meals, and work on independent self care as well. Toddlers are encouraged to wash their hands, clean their faces after a meal, and dress and undress themselves as part of the routine. These seemingly small tasks can offer tremendous satisfaction to a child who is striving to become independent and be included in the important work of each day.

We are enjoying getting to know all of our new students and families and we are so grateful to have the opportunity to witness these little citizens of the world explore and make discoveries. We are particularly grateful to have three toddlers from last year in our class to help their new friends settle in. It is wonderful to see how much these three have grown over the summer.

It is going to be a wonderful year. We are already charmed and intrigued by all of the new personalities and we look forward to the many happy days ahead.

Ms. Elise Gervais.

Casa North & South

(Most of the time each Casa classroom will have a separate update, but for this first classroom update of the school year they are combined.)

Hello Casa Families,

What an excellent two weeks it has been with our Casa students. It has been heartwarming to see our students becoming more confident in routines, engaging in new friendships, and inviting us into their world. The classrooms we worked so hard to prepare have come to life with stories, explorations, and laughter — as teachers, it is the most fulfilling thing to see!

Despite the unique needs and dynamics of our two groups, Casa classrooms tend to share the same two focuses at this point in the year, every year: Grace & Courtesy and Independence.

Grace & Courtesy pertains to the daily practices that teach each child how to exist respectfully in the classroom setting. Modelling Grace & Courtesy provides the child with tools they need to feel like a kind, confident, valuable member of their school community and to feel they have been let in on the secret of how the classroom works and can now engage in it properly & courteously.

We are practicing many Grace & Courtesy routines with our students — tucking in chairs when leaving a table, walking around floor mats where others are working, observing other’s work without interference, how to sneeze/cough appropriately, and many more. With the daily repetition of these practices, the students are becoming more and more conscientious of how to co-exist in their shared space.

Independence is in the same vein, as we want students to feel confident and independent enough to enter their community as valuable members. Independence is undoubtedly a cornerstone of Montessori pedagogy; modelled after Maria Montessori’s “Casa de Bambini,” our own Casa classrooms aim to be child-led safe spaces, where we (the adults) simply prepare the space, provide guided discovery, and observe what each unique child reveals to us. Everything we do is rooted in developing a higher sense of independence and confidence for the child.

The Montessori environment and materials are set up in a way to also encourage independence. Our environments showcase open space to move, both tables and floor mats, with age-appropriate & attractive materials to foster the drive to move & work in the space. The Montessori materials are hands-on learning tools, and are designed to provide children with opportunities to discover key learning outcomes through repetition and practice.

Independence also builds better relationships with learning, as children get to use their own will and drive as a guide for what to work with and engage in, becoming more confident and contented learners as a result.

You can aid independence at school & home by:

  • ensuring that only clothing/shoes your child can access are brought to school. Please avoid dungarees, skinny jeans, laced or buckled shoes, or anything your child cannot put on or remove independently.
  • giving your child lots of time each morning to dress independently, to put on their own coat and shoes, as this is what is required of them during each transition time here at school.
  • talk with them about your family’s personal care routines, such as hand washing, brushing teeth, and tending to their hair. Allowing them space to practice those skills, without a focus on perfection, gives them a sense of pride and mastery over caring for their own bodies.

A reminder from both Casa classrooms to always check your child’s backpack each evening. In addition to toileting accidents, our students work with water activities and food preparation, so changes of clothes happen regularly. We are seeing many bags being sent home, and returning the next day. We thank you for your support in this.

Looking forward to working together to aid in the development of confident, independent children!

In Casa South, our students have been highly interested in using tools. We have seen interest in screwdrivers, nuts and bolts, and using sandpaper. We are excited to see how this interest in Practical Life activities grows over the school year.

In Casa North, phonetic sounds games have been very popular. There has been lots of “I spy something with a ___ sound,” or reading ABC books and trying to guess what lies on the next page based on its sound. Perhaps our favourite moment this past week, after revealing a “pig,” “pear,” and “plate” from a bag of various “p” items, one student confidently guessed that a “peregrine falcon” would be next. We are forever grateful for the brilliant musings our Casa students share with us — it keeps us on our toes!


Your Casa North & Casa South teams


Elementary students began the school year with the first Great Lesson, “The Coming of the Universe!” They continued to explore the formation of celestial bodies and the laws of nature through activities such as drawing the phases of the moon, parts of volcanoes, and the origin of the elements. They heard the second Great Lesson about the emergence of life on Earth and the evolution of different creatures. Of course, there’s also been a lot of time for making music, solving math problems, speaking French, and opportunities to work in the kitchen or garden!

Wishing you all a beautiful week ahead,

Marissa and Michelle

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