Hello Lyonsgate Families,

We hope our Casa and Toddler families are enjoying this PD day at home with your wonderful children, and are looking forward to the field trip tomorrow. The field trip is rain or shine. Please be sure children are dressed appropriately for the weather, and please ensure they have used the washroom before arrival. You can find the details on the Lyonsgate calendar under your Parents tab.

Elementary families, a reminder that the rescheduled school photo day is also tomorrow, Tuesday, September 27.


Casa North

Casa South


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Here in our Toddler community, we are continuing to see many leaps and bounds from the students. Most of them are entering our room knowing exactly what they want to start working on while some others are enjoying a quiet story or two before they start their day. We want to remind all parents that the process of being comfortable in a new environment can take time and this is most true for children who are experiencing being away from home for the first time. It has been fun getting to know many of these little faces and seeing their personalities start to shine through as they become ever more comfortable with coming to school. As parents you should feel pride in your children for taking on this new adventure; they really are working so hard at achieving their independence. Thank you for trusting us in this process as we know it can be hard for parents as well.

“We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with
each other to form the whole entity”

-Dr. Maria Montessori

REMEMBER: Please label ALL of your child’s clothing and belongings.

Thank you/Merci

Casa North

Hello Casa North Families,

Exciting times in Casa North this past week as the cold weather arrived, talk of our upcoming field trip whirled around the classroom, and our first birthday celebration took place. We are still settling into new routines, but our classroom is feeling more familiar, connected, and peaceful with each passing day.

It has been wonderful to hear so much parent feedback about your children speaking or singing French at home. We wanted to give a bit of insight as to what our French Language Programme looks like this early in the year:

  • Mme. Murati speaks only French in our classroom, and most of her programme in September is conversational. She is giving basic instructions (“est-ce que tu peux ranger ta chaise?” ou “marcher dans la classe, s’il vous plaît”), modelling Grace & Courtesy (“s’il vous plaît,” “merci,” et “excusez-moi,” etc.), and leading our daily lunch routine, always offering dialogue about the menu en Français.
  • Mme. Murati leads a daily French circle where she focuses on books, songs, days of the week/months of the year, counting, and an “Où Est?” game to help the students locate items in the classroom environment using French. Each day, she asks, “comment ça va?” and the students share how they are feeling — even our 1st years!
  • A few introductory presentations have been given with fruits & vegetables, colours, etc., and we are noticing much student interest in Mme. Murati’s beautiful French materials!

Some of our favourite French songs are:

  • Tapent, tapent petites mains
  • Bonjour les ami(e)s, comment ça va?
  • Si tu es content et tu le sais, applaudis (If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands)
  • Pomme de Reinette et pomme d’api

Additionally, our primary focus continues to be independence in toileting and dressing this week. We ask:

  • Please send your child in clothing they can pull up & down by themselves for toileting (no tight pants, no dungarees, no fastenings they are unable to do independently, etc.).
  • Please send your child in shoes they can put on & take off independently (supportive, size-appropriate shoes, no laces, buckles, straps they are unable to do independently).
  • Most importantly, make sure these same routines are practiced at home. You will know which shoes and clothing are successful at school if your child is also working with these items independently at home.

We know that achieving independence is vital in growing & developing your child’s self confidence — they want to be able to do these things (especially tasks involving body autonomy) by themselves. Help us to give them the best shot at doing so!


Ms. O’Sullivan, Mme. Murati, & Ms. Canessa

Casa South

Greetings from Casa South

We’re hoping the hot, sticky days of summer are behind us and the colours of autumn will soon reveal themselves.

It’s been a busy first month of school with days full of learning about each other and how to be together in the classroom. There are still a few tears at morning drop off from some of our newer children, but rest assured as soon as they enter the school tears are replaced with smiles. The returning children have been wonderful at lending a helping hand to everyone.

We have had several young children who are not yet independent in the bathroom join our class this year. Included below is a guide written by our Toddler Guide, Ms. Gervais, outlining the process we use at Lyonsgate to help these children take care of themselves when it comes to toileting. This process only
works if it is practised consistently both at school and at home, or wherever children need to use a toilet.

Please do let me know if you are having difficulty putting this into practice, we are here to help.

Toilet Learning — The Montessori Way

1. Prepare the environment — get organized, set the bathroom up for maximum independence. Have lots of extra underwear, clothes that allow for independence, a small basket in the bathroom with clothing, a potty, a stool to be used for getting dressed or for climbing up to the toilet, a hamper to place soiled clothing, a small basket of books to look at while waiting for something exciting to happen.

2. Dress for Success — No tight clothing, nothing with complicated closures like buttons or snaps, elastic waistbands are best, something that they can manage to put on and take off easily without assistance.

3. Invite your child to use the potty (Toilet learning becomes the choice of the child after 24 months). Once you have had some success invite them to wear underwear throughout the day and while sleeping.

4. Create a routine — observe and take note of when your child is dry, what times of day they tend to have bowel movements etc. Remember that establishing new routines can be challenging but it is temporary. Every 30 to 40 minutes invite your child to sit on the potty, we can assist them if their clothes are wet or soiled, get cleaned up, and wash their hands. There are many independence skills being gained all at once!

5. Focus on the Senses — Toddlers are sensorial learners. “I see that you are wet, let us get you into some dry clothes.” Do not leave them in wet or soiled clothing — we want to establish the desired state is clean and dry.

6. No rewards or punishment — the acquisition of a new skill has its own personal rewards — let them own it. You are not potty training, your child is doing the work of toilet learning.

7. Keep it upbeat and positive — no pressure, no stress. Involve the child, resist the urge to jump in and finish the job, competency with dressing takes time and practice. Assist when needed. In Montessori, we say things like, “You did it!” and “Look at you!” Allowing them to take credit for the experience.

8. Don’t get discouraged. It will soon be a distant, hopefully fond memory. Interruptions in a child’s routine or health can cause disruptions but once things stabilize you can get back to the collaborating with your child on these independence skills.

Thanks so much for your support!

See you at the gate,

Laurie Robinson


Last week, students received the Third Great Lesson: “The Coming of Human Beings.” This introduces them to the idea of how long humans have been on Earth and what special qualities humans possess that enabled them to grow into loving, creative communities: their minds, their hearts, and their hands. We continued learning about Indigenous people from our area, and were thrilled to welcome a community visitor, Stuff, from Six Nations. Stuff is a Haudenosaunee knowledge keeper from the Eel Clan who joined us to share more about his culture, beliefs, and traditions. In the days before his visit, the students listened to the “Legend of the Gift of Tobacco,” and learned how to create a tobacco tie. They presented Stuff with a gift of traditional tobacco to thank him for sharing his knowledge with us, which he in turn will gift to the spirits in gratitude for their protection and guidance. He invited the students to pass a piece of burning sage around the circle to cleanse our space and bring us together. The children learned about the seven teachings of love, honesty, courage, respect, humility, truth, and wisdom. We look forward to continuing our study of the Haudenosaunee as we prepare to honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation this week.


Marissa and Michelle

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