Good Afternoon Lyonsgate Community,

This week, your children’s Montessori guides are speaking to the concept of community in Montessori, and they have some beautiful things to say.

Mask Requirement Extension

While we are certainly doing better in terms of illness relative to a couple of weeks ago, there are still positive COVID cases among students and Lyonsgate families that indicates the ongoing presence of community spread. Lyonsgate is extending the requirement for all staff and students in the second year of Casa and up (kindergarten aged) to wear properly fitted and properly worn masks at all times while indoors. Masks for first year Casa students are strongly recommended. The mask requirement is being extended until at least May 6.

Beginning next week, masks will not be required to be worn outside by staff.

Elementary Parent Education Reminder

Elementary parents are invited to a Parent Education event on Thursday, May 12 at 4:00 p.m. for a curriculum workshop showcasing material progressions in math, biology, and geography. Parents who are attending can register their Elementary students for free aftercare with the classroom assistants during the event. Parents are asked to RSVP to by Monday, May 9.

New Lunch Menu Updated

The new spring/summer lunch menu for the Primary campus is now updated with the vegetarian and vegan options, and the dietician endorsement.

Graduation Photos Next Thursday

The photographer will be here next Thursday, April 28, to take graduation photos of our graduating Montessori students.

CWELCC Letter from City of Hamilton

Click here for a letter to parents from the City of Hamilton about the implementation of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care agreement.


Community and sense of belonging in the Toddler community.

The social determinants of health are a home, a job, a friend. These three elements are the key to a human being’s mental health. We all need a safe place to land, a place where we can relax and be ourselves, important work to do, and a companion to share our experiences with.

Babies arrive in the world hard wired to communicate. They are seeking connection and they look to those around them to find out who they are, how they fit in, and what they are supposed to be doing.

The family is the child’s first community. For a while this is all a baby knows and experiences, then the world opens up into a wider circle to include a few friends and regular visitors, extended family members and familiar faces at the park or the library, then to include a school community where there are more opportunities to form friendships, build independence skills, and figure out how the world works.

As the circle widens and the list of familiar people in a child’s life expands the child’s awareness of themselves and the world around them grows. They learn that they can rely on and trust people other than their immediate family and they begin to seek their purpose in the community. They build a sense of belonging by participating in the daily routine. They want to participate! There is a basic need to feel productive and to perform valuable work. Small children do not need to be cajoled or bribed to participate in a community. They already have a natural drive to work and interact purposefully in the environment. They watch and replicate whatever the adults are doing. They, as my grandmother would say, “see a job.” If the floor is wet, they notice, and go and get the mop. If a plant tumbles to the floor they go and get the dustpan and the small hand broom. They enthusiastically help to serve snack or hand out water to their friends. They are taking responsibility for their world and are an active participant in their community. These jobs might seem small or insignificant but the instinct to take action is important in a larger sense. This is all evidence of what might be possible if this enthusiasm to help and care for our environment and each other continues throughout life.

We have it within ourselves from the beginning of life to coexist peacefully, to seek connection, to work together to take care of each other and our world.

Dr. Maria Montessori believed that each new generation offered the possibility of creating a more peaceful world:

“Averting war is the work of politicians, establishing peace is the work of education.” Maria Montessori (Education and Peace, p. 24)

Ms. Gervais.

Casa North

Our Casa students recognize themselves as part of multiple communities — the community of the classroom, the community of their family and neighbours, and the community of the wider world. We are constantly demonstrating that the community and world around us shapes what is on our shelves — that what we are learning in our classroom is a key to a larger world.

In relation to “community of the wider world,” Montessori believes in a Universal Child, who understands their role in their world and society. This is woven through all areas of the classroom — through Practical Life activities that mirror their home life (that are, in essence, practical and relevant to the child); through our Culture area that emphasizes our geographical ties to one another (we are part of Ontario, then Canada, then North America, and the larger Earth) and that provides opportunities to view & learn about same-age children around the world; and through our Language area which mimics the sounds and words we use in our day-to-day routine.

In relation to “community of the classroom,” students are encouraged to collaborate and contribute to class life. Practical Life gives opportunities for each student to feel valuable in caring for their environment (polishing items, folding cloths, washing tables, arranging flowers, etc.) and themselves (washing hands, dressing, etc.); it shows them how to find solutions and resolve problems for themselves (sponging a spill, sweeping floors, etc.).

Grace and courtesy — as a branch of Practical Life — also connects students to their peers and community members. We don’t take for granted that a child has inherent peer entry skills or automatically knows how to be a part of a group, so we are always modelling how to greet others, thank others, ask questions, share feelings, and generally engage with other beings.

Perhaps most importantly, we model how to be kind to others as a means of building relationships — a lovely example is seeing two children exchange a “thank you” and “you’re welcome” when holding open the door for one another, or a child offering a cup of tea to a classroom visitor as a friendly greeting. Being able to appropriately interact with others builds the confidence needed to be a part of one’s community — the child tells themselves, “I know what to say, I know how to act, I am valuable and can be a part of this group.”

We look forward to cohort rules shifting so that we can begin to actively explore our outside community (working with students from other classrooms, having guests visit our classroom, engaging in field trips, etc.). Allowing our surroundings to influence our learning is a cornerstone of the Montessori method, and we are so grateful to have a fantastic Lyonsgate community of students and families to learn from.

Ms. O’Sullivan

Casa South

Greetings from Casa South.

Community, what does it mean? Three general characteristics may be used to describe it:

  • a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
  • the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.
  • a group of independent plants or animals growing or living together in natural condition or
    occupying a specific habitat.

This last descriptor strikes me as being most inclusive of all parts of community and is a particularly apt way to describe how we live and grow together in our classroom. Children are allowed and encouraged to be independent while working together as a group; learning to take care of themselves, each other, and their environment.

At this point in the school year, we can clearly see how much they have adapted to this habitat. They move about the room with a greater level of confidence and skill. They know each other well, know how to work as partners, and how to push some of their classmates’ buttons. The learning never stops no matter what situation arises.

This week, we’ve been discussing what it means to take care of our larger community — our planet. What do we see, hear, smell, feel when we are out in the world? What can we do to take care of plants, animals, the ground, the air, and the water? Why do we recycle and compost? We’ve been sowing a lot of seeds lately, not only to make our environment look prettier, but also to help us breathe and make food for butterflies and bees. We enjoyed making suncatchers from some of the leaves collected and pressed during the year to hang in a window at home.

It’s a lovely time of year to connect with the space outside our walls; we hope you can get out to see and smell some spring flowers this weekend.

See you at the gate!

Ms. Robinson.


The Elementary curriculum invites children to study geometry as part of both math and the natural world. This week, younger students looked at characteristics of 3-dimensional solids and used these attributes to name each figure. Students had fun playing a variety of games to build their vocabulary for geometry. We reviewed the names of regular polygons and how their prefixes indicate the number of sides and angles. We then compared different polygons to a circle. Students were excited to consider the circle as a polygon with an infinite number of sides!

Upper level students were challenged to find a formula to calculate the area of a rhombus using Montessori Metal Inset materials. They built upon previous experiences in calculating the area of rectangles and made comparisons between the parts of each shape. So far, they have discovered that an equivalent rectangle’s base is equal to the minor diagonal of a rhombus. Further investigations will help them discover a working formula!

For those of you who are curious, the area of a rhombus = d x (D ÷ 2) 😉

We look forward to more geometry explorations related to botany coming soon!

Wishing you a beautiful weekend ahead,

Michelle and Marissa

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