Hello Lyonsgate Families,

This week, your children’s Casa and Toddler Montessori guides have information for you about the Culture areas of the classrooms and their relation to holidays and celebrations. Valentine’s Day is Monday and we’d like to remind everyone that if your child wants to give out Valentine’s cards at school we ask that you have one, homemade card for each child in the class and that they do not have names on them (only your child’s name). Please do not send candy or other treats to school. Thank you.

Speaking of culture, ASCY (Affiliated Services for Children and Youth — a Hamilton organization that works with the early years sector) has provided us with a great variety of books for your children’s classrooms that will help to increase introductions to and engagement with a diversity of cultures and cultural practices. There is also a book for each child to take home, along with information about literacy resources. This is part of Hamilton’s Early Years commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Next week, each Primary (Casa and Toddler) family will receive a package that includes the children’s book, two rapid tests per child to be used for symptomatic testing, and 3-ply cloth mask for Casa children provided by the Ministry of Education.

We also learned this week that we will be receiving rapid test kits for Elementary students. They will be distributed as soon as we receive them.

Please see the linked letter that explains the rapid test program for symptomatic students: Rapid Test Letter to School Community

We’re back to including a photo gallery of the week at Lyonsgate, so be sure to read to the end.


Culture and Holiday celebrations:

In the toddler community, young children have an opportunity to discover themselves and develop a sense of who they are outside of their immediate family. As they begin to make friends and develop a sense of responsibility for themselves and their environment a deeper sense of belonging grows. Dr. Maria Montessori considered herself a citizen of not one country or place but a citizen of the world. This was a fundamental idea that fueled her education for peace. Toddlers are adaptable and full of wonder. At this stage of development it is beneficial to expose them to many sensual experiences, music, language, flavours from all corners of the world, knowledge of the creatures and the plant life of the earth, and an understanding of how to live peacefully with others.

Happy Valentines Day and Happy Family Day. We will be celebrating Love in the toddler classroom this week and every week. Love for ourselves, love for each other, and love for our small community. This will surely translate into something larger as our ambassadors of the future make their way out into the world.

Reminder: Parent Education: Learning through the Senses. 4:00 p.m., Thursday, February 17. — Ms. Gervais

Casa North

Although we have a specific Culture area in our Casa classrooms, it is important to know that every activity in Montessori is an extension of culture. Every material is designed to propel your child toward becoming a member of their community and the world — socially conscious, gracious, and a knowledgeable member of society. Something as simple as Pouring has roots in Culture through Grace and Courtesy (offering a drink to someone), which helps each child connect with others by bringing value and kindness.

That said, our specific Culture shelves in the classroom are filled with materials and objects that connect to the natural world. We have an array of materials to introduce political and physical geography. Additionally, we include cultural celebrations, customs, songs, and foods (less of that this year, unfortunately) that help to expose the earth as our primary home and as a responsibility for all of us.

Some of our current favourites from the Culture shelf are the Geography Folders (photographs of children, traditions, animals, and food from each continent), Puzzle Maps, “Parts of” Jigsaws, and Yoga. We have been excitedly exploring percussion music with our African Kalimba; we read and painted Carole Lindstrom’s “We Are Water Protectors” (an Indigenous picture book); we enjoy singing “Little Bird on our Window” (an Irish lullaby), “Walking through the Jungle” (a call-and-response song from Great Britain), “Pirouette Cacahuète” (a French song), “Hello to All the Children of the World” (singing “hello” in various languages), and other songs from various countries. We also love using the Painted Globe during our special Birthday Celebrations.

Because Culture is so richly ingrained in our classrooms, we ask you, this upcoming Valentine’s Day, to please refrain from bringing Valentine’s cards to be shared out, as we want to be environmentally cautious and purposeful in our showing of love and kindness to one another. We will undoubtedly celebrate, but in our own Montessori way. Thank you for your understanding.

Looking forward to seeing you all (virtually) next Thursday evening for our Parent Education on our Language Program (and the changes we have observed this year).


Ms. O’Sullivan

Casa South

Greetings from Casa South.

February 14th has long been a day to let those we care about know how much we love them. Increasingly, as this custom is practiced more places around the world, our children are happy to share what they do at home. While we will discuss the ways people celebrate this day, we will continue to talk about what love feels like throughout this month and beyond. How do we give and accept it from our family and friends? We’ve been asking children how they know when someone loves them. A five-year-old responded, “When they take care of you when you’re sad.” A three-year old said, “When they make you pancakes.” A four-year old stated, in a matter-of-fact tone, “When they say it.” All are good answers, don’t you agree?

This day also helps us focus on specific ways to take care of each other and how it feels to be kind and caring. This can be anything from bringing a tissue to someone who is sad, to assisting with zippers, to helping friends solve a problem.

We’ve introduced card-making this week; be on the look out for them in your child’s folder. On that note, we request that children do not bring cards, treats, etcetera, to school next Monday. They tend to cause more stress than joy. Thank you for your support with this.

From our class to your home, have a lovely Valentine’s Day! — Ms. Robinson


The Elementary students focused on developing their technical and expressive writing skills this week with a variety of tools, materials, and goals. Many of our students have welcomed the use of a pencil grip to improve their control in forming letters and line drawings and reduce fatigue. Others analysed simple sentences with the circle and arrow material, identifying subjects, the predicate, objects, and modifiers. The patterns discovered through this work are then used as models for composing their own sentences. Upper level students expanded their work on different types of paragraphs and are learning how to construct an essay about the life and art of Vincent Van Gogh.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend ahead,

Marissa and Michelle