Lyonsgate Update Jan. 21, 2022: Back to Class

Hello Lyonsgate Families,

COVID updates to a minimum this week. Instead, we’ve got messages from your children’s Montessori guides about the commencement of the winter term.

Quick COVID update: rapid test kits for home use for symptomatic students have arrived at the Primary campus for Casa and Toddler students. There are not enough for every student but if a child is required to leave school due to symptom development they will be sent home with a kit containing two rapid tests. If a child becomes symptomatic at home and fails screening a rapid test kit can be picked up from the school. “Symptomatic” means one of the symptoms in group one (fever/chills, cough, shortness of breath, or decrease or loss of taste or smell), or two or more symptoms from group two (the list you see on the screening forms). Note: the instructions refer to a “blue cap;” the tests we received have a pink cap.

Rapid test kits for Elementary students have been requested but the Ministry is not guaranteeing delivery based on supply issues.


Snow and Maximum Effort.

Welcome to 2022! It is great to be back and to witness the magic that January brings to a Montessori classroom. After the holiday break the children all seemed noticeably taller, more verbal, more focused, rested and ready to get to work. January is often a time of consolidation of all of the efforts made in the fall. Although we all enjoy unstructured time with our families there is a comfort in returning to the familiar classroom and the daily routine where everyone has a productive role.

January is also the month when we can usually count on the real snow to arrive. This week we broke records! What a thrill! Snow is so exciting for toddlers and it is a great opportunity to give young children the chance to explore with their senses and use maximum effort. Toddlers need to move, carry heavy things, coordinate movements with their legs and their hands, climb, and throw and push things. Loads of snow everywhere provides the perfect environment to support this developmental need. Just wearing all that clothing makes it an effort to walk, so simply getting out in the snow is a great start. Then, once you are out there, you can build a snowman, shovel snow, go tobogganing, throw snowballs, climb over a huge pile of snow, etc. These are all simple activities that you can do in your neighbourhood with your toddler. Embrace winter in all its splendor! — Ms. Gervais.

Casa North

Hello Casa North Families,

Welcome to 2022! The second term is always such a treat for us as classroom guides — a lot of the anxieties and introverted tendencies go out the window and our students reveal their truest selves to us. They are cemented in their classroom orientation and routines, have mastered preliminary activities at their various levels, and have established their preferred work styles and social groups. Now, we begin to really sink our teeth into some great exploration and discovery with the Montessori materials.

You will start to hear the names of new materials and presentations, often things they have been observing and admiring the older children working with throughout the first term. You will hear them mimicking letter sounds and counting as high as they can. Their knowledge is growing and they want to share their pride with you! This term, continue to show them that you can share in their joy and celebrate with them. Take the time to ask about their school day, listen to their stories, open their take-home folders and look at their work, etc.

A surge of independence is a second term goal as well that, of course, goes hand-in-hand with their familiarity with routine and building social bonds. They can answers questions or resolve problems they used to ask a teacher for assistance with; they can ask a friend for help where they used to ask us. We hope you are encouraging more independence at home as well (eating, dressing, etc.), as you follow their Seesaw updates, have conversations about their classroom work, and see/hear what they are capable of at school.

We are working towards a second term Parent Education presentation, so stay tuned! We are excited to offer more information about Montessori philosophy and field more of your questions about the program.

All the best,

Ms. O’Sullivan

Casa South

Greetings from Casa South.

It finally feels like a true Canadian winter, which means many layers of insulation are required whenever we venture outdoors. Our cloakroom during transitions, both in and out of school, is busy and rather chaotic. As one child expressed with a heavy sigh, “The struggle is real.” However, the children are becoming more skilled at peeling off the layers, putting them on, and keeping track of all the bits and pieces. It helps everyone when belongings are labeled.

Inside, the work continues at an accelerated pace as the children are achieving rising levels of competence and confidence in their abilities. We’ve had quite a few birthdays this month which has generated discussion about age and the passing of time; it’s such an abstract concept to grasp. The sharing of photos on birthdays is a meaningful illustration of what happens as children grow and change with time. It’s also a lovely way for everyone to connect as we look at the photos and learn more about each other.

Conducting surveys has become a popular activity this month. First, a decision is made regarding the subject of the survey, then a chart is created, data collected, and, finally, tallied. Children appear to be very interested in what flavour of ice cream, donuts, popsicles, and lollipops are most popular. Below is a photo of our growing collection of surveys …time will tell if the focus shifts to something less sugary.

If you see some of this paperwork in your child’s folder, it may be easier to interpret!

As always, thank you so much for all your support, cheery greetings, and shared insight into how your children feel about their time at school. See you at the gate! — Ms. Robinson


This week, the Elementary students were thrilled to return to a snow-filled campus and the busy social life of the classroom! This is the environment that feeds their need for a community of peers, where each student’s individual, essential work of what Montessori called “self-construction” is nurtured through social interaction, negotiation, and consequence. This week, we continued with collaborative work in our literature circles, biology projects, and best of all, time spent together having fun with a snow sculpture challenge!

Wishing you a warmer weekend,

Marissa and Michelle.