Lyonsgate Weekly Update | Friday, Dec. 6, 2019

Happy December Lyonsgate Families,

We’re almost finished the first term and it is time to start preparing for the next school year. Please check your inboxes for an email containing a link to the registration form for the 2020.2021 school year. At this time we are only making registration available to current students returning next year. In January we will open registrations to siblings of current Lyonsgate students, followed by offers of enrolment to families on our wait lists.

Please submit your registration forms by Wednesday, Dec. 18.

As always, space is limited at all levels.

Thank you for continuing to make the outstanding choice of Montessori education for your children.

We are asking Casa families to please send in a labeled, re-usable shopping bag that can be used for sending wet, dirty, and spare clothing items to and from school. We have been using plastic bags but are running low, and would like to be more environmentally conscious. (That said, if anyone would like to relieve their load of plastic shopping bags, we will take them to replenish our supply as they do come in handy for soilings and other such exceptional messes).


It was great speaking to you all during last week’s parent-teacher conferences. One of the most common questions that I received pertained to what songs are being sung in the classroom. I’ve decided to make a compilation of our current playlist; hopefully you can all enjoy some sing-alongs this weekend.

The sweet sound of Jingle Bells has filled our classroom with joy and laughter, “hey” being the Toddlers’ favourite part, which they love exclaiming as loud as possible. We’re hoping to bring the same excitement to our upcoming concert!

Old Macdonald Had a Farm, an oldie but a goodie — it is always exciting to hear the Toddlers’ animated imitation of various animals that can be found at the farm. They are able to sing this song in both English and French!

The Wheels on the Bus remains a classic here, every time it is sung it is as if it is the Toddlers’ first time hearing it! It is quite high on the request list and the bumpy road remains the most consistent novelty.

We’ve become quite the songwriters as well — you might have heard songs about leaves falling down and snowflakes falling from the sky (to the tune of London Bridge is Falling Down). The hardest part is remembering the songs that are made up on the spot; thankfully the Toddlers retain everything!

Other honorable mentions are Baby Beluga, Down by the Bay, Shake My Sillies Out, and various French songs: Dans la forêt lointaine, Un éléphant qui se balançait, Ah! Les crocodiles.

The classroom has been buzzing with beautiful sounds; the echo will certainly be present in your homes as well with this list.

Have a melodious weekend everyone,

Ms. Dee


Hello Casa Families!

One of the most unique elements of a Montessori environment is the dedication to having a mixed-age group in each space. In the Casa environment, we have a three-year mix. When you consider the fact that everywhere else, throughout the course of their lives, they will be interacting and collaborating with people older and younger than them, it simply makes sense that this should be reflected on a smaller scale within their school community. This characteristic of the environment continues to serve the children for the better.

In September, the first-year children are able to come into a space where their peers are demonstrating a sense of comfort and happiness that lets them feel safe. They are able to see their older friends working on advanced activities that they can then look forward to. They are able to find mentorship and guidance from children rather than relying exclusively on us, the adults.

The second-year child is able to come into an established space that they’ve already become acclimated to. Rather than starting from scratch, they can re-enter having experience with materials, knowing familiar faces, and beginning to step into a more advanced role (both with their work and their classroom responsibility).

Perhaps most importantly, the third-year child has the opportunity to really shine. They have two years of experience under their belts! The third-year child is able to choose a multitude of materials to work with, is often overheard guiding the younger children in small group activities, and is often seeking bigger work outside of their comfort zone. This child has the opportunity to give presentations to a younger child at times, which fills them with pride and joy. We call the third-year in Casa their capstone year — it truly is a time to bring together everything they have worked so hard to attain their previous two years.

We thank you for spending this first term with us, and for sharing your children with the Casa classrooms. Have a safe and happy weekend!

Miss Boyle and Miss Moffatt


Learning is a social process. Throughout each developmental plane a child experiences sensitive periods in which they learn particular adaptations toward maturity through interactions with both their environment and others. In the elementary years, children desire novelty so they can constantly test the boundaries of what is already known and expand their knowledge a little bit further. They are eager to know why, but true understanding takes both experience and imagination.

Two distinct qualities that set the Montessori pedagogy apart are the importance of multi-age groupings and the development of a child over several years within the same classroom community. This enables a child to experience and perform different roles in a social group, moving from being an observer, to independent worker, to mentor. Without a full cycle at each Montessori stage, a child’s experience is left incomplete, without being able to demonstrate mastery and feel the joy and pride in discovering they know something so well they can now teach it to others.

Rather than using year of birth to separate students into grades with a narrower range of abilities within a group, Montessori students are sorted into the learning environment most beneficial to them based on their unique combination of cognitive, social, and emotional development. The multi-age composition of each group creates opportunities for a variety of social experiences, as well as a natural hierarchy of authority and leadership. By remaining within the environment for a full cycle, children have the opportunity to take on new levels of responsibility.

A full cycle is also essential for a child to experience and review information at one age, grow to apply it, and return at a later age to evaluate and analyze the information, and then teach it to another. They need to re-visit prior experiences and lessons from a new perspective. The work of multiplication is not reduced to memorization of tables and working out long equations on paper. It is learning the concept, experiencing the process, and then learning to apply that knowledge in a thousand and one practical ways, from cooking a meal to making calculations for a wood-working project. These steps consolidate learning with the engagement of social and emotional skills as the child evolves through different roles.

Handbook Highlight

You will find the Lyonsgate “Admissions Policy,” which covers the registration process and policy, in your Parent Handbook (starting on p. 70 in the embedded viewer). This policy covers everything from applications to attend Lyonsgate to new and returning student registrations, how we prioritize registrations, learning differences, and wait lists.

Coming Up

Remember to use your Lyonsgate calendar to stay up to date on the latest Lyonsgate details.

  • December 18: Registration for 2020.2021 school year due for returning Lyonsgate students.
  • December 19: Holiday concert 2:30-3:30. Pick up for ALL students is at 3:30. There is no after or extended care this day.
  • December 20 – January 3: Winter break.
  • January 6, 2020: First day of winter term.