Lyonsgate Weekly Update | Friday, Feb. 7, 2020

Hello Lyonsgate Community,

We are halfway through this short winter term and this week we have updates from some of your children’s classroom assistants. Enjoy!

We also have some info about school and illness for you. T’is the season and germs are being shared; we’ve had an upswing in the number of children and staff coming down with colds recently. You will also find a letter from Hamilton Public Health regarding coronavirus.

Reminder: Next Friday, Feb. 14 (happy Valentine’s!), is a PD Day and the following Monday, Feb. 17, is the Family Day statutory holiday. Both Lyonsgate campuses are closed on both days.


I would like to start off by thanking everyone who was able to join us and make last week’s Show and Share such a success. It is always wonderful to see new aspects of the children’s personalities emerge when they are with their families, as well as the pride they feel when welcoming you into their Montessori environment to observe their work. As a teacher, it is a real joy to see the children taking ownership over the classroom.

As you may have noticed during Show and Share, a lot of the toddlers are currently drawn to water-based activities such as pouring, watering plants, mopping, not to mention the return of shoveling snow during recess. Don’t be alarmed if more wet clothing comes home than usual! On the subject of clothing, it is always good to keep things labelled so we can assure that the items find their way back the the rightful owners. This is especially important during the cold months as gloves, mittens, and scarves have a way of getting misplaced.

The class has become a true community with each member bringing their unique (and ever-developing) voice to the conversation. Perhaps the greatest tribute to this was one of our students referring the the class as their “school family.” It is truly an honour to be part of that family.

Mr. Davis

Casa South

A person’s life — success, health, and emotional wellbeing — is deeply connected to their experiences in their childhood. Knowing this, how does the Casa classroom support the adult within our children?

The environment is crucial. It must have developmentally appropriate exercises and be a nurturing and supportive space. The Montessori environment offers both an academically stimulating curriculum and one in which the child grows holistically.

Montessori education is scientifically based on the key developmental stages that all children move through on their way to adulthood. In the Montessori world we refer to these stages as “sensitive periods” — periods in which the children’s interests are focused on developing a particular skill or knowledge area.

The Montessori classroom facilitates these sensitive periods by providing children with a prepared environment that is designed to optimize their learning. The prepared environment provides order, hands-on self-paced learning, collaborative social interactions, children of mixed ages, movement, guidance, freedom of choice, and a full selection of self-correcting Montessori materials available on low open shelves.

The prepared environment is designed to stimulate children’s minds, encourage collaboration and independence, and provide them with the time and space to achieve the outcome of their work. In this way, Montessori inspires children to become independent, self-motivated learners with strong academic foundations.

Within this environment, children participate in the full three-hour work cycle and take part in the Montessori daily routine. This sequence of daily activities provides children with an understanding of order, time management, and how to behave within their environment at different times. It also provides children with important preparation for school skills, such as concentration, sitting quietly, lining up, collaborating with others, and the ability to follow instructions.

Casa North

Hello Casa North Families,

I’d just like to start off with an enormous thank you to all that were able to make it out to last week’s Show and Share. The children were so excited to share all of the things they have been working on in the classroom. It is so wonderful to see them showing their favourite work to their most favourite people. It is such a beautiful experience for all of us as they master new and exciting skills within the classroom. We’re so grateful that you invest your time and energy to come and share in your children’s love of the classroom materials.

As we continue moving forward the children are exposed to more and more enriching experiences both in the classroom and on the playground. We’ve seen them pursue their interests wholeheartedly, surprise us with their knowledge and talent, and make new social connections. It is a joy for me to get to share in their exploration of these facets of Lyonsgate life.

In the classroom, we’ve had many new presentations happening and I’ve had the opportunity to observe and work with the children as they practice their new skills after a presentation. One of my favourites is the Montessori Stamp Game, which has children engaging in various mathematical operations with tactile pieces. We’ve also had lots of exploration with the Montessori Bells recently, with some students creating their own music or practicing memorised pieces. Nothing compares to when a child is finally able to master something they’ve been working towards for weeks or months.

We appreciate your continued support. Have a beautiful weekend!

Ms. Sullivan


Maria Montessori observed that children in the second plane of development (age 6–12 years) have a hunger for knowledge about the world around them. While the first plane of development is the period for absorption of their environment, the second plane is the period for the acquisition of culture. The reasoning mind of the Elementary child wants to understand why and their quest to understand the world around them is aided by their vivid imaginations. Montessori tells us “to regard the child’s intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be sown, to grow under the heat of flaming imagination.”

Through Cosmic Education, we offer Elementary children the seeds to help them to understand not only the world around them but the wider universe. Many of our lessons include the tradition of oral storytelling, encouraging the children’s imagination to help them understand big concepts such as the creation of the universe, the formation of the sun and our solar system, and the beginnings of life on earth.

Recently, we have been exploring our solar system. We began with an exploration of the forces of magnetism and gravity. We then considered how these forces are at work in the universe. Our younger students are working on a guided project studying the planets of our solar system. They are learning to read to find specific information, such as how long it takes Saturn to orbit the sun or what it is like on Jupiter. Our older students are engaged in understanding the movement of the earth and its moon. Some students are in the midst of learning about the use of the compass in early exploration, as well as the affect of the rotation, revolution, and tilt of the earth.

Elementary students enjoy working together to create big works. The lower Elementary students collaborated to create a large piece of art depicting our solar system. Each student painted a celestial body and contributed it to the group. Students were able to arrange (and re-arrange!) their paintings of planets around the sun, adding in moons and comets as well.

We hope these seeds we sow about how our solar system works will germinate in each child according to their unique interests. Perhaps they will seek out a better understanding of the mathematics of orbits, investigate the natural laws which govern the universe, or dream of engineering a spaceship capable of travelling to another planet. Perhaps their imagination will inspire them to write science fiction stories, to compose music, or to create works of art. Or perhaps they will simply turn their gaze to the night sky and appreciate the wonder of our universe, and their part in it.


Handbook Highlight

With cold and flu season in full swing, we wanted to remind you about Lyonsgate’s policies regarding sick children. There are two places you can look for info:

  • Your Lyonsgate Parent Handbook has a section covering “Disease and Illness” starting on page 97 in the viewer.
  • You will find an “Illness Exclusion Table” from Hamilton Public Health under the “Parents” tab at, titled “Sick Children Info.” This table lists which illnesses require children to be absent from school, and for how long.

We greatly appreciate everyone’s cooperation in helping to reduce the spread of illness amongst your children, and remember to wash wash wash wash wash those hands.

Coronavirus: please read the letter below from Hamilton Public Health regarding coronavirus.

Message to Parents _novel Coronavirus

Coming Up

Remember to keep an eye on your Lyonsgate calendar for up to date information.

  • Friday, Feb. 14: PD Day. No School.
  • Monday, Feb. 17: Family Day statutory holiday. No School.
  • Summer Camp: We will be offering a summer camp for Lyonsgate students going into their third year of Casa or whom are in Elementary. Please click here for more details and to register.


No photos this week — sorry — but we should be back to regularly scheduled programming next week.