Parent Education:

Montessori Outcomes: Looking Ahead (The Days are Long but the Years are Short)

Many people associate Montessori pedagogy with early years education and are most familiar with Montessori environments at the Toddler and Casa levels.  Montessori is an evidence-based, whole-child education theory that applies to all four planes of development, from infancy through age 24.

Please join us for a parent education evening with the students of S.i.T.E., the first Montessori high school program in Hamilton.   Co-founder and head curator Eric Daigle will speak about guiding adolescents to thrive rather than just survive their high school experience.  You will hear directly from high school students who have grown up in Montessori environments as well as the story of those who began their education in traditional schools.  The evening will conclude with a student panel open for questions.  Parents registered for the event will receive a link to submit questions for the student panel in advance.

This Parent education event is on Thursday, Jan. 23, from 4:00-5:00 at the Primary (Aberdeen) campus.  The event is for all Lyonsgate parents with children at all Montessori levels.

Please click here to register for the event, or to let us know you can’t make it, and to register for childcare if needed.

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.

Primary (Aberdeen) Campus Door: In this cold weather, the main door at the Primary campus gets sticky and does not always fully close and latch. When leaving the Primary campus, please check to make sure the door closes latches properly behind you. Thank you.

This week, you have updates from your children’s French assistants about plans for this term and how you can support French learning at home.


What a busy week. The children are starting to settle back into the routine after the break. It’s exciting to see all the things the children are able to accomplish. I am so proud of their ability to understand when I speak with them in French. Such a far cry from September where everything and everyone was scary and new. The children are comfortable in the classroom and with the teachers. We get to hear so much about their time spent at home, their interests, and their friends.

As we continue onwards I hope to have more presentations in French with the children. I hope to have more conversations with the children using new words and phrases. There will be introduction to different books and songs in French as well.

A great way to use the French language at home, even if you don’t speak French, is to read books (there are lots of resources at the public library in French that you can read), as well as listening to songs in French. This way, the children are able to hear French and feel more comfortable with the language as they hear it at school as well as at home. Keep up the great work with having conversations with me in French as well! I appreciate all the effort you put into speaking with me and trying your best!

Mlle. Noordam


Our Casa classrooms use these yogurt jars as child-sized water glasses. Montessori environments use glass and ceramic to teach children to be attentive and careful — if you’re not and you drop it, it will break. There has been much learning, and we are in need of more. If your family buys this type of yogurt we would love if you could save a few from the blue bin and donate them to the school. Thank you.

Casa South

Dear Casa South families,

As we transition into our second term, the children are demonstrating just how much they’ve learned from the first. We’ve been working a lot on asking for help in French and more and more they are coming up to me saying “Peux-tu m’aider s’il vous plaît?” without any prompting. I’ve even heard them ask each other in French! It constantly amazes me how quickly the children pick up a new language simply by being exposed to this rich environment. A child will ask for help to tie their apron and I’ll respond “Oh attacher ton tablier, oui bien sûr!” Simply repeating what they say back to them, only in French, confirms I know what they’re asking for and I offer the language while I help them. It is always in a positive way and not to correct them.

In the classroom this week there’s been a large focus on geography and writing. It’s beautiful to see how much the older children are looked up to. Here they are, working on challenging puzzle maps such as United States (most difficult one) or writing booklets and labels, and when the younger ones see this it encourages them to practice more because they see what they can work up to. Ms. Moffatt first introduces the puzzle map of the world, where they are introduced to all the continents, then they move on to Canada and North America, etc. The puzzle maps have always been popular and, aside from being a fun puzzle, the children also learn the names of each place. This week I’ve worked with many of them on those first three, learning the names in French and having conversations about places they’ve traveled to. This is the kind of thing I’ll practice with them more than once because there are so many new names to learn, and I look forward to working with them on the more difficult puzzle maps the more we practice.

When a child is writing, they have many different activities they can choose from; one popular choice is a pink-lined paper with the top half blank for them to draw. Either myself, Ms. Moffatt or another child is available to help them write out sounds (letters) then, the more they practice, move on to words and phrases. This week it’s been fun coming up with French words to write down. They can also make their own classified cards by writing the name of the object and a space to draw it. Since classified cards have both French and English labels on the back, they can choose to write in one or the other, or both if they’re feeling ambitious. Whichever activity they choose, it’s all about practice and repetition. Writing can also be done at home, which is a great way to support their French learning!

If you’re ever looking for ways to encourage their French at home, feel free to write down words and have them trace them. If they’re already writing on their own, no matter if the spelling is wrong, it’s great! Any writing enables them to feel comfortable holding a pencil and work on their pincer grip. To get their interest, try having conversations about things in your home: what kinds of things they see in the kitchen, what food they like/don’t like to eat, their friends’ names (super popular), and then write those down. It’s possible they’re indulged enough just watching you write and the older ones who’ve begun to write in the classroom might want to trace what you write or try on their own. Another thing to do at home is play some French music. In my French group I play many songs from a CD I have called Carmen Campagne: Une voix pour les enfants. It’s a fantastic collection of French children’s songs and your children will definitely recognize some. To name a few: Un bon chocolat chaud, Le petit prince, Feuilles feuilles. You can also look up La laine des moutons, Pirouette Cacahouète, or Un éléphant. Listening to French music is a nice way to appreciate the language without them feeling like it’s work to do. If you’re cooking or baking with them it can definitely set the mood!

Have a great weekend and don’t forget about Parent Ed night on Thursday, Jan. 23

Mlle Paul

Casa North

As you read last week, M. Bouquin and his partner welcomed a baby girl over the holiday and he will be on parental leave this term.

Mlle. Cottone [Cot tone-ee] will be taking over the French assistant role in Casa North during M. Bouquin’s absence. Mlle. Cottone grew up in Hamilton and holds a bilingual high school diploma, is a yoga instructor, and holds a non-violent communication certificate. She has been spending the past week learning all about being the French assistant in Casa North where she has been the French assistant for lunch this year, and she assists with Casa recess, so the children are very comfortable with her.

“I’m very excited to be stepping into the classroom this term,” said Mlle. Cottone. “It has been a pleasure to be in the Lyonsgate community getting to know all the children and parents. I’m looking forward to making new memories (in French) with each child.”


Bonne année tout le monde!

The winter term of the new year is centred around the French plays that we hope to perform for Lyonsgate families in February. We use the AIM (Accelerative Integrated Methodology) language learning program to facilitate our dramatic endeavours. The basic idea behind AIM is that students learn a specific, pared-down language with kinesthetic actions to encourage memorization and use of the spoken word.

Gestures are the individual actions that represent a given work. Past research has shown that the act of gesuring aids thinking memory. Gestures help students to internalize a word’s meaning kinesthetically, auditorially, and visually. Vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure are learned in a fun way through singing, dancing, and acting. Speaking in French is encouraged and easily attained when acting. It is a known fact that developing good oral language skills is essential to the development and improvement of good written language. The improvement of oral language skills transfers consistently to an improvement in written language skills. To find out more about AIM please visit:

This year we are fortunate to have Jason teaching classes in the dramatic arts which should greatly improve our acting on stage. The children love to perform in front of an audience, so please try to save the date of their performance on the afternoon of Thursday, February 27.

We look forward to entertaining you.


Madame Egan (

Reminder: We are starting our week on Monday, January 20, with yoga at the Primary (Aberdeen) campus. Please drop off at Primary, or at Elementary (Locke) no later than 8:45 a.m., with a yoga mat if you have one and clothes to stretch in. Thank you.

Coming Up

Don’t forget to check your Lyonsgate calendar regularly.

  • Sibling Registration

    Friday, January 24, is the deadline for registration of siblings at Lyonsgate for the 2020.2021 school year. If you would like to register the sibling of a current Lyonsgate for next year, please submit your registration form and payment by Friday, January 24. Any spaces left available beyond that date will be offered to families on our wait list. The registration form can be completed at the link below and payment can be submitted via e-transfer or cheque.

    Please click here to submit registration for the 2020/2021 school year.

    If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. We look forward to continuing to share in this journey with your children.

  • Show and Share, Thursday, January 30, 2019:

    • Toddler: the Toddler Show and Share will take place from 3:30-4:00.
    • Casa: the Casa Show and Share will take place from 3:30-4:30.

For both Show and Shares, please go directly to your child’s classroom so they can show and share some of their favourite work and activities with you.


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