Lyonsgate Weekly Update | Friday, Sept. 20, 2019

Happy Friday Lyonsgate Families!

This week we have updates for you from your children’s French language assistants; there’s also a few more photos, and a video in this week’s update. There will be more as the Toddler and Casa children become more settled in their environments and routines; click on any photo for a larger version.

Casa Families: Next Thursday, Sept. 26, is your first Parent Education event, from 4:00-5:00 at the Primary (Aberdeen) campus. Your children’s Montessori guides will be discussing “Movement: How the Casa Environment Supports and Encourages this Sensitive Period.” Child care, and a snack, will be available.

All Casa parents, please click here to let us know if you are coming to your Parent Education session, or not, and to register for childcare if needed.

Primary (Toddler and Casa) families have also received Scholastic catalogues over the last week. Ordering books from Scholastic helps your child engage with reading, and it helps your child’s classroom; your orders help build up credit that Lyonsgate can use to order books for the school. For those not familiar with Scholastic, you can return the completed paper order form, with a cheque [no cash please], by the due date, or you can order online and pre-pay.

To order online, visit the How to Create an Account page for a step-by-step walk through and “Get Started.”

When you get to the “Select a school” section,

Primary parents: connect to “Lyonsgate Mont Primary” (Hilary Mattar is the teacher)

Elementary parents: connect to “Lyonsgate Mont Elementary” (Marissa Achong is the teacher)

We have confirmed dates for this year’s school photo days:

  • Elementary students will have photos taken on Monday, Oct. 21.
  • Primary students will have photos taken on Tuesday, Oct. 22

Check your Lyonsgate calendar regularly for updated information and to keep track of what’s going on when.


What a wonderful week three we have had. As the children have become more comfortable with their teachers, their personalities have begun to show. It is an amazing process to watch the children show us who they are. The children have started to interact with us and we have lovely conversations with them.

Having a teacher in the classroom that speaks a different language can be daunting at first. The children have become more comfortable with the language difference. Slowly but surely, the children have come to recognize what I am asking them. Simple phrases such as “laver tes main,” “assieds-toi,” and “prend ton travaille” have become more familiar.

The children have enjoyed listening to new French songs and books during French circle; “Brille Brille” has become a quick favorite among them.

Thank you for speaking to me in French to the best of your ability! It is a great example for the children to see how the French language isn’t so scary because you are also speaking to me in French. A simple “Bonjour” or “Au revoir” makes all the difference. I look forward to showing the children more of the French language through presentations soon!

Mademoiselle Noordam.

Casa South

Dear Casa South Families,

These first few weeks have already flown by. I have absolutely loved meeting your children who are new to Casa South, and for those who are returning it’s been so nice to see how much they’ve grown during the summer.

In the classroom, your children have the opportunity to hear me speak French all day. At their ages in particular, it’s amazing how much they soak up from their environment. Already this year they’ve enjoyed hearing poems, music just for listening, singing songs, and conversations about numbers and colours in French group. The rest of the time, during the work cycles, we look at different classified cards, some read phonetic books, and very soon I’ll start introducing some of them to phonetic words, when they will start to learn the sounds of the French language.

In other news, I want to thank you all for doing your best to speak to me in French. Even if it’s a quick “bonjour,” it’s important for your children to see that they too can greet me in French, just like you.

Another thank you for everyone arriving and giving a brief goodbye at drop-off. It’s greatly appreciated as it encourages your children to also make the effort.

Quick reminder while I still have you, Casa Parent Education is coming up next week!

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend,

Mlle. Paul.

Casa North

Bonjour! Hello!

My name is Monsieur Bouquin and I am the French assistant in the Casa North classroom. I was born and raised in Paris, France, until I moved to Canada in April 2019. My role at Lyonsgate is to provide the children with French conversation in their environment, while also bringing in bits and pieces of the French culture to enrich their learning experience.

Everyday, we have a French gathering in the afternoon before going outside to the playground. It is a great opportunity for the children to develop their vocabulary knowledge through songs, stories, and group conversations. The students work together to better understand and incorporate the French language into everyday life. Our focus lately has been on fruits and vegetables.

When at Lyonsgate, I communicate exclusively in French with the children, which can certainly create some interesting situations. They are in that stage where they can easily absorb language and process it before they may even understand it clearly. The best thing for an individual learning a second (or third or fourth!) language is to continually practice it on a daily basis. For the parents at Lyonsgate, I encourage you to continue working with your child outside of school hours to promote your child’s development of the French language. There are many ways to bring up French at home in everyday life; why not try making the grocery list in French? Perhaps you could visit the local library and see what other resources are available such as videos, CDs, and French children’s books, or even community events that you can attend with your child. The more they practice what they know in French, the more confident they will become.


Monsieur Bouquin.


Only three weeks into the new school year and already the children comprehend my common refrain of “cherche ton cahier de français.” They are all busy with French lessons and learning to communicate with me in French on a daily basis. Those in year 1 are currently revisiting numbers and colours and will gradually learn how to apply these important pieces of language in describing the world around them. Year 2 students have taken a look at Euro coins and are about to explore where exactly this currency is used. Our third years are mastering the art of introducing themselves to others in French, and are having fun doing so using secret identities!

Our Upper Elementary pupils are keeping journals in French this year and are reading a Scholastic magazine called Allons-y every week, where they keep abreast of various celebrations, events, and famous people in the francophone world (all relevant and appealing to their age group of course).

All the children are continually made more aware of the francophone world simply by learning the French language, but this week we immersed ourselves in a part of African culture. Jean Assamoa, originally from Côte d’Ivoire in Africa, paid us a visit. His mission is to share traditional story telling and music from his birthplace with children in North America. Your children had fun learning to use various percussion instruments from Côte d’Ivoire, and dancing to Jean’s wonderful drumming. More information about Jean can be found here.

This year, we are fortunate to have a greater number of French speaking children form part of the Lyonsgate Elementary community. Their everyday banter in French is wonderful for their peers to simply sit and listen to, all the while soaking it all up. These children will gradually fulfill the role of helping their peers to practice their French. The naturally kind and nurturing environment of our Elementary classroom will lend itself to this peer support.

At this point, I have met the majority of new parents to Elementary this year. If I have not yet had an opportunity to talk with you I hope that I will soon. Please also remember that I can be easily reached by email at

À bientôt,

Madame Egan

Handbook Highlight

This week, we are highlighting the “Food and Nutrition Policies” section of your Parent Handbook [p. 112 in the embedded viewer]. Food service and nutrition requirements are addressed by a number of different guides and pieces of legislation at all three levels of governance:

  1. Federally through Canada’s Dietary Guidelines (this is the updated Canada Food Guide).
  2. Provincially through CCEYA legislation.
  3. Municipally through Hamilton Public Health.

The impact of diet on concentration levels and health is well documented and the best time to instill in children a healthy attitude to food and nutrition is when they are young. We know how stubborn children can be around food, but quite often children are more open-minded amongst peers.

In this section, you will find information and requirements for both Lyonsgate and parents regarding:

  • The “Hot Lunch” program.
  • “Bagged” lunches — ie. lunches from home at the Elementary level.
  • Alternative and supplemental snacks.
  • Menus.
  • Allergies and food restrictions.

Following the “Food and Nutrition” section is a comprehensive resource from Health Canada with a link to Canada’s new Dietary Guidelines, as well all sorts of food and nutrition tips.

Coming Up

Check your Lyonsgate calendar regularly for updates and details.

  • Casa Families: Next Thursday, Sept. 26, is your first Parent Education event, from 4:00-5:00 at the Primary (Aberdeen) campus. Your children’s Montessori guides will be discussing “Movement: How the Casa Environment Supports and Encourages this Sensitive Period.” Child care, and a snack, will be available.

All Casa parents, please click here to let us know if you are coming to your Parent Education session, or not, and to register for childcare if needed.

  • PD Days: There are some PD days coming up, and there are details to note, especially for Elementary families:
    • On Monday, Sept. 30, both Lyonsgate campuses will be closed. This is to accommodate the Rosh Hashannah observance at the Beth Jacob synagogue, and to give Lyonsgate staff an opportunity to meet after the first month of school.
    • On Tuesday, Oct. 1. only the Lyonsgate Primary (Aberdeen) campus will be closed. The Elementary campus will be open for Elementary students. Before Care, After Care, and Extended Care for registered Elementary students will take place at the Elementary (Locke St.) campus. The Primary (Aberdeen) campus is not available due to the Rosh Hashannah observance — there is no walking school bus.

  • Toddler and Elementary Parent Education: Toddler and Elementary parents are asked to attend your first full Parent Education sessions of the year on Thursday, October 3.
      • Toddler families: your Parent Education session will take place at the Primary (Aberdeen) campus from 3:00-3:30.
      • Elementary families: your Parent Education session will take place at the Elementary (Locke) campus from 4:00-5:00
      • Registration and childcare details will be available next week.