Montessori E-News, January 25


Learners for Life
How Montessori education builds lifelong learning

IMG_8709As adults in our professional and personal lives, we actively engage in self-reflection and goal setting.

The new year is often a time to reflect, revise habits, and resolve to make new ones. For children this process is much more organic. In a multi-age setting, the youngest students have the example of their oldest classmates as their goal. They naturally look to these class elders for inspiration and truly want to do the interesting jobs they observe in class. All our students also look to the prepared class environment to set goals. Our materials are arranged sequentially, from simple to complex, with each exercise building upon its predecessor. The shelves become a road map of the curriculum and provide the child with the path to a coveted lesson. The child’s ability to reflect on work is guided by the teachers as they encourage the child to evaluate their efforts and results. The materials, as well, provide feedback that allow the child to consider their work and revise for correction.

This type of assessment helps our children self assess and is an authentic process for refinement. As our children mature, we engage in conversations with them on goal planning and self reflection.  Enabling them to articulate their plans and determine the best way to achieve them, are valuable life skills. This reflective process will serve them well, whether its desired end is to get to a lesson on a cube chain or start for the Raptors! (As long as they give their old principal Miss Hourigan courtside tickets!).

Montessori Magnified
An up-close look at Montessori at HSC

The first writing exercise our Casa children do is the moveable alphabet. It comes after they have learned sounds with the sandpaper letters. The exploration with the moveable alphabet is the child’s first opportunity to work with the written word.  This lesson is key in the child’s language development in two ways. Firstly, it allows the child to express themselves through the written word. It also encourages the child to work on the mechanics of the written word or encode. While the stories begin as simple and anecdotal, they teach that written words can give thoughts a voice. The mechanical process of world building reinforces for the child to use the components of words as they string individual sounds together to make the whole word. Later when we ask them to read the thoughts of others, this practice of buildings words helps them decode with greater success.  As the writing skills progress, students delve into fiction, story arcs and character development. As we expand their experiences, we continue to focus on writing mechanics through editing for capital letters, organizations, punctuation and spelling. Our writing portion of our language curriculum is a creative and productive outlet for students.

Pride & Joy

International Day
Montessori is a global educational philosophy. There are Montessori Schools around the world. An understanding and appreciation of diversity is an integral part of Montessori education. Lessons to our younger students on how to be a respectful member of a class community build into how to be a responsible global citizen. Students study the fundamental needs of cultures to underscore commonalities and celebrate differences, and we end each year with our Caravan Day, which highlights countries of ethnic heritage and explores the interdependencies in past and present cultures. On daily basis in Montessori, our focus is not only on the wonders of our world but how we as its citizens can support it.

Values in Action
Have you seen this Pin?
IMG_9764We are engaged in the process of presenting the students with their value pins and we hope that the children are speaking to you about their promise to their families and school.  We would like to remind our families that we have enough pins for each student, but cannot replace them readily and therefore ask that they be left on the sweaters.  We appreciate your support in caring for the pins as we work to ensure the students hold them close for their academic careers.

Our M8 and M9s have begun an exciting project with the Junior School called the 20/20 Challenge. This challenge has many aspects to it which help to nurture the children’s physical and spiritual well-being. They are participating in a daily 20 minute exercise routine in the Spallacci gym, led by Mrs. Sawyer with their teachers support, first thing every morning.  They return to their classrooms energized and ready to learn.  But it doesn’t stop there! 

Over the term and into the spring the students will collect coins or change to create change for Hamilton’s inner city schools and those living in poverty. The funds raised are used to provide these schools with backpacks, runners, books and food for students in need, so they too can participate in a read/run program. 

In May, at the end of the 20/20 challenge our students, along with hundreds of other students in our community, who participated in the challenge, will go to Tim Horton’s Field to complete a 5 km run! We are  excited to find such a worthwhile cause in our community to connect our children to the needs of others so close to home, while simultaneously fostering the development of their own sense of self and confidence.  More information will be coming home over the coming weeks and we appreciate your continued support, as we strive to connect our students to their own learning and their home community.  If you would like to learn more, please visit


Stepping up to Middle School
There will be an orientation meeting for the parents of the M9 students on Tuesday, January 26 at 7:00 p.m.

Casa Trip to the Royal Botanical Gardens
reptilesThe M3 and M4 students will attend the Reptile Rendezvous exhibit at the Royal Botanical Gardens on January 29, 2016. All the M3 and M4 students from the morning and afternoon classes will attend the trip in the morning. The bus will leave the school at 8:45 a.m. and return before lunch. Please ensure your child is at the College before 8:45 a.m. if you are dropping them off at school that morning. Students are asked to wear their College uniform. 

Lower Elementary Trips
February 5, 2016
The M8 and M9 students will travel by bus to the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts. This is a full-day trip, departing at 9:00 a.m. and returning in time for early buses/pickup. The students are asked to be in their HSC uniform and to bring their own healthy, nut-free lunch and snacks. Parent volunteers are not required for this trip.

February 29, 2016
The M6 and M7 students will travel by bus for a full-day trip to the RBG, returning in time for early buses/pick-up. The students are asked to wear their uniforms, but to bring appropriate clothing for outdoor play. Lunch is provided, and we ask that the students please bring a water bottle. We need six parent volunteers for this trip. If you are interested, please contact Ms. Malar at

Swim to Survive
s2slogo_lgWe are writing to share with you another exciting opportunity that has been arranged for our M8 and M9 students. In February, we will board buses and travel to Westmount Aquatic Centre on the West Mountain to participate in the Swim to Survive Lifesaving Society survival training program.

The Society defines the minimum skills needed to survive an unexpected fall into deep water. These are expressed in a skill sequence in the Canadian Swim to Survive standard: ROLL into deep water, TREAD water for one minute, SWIM 50 metres.

We look forward to this exciting opportunity, and feel our students will enjoy this exciting and beneficial learning experience.

Private Music Lessons
Private music lessons are available at the College for an additional fee.  If you wish to enroll your child(ren) in private lessons, please contact Heather Rodriguez, Montessori and Junior School Assistant.  Many families choose to have their children take lessons at HSC, so that they can free up time outside of school.  Lessons offered include:

  • Piano
  • Flute
  • Strings
  • Drums
  • Guitar
  • Vocal
  • Clarinet
  • Saxophone
  • Bass


March Break Camps – March 14-18 2016
HSC March Break Programs are designed to provide a full-day, full-week program for girls and boys ages 3-10. CLICK HERE to download the registration form.

Full-day Program /Full-Week Session | Fee: $225.00 | Includes one morning and one afternoon program per day.
Half-day Program / Full-Week Session | Fee: $115.00 | Includes one morning OR one afternoon program per day.

March Break Creative Adventure Camp
Share in the fun and experience new adventures! We’ll stimulate our minds and bodies through creative crafts, music, games, cooking and more. Make a new friend or come with old ones and enjoy learning new things in a fun-filled environment of work and play!Age Group: 3-4 years and 5-6 years (Full-Day or Half-Day option available)
Teachers: Ms. R. Faccio-Polimeni and Ms. A. Scattolon

March Break Outdoor Adventure Camp
Experience the outdoors with us in this exciting new outdoor camp. Enjoy the wonderful world around us through investigation, activities, crafts and games. Campers will participate in several activities, including scavenger hunts and games. Put on your best pair of boots and snow pants, and let’s explore!
Age Group: 7-9 years (Full Day or Half Day option available)

Important: Please register prior to February 19, 2016, to ensure that there are sufficient numbers for the programs to run. Contact Miss E. Otaguro, Director of Summer Programs for details.