Welcome to North Hill Montessori School. We offer authentic Montessori education for children ages 1 1/2 – 6. It is our objective to provide a warm, happy and enriching environment in which the children are free to develop in their physical, mental and emotional growth at their own individual pace and reach their full potential.
We feel it is important to:
• give each child a lasting love of learning
• help the child become independent and self-confident in his ability to achieve
• foster sound work habits, including self-discipline, concentration, perseverance and thoroughness
• encourage good manners and respect for others
• assist the child in becoming a happy and accepted member of his peer group
We hope to arouse in each child an interest in the world around him a sense of wonder, a spirit of discovery, an appreciation of beauty and a respect for life.
North Hill Montessori School’s interpretation of Montessori pedagogy and programming is consistent with the Minister of Education’s Policy Statement as set out in “How Does Learning Happen (HDLH)?” It is important to note that Montessori pedagogy often describes children’s activities as ‘work’ where HDLH describes children’s activity as ‘play’ but the activities, as experienced by a child, are one in the same.
In keeping with HDLH, North Hill Montessori School holds the view that all children are competent, capable, curious and rich in potential. North Hill Montessori’s Policy Statement, together with the Ministry’s Regulations that guide program development, pedagogy and practice, is intended to strengthen the quality of our program. To ensure high quality experiences that lead to positive outcomes in relation to children’s learning and development, HDLH describes the Four Foundations of Belonging, Well-being, Engagement and Expression.
North Hill Montessori sets out goals to guide programming and teaching within the HDLH framework and the approaches implemented to meet those goals. North Hill Montessori will document and review the impact of the strategies (below) on the children and their families through observation, conversation, meetings, surveys and other means deemed appropriate. The items below will support staff to further develop the program, encourage ongoing reflection and discussion in all areas of the program.
1. Goal: To support our staff and others who interact with the children in relation to continuous professional learning.
Implementation: by providing opportunities throughout the year for professional development workshops, conferences etc. Staff also meets regularly to discuss ongoing issues or topics of particular interest.
2. Goal: To plan for and create positive learning environments and experiences in which each child’s learning and development is supported.
Implementation: by using the international Montessori curriculum and materials that have been proven through research to be effective with children from all socio-economic and cultural groups.
1. Goal: to promote the health, safety, nutrition and well-being of the children
Implementation: diligently meeting all the requirements of ONTARIO REGULATION 137/15,
2. Goal: incorporate indoor/outdoor play, active play, rest and quiet time, into the day, and give consideration to the individual needs of the children
Implementation: By allowing the children to manage a great deal of their day. Children can choose to move about the class carrying things or building things, or sit quietly at a table moving intricate pieces. Children can choose to have snack or a drink when they are hungry or thirsty; they do not have to wait for the whole group. We have a large, well-equipped, outdoor playground that children access in groups twice each day.
1. Goal: To foster children’s exploration, play and inquiry
Implementation: by having fully equipped Montessori play/learn environments in which activities are present for the full range of ages in each room. There are activities that assist children to become independent or able to assist others in care of the self, care of the environment and care of others (Grace and Courtesy); activities to explore and refine all the senses as well as discover sequencing and order; activities to increase vocabulary, encourage discussion, explore sounds, and begin to develop the process of writing and reading, and activities to develop number sense, numeracy, understanding of large quantities, the mathematical operations, geometry and even rudimentary algebra concepts and then lots of activities to introduce all the wonderful things in our world. In addition there are activities for cutting, colouring, painting, exploring colour, shape and texture, pasting, etc. Children understand where everything is kept and they are able to choose and return things independently and with their friends.
2. Goal: To program for both child-initiated and adult-supported experiences
Implementation: All Montessori materials are introduced to a child by an adult or by another child, and while the Montessori adults are always observing children to see what support each child might need, they are very sensitive to allowing children their own initiative. Acknowledging the children’s interest and their ability to choose, most often results in children being deeply engaged and peaceful in what they are doing. Staff are always trying to find exactly the right moment to introduce a child to something new so that they have enough time to master something but also are always being gently challenged.
3. Goal: To foster the engagement of ongoing communication with parents about the program and their children
Implementation: by having regular group meetings with parents to explain what is happening in the classrooms, inviting parents in to observe their children, writing monthly class newsletters and sending home little explanations of the creations that children take home. Parents can access their child’s teacher by leaving a voicemail or by chatting briefly at the door during arrival and dismissal.
4. Goal: Seek out local community support
Implementation: Seek out local community partners (such as Dentists, Optometrists, extra-curricular programs) and encourage and agree to their involvement in supporting the children, their families and staff.
1. Goal: To support positive and responsive interactions among the members of the North Hill Montessori School community, which include the children, parents, and staff
Implementation: by communicating, promoting and adhering to our ‘Values’ and our ‘Code of Conduct’. These are communicated in our staff policies and in the Parent Handbook and calendar.|
2. Goal: to enhance children’s growing ability to self-regulate
Implementation: We understand that Self-regulation (the ability to deal with and recover from stress), lays a foundation for long-term physical, psychological, behavioural and educational well-being. We encourage the children to interact and communicate in a positive way, and by having mixed-age Montessori communities that provides many opportunities for interactions with older/younger peers and with adults. Further, children remain with the same adults for three years. We also have a Code of Respectful Conduct that is applied consistently throughout the school but according to the maturity of the children involved. Further, we will explore ways to create a more self-regulating environment for all who use the space, and through observation, we pay notice about children’s varied strategies and attempts to regulate their behaviour, emotions, attention and physiological states.
Our toddler program offers children between the ages of 18 months to 30 months a natural extension of the home environment. The purpose of the toddler community is to create a safe environment and the opportunity to develop independence, concentration, and self-esteem. The natural ability of the child to learn is cultivated with a consistent routine within a secure and orderly setting.
Teachers carry a gentle, thoughtful, and intelligent behavior, which encourages similar socialization skills in the children. Together, Montessori trained teachers and RECE’s provide developmentally appropriate, self-correcting and multi-sensorial materials and activities enhancing each child’s physical, emotional, social, artistic and cognitive development. The toddler program provides indoor and outdoor activities, which encourage movement, language enrichment and independence, which prepares the child for the Casa Montessori Program.
The toddler classroom is a spacious, well designed area where toddlers are free to explore the environment with all their senses. Everything in the classroom is toddler-sized. Attractive learning materials are displayed on low shelves within easy reach for toddlers. They also take pride in sorting, stacking, counting, sequencing, pouring, cleaning and sweeping. Toddlers are free to choose their “work,” and work becomes a cherished activity.
“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.” (Maria Montessori)
Our Pre-Casa program offers children between the ages of 2 ½ years to 5 years an opportunity to learn many different skills at their own academic and social level. With a ratio of eight children to one teacher, the individual needs of each child are easily met. These young children begin to learn what it means to be part of a group, how to separate from their parents, take turns and become independent. The age range in the classroom allows for older children to model appropriate behavior and good academic skills to the younger children. Small group lessons foster the love of learning in each child. Areas of learning in the Pre Casa classroom include Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Geography, Creative Arts, and Outdoor Play.
Children entering the classroom at age 2 ½ or 3 are introduced to “Practical Life” exercises such as pouring, polishing and buttoning which he/she is already familiar with at home. He/she immediately has a sense of compatibility and achievement and these tasks help him to develop the concentration and motor co-ordination necessary for more advanced exercises, along with increased independence.
Individual use of different materials permits a varied pace that accommodates many levels of ability and eliminates competition. The children are free to move around and work individually or in groups. Socialization is very important at this age and the children develop the basics of co-operation, sharing and relating to one another. Within the limits of social discipline each child may choose his/her own work according to his/her interest and may pursue an activity for as long as he/she wishes providing it does not inconvenience his fellow classmates. As the child’s skills increase he/she is gradually introduced, through concrete experiences, to the areas of language, mathematics, culture, music and art. The materials that make these concepts tangible serve as touchstones in his memory for many years to clarify the abstract terms he meets in future learning situations. Work with the Montessori materials is supplemented with other activities such as creative art, music, nature study and gym.
In keeping with the Montessori philosophy, each day the children have the opportunity to work in each area of the classroom, according to their individual needs. Through careful observation, the teachers introduce lessons to the children appropriate to the child’s development and needs. Science experiments, art activities, outdoor time, individual activities and group activities are part of the daily routine.
The role of an adult in a Montessori classroom is to observe and to respond to the needs and interest of each child as they become apparent. The teacher guides the child through specifically graded learning activities. She functions as a dynamic link between the child and the environment. Comprehensive records are maintained on the total development of each child.
This program is geared towards children aged 3.8 to 5.8 years old, and is focused on teaching for understanding. The children in this classroom receive the benefit of two years of sensorial preparation for academic skills by working with the concrete Montessori learning materials. This concrete sensorial experience gradually allows the child to form a mental picture of concepts like how big is a thousand, how many hundreds make up a thousand, and what is really going on when we borrow or carry numbers in mathematical operations.
Our program allows for young children to develop into normally curious, self-confident learners. They learn by observing and manipulating their environment, not through textbooks and workbook exercises. They are inquisitive, engaged, and become enthusiastic about learning, so will ask questions in order to learn. The Montessori materials give the child concrete impression of abstract concepts that become the foundation for a lifetime understanding.
The First Days
A child’s first school experience can be equally emotional for parents and their children. The essence of any good relationship is trust. We understand the significance of your choice in having your child with us. Children will settle quickly if they sense that you trust us and that you want him/her to be here. Please, try not to be alarmed if your child does not wish to leave you. It is only natural that your child will cling to the security of a parent. We have found that soon after a parent leaves, the child becomes focused on class activities and settles down. Once your child realizes that he/she can count on the same routine each day and the opportunity to make new friends, you may have some difficulty taking him/her home at the end of the day! We appreciate your selection of North Hill Montessori School. We will endeavour to make this an exciting a rewarding year.
North Hill Montessori School has one Casa classroom and one Toddler/Pre Casa Room accommodating children ages 1 ½ through 6. Casa classroom has a maximum of 21 children, Toddler/ Pre Casa Room a maximum of 9 children. Each class has qualified teachers who hold a recognized diploma. Children must be toilet trained in order to be admitted in the Casa classroom.
The school year runs from September to June. The school will be closed on statutory holidays, Christmas Break and March Break, although we offer March Break Camp and Summer Camp. A child can be admitted at any time throughout the year. Morning hours are 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 and afternoon hours are 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Children Full day programs are from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Extended hours are available from 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. and from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. An additional fee is required.
Transportation is the responsibility of the parents.
Arrival and Departure
It is important that parents bring their child to the classroom door, so the teacher is aware of the child’s presence.
To ensure the children’s safety it is imperative that the school be notified, in writing, if someone other than the parent/guardian is picking a child up after school. Unless the school is notified the child will not be released until a parent/guardian is contacted.
If your child is going to be late or absent from school we ask that you call the school no later than 8:30 a.m.
If a child becomes ill with a communicable disease, parents are expected to call the school immediately. Some illnesses must be reported to the Health Unit. If a child becomes ill during the day parents will be contacted to pick their child up. If parents cannot be reached the emergency contact will be called. Any child exhibiting signs of diarrhea or vomiting must be picked up immediately and may return to school only after they have been free of symptoms for 24 hours.
Effective November 1, 2011 a Serious Occurrence Notification Form will be posted in a visible spot for 10 days in the event a serious occurrence happens at North Hill Montessori School.
A serious occurrence could include serious injury to a child, fire or other disaster on site or a complaint about service standards.
A letter from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services is included in the back of the Parent Handbook.
Supervision Policy for Students and Volunteers
No child will be supervised by a person under 18 years of age.
Direct unsupervised access (i.e. when an adult is alone with a child) is not permitted for people who are not employees of the school.
Volunteers and students are not counted in the staffing ratios of the school.
Cancellation of Classes
If it is necessary to close the school due to inclement weather, parents will be notified by phone.
We have a uniform policy. Children are required to attend in full uniform every day except for our “Free Dress Fridays”, or when otherwise informed by administration. Please view and order our uniform through Uniform Basics at www.uniformbasics.com, or direct link https://uniformbasics.com/product-brands/north-hill-montessori-woodbridge/ for our school’s uniform selection.
Children require both indoor and outdoor shoes. A change of clothing (labelled) should be kept at the school at all times.
The following is a recommended list of items for each child to bring to school:
Spring and Summer
- Extra pair of shorts/pants
- Extra pair of underwear & socks
- Extra T-shirt, blouse or dress
*Please note sunglasses and sandals are not permitted on the playground*
Fall and Winter
- Extra pair of pants
- Extra pair of underwear & socks
- Snow boots
- Snow jacket
- Snow pants
- Mittens or gloves
- Warm Hat
We ask that children do not bring toys, money or other valuables to school. We do enjoy sharing special items children have discovered – rocks, shells etc. Books are also welcome for circle time.
North Hill Montessori School will provide a catered lunch for children attending full days on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The school will prepare lunch for children attending full days on Tuesday and Friday. Nutritious snacks will be provided by the school morning and afternoon. Menus will be posted. Food allergies and intolerances will be taken into account.
Medication will be administered providing the proper documentation is on file.
North Hill Montessori School will occasionally take the children on field trips to local events and invite interesting visitors to the school. Parents are welcome to participate in these activities.
Behaviour and Discipline
Children are disciplined in a constructive manner by restating the rules and redirection so the child may regain control of himself.
All parents must show proof of immunization prior to their child/children attending North Hill Montessori School. If parents have religious or philosophical reasons for not immunizing their child, they must submit their objection, in writing, to the school. Similarly, a written explanation is required from the family physician if there is a medical reason for not immunizing the child.
Inadequately protected children and those without an immunization record on file will be excluded from the school for their own protection during an outbreak of a designated vaccine preventable disease. A copy of the immunization record will be kept in the child’s file.
Interviews will be scheduled in December to discuss your child’s progress. Written reports will be sent home in June. If you have any concerns, an interview can be arranged anytime throughout the year.
Parents are welcome to accompany North Hill Montessori School on field trips. Parents may also arrange to observe their child’s classroom throughout the year.
Designated Emergency Shelter
In the event of an emergency and North Hill Montessori School must be evacuated the designated emergency shelter is: Bayview Secondary School. Parents will be contacted immediately to collect their child.
Registration and Admission
To apply for admission please complete the application package complete with the registration fee. Placement cannot be confirmed prior to receipt of all required documentation and payment of fees.
The school requires one month’s written notice of withdrawal to waive payment for the following term. No refunds will be considered for a student who is leaving school in midterm at the request of the parent, or in the event the family is relocated. No refunds are considered for absences due to illness or vacation.
North Hill Montessori School reserves the right to cancel enrolment if fees are unpaid.
In the event North Hill Montessori School requests the withdrawal of a child, a refund will be given in proportion to the part of the academic year involved.