Kindergarten at Children's Garden
Children’s Garden Nursery School is pleased to offer both Junior and Senior Kindergarten programs to children 4 and 5 years of age. All of our Kindergarten programs offer low student-teacher ratios; 8 to 1 class ratio. Small class sizes allow us to accommodate, modify and create individualized learning paths that meet the diverse need of our learning environment. This student-centered approach allows students to take responsibility for their learning while providing them with the proper guidance and support needed to meet specific learning objectives. Catering to the individual’s needs will result in a deeper understanding, higher self-esteem and a motivation or desire to keep learning.
Students will be able to discover and explore through hands on learning, problem solving, predicting, questioning, and risk taking in both small and large group settings.
Full Day Kindergarten Program
Our full-day Kindergarten program takes place Monday through Friday and is available for students whose parents have chosen to keep their child in a small group setting. This environment is recommended to either prepare students for future private school enrollment or to continue on in the public school system. Students enrolled in this program will experience all aspects of the learning curriculum including assemblies, field trips, and drama plays.
Our full-day program runs from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.
Although we have a wide and varied curriculum for your children to enjoy, the primary focus of the kindergarten program at Children’s Garden is to teach children to read, write and gain basic math skills.
We traditionally refer to kindergarten children as Junior or Senior kindergarten students. This may reflect their chronological age, but it is not always a true representation of their level of learning. At Children’s Garden Nursery School we refer to kindergarten as a two year program that meets each child’s needs as they progress independently throughout the various stages of learning.
No matter if this is your child’s first or second year of kindergarten, we start with thorough assessments.
Do they recognize each letter?
Do they know the letter sound association?
Are they already reading? If so, at what level?
Can they hold a pencil correctly?
Do they have the confidence to attempt ‘inventive spelling’ (where the child attempts to sound out the word that they are writing independently)?
The answers to all of the above questions and many more are determined by the child. Some children are very nervous about making mistakes and therefore will not even attempt any of the above although they definitely have the required ability.
Kindergarten is about the process not the end result as the foundation we are building upon needs to be solid. This can only be strengthened by a child’s ability to take risks knowing that their work may not be perfect or even correct. We take great pride in offering a program where the children are immersed in various mediums that make learning fun and allow the children to take risks in a nurturing and supportive environment.
Each child develops at their own rate and within the kindergarten time period the range may be varied without necessary concerns. Their ability to click into reading or writing independently can happen at any time between the ages of 4 and 6. In our experience it is like a light bulb being switched on and then they are off to the races! We have excellent teachers who can provide the children with an enriched learning environment where both collectively and individually the children can build on their skills. Some children move forward faster than others in certain areas of the program and that’s okay. This is not a race but a time where the scaffolding needs to be carefully built in conjunction with each child’s needs.
Our kindergarten children have two years to prepare for grade one and during this time we ensure that they are exposed to a fun, well balanced, and engaging curriculum so that they are independent learners moving forward.
Our two year kindergarten curriculum will include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Introduction to chapter books
- Listening to stories read and told
- Group discussions
- Introduction to new vocabulary
- Maintaining a journal
- Phonics Book
- Identification of letters of the alphabet – upper and lower case
- Identification of alphabet sounds
- Identification of sight words
- Practice of sound/action association (Jolly Phonics)
- Recognition of initial and final consonant sounds
- Identification of sight words
- Use of readers
- Printing of name (Both in Upper and lower case letters)
- Printing of single words
- Printing of sentences
- Use of inventive spelling for independent writing
- Identification of rhyming words
- Creative writing
- Superstar Learning Computer Program
- Handwriting Without Tears Program
- Sorting and classification of objects
- Counting of objects
- Knowledge of ordinal numbers
- Knowledge of time concepts
- Introduction to telling time
- Identification and creation of simple patterns
- Duplication of simple patterns
- Printing of numerals to 1-100 and beyond
- Counting orally by 5’s and 10’s
- Counting orally to 100 and beyond
- Identification of numerals to 100 and beyond
- Use of concrete materials to construct representation of single and double digit numbers
- Addition of numbers 0-10
- Subtraction of numbers 0-10
- Introduction to money (identification and counting)
- Geometry- shape recognition and formation; geometric solids
- 2D and 3D shapes
- Measurement- length, estimate and check area
- Superstar Learning Computer Program
For our five day students, this is in addition to socializing with their peers, arts and crafts, cooking, science experiments, hatching chicks, assemblies, field trips, winter and spring plays, community outreach programs, French, Sportball, Music, Drama etc.
Our Other Programs
We are pleased to also offer Toddler, Preschool, Pre-J.K., including our Specialty programs, such as French, Music, Sportball and Drama. You also have the option to increase your child’s time with us by enrolling in our Extended Programs.
What The Parents Say
Our older child started in the preschool class at Children’s Garden and is about to graduate from Kindergarten. What an incredibly rich experience it has been. Every teacher has nurtured his curiosity and built his confidence through a fun and rigorous academic curriculum. The admin team lead by Pauline consistently goes above and beyond to enrich the student experience. The commonality amongst the families who are committed to a positive and comprehensive learning environment has provided the seeds for great young friendships.
The small class sizes are the perfect transition into a formal classroom environment, ensuring that each child feels safe as they take their first steps towards independence. The class size also guarantees that each child will receive personalized attention in these critical foundational early years. Whether it’s the level of French proficiency that our child has gleaned from the afternoon immersion program, the regular incorporation of the most current educational tools and approaches, or the unbearably cute plays/concerts that the students put on, I continue to be pleasantly surprised and impressed.
We are so happy that we will still be at CGNS for a few more years as our younger child transitions to the 3-Morning toddler class. It is truly a special place and it is a privilege to have our children walk through these doors every morning.
I found out about CGNS from an ad in a community newspaper. After visiting the school and meeting with some of the staff I decided to enroll my daughter in the 3 afternoon a week Senior Kindergarten program. I had a “gut feeling” it would be a positive environment for her. Now that she has attended the school I know that I made the right decision. I am impressed by all of the staff members and the diversity of the program. In only 3 afternoons a week my daughter is exposed to the S.K curriculum, French, Sportball, Drama, and Music. It has been a wonderful complement to her morning public school. All staff members are very friendly and caring. I feel that I made the right decision in choosing CGNS and would highly recommend this school to others.
We are thrilled with the confidence and skills our daughter has gained from the Children’s Garden Kindergarten Enrichment program. The small class size has been a great advantage to her development, both socially and academically. Her teacher has been wonderful in adapting the curriculum to her specific needs and, most importantly, she is happy there and looks forward to each day that she is at Children’s Garden Nursery School.
Tracey N. Patel
Children’s Garden Nursery School is a delightful place to send your pre-schooler. It is well-organized with fantastic facilities and friendly teachers who really help the children learn the skills they will need to enter kindergarten. The teachers help the children learn how to socialize, how to be independent and how to play in a group setting. My son loved the music and French classes, the Hallowe’en party, Christmas concert and visit to Riverdale Farm, and the many fun events the school organized. His mother loved the birthday poster the teachers made, and the songs he came home singing!
Marina Jimenez, Globe and Mail writer
Our daughter has thrived at Children’s Garden Nursery School. It is a caring, supportive and stimulating environment that allows children to develop at their own pace. Each and every individual involved in the school is a committed educator who takes the time to meet the needs of each child by actively engaging them individually and collectively in a wide variety of activities. Perhaps the best indication of the success of this school is just how much our daughter loves to learn and the excitement you can see and hear in her when she talks about “her school”! We have nothing but praise for Children’s Garden.
Sharon Switzer-McIntyre and Andrew McIntyre
Before starting at Children’s Garden, we shopped around several preschools in the area, interviewed them, did site visits and even sat in on a class. All of them seem to offer pretty much the same thing in terms of curriculum, but there seemed to be a common element missing amongst all of them that left us feeling unsettled….until a friend recommended Children’s Garden Nursery School. After talking with Pauline and touring the space, we hadn’t even made it out of the parking lot before turning to each other and saying “This is the one.” We did not know at the time how right we were.
Children’s Garden is a truly special place. Having been part of the school for four years now, I think there are a few things that set it apart from any other preschool. First, the incredible sense of community and belonging. The staff have created an incredibly caring, nurturing environment for not just the kids but for the families too. Your child isn’t the only one who belongs to Children’s Garden – you do too. Second, they have an incredible way of bringing out the best in each child and helping them to truly shine as individuals. It is amazing to watch all of the children grow in confidence and self-esteem as each of their unique talents are brought to the forefront. Third, the exceptionally strong relationship between the Parent Committee and the Administration and teachers. Everyone works together to provide the best opportunities and make continual improvements for the benefit of our kids. The Administration and the teachers go far above and beyond in all things big and small for the kids through special events, class outings, holidays, performances. It is truly more than we ever expected. I asked my son if there was anything he didn’t like about Children’s Garden. He thought about it for a moment and said, “Only that I can’t go to school there forever.”
Leah and Brad Watson
Children’s garden has transformed our son James from being frustrated with school to loving school and accomplishing things like reading, writing and confidence in a short 6 months. He is always excited to go and loves his teachers.
Natasha and Paul Glionna
John looks forward to school every day. I credit this to the school’s wonderful atmosphere and excellent teachers and administration who create a stimulating, caring, high-quality learning environment for each individual child.
Cheryl Carson-Van Loan
I enrolled my 2 and a half year old in CGNS based on recommendations I got from friends and having been impressed by my visit and tour of the school. I was told about the complete program and friends spoke highly of the nurturing and caring environment. What I wasn’t prepared for though was how “complete” the program was, in spite of it being only for half a day! CGNS to me is a hidden gem in this maze of over marketed children’s nurseries! The children have a complete academic program with literacy and numeracy from the start irrespective of age, they do French every day, Sportball, have a planned Music session twice a week and Drama twice a week.
My son thrived in his JK year and at the end of it was reading confidently at level 2! During the year they had 4 presentations that included two plays with Music and a French play, with each child being given speaking roles. More remarkable was the confidence he has now, whether it is in going up on stage, or presenting to an audience. I would highly recommend Children’s Garden to parents who want an enriched program for their children.
Gayathri and Rahul Kadyan
Branksome Hall has a valued relationship with Children’s Garden Nursery School. We look forward to working with families and finding a good fit for CGNS students in our welcoming environment, which features a liberal arts curriculum and many opportunities for co-curricular activities. Students who have come out of Children’s Garden Nursery School into Branksome make a smooth transition into our learning environment.