Celebrating 30 years of educational excellence at our one and only location on Bayview Ave!! Children's Garden Nursery School has become well-known for providing a strong foundation in academics in order to prepare children for the transition to grade one. Toddlers, preschool and kindergarten aged children enjoy specialty programs such as French, Sportball, Music and Drama. Afternoon programs include Alpha-Mania, Mini Masters, and Handwriting Without Tears. We make learning fun!
The Our Kids review of Children's Garden Nursery School
Since Children’s Garden was established in 1986, there has been a nice consistency of approach and leadership through the directorship of Pauline Foulkes. When she began there were just two students, though enrolment grew quickly to the 100 student mark, where the enrolment remains today. Throughout, Foulkes has maintained a very hands-on, involved role within all aspects of care and instruction. Location and size are important, though the quality of the programming, of course, is too, and there are few instances of nursery schools with as long a record of providing such unwavering service. The school is housed, now as from the start, in the Church of St. Augustine of Canterbury, though the program isn’t affiliated with the church and is non-denominational.
Pauline Foulkes, Director/Principal
Welcome to Children's Garden Nursery School!
I have been very fortunate to call Children's Garden my 'home away from home' since our doors opened in our one and only location back in 1986. Over these years, my goal as Director /Owner of the school has always been to maintain integrity with all aspects of the school environment and for children to receive the highest quality of programming.
My commitment to the children is to provide them with both a solid educational and social foundation during these early informative years.
My commitment to parents is to always be accountable and to fulfill their expectations of an excellent program for their children.
I could not meet any of my commitments without my wonderful staff. Although we have a professional workplace, our ability to have fun with the children while working together is what gives Children's Garden Nursery School a welcoming atmosphere the moment you walk through the doors. It is important to me that all of my staff are respected, valued, treated equally and that working at Children’s Garden Nursery School is not just a job, but a way to express their true passion and what they do best….teach children!
I hope that you come and visit us and get to see first-hand why thousands of children have started their educational journey at Children’s Garden Nursery School over the past 30 years.
Academic-based preschools and Kindergartens are the most structured of the different types, and have a strong emphasis on math and reading readiness skills. These programs aim to expose children to what early-elementary school is like. While time is still allotted to free play, much of the day is built around explicit lessons guided by the teacher. Classrooms often resemble play-based ones (with different stations set up around the room), but at an Academic program the teacher leads students through the stations directly, and ties these activities to a whole-class lesson or theme.
What CGNS says: We provide a well-balanced curriculum that meets each child’s individual needs. Our experienced teachers spend time assessing and getting to know the children in their class. Group dynamics, individual personalities, energy levels, maturity, and level of academic knowledge are all factors that the teachers take into account when planning for the school year ahead. Our curriculum includes; learning activities for Multiple Intelligences, Math, Language, Geography, Science, History, Cultural studies, Global awareness, Community outreach, Core French, French Immersion, Sportball, Music and Drama, Theme Based Curriculum, Handwriting Without Tears, Alpha-Mania and Mini Masters.
These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
Learn about the different mathematics approaches
What CGNS says: Young children develop early math skills in a variety of areas, including problem solving and reasoning, number concepts, geometry and spatial sense, measurement, and patterns & relationships. These skills are taught through hands-on manipulatives and while playing and having fun through daily experiences, activities and routines.
Textbooks and supplementary materials: We use a variety of resources to cover teaching math skills at this level.
Calculator policy: Not applicable at this stage.
Systematic-phonics programs teach young children to read by helping them to recognize and sound out the letters and syllables of words. Students are then led to blend these sounds together to sound out and recognize the whole word. While other reading programs might touch on phonetics (either incidentally or on a “when needed” basis), systematic phonics teaches phonics in a specific sequence, and uses extensive repetition and direct instruction to help readers associate specific letter patterns with their associated sounds.
Learn about the different early reading approaches
What CGNS says: Children who have developed the understanding that words can be segmented into sounds tend to be better readers than those with poor phonological and phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is not a concept that all children discover on their own. However, when taught to analyze the individual sounds in words, children can more quickly and accurately connect those sounds to letters and then blend groups of sounds into words when reading. Studies have shown that phonemic awareness skills are often deficient in children who struggle in learning to read and write. In addition to Phonics, we do implement Whole Language when needed.
DIBELS Testing: This school does not use DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.
What CGNS says: This information is not currently available.
Programs that balance systematic and process approaches equally likely have an emphasis on giving young students ample opportunities to write, while providing supplementary class-wide instruction in grammar, parts of sentences, and various writing strategies.
Learn about the different writing approaches
What CGNS says: We LOVE inventive spelling! We do not correct the child's work until we know that a child has built up a certain level of confidence with their risk-taking and that a love for writing is well established. We typically take note of where the child is having issues with spelling and grammar and build upon these skills in other areas of the program.
Inquiry-based science emphasizes teaching science as a way of thinking or practice, and therefore tries to get students “doing” science as much as possible -- and not just “learning” it. Students still learn foundational scientific ideas and content (and build on this knowledge progressively); however, relative to expository science instruction, inquiry-based programs have students spend more time developing and executing their own experiments (empirical and theoretical). Students are frequently challenged to develop critical and scientific-thinking skills by developing their own well-reasoned hypothesis and finding ways to test those hypotheses. Projects and experiments are emphasized over textbook learning. Skills are emphasized over breadth of knowledge.
Learn about the different science approaches
Teaching approach: Due to the young age of our students, science activities are a natural part of our theme related curriculum. Our goal is to give the children fun and interactive experiences when exploring science for the first time. Developing skills such as being a good observer, being open-minded, being inquisitive are all perfect traits for budding young scientists!
Topics covered in curriculum:
Treatment of evolution:
|Evolution as consensus theory|
|Evolution as one of many equally viable theories|
|Evolution is not taught|
The Thematic approach organizes the curriculum around certain themes or cultural universals. Students might spend time focused on food. Then they might focus on transportation or government, and so on.
Learn about the different social studies approaches
What CGNS says: Because our young children are concrete thinkers, age-appropriate social studies experiences start with children's own lives and experience. After their family, the classroom is the first society that young children belong to. For them, early social studies learning grows from their interactions with the exposure to people and lessons taught in our school setting. As a school community we are involved in several Community Outreach programs throughout the school year such as collecting unwrapped toys for a local toy drive, Hop-A-Thon for Muscular Dystrophy etc. Diversity, Community roles, Geography, History and Ecology are important factors of our social studies curriculum.
The communicative method of language acquisition emphasizes the use of the target language in authentic contexts. The approach commonly features interactive group work, games, authentic texts, and opportunities to learn about the cultural background of the language. Drills and quizzes may still be used, but less frequently than with the audio-lingual method.
Learn about the different foreign languages approaches
What CGNS says: The goals of the French Program are: • To introduce a new language in a fun and engaging way. • To familiarize children with the phonetics of French. • To learn a variety of basic, day to day vocabulary. French is taught through the use of songs, games, books, work sheets, stories, poems, art, and dance. All of these teaching methods are used to provide a variety of ways for children to access and apply French vocabulary. The children are given instruction in small groups, ensuring a fun and relaxed atmosphere that is non-competitive. Children are never pressured to speak French; rather they are encouraged to feel comfortable trying out new sounds and words and are encouraged and rewarded with smiles and praise.
Languages Offered: • French
Receptive arts programs emphasize art history (visual, music, theatre, etc) and appreciation over creating or “making” art. Students learn about various artistic works and movements, and are asked to reflect on their underlying aesthetic features and principles. The goal is to give students a core body of knowledge related to the arts, while developing their cognitive, emotional, and aesthetic sensibilities. Studio-work is still a component of most reflective programs, but it plays less of a role than in creative programs.
Learn about the different fine arts approaches
Visual studio philosophy:
What CGNS says: We offer an afternoon program called Mini Masters. Child development is dramatically enhanced when children are given unique artistic opportunities. Mini Masters allows children to delve into the minds and techniques of the world’s great artists – from Henri Matisse to Georgia O’Keefe. Children are introduced to the idea that behind every painting, drawing, and sculpture, stands a great artist. Once inspired by the artist of the day, our “Mini Masters” create their own dynamic pieces of art. Since Mini Masters is about the excitement of exploration, children get to play with different media, including: Paint, Sculpture, Still life drawing, Collage, Mural work, Photography and Multimedia. Children also learn about the elements of design: Line, Shape, Colour, Texture, Value, Space and Form. Mini Masters Students experience art in the world around them through stories, songs, movement, and of course, lots of messy fun.
Computers are used in the classroom from time to time, but integrating technology into everything students do is not a dominant focus. Digital literacy is understood to be a legitimate skill in the 21st century, but not one that should distract from teaching the subject at hand, or more fundamental skills and literacies. The idea is today’s students, being “digital natives”, are likely exposed to computers and new media enough outside the classroom: the role of the school, rather, should be to develop competencies that may otherwise get missed.
Learn about the different computers and technology approaches
What CGNS says: At Children's Garden Nursery School, we offer the Super Star by Help Me 2 Learn computer program. It is a Language Arts and Math program that allows students to enjoy the independence of completing fun and engaging computer activities. It is a ‘virtual teacher assistant’ as the classroom teacher is able to gain access to pre-test and post-test assessment data to determine each child’s success in mastering various reading and math skills. This is also a computer program that requires mouse and keyboard skills.
What CGNS says: Sportball introduces children between the ages of 2-8 years old to the FUNdamentals of 7 different sports: soccer, hockey, basketball, baseball, volleyball, tennis and golf which are taught in a non-competitive atmosphere. Children also have the opportunity to get involved in fun games that focus on developing gross motor skills, building self-esteem, confidence and teamwork. Sportball instructors are thoroughly screened and well trained. Coaches are First Aid and CPR certified and have related education and/or experience with children.
Approach to teaching religious and secular curricula
|Completely segregated |
We completely segregate or separate secular and religious curricula. We don't teach them together or combine them in any ways.
|Mostly segregated |
We mostly segregate or separate secular and religious curricula. We teach very few, if any, secular and religious subjects together, and we don't combine them in any significant ways.
|Completely integrated |
We completely integrate the secular and religious curricula. We combine the teaching of religious and secular subjects for the entire, or almost the entire, day. Almost all of our units integrate secular and religious instruction.
|Mostly integrated |
We have a highly integrated curriculum. We integrate most of our religious and secular subjects. We teach a few secular and religious subjects on their own, though.
|Not applicable |
This doesn't apply to us because we don't have a religious curriculum.
Approach to teaching religion
|Scripture as literal |
Our religious scripture is a factual text that is literally the word of God. Our task is to understand it and clarify its meaning.
|Scripture as interpretive |
Our religious scripture, while the word of God, is open to interpretation and discussion.
What CGNS says: We are a nondenominational school that recognizes all religious celebrations throughout the school year. Our holiday concerts typically consist of Christmas and Hanukkah songs. Be it Kwanzaa, Yom Kippur, or Swedish Festival of Lights…we like to acknowledge all cultures and celebrations around the world.
The main curriculum pace is non-standardized and is HIGHLY responsive to the pacing of individual students, (via differentiated instruction, differentiated assessment, etc). In theory, some students outpace the default/normalized curriculum, while others spend periods "behind schedule" if they need the extra time.
|Flexible pacing style||= offered|
|Multi-age classrooms as standard|
|Ability-grouping (in-class) as common|
|Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)|
|Regular guided independent study opportunities|
What CGNS says about flexible pacing: Assessing a child's learning style, understanding of concepts being taught and readiness to move forward to the next stage needs to happen on a regular basis in order for a child to meet with success.
A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.
What CGNS says: Although we have a strong academic curriculum, we have to take into serious consideration that these are young children and often this is their first experience of being in a school setting. Our responsibility to our students is to first and foremost, create a warm and nurturing environment in order for each child to feel secure and willing to take a risk with their learning. Once this has been established, trust in their teacher allows each child to reach their full academic potential. These early years are a crucial time for building a solid academic foundation.
What CGNS says: School should be a place where a child can experience love and respect as well as intellectual stimulation. Thus, when we consider the education of a child we should view the process as both social and intellectual – after all, what a child feels influences his or her desire to learn. Although we offer a sound curriculum at Children’s Garden, our primary concern is the child’s emotional and social development. We will foster independence and self-confidence, cooperation, respect, and over-all social awareness of the world around them.
CGNS offers limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.
|Support Type||= offered|
|Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation|
|Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties|
What CGNS says: Communication between the school and parents is crucial in determining if Children’s Garden Nursery School is the best program for your child. It is not our mandate to willingly take on a child where we don’t have the expertise or staff to support that child. Should a child develop learning difficulties during their time with us, every effort would be made to assist the parents in obtaining information from community agencies and organizations to ensure that the child’s needs are met.
CGNS does not offer any specialized programming for gifted learners.
In grade SK, Children's Garden Nursery School students perform an average of 15 mins of homework per night.Nightly Homework
|CGNS||0 mins||0 mins||15 mins||15 mins|
|Site Average||0 mins||2 mins||5 mins||6 mins|
How assessments are delivered across the grades:
|Prose (narrative)-based feedback||Nursery/Toddler to SK|
|Academic achievement reporting||Preschool to SK|
|Parent-teacher meetings||Nursery/Toddler to SK|
This information is not currently available.
|Track & Field|
|Interview||NS - SK|
|SSAT (out of province)|
Application Form must be submitted before booking of individual tour.
Type of student Children's Garden Nursery School is looking for: Children who are eager to learn! Curious, fun loving, ready to listen to direction, ability to focus and be part of a group.
Student Entry Points
|10 (100%)||1 - 15 (100%)||1 - 4 (100%)||1 - 4 (100%)|
Children's Garden Nursery School is now offering Handwriting Without Tears as a stand alone program on Monday afternoons from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Please visit our website www.childrensgarden.ca for more information on this excellent printing program....
Children’s Garden Nursery School Is excited to announce that we will be offering new afternoon programs starting in September.
Please go to our website for www.childrensgarden.ca for more information....
Children’s Garden Nursery School Is excited to announce that we will be offering new afternoon programs starting in September.
Please go to our website for www.childrensgarden.ca for more information.
We are so pleased with the Kindergarten Enrichment Program at Children's Garden Nursery School. Our son currently attends SK in the morning and we have him enrolled in the Two Afternoon Kindergarten Enrichment Program at Children's Garden Nursery School. Our son has benefited greatly from the small class sizes, attentive teachers and creative teaching approaches. The teachers work hard to foster independence and confidence in each child by helping each child be successful by targeting the unique qualities of each child."
Nikki and Justin Flowerday ...
Before starting at Children's Garden in 2010, 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 over two 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." ...
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.
Time flies when you are having fun! Children's Garden Nursery School is proud to announce that they are celebrating their 30th anniversary. ...
Are you looking for exceptional afternoon programming for your child? Why not try Alpha-Mania, Mini Masters and Handwriting Without Tears? ...
The Children's Garden Nursery School kindergarten students enjoyed a year-end assembly highlighting the Graduating Class of 2015! ...
click to view number
visit school website