Toronto, ON | Grades NS - 6 | Shortlist
My daughter has been going to CMS since she was four years old. She is 10 now and in grade 5 at CMS. What she likes most about the school is the fact that her teachers are always available to help the students. The one-on-one interactions between herself and her teachers have encouraged her greatly to do better in her studies. CMS has provided her the foundation to build a disciplined, focused and organized life. She also likes the personal space that is given to her to finish her studies. The school could offer more interesting and topical extracurricular activities which would keep the kids more engaged. Some of the activities that are offered did not prove to be productive enough for my daughter because of the content.
The teachers of the school build up self-assurance and independence in the children from a very early age so that they can try to address issues with confidence themselves and approach the teachers when needed. The school leadership and administration are very much focused to run the school in a very professional manner. School administration is always available to the parents to communicate any issues. Parents' concerns are always addressed and responses are prompt. Teachers also communicate directly with parents in case of a concerning issue.
The teachers here are very supportive and approachable. Teachers are very experienced to identify the strengths and weaknesses of individual students and thereby create a specific study plan. My daughter has always been encouraged by her teachers to try her best. Teachers also help to bring out the leadership qualities and team-building capacity by dividing students into various groups during every project. Students are encouraged to plan and execute projects individually and in groups. The teachers communicate with the parents directly if and when an issue arises and are open to constructive ideas. Each individual student is given the opportunity to participate in class discussions. The teachers also encourage students to take part in different internal and external competitions and prepare them accordingly in a timely manner.
Within the structural curriculum of the school, each student has his or her own study plan based on the strengths and weaknesses identified by the teachers. So the students can finish their course plan at their own pace. Advanced study plans are encouraged and given to students who are able to finish their planned course early and take on the next level of the curriculum. The school curriculum is a year ahead of the public system. The students are given homework every day and expected to complete it the same day. I think that Central Montessori School has provided a wonderful stepping stone for my daughter to move on to the next step in her life. It has taught her to be responsible, disciplined, honest and independent.
More competitions can be arranged within the school for students to take part to encourage their extracurricular activities. Students can also be encouraged to arrange fun projects under the competition. There is a weekly newsletter that goes out describing students' achievements. There is an annual book fair that offers students to buy books and other stationery items at cheaper prices. Students work with the teachers to organize this.
The school premises are very well protected. It is located in a very secured area by the main road. My daughter has taken part in several fire drills at the tests at the school. Students are allowed to leave the school boundary only after the end of the school day. Dropping off and picking up the kids are done in an orderly manner without making any chaos. My daughter has taken part in several fire drills at the tests at the school.
The school offers some online sessions for the parents in order to familiarize themselves with Montessori materials. There is a weekly newsletter that goes out describing students' achievements to parents. The newsletter also lists upcoming school events. Parents are invited to volunteer for the field trips. There are also sessions that invite parents of CMS alumni to share their experience before and after Central Montessori School. CMS arranges information sessions on the transition process to the new school after Grade 6. Parents are invited to talk about careers, interesting stories, show skills. I think parents could be encouraged to get more involved, for example, parent representatives could be asked to participate in quarterly school meetings to discuss any issues from the parent's side. Activities and gatherings can be arranged for the parents.
My daughter loves to go to her school. She has been trained to be very disciplined and focused on her studies by the teachers. She loves the fact that the teachers and staff here are welcoming. She is also taught to be organized, helpful and respectful to each other. As part of Montessori education, lower and upper-grade students mingle with each other. Upper-grade students act as role models who can guide and help the lower-grade students. Interschool competitions in subjects like art, crafts, computers, music can be arranged to encourage students in extracurricular activities. International film day can be organized to introduce the students to a new language. Students would learn from each other by taking part in different competitions and interacting with each other.
There are four houses in CMS. Students who are interested to be house captains and vice-captains are asked to give a speech to introduce themselves. The house captains and vice-captains are elected by all the students in the school. Each house scores points based on students' participation and their achievements. The house captains are given responsibilities and prepare presentations on different events throughout the year. They also check the students wearing the uniforms properly and following the school rules. They are asked to help in administration to improve their leadership skills. The teachers are also part of the house system and work with the students to encourage student participation. The students also take part in year-end talent shows to showcase their talents.