Children's Garden Nursery School ACADEMICS & EXTRACURRICULARS
Curriculum Traditional, Reggio Emilia
Curriculum approach at CGNS: Traditional, Reggio Emilia
CGNS has a Traditional, Reggio Emilia approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Liberal Arts, Progressive, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf approach).
Our Kids definition: Traditional curricula tend to be very content-based and rooted in the core disciplines. It is a structured approach that involves the teacher delivering a unified curriculum through direct instruction. Students usually learn by observing and listening to their teacher, studying facts and concepts in textbooks, and completing both tests and written assignments - which challenge students to not only demonstrate their mastery of content but their ability to analyze and deconstruct it critically. Class discussions are also used to create critical dialogue around the content of the curriculum.
Liberal arts - 14%
Progressive - 33%
Montessori - 11%
Reggio Emilia - 1%
Waldorf - 1%
CGNS has a Reggio Emilia approach to supplementary curriculum.
Reggio Emilia programs are offered by some schools at the preschool and elementary level. The approach aims to develop curiosity and problem-solving skills through the liberal use of projects (as opposed to activities or lessons): teachers design projects for children around their demonstrated interests. Projects can be geared to an individual student, a small group of students, or the class as a whole. They can last from a few days to the whole year. Art is strongly emphasized and is typically incorporated into every project. Teachers actively participate in projects alongside students, rather than sitting back and observing. The philosophy calls for a high degree of parent involvement as well, particularly when forming curricula and project plans (which happens throughout the academic year).
What CGNS says about their overall curriculum and approach:
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 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.
Pedagogies and subject courses:
Mathematics approach at CGNS: Equal Balance[Show: About Equal Balance?]
Our Kids definition: These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.Compare CGNS's Mathematics with other schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 69%
Traditional math - 25%
Discovery math - 6%
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. Splashlearn is an online math program that supports all in-class learning.
Textbooks and supplementary materials:
We use a variety of resources to cover teaching math skills at this level.
Not applicable at this stage.
Early Reading approach at CGNS: Phonics-intensive[Show: About Phonics-intensive?]
Our Kids definition: 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.Compare CGNS's Early Reading with other schools on OurKids.net:  Phonics-intensive - 42%
Whole language - 2%
Balanced literacy - 56%
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. Our online guided reading program from kindergarten onwards is Raz Kids.
DIBELS Testing: This school does not use DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.
What CGNS says:
This information is not currently available.
Writing approach at CGNS: Equal balance[Show: About Equal balance?]
Our Kids definition: 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.Compare CGNS's Writing with other schools on OurKids.net:  Equal balance - 78%
Systematic approach - 10%
Process approach - 12%
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.
Science approach at CGNS: Inquiry[Show: About Inquiry?]
Our Kids definition: 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.Compare CGNS's Science with other schools on OurKids.net:  Inquiry - 26%
Expository - 6%
Equal balance - 68%
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!
Treatment of evolution:
Subject Offered Evolution as consensus theory Evolution as one of many equally viable theories Evolution is not taught
Topics covered in curriculum:
Subject Offered Biology Chemistry Ecology Geology Meteorology Physics Physiology Zoology
Social Studies approach at CGNS: Thematic[Show: About Thematic?]
Our Kids definition: 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.Compare CGNS's Social Studies with other schools on OurKids.net:  Thematic - 32%
Core knowledge - 39%
Expanding communities - 29%
What CGNS says:
Because our young children are concrete thinkers, age-appropriate social studies experiences start with children's own lives and experiences. 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, Capes for Kids supporting Holland Bloorview etc. Diversity, Community roles, Geography, History and Ecology are important factors of our social studies curriculum.
Foreign Languages approach at CGNS: Communicative[Show: About Communicative?]
Our Kids definition: 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.Compare CGNS's Foreign Languages with other schools on OurKids.net:  Communicative - 33%
Audio-lingual - 3%
Equal balance - 64%
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.
Language instruction offered in:
Subject Offered Chinese-Cantonese Chinese-Mandarin French German Greek Italian Japanese Hebrew Latin Russian Spanish ESL
Fine Arts approach at CGNS: Receptive[Show: About Receptive?]
Our Kids definition: 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.Compare CGNS's Fine Arts with other schools on OurKids.net:  Receptive - 2%
Creative - 33%
Equal balance - 65%
Subject Offered Acting Dance Drama/Theatre Graphic Design Music Visual Arts
Visual studio philosophy:
What CGNS says:
Art 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. Our students experience art in the world around them through stories, songs, movement, and of course, lots of messy fun. Our Musical Theatre program serves to introduce the students to dramatic storytelling, puppetry, creative movement, imaginative play, and music. Our kindergarten, grade 1 & 2 students are involved in the creation and performance of a musical play twice a year.
Computers and TechnologyLight integration
Computers and Technology approach at CGNS: Light integration[Show: About Light integration?]
Our Kids definition: 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.Compare CGNS's Computers and Technology with other schools on OurKids.net:  Light integration - 18%
Heavy integration - 30%
Medium integration - 52%
What CGNS says:
At Children's Garden Nursery School, we have iPads for each child to use. We have a variety of math and language programs that serve as 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.
Subject Offered Computer science Robotics Web design
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.
Sex and health educationOntario curriculum
Sex and health education approach at CGNS: Ontario curriculum
CGNS has an Ontario curriculum approach to Sex and health education (as opposed to Does not follow prrovincialcurriculum approach).[Show: About Ontario curriculum?]
Our Kids definition: The structure, pacing, focus, and tone of the sex education curriculum reflects that of the provincial one, taught in public schools.Compare CGNS's Sex and health education with other schools on OurKids.net:  Follows provincial curriculum - 60%
Does not follow prrovincial curriculum - 40%
Approach to sex and health education:CGNS has a approach Mostly value-neutral (as opposed to Fairly value-based approach).[Show: About Mostly value-neutral?]
Our Kids definition: By and large, students are taught about sex free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. The school doesn't impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on students when teaching sex and related issues.
What CGNS says:
This information is not currently available.
Preschool/K Curriculum Academic
Preschool/K Curriculum approach at CGNS: Academic
CGNS has an Academic approach to Preschool/K Curriculum (as opposed to Play-based, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia approach).
Our Kids definition: 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.
Play-based - 24%
Montessori - 24%
Waldorf - 2%
Reggio emilia - 7%
What CGNS says about their preschool/K curriculum approach:
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, Musical Theatre, Theme Based Curriculum, Mindfulness Activities, Handwriting Without Tears, Raz Kids Reading Program, Splashlearn Math Program.
Language bilingual / dual-immersion
Learn about Children's Garden Nursery School's languages of instruction and enrolment.
CGNS is a bilingual / dual-immersion school with English, French as the primary language of instruction
|English - 90%||French - 10%|
Language of enrolment include: English
Curriculum Pace Student-paced
Curriculum Pace approach at CGNS: Student-paced
CGNS has a Student-paced approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Standard-enriched, Accelerated approach).
Our Kids definition: 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.
Standard-enriched - 58%
Accelerated - 17%
What CGNS says about their curriculum pace:
Our low student to teacher ratios afford us the ability to work with each child individually. We always ensure that no child is bored or overly challenged and that they are all progressing both socially and academically at their own pace.
Flexible pacing style
|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 their 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.
Academic Culture Supportive
Academic Culture approach at CGNS: Supportive
CGNS has a Supportive approach to Academic Culture (as opposed to Rigorous approach).
Our Kids definition: 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.
Rigorous - 49%
What CGNS says about their academic culture:
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.
Developmental priorities Emotional
Primary Developmental Priority: Emotional
The goal is to cultivate "emotionally intelligent and confident individuals, capable of leading both themselves and others."
Secondary Developmental Priority: Social
The goal is to cultivate "socially aware and active citizens, motivated to change the world (or their community) for the better."
What CGNS says about their developmental priorities:
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.
Special needs support Indirect Support
CGNS offers Indirect Support
Students remain in a regular classroom for the whole day; the teacher receives special training in accommodating special needs and/or learning disabled students.
What CGNS says about their special need support:
CGNS is proud to welcome a literacy specialist to our school family starting in September 2022. Should your child already have a psycho-educational assessment with recommendations for additional remedial instruction, or if you feel your child needs some extra support to get them back on track after a year of online learning; our literacy specialist teacher will work one-on-one with your child during school hours at an agreed-upon schedule. Parents are billed directly for this extra support. Your child will have the opportunity to be part of a regular classroom environment while participating in an individualized program designed to help them meet with success.
Learning disabilitiesDyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)This is a learning disability that can limit a child's ability to read and learn. It can have a variety of traits. A few of the main ones are impaired phonological awareness and decoding, problems with orthographic coding, and auditory short-term memory impairment.Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)This is a sound differentiation disorder involving problems with reading, comprehension, and language.DyscalculiaThis is a kind of specific learning disability in math. Kids with this math disorder have problems with calculation. They may also have problems with math-related concepts such as time and money.DysgraphiaThis is a kind of specific learning disability in writing. It involves problems with handwriting, spelling, and organizing ideas.Language Processing DisorderThis is characterized by having extreme difficulty understanding what is heard and expressing what one wants to say. These disorders affect the area of the brain that controls language processing.Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)These involve difficulties interpreting non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language. They're usually characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial, and social skills.Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor DeficitA characteristic seen in people with learning disabilities such as Dysgraphia or Non-verbal LD. It can result in missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters, losing place frequently, struggles with cutting, holding pencil too tightly, or poor eye/hand coordination.
DevelopmentalAutismRefers to a range of conditions that involve challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and speech and nonverbal communication. They also involve unique strengths and differences. For instance, there are persons with both low- and high-functioning autism (some claim the latter is identical to Asperger's syndrome).Asperger's SyndromeOn the autism spectrum, Asperger's is considered quite mild in terms of symptoms. While traits can vary widely, many kids with Asperger's struggle with social skills. They also sometimes fixate on certain subjects and engage in repetitive behaviour.Down syndromehis is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.Intellectual disabilityThis is a condition characterized by significant limitations in intellectual functioning (e.g., reasoning, learning, and problem solving). Intellectual disabilities are also known as general learning disabilities (and used to be referred to as a kind of mental retardation).Williams syndromeFetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. These may include growth deficits, facial anomalies, and damage to the central nervous system, which can lead to cognitive, behavioural, and other problems.
Behavioral and EmotionalTroubled behaviour / troubled teensroubled teens tend to have problems that are intense, persistent, and can lead to quite unpredictable behaviour. This can lead to behavioural and emotional issues, such as drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behaviour, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.Clinical DepressionThis is a mental health disorder also called "major depression." It involves persistent feelings of sadness, loss, and anger. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in daily activities, such as school, work, or one's social life.Clinical anxietyThis is a mood disorder involving intense, relentless feelings of distress and fear. They can also have excessive and persistent worry about everyday situations, and repeated episodes of intense anxiety or terror.Suicidal thoughtsThis involves persistent thoughts about ending one's life.Drug and alcohol abuseThis involves the excessive use of drug and/or alcohol, which interferes with daily functioning.Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)This is a disruptive behavioural disorder which normally involves angry outbursts, often directed at people of authority. This behaviour must last continuously for six months or more and significantly interfere with daily functioning.
PhysicalMultiple sclerosisThis is a condition of the central nervous system. It affects the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. Symptoms can include fatigue, loss of motor control, memory loss, depression, and cognitive difficulties.Cerebral palsyhis refers to a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. CP is caused by abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance, and posture.Muscular dystrophyMuscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.Spina BifidaThis is a condition present at birth due to the incomplete formation of the spine and spinal cord. It can lead to a number of physical challenges, including paralysis or weakness in the legs, bowel and bladder incontinence, hydrocephalus (too much fluid in the brain), and deformities of the spine.Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)This is a Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Also known as "sensory integration disorder," it affects fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. It may also affect speech.BlindnessVisual impairment is a decreased ability or inability to see that can't be fixed in usual ways, such as with glasses. Some people are completely blind, while others have what's called "legal blindness."DeafnessHearing impairment, also known as "hearing loss," is a partial or total inability to hear. The degree of hearing impairment varies between people. It can range from complete hearing loss (or deafness) to partial hearing loss (meaning the ears can pick up some sounds).Cystic FibrosisCystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.Multiple physicalAccommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.
Read our guide to special needs schools and special education
|Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation|
|Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties|
Mild but clinically diagnosed learning disabilities
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.
|Social skills programs|
Gifted learner support No Support
Curriculum Delivery: Acceleration and enrichment
There is an equal emphasis on acceleration and enrichment.
|Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)|
|Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)|
|Custom subject enrichment (special arrangement)|
|Custom curriculum compacting (special arrangement)|
|Guided independent study (custom gifted arrangement)|
|Cyber-learning opportunities (custom gifted arrangement)|
|Formalized peer coaching opportunities (specifically for gifted learners to coach others)|
|Custom subject acceleration (special arrangement)|
|Career exploration (custom gifted arrangement)|
|Project-based learning (custom gifted arrangement)|
|Mentorships (custom gifted arrangement)|
What CGNS says about their gifted learner support:
Not all gifted students will be identified at such a young age. However, we will advance children through certain areas of our curriculum if the child shows a solid understanding of the concepts and is ready to move ahead of their grade level
In grade Gr. 3, CGNS students perform an average of 30 mins of homework per night.
|CGNS||0 mins||15 mins||15 mins||30 mins||30 mins||30 mins|
|Site Average||1 mins||6 mins||8 mins||15 mins||18 mins||24 mins|
What CGNS says about their flipped classroom policy:
This information is not currently available.
Report Card Policy
How assessments are delivered across the grades
|Prose (narrative)-based feedback||Nursery/Toddler to Gr. 2|
|Academic achievement reporting||Preschool to Gr. 2|
|Habits and behaviour reporting||Preschool to Gr. 2|
|Parent-teacher meetings||Nursery/Toddler to Gr. 2|
While academics remain the priority for most private schools, many also place a strong focus on a well-rounded education and encourage participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, arts, or clubs. Involvement in extracurriculars helps stimulate students in their studies, makes them more motivated to learn, and can make school more enjoyable and fulfilling. Extracurricular activities can also provide students with a much-needed break from the stresses of academics, while helping them to develop skills and allowing them to take part in valuable social situations.
Children's Garden Nursery School offers 0 competitive sports and 0 recreational sports.
Children's Garden Nursery School does not offer any clubs or extracurricular programs.
What CGNS says about their extracurricular activities:
- Halloween Happening - Family Fun Night
- Giving Tree Campaign - Toy Drive for Moorelands
- Family Bingo Night
- Literacy Week - Visiting Authors
- Winter and Spring Concerts - Preschool
- Winter and Spring Musical - Kdg
- Soar for Sick Kids - Super Hero Fun Day Fundraiser
- End of Year Riverdale Farm Family Picnic
- End of Year Sports Day
THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Children's Garden Nursery School
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