REVIEW OF Children's Garden Nursery School BY parent, Yulia Bragin
- Date of Review
June 01, 2023
- Child 1
SK (Female, Current Day Student)
(5) Student Experience
Our daughter’s experience at CGNS has been fantastic from day one. We were looking for a small school, where our daughter could feel safe and confident to explore her strengths and weaknesses, with a rigorous academic curriculum as well as a nurturing environment, and a place she could stay for a few years before she is ready to advance to a bigger school environment. CGNS has been a perfect fit in every aspect. All the teachers are amazing, they have been with the school for many many years, they are very enthusiastic, they have great energy and they really invest 100% of their time in keeping the little ones busy and engaged. Our daughter is so excited about school she even asks us to take her there on weekends! She loves all the arts and crafts activities, she loves reading and math challenges, she loves drama with Ms. Sofia, sports with Coach Sharon, and French classes with Ms. Val. I have never heard that she had a bad day at school or it was not interesting. The teachers really do go above and beyond to find what each child is really interested in or needs a little extra help with. There are various wonderful supplemental activities that the school arranges throughout the year. So far we had two field trips to the farm, a wonderful Christmas visit from Santa, a fun-filled afternoon with a magician, and a superhero day with a huge bouncy castle. I cannot thank Ms. Pauline, the school Principal, for doing all this for our kids. Our daughter has grown so much over the course of last year, both academically and socially. She is confident, she established great friendships, she can read and her math has really improved, she is starting to be less shy performing on stage or speaking during assembly. We could not be happier. Our only regret is not coming to CGNS earlier.
(5) School Leadership
There is nothing I would do differently about school administration. It is always super easy to reach the principal or any of the teachers, everyone is always a phone call or a text message away. I love the fact that all the teachers are outside at drop off and pick up time and available for a short chat if you have any questions or concerns. All the news and updates, school photos, and videos are shared through an app. It is a great resource to keep everyone up to date-and connected.
All the teachers at CGNS are very passionate about what they do. Small class size means they can really focus on each child individually, challenge them in a nurturing way, and provide extra help if the child needs it. They really go above and beyond to bond with each child, to find out what they are passionate about, and to see where they need help. I have reached out to our daughter’s teacher Ms. Sharon on many occasions for advice on various academic challenges, and she has always been very supportive and provided great resources for us to do some extra work at home. The warm and caring teachers, a broad spectrum of classes and learning opportunities, and the overall family atmosphere of the school are what makes CGNS so different from any other school.
The academic program at CGNS has been a perfect fit for our daughter, she has gained all the skills she needs to succeed in her transition to a bigger school. She enjoys reading and math, as well as various arts and crafts activities. Surprisingly our shy child loves drama and performing in school plays. All of this is a direct result of the passion and dedication of CGNS teachers. They create an environment where every child can find their voice and succeed. Our daughter is really enjoying the monthly challenges folder that gets sent home for the month. It is a set of fun-based exercises she can complete on her own time to continue practicing math, literacy, and art skills. It teaches her time management skills as she needs to plan and set aside some time for her homework every day/week. But most of the time she gets so excited about these challenges, she completes half of them in one go.
There is a good mix of extracurricular activities appropriate for this size of school and the age of children. Ms. Sofia’s drama and yoga classes twice a week are a great way to engage children’s artistic side. Coach Sharon’s Sportsball class is an amazing opportunity for children to try different sports both individually and in teams. Every Monday they have a Mindfulness class that teaches them about emotions and ways to cope with them.
CGNS is a very small school. It is about 20-24 children altogether. A very good mix of both genders. And it really feels like home. All grades constantly interact with each other, kindergarten can visit Grades 1-2 for lunch, or help pre-schoolers with some activities. Everyone participates in school plays and attends school parties. It is one little family and the kids love it! Everyone knows each other, from Grade 2 to pre-school they all know each other’s names, favorite toys, foods, visit each other for playdates, etc. I feel this is the perfect environment for children to explore and develop their social skills. Our daughter is usually on the shy side, but she had no problem fitting into a new environment. She quickly became confident and very outgoing with everyone at school. The teachers are doing a great job teaching children how to get along and support each other.
(5) School Life
Our daughter loves going to CGNS. In fact, she gets really upset if she needs to miss a day. She loves all her friends and teachers and always makes cards or gifts for them. She loves the daily routines and extracurricular activities. Or special days like pajama Fridays or superhero day, or beach day. There is always something exciting going on at school. When there is a birthday in the class, everyone participates in making a birthday poster to celebrate. I wish we were allowed to bring nut-free cakes or cupcakes to celebrate, but it is understandable why we can’t. The kids get along so well that they constantly ask to have playdates outside of school. It is a great school for easing the transition to school, in a calm caring way, that makes each child feel safe and cared for.
I heard that in previous years the school had a very active parent association. But at that time the school enrolment was much bigger too and there were many more parents who were willing to participate. Currently, there aren’t too many opportunities for parents to get involved, but mainly because there aren’t many parents who are able to volunteer their time. I am sure this will change as enrolment grows over the years. Ms. Pauline would really love to see the parent association and all the associated events return at CGNS. It would be amazing to see the big Halloween Party return so that both parents and children can enjoy some fun, as well as some other parent-organized events. But in the absence of parent association, the staff at CGNS are doing a phenomenal job organizing all events themselves, it is an incredible team effort on their part.
(5) School Location
The school is located in a community church. There is plenty of parking available on the premises. Drop off and pick up are always super easy. The outdoor playground is small but very cute and well-equipped. There is a gym for sports and drama classes and a stage for school plays. The school organized two field trips to the farms over the course of the year, which allowed children to venture out into the big world, experience the ride on a bus, and learn through experiences. Other than that, and considering the age of the children, they don’t really go anywhere beyond school.