Hatch House Montessori School is voted Durham Regions's Best Montessori School. We provide exceptional care and education from 9 months to Grade 8. We are proud to be the 1st and only private school offering unique Multi-lingual Programs, Performing Arts, Visual Arts and Martial Arts within our enriched curriculum. Our goal is to inspire children's self-discovery, to empower them to become confident, contributing members of society, to deliver above expectations and to strive to reach beyond the imaginable.
The most striking thing about Hatch House, at least initially, is that, yup, it’s a castle. It was built in 1874 by industrialist Nelson Gilbert Reynolds after he sold his previous home, Trafalgar Castle (which, in time, also became home to a prominent private school, Trafalgar Castle School). The name, Hatch House, comes from a later owner, industrialist Frederick Hatch who lived there from 1904 to 1969.
The best use for the building, by far, is the one it has now: housing Hatch House Montessori. The building adds a nice spark to the identity of the school, and the interior spaces are charming and include many updates to suit the needs of the academic program—the most recent being “The Hatch,” a discovery room opened just this year. A strong academic program is augmented by an impressive language program that includes French and Spanish instruction. Principal Zsuzsanna Vigh says that “education is a journey, not a race.” She’s right, of course, and that perspective informs all areas of student life.
Central to your child's school experience is the underlying curriculum taught in the classroom. "Curriculum" refers to both what is taught and how it's taught. When considering the different curricula outlined in the next few pages, keep in mind that few schools fall neatly into one category or another. Most schools' curricula comprise a blend of best practices drawn from multiple curriculum types. Having said that, most schools do have a general overall curriculum type. These are identified for each school on OurKids.net.
Curriculum approach at Hatch House Montessori: Montessori
Hatch House Montessori has a Montessori approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Traditional, Liberal Arts, Progressive, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf approach).
[Show: About Montessori?]
Particularly popular in the younger grades (preschool to elementary), but sometimes available all the way up to high school, Montessori schools offer an alternative vision to the standard lesson format of most classrooms. Instead of listening to whole-class lessons, Montessori classrooms allow students to choose which "tasks" or activities interest them. These tasks centre around special Montessori puzzles - their essential feature being they contain a right answer and allow for selfcorrection. A strong emphasis is therefore placed on lessons being concrete and rooted in practical experience, along with students developing a sense of self-sufficiency, confidence and curiosity.
Curriculum at schools on OurKids.net
Montessori - 100%   Traditional - 100%   Liberal arts - 100%   Progressive - 100%   Reggio Emilia - 100%   Waldorf - 100%
What Hatch House Montessori says: The HHMS Montessori Elementary curriculum is based on the Montessori philosophy of ‘Cosmic Education.’ Cosmic education is an ingenious method devised by Dr. Montessori to use as the primary means of education in the period 6-9 years; it is a bold, and exciting method of learning about the origin of our universe, life on Earth, the emergence of humans, and the history of math and writing, designed to awaken and spark the imaginations of the elementary students. These insightful lessons become the springboard of all learning explorations of culture, science, mathematics, language and social rules and morals from grades 1 - 8. Our focus on Performing and Visual Arts provides extraordinary opportunities for self-expression of the developing minds. HHMS offers a unique French-English Bilingual Elementary Program, which exploits the extraordinary capabilities and receptiveness of children to master the intricacies of the languages with ease in a fully bilingual environment. Spanish is also incorporated in the language curriculum. HHMS is Durham Region's 1st and only Montessori School offering multi-lingual programs.
Discovery Math turns traditional math on its head: it frequently begins by introducing a novel problem to students, and works its way back to “discovering” a method of solving the problem. The goal is to ground mathematical procedures and algorithms firmly in their applications, and to challenge students to think critically about how they might go about solving the problem right from the beginning. Generally associated with the “Chicago Math” movement and related Everyday Math textbooks (Grades 1 to 6), Discovery math spends less classroom time mastering established algorithms and more time getting students invested in and thinking critically about novel mathematical problems and concepts. In this sense Discovery Math aims to establish conceptual and applied understand before procedural understanding.
Mathematics at schools on OurKids.net
Discovery math - 100%   Traditional math - 100%   Equal balance - 100%
What Hatch House Montessori says: Children grasp concepts through the manipulation and aid of self-correcting, concrete materials as they move gradually toward increasingly abstract thinking. The Montessori Arithmetic materials engage multiple senses, the lessons are dramatic, and impressionistic to spark the imagination and curiosity of the students.
Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Computers and Technology at schools on OurKids.net
Light integration - 100%   Heavy integration - 100%   Medium integration - 100%
What Hatch House Montessori says: This information is not currently available.
Sex and health education approach at Hatch House Montessori: Not Ontario curriculum
Hatch House Montessori has a Not Ontario curriculum approach to Sex and health education (as opposed to Follows provincial curriculum approach).
[Show: About Not Ontario curriculum?]
The sex education curriculum does NOT follow the provincial one taught in public schools - either in terms of structure, pacing, focus, and/or tone.
Sex and health education at schools on OurKids.net
Does not follow prrovincial curriculum - 100%   Follows provincial curriculum - 55%
Approach to sex and health education: Mostly value-neutral
Hatch House Montessori has a approach Mostly value-neutral (as opposed to Fairly value-based approach).
[Show: About Mostly value-neutral?]
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 Hatch House Montessori says: This information is not currently available.
Whole-class lectures should never be given. Students learn best through small group lessons, interaction, and independent work.
Whole-class lectures should only be given occasionally (e.g., at the beginning of a term or unit). Students usually learn best through small group lessons, interaction, and independent work.
Whole-class lectures should be given semi-regularly (e.g., at the beginning of a lesson or a week). While students often learn best through group and independent work, it's sometimes important for teachers to set the stage for and contextualize learning.
Whole-class lectures should be given often (e.g., every day). While group and independent learning is important, teachers need to provide lectures on a regular basis to provide the foundation for learning.
External special education support isn't necessary. Core teachers can deal with all special education needs, by offering the relevant support for each student.
External special education support is only rarely necessary. For instance, a psychologist might be brought in to help out a student with a severe developmental disorder.
External special education support is quite important. Outside specialists are needed for a fairly wide range of special needs, such as developmental and learning disabilities.
External special education support is very important. Outside specialists are regularly brought in to support students with many different types of special needs, including developmental and learning disabilities, language and speech issues, behavioural issues, and advanced learning abilities.
Modern-day technology is never used in the classroom. This can interfere with students' social and emotional development and can be a distraction.
Modern-day technology is very rarely used in class, since it can be a distraction and interfere with development. Students at the upper levels, though, might be permitted to use a computer or a tablet to do research for a specific project.
Modern-day technology is used in moderation since it can be a distraction. For instance, computers and other digital media might be used for research, writing, and multimedia projects.
Modern technology is used fairly regularly. For instance, computers and other digital media might be used for research, writing, multimedia projects, and to learn keyboarding skills. Teachers may sometimes also use digital media, such as interactive whiteboards, to teach lessons or introduce topics.
Overall approach : Which option best describes your overall curricular approach?
32% of schools
Schools that adhere strictly to the original Montessori program. They follow Montessori principles to the letter.
46% of schools
Schools that adhere to the original Montessori program and principles. On occasion, though, they supplement it with modern curricular approaches or materials.
16% of schools
Schools that are faithful to the original Montessori program and principles, but sometimes supplement it with modern curricular approaches or materials.
6% of schools
Schools that are faithful to the original Montessori program and principles, but often supplement it with modern curricular approaches or materials.
Preschools and kindergartens tend to have a particular curriculum or curricular approach. This refers to what is taught and how it's taught. Most preschools have a curriculum that comprises a blend of best practices drawn from multiple curriculum types. A preschool's curriculum may or may not, though, reflect its higher-level curriculum (if it's part of a school with elementary or secondary programs)
Preschool/K Curriculum approach at Hatch House Montessori: Montessori
Hatch House Montessori has a Montessori approach to Preschool/K Curriculum (as opposed to Play-based, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, Academic approach).
[Show: About Montessori?]
Montessori programs aimed at preschool and Kindergarten- aged children allow young learners to choose which “tasks” or activities interest them. These tasks centre around special Montessori puzzles -- the essential features of these puzzles being they contain a “right answer” and allow for self-correction. A strong emphasis is therefore placed on learning being concrete and rooted in practical experience, along with children developing a sense of self-sufficiency and confidence. Specially trained teachers act as guides, introducing children to progressively more difficult materials when appropriate. A Montessori classroom is typically very calm and orderly, with children working alone or, sometimes, in small groups.
What Hatch House Montessori says: Our Junior Casa Programme is the natural extension of our Toddler Programme, capitalizing on the acquired skills and achievements of the children. It is delivered based on the harmonious amalgamation of the Montessori philosophy and ELECT.
In our Casa classrooms the freedom of movement and the freedom of choice are nurtured. Using coordinated movements to accomplish tasks leads the child toward self-regulation. Children develop observation and problem-solving skills in our prepared environments. Natural limitations instill respect of self, others, and towards their environment. By manipulating, experimenting, and discovering, children begin to move from concrete to abstract.
This refers to the rate at which students move through the curriculum (e.g., topics, textbook material, skills, etc.). Curriculum pace is often defined in comparison to provincial standards.
Curriculum Pace approach at Hatch House Montessori: Student-paced
Hatch House Montessori has a Student-paced approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Standard-enriched, Accelerated approach).
[Show: About Student-paced?]
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.
What Hatch House Montessori says: Each child is considered as an individual with unique capabilities. They are motivated by their own successes and therefore learn at their own pace. The curriculum is delivered based on each child's individual needs and learning abilities. Teachers are facilitators, guiding each child through their unique developmental journey.
Flexible pacing style
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 Hatch House Montessori says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.
Through the collective mindset of teachers, administrators, students, and parents, each school develops and maintains its own academic culture. This generally relates to the norms and expectations created around academic performance. Many parents look to private schools because they want a specific type of culture. Some want a rigorous environment that will elevate their child to new heights. Others want a nurturing environment that will help their child develop a passion for learning.
Academic Culture approach at Hatch House Montessori: Supportive
Hatch House Montessori has a Supportive approach to Academic Culture (as opposed to Rigorous approach).
[Show: About Supportive?]
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.
Academic Culture at schools on OurKids.net
Supportive - 100%   Rigorous - 100%
What Hatch House Montessori says: The HHMS academic culture is driven by the students' inner desire and will to always challenge themselves to achieve more and to surpass their own expectations. Allowing students to develop at their own pace propels them towards exceptional academic performance while maintaining life-long curiosity.
Schools have specific goals regarding how they want their educate and develop their students. This is part of a school's overall philosophy or vision, which is contained in its mission statement. While they tend have several developmental aims, schools tend to priortize certain aims, such as intellectual, social, spiritual, emotional, or physical development.
Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced
"Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation."
Secondary Developmental Priority: Emotional
The goal is to cultivate "emotionally intelligent and con?dent individuals, capable of leading both themselves and others."
What Hatch House Montessori says: At HHMS we aim to inspire and empower our students to develop a life-long love of learning and to become responsible, valuable, confident and contributing members of society.
Schools offer a wide range of approaches and services to support students with special needs. This may include individualized learning, one-on-one support, small classes, resource rooms, and learning aids. These supports may be provided in a number of different environments such as a dedicated special needs school or class, an integrated class, a withdrawal class, or a regular class with resource support or in-class adaptations.
Hatch House Montessori offers No support
Hatch House Montessori offers no/limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.
Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
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.
This 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.
This is a kind of specific learning disability in writing. It involves problems with handwriting, spelling, and organizing ideas.
Language Processing Disorder
This 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 Deficit
A 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.
Refers 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).
On 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.
his is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.
This 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).
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.
roubled 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.
This 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.
This 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.
This involves persistent thoughts about ending one's life.
Drug and alcohol abuse
This 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.
This 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.
his 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 dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.
This 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.
Visual 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."
Hearing 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 Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.
Accommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.
Schools support students with gifted or advanced learning abilities in a several ways. Whether they offer a full-time gifted program or part-time support, they normally provide some form of accelerated learning (delivering content at a faster pace) or enrichment (covering content more broadly or deeply). Many schools also offer a wide range of in-class adaptations to support advanced learners, such as guided independent studies, project-based learning, and career exploration.
Dedicated gifted programs:
Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)
Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)
Curriculum delivery: Acceleration and enrichment (There is an equal emphasis on acceleration and enrichment.)
Homework is work that's assigned to students for completion outside of regular class time. There's a long-standing debate over homework. Should homework be assigned to school-age children? If so, in what grades? And how much homework should be assigned? In selecting the right school for your child, it's important to look closely at a school's homework policy.
In grade Gr. 6, Hatch House Montessori students perform an average of No homework of homework per night.
Hatch House Montessori
What Hatch House Montessori says about their flipped classroom policy: This information is not currently available.
While all schools measure individual progress and achievement in students, they have different ways of doing this. For instance, many traditional schools gauge progress through report cards, which give students lettered or numbered grades. Other schools, meanwhile, measure progress in other ways, either in addition to or instead of giving grades. For instance, they may offer prose-based feedback (i.e, comments), academic achievement reporting, habits and behaviour reporting, and parent-teacher meetings. In choosing the right school for your child, take a close look at its policy for measuring the individual progress of students.
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.
Competitive sports: 1 Recreational sports: N/A
Legend: Competitive offered Recreational offered
Track & Field
Hatch House Montessori School offers 2 clubs and extracurricular programs.
This can depend on a number of factors, including the type of school, living arrangements, what’s included in tuition, school location, resources, and facilities. Many private schools in Canada have tuition that ranges between $6,000 and $12,000 a year. While some schools, such as schools which provide room and board, can be more expensive, many of these schools provide ways to defray the costs of tuition. For instance, they may offer merit-based scholarships or needs-based financial aid (often referred to as “bursaries” or “subsidies”).
What Hatch House Montessori says about their tuition: This information is not currently available.
Private schools come in all shapes and sizes. Some larger schools have enrolment numbers in the thousands, while some smaller schools have only a few dozen students. Boarding schools tend to be on the larger side, while alternative schools, such as Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf, are normally smaller. Besides the overall size of school, there are other important facts you’ll want to know about a school’s enrolment. For instance, here you can learn about a school’s enrolment for separate streams (if they have them), such as day and boarding, its average class size, and its average enrolment per grade.
Nursery/Toddler to Gr. 8
Average class size
% of international students (total enrolment)
Number of different nationalities within student population
Private schools in Canada have admissions policies. All schools have some required application materials, though these vary between schools. These may include letters of application, application fees, essays, and exams (such as the SSAT). Many schools also require interviews with prospective students, either with their parents, on their own, or both. Schools also have different standards and priorities when evaluating student applications, different acceptance rates (which may vary between grade levels), and target different kinds of students. To improve your child’s chances of acceptance, you should find out everything you can about a school’s admissions policies and how they assess applicants.
Get better perspective on Hatch House Montessori School
Join the Our Kids roundtable discussion about Hatch House Montessori School. Alumni and current parents are answering questions and sharing their insights—about the school’s culture, strengths, and weaknesses.