Toronto, ON | Grades PS - 4 | Shortlist
My kids love CGS. They appreciate the family like feel of the school and how nurtured they are. Every teacher genuinely loves children and as a result the kids feel supported, happy and special.
The principal of the school, Marie Bates is a phenomenal woman. She has an eye for hiring incredible teachers and she believes so strongly in building our children's character. She has introduced a character trait each month, a Principals club where the kids support CGS' sister school in Uganda and a blog where parents can see what happened at the school that week. Marie and her staff are very approachable and want to work with parents to ensure we are providing the best support for kids.
The teaching at CGS is well above average. The teachers go above and beyond to deliver a personalized curriculum to the kids. They have creative and engaging ways of teaching the material and utilize a variety of tools to deliver content (field trips, guest speakers, demonstrations, smart boards etc).
I feel the academic program at CGS is above average. The class sizes are small and the teachers go above and beyond, so that combination creates a very rich academic foundation. The only part of the curriculum I do not find that strong is French (there has been some rotation in french teachers due to mat leaves).
There are lots of ways to get involved and participation in extra-curriculars is encouraged. Principals Club, Glee Club, Cross Country Club, The School Plays (Holiday and Year End), Student Council and Science Fair are a few of the big ones. Additional activities are available at a cost - French, Music, Art, Chess, Yoga Activities are meant for fun and help the kids learn, grow and connect with one another. I find them age appropriate.
There are between 70-100 kids at CGS ranging from Early Start (2.5 years old) to Grade 3/4. It is a small intimate school where almost everyone knows each other. I would describe it as a family school, where kids are nurtured and there is a strong parent council. It is the perfect little school for this age group.
Quality of student life is high. My kids love going to school because they know the teachers love them, they get along well with their classmates (teachers do a great job at bringing out the best in the kids), and they feel challenged and excited to learn about new things. One area for exploration would be the size of the outdoor play space. Since the school is located in a church, it is quite small and the grounds surrounding it are quite small. As the kids move into grades 1-4, would be nice to have a bigger field for them to use everyday.
Parents are incredibly involved at the school. Among other things, there are monthly assemblies, the parent association, Pancake breakfast, Mother's Day tea, the school plays and grandparents day where families are invited in. It is a strong community where many of the parents know quite close to one another.
Given the age of the kids, they do not venture outside of the school, aside from when they go across the street to the high school to use their field. Leaside is a community full of families and is quite a nice neighbourhood.
Kelly is the admissions officer (among other things) and she is fantastic. Book a meeting with her and she can walk you through the school, explain CGS' philosophy and answer all of your questions. She is very open and honest and wants what is best for children. She can help you determine whether the school is the right fit for you. :)