Toronto, ON | Grades PS - 3 | Shortlist
We had 3 children go through CGS and each loved being able to do things that young children aren't normally able to do at a bigger school with older children. Big things such as starring in the school play in grade 1 or being on student council, and little things like reading the announcements on the PA and performing in monthly assemblies. The small size was fantastic as they received indivudualized attention and really were made to feel like stars.
The school environment is incredibly nurturing and extremely responsive. Communication with parents and children alike is open and efficient. Issues are dealt with fairly and expiditously. It really benefits from being a small school as the administration knows every child and their family very well. The school administrator is fantastic...and fun!
The teachers at CGS were excellent. They appear to truly love what they do. After having children there for nearly 10 years, I was amazed at the ingenuity that the teachers had to inject fun and mew ideas to keep children engaged, interested and proud of what they are learning.
Children who struggle get extra resources to ensure they attain their learning goals. There are TAs to help children one-on-one to ensure they have a strong foundation in the fundamentals of math and literacy. CGS celebrates everyones successes, whether a child is particularly skilled academically, or if they have struggled and achieve a goal they set. Although a good problem to have, we were lucky enough to have children who do well in school and may have fallen through the cracks. CGS teachers did an exceptional job of ensuring they received the attention needed to keep them progressing. Our children moved on to academically focussed private schools and the transition was very smooth as they were well prepared.
There is a strong focus on philanthropy at CGS with monthly character traits learned and awards given to those who best demonstrate that quality. Lots of after school clubs with a variety of options including academically focussed ones and ones for pure fun. Space is limited at CGS, but they do a good job of exposing the kids to athletics through off-site visits such as skating, skiing, swimming and cross country. There is opportunity for fun sports competition within the school. The emphasis in the school is definitely on developing a 'good person' as oppposed to a competitive one.
The school has about 75 students from preschool to grade 3 - a tiny little school. The intimacy of the student group means the kids all know each other and look out for each other. The young ages of the children means that children who are only 8 are the senior students and get a great deal of responsibilty - this makes them thrive. Children at this age in larger schools are treated as the little ones and often miss out on activities that they are fully capable of doing, but are not given the opportunity because of the larger school body.
My children loved going to school at CGS. They knew everybody, people were kind, teachers cared about how they were doing. There is something fairly intangible that makes it such a special place, but is just that...special. I cannot have asked for a better start to my children's school careers.
There is a great deal of opportunity for parents to be involved in the school. I was actively involved and found the experience rewarding. The doors are always open to parents there.
CGS is in a great residential neighbourhood. Children often go on field trips, particularly for gym as the facilities at the school are limited due to its small size. The only downside to the current location is the construction along Eglinton!
Admissions at CGS are very relaxed. There is no formalized testing as it is not a big private school, but more like a community school. They welcome children with a wide range of skills including those with special needs who are integrated into the classrooms with educational assistants helping. It is wonderfully inclusive and yet still ensures that all children, those with special needs and those without, get what they need.