Category: Children’s Garden School (CGS)

Principal reflects on 30 years of Children’s Garden School

Marie Bates with children at the Principal’s Club

If you are a Lawrence Park resident, with children or thinking about having children, chances are you have familiarized yourself with school options in the area. My name is Marie Bates and I am proud to count myself, and my school, Children’s Garden School on Eglinton, as part of the North Toronto educational community for 30 years.

As Principal of CGS and mother of three children, I have been dedicated to being an educator for as long as I can remember. In fact, as a child, well before I was a mother or a Principal, I was offering classes for neighbourhood children on my front porch! Being both an educator and a mother has given me my life’s purpose and profession, all rolled into one. Learning about children, supporting children and teaching children have given my days shape and continue to inform everything I have come to know about what it means to be human. An average primary school day is a microcosm of the life challenges we all face, adult or child, and I have always felt that being a teacher, and working directly with children on a day-to-day basis, provides a profound opportunity for learning of all kinds.

I have gleaned many things about how to be an effective teacher and Principal over the years. Building a strong curriculum, providing a comfortable environment and creating meaningful events for families to take part in, all make for a strong school. But I can honestly say, after all these years, that I have come to place the value of a caring staff above all other considerations. By ‘caring’ I don’t just mean being warm and welcoming to children, although this is obviously essential. The idea of caring must go much deeper. Teachers must combine their professional knowledge of child development with empathy and apply what they know and feel to any and every child that walks through their doors. Empathy for children, and by extension their parents, can never be underestimated. When a child and family are truly supported, through whatever challenges they are facing, wonderful things can happen. It’s been said that when children and families are successful, society is successful. I believe this to be absolutely true and keenly feel the responsibility of assembling a staff that can support parents and children in the most positive ways possible.

I have seen so many families through the doors at CGS and witnessed the development of many children. It has been the privilege of a lifetime to contribute to their lives. In my 30th anniversary year at CGS, I want to take this opportunity to thank the community for supporting the school. I also want to thank my exceptional staff for helping me to build a progressive, responsive school. I look forward to many more years in the community.

Marie Bates
Children’s Garden School

Staff, executive of CGS wish Happy Holidays to all

Staff of Children’s Garden School wish you Happy Holidays

Always something unique going on in Grade 1 at CGS

Unique teaching ideas in Grade 1 (more photos in gallery below)

There is always something unique going on in the Grade 1 classroom at CGS. To reinforce sight word spelling, Kara Greenwood, Grade 1 teacher at Children’s Garden School (on Eglinton) had her students ‘build’ their sight words this week: friend, there & any, out of different materials. This hands on activity was very engaging for the students and made learning to spell new words fun.

Looking around the Grade 1 classroom at CGS you will also see a wall of paperclip chains, or ‘Book Chains’, as the students call them. For every book that students read outside of school, they earn a ‘book clip’ for their chain. This creative initiative fosters a love of reading for the children, especially for those not as interested in reading on their own.

Grade 1 is a year full of possibility. If you are interested in finding out what Grade 1 at CGS would look like for your child, contact Kelly Scott, Director of Admission, at 416-423-5017 x 43 or visit to book your private tour today.

CGS Remembers


Students at Children’s Garden School marked Remembrance Day today with an Assembly hosted by their Grade 1 class. The CGS Student Government welcomed guests and distributed poppies. The children have been focusing on Remembrance all week long. Activities included a visit to the Sunnybrook Cenotaph, writing letters to veterans and lining the halls with lovely homemade poppies.

CGS Cross Country Championship at Sherwood Park

Grade 1-3 students from Children’s Garden School (at 670 Eglinton Ave. East) competed in their annual Cross Country Championships at Sherwood Park Wednesday. The conditions were perfect. The rain held off and the sun shone through the beautiful fall leaves. The children ran the 1.5 kilometres course with great determination and enjoyed the friendly competition between their school houses — Delphinus, Draco, Pavo and Pegasus. The children have been training hard since early October during their early morning sessions at Leaside Fields. All that hard work paid off.


Thumbs up!

Joy of competing


End of the day

CGS students follow “Daily Five” program to literacy


“Yes, Daily Five”

“Yes, Daily Five!!!” These are the words you hear echoing through the Grade 1 classroom at Children’s Garden School when it’s time for ‘read to self,’ one of the five components of The Daily Five program (a program that fosters independence in literacy). The other four components are: read to someone, work on writing, listen to reading and word work. The Grade 1s at CGS are currently focusing on ‘read to self’. They are doing a great job of building their reading stamina and applying new reading strategies.

To help make reading fun for this active age group, Kara Greenwood, Grade 1 teacher at CGS, is employing all sorts of creative tools to help the children meet challenges that come up when reading and writing on their own. Students recently learned the reading strategy of flipping the vowel sound. If they are stuck on a word that just doesn’t sound right, they now know to try both the long and short vowel sounds. To help them remember to apply this strategy each student made their very own Flippy the Dolphin.


Learning to rhyme and “flip” vowels

The Grade 1s have also been working on rhyming. They had a great time making their very own magic wands (just like the wand found in the story Emeraldalicious) to help them come up with rhymes. The children enjoyed the story and figuring out that the wand only granted magic wishes that rhymed.

 “I wish for a mermaid tail that glimmers and shimmers.” Reese

 “I wish for a toy that can transform into a boy.” Charlie

 “I wish for a dog that can jog.” Eleni

Making learning fun isn’t limited to literacy in the Grade 1 classroom, students have also been learning their 10 facts with the help of a magic rainbow! If they follow the rainbow (and the numbers that correspond with each colour) they will make a ten fact. The students are making their own 10 fact rainbows to be turned into placemats to take home this week.



Learning My Ten Facts with Magic Rainbow

Looking for a creative and engaging learning environment for your child? Contact Kelly Scott, Director of Admission, at CGS for more information on their small class sizes and exceptional staff. or 416 423 5017 x 43
Kelly Scott
Director of Admission
Children’s Garden School
416 423 5017 x 43

Children’s Garden School anxious to start new school year

Well, it’s hard to believe, but the start of a new school year is just around the corner. Parents are looking forward to getting back into a routine and children are anxious to see their friends and teachers.The students at Children’s Garden School, at 670 Eglinton Ave E., will be back at school on Thursday, September the 8th. It promises to be another great year for the kids, full of adventure and learning. Outdoor education trips are already scheduled to Norval, UCC’s exceptional outdoor education facility northwest of the city, and Crawford Lake. The fall also means Cross Country training and a focus on Optimism in Character Education. Students will be learning about Terry Fox right off the bat to prepare for their big walk on Friday, Oct 10. (CGS is ranked 21st out of 50 schools in Ontario for fundraising by the Terry Fox Foundation, an amazing accomplishment for a small school. They ranked only slightly below schools like UCC and Branksome Hall.)

Spaces are still available for the 2016/17 academic year. If you are a public school parent but want to consider options, now or after the school year has begun, contact Kelly Scott, Director of Admission, at or 416-423-5017 x 43 and she will be happy to answer your questions.

AT CGS: Jump for Georgia teaches road, pedestrian safety

valerie teaching 550

Safety presenter Valerie Wood talks distracted driving

Staff and students of CGS, 670 Eglinton Ave. E., felt privileged to be visited by Leaside resident Jillian Walsh, mother of Georgia Walsh, at the end of the school year. Jillian has teamed up with dynamic presenter, Valerie Wood, to bring road safety education to children. The presentation was incredibly effective and captivated students from start to finish. The overall message of the presentation was one of empowerment for children. They are encouraged to know the rules and remind grown ups who are seen making unsafe choices. Distracted driving was the main focus but Valerie also talked about jay walking, running out from behind parked cars and correct helmet use. That was followed by a 15-minute Jump. CGS students gathered pledges for the Jump and raised $4,364 in just a few short weeks to contribute to the playground rejuvenation fund for Traces Manes Park. The new park that will be named for Georgia. The Jump for Georgia team has been busy locally at other schools, spreading the message of road, bike and pedestrian safety with almost 2,000 kids. Thanks to Georgia’s mom, Jillian, for bringing this life saving information to children in Leaside and beyond. Donate here to the Trace Manes Park Rejuvenation Project.

valerie kids jumping


CGS kids bring SHREK The Musical to life on Leaside stage

Students at CGS (670 Eglinton Ave. East) have been busy on stage performing their version of SHREK — The Musical. Director/Choreographer, Ashley Meideiros-Felix, and Musical Director, Lauren Crowther, are so proud of the children. The actors are only ages 5 to 9 and are incredibly capable for such young performers. Interested in finding out more about the Performance Arts curriculum at Children’s Garden School? Contact Kelly Scott, Director of Admission at 416 423 5017 x 43.

shrek singer

shrek ensemble

shrek couple

shrek 4 curtain

shrek 5 group

shrek 6 sword

Green lady gives big rewards for spenders, not pikers

It’s hard to imagine for many how Starbucks aficionados can become so worked up about a rewards program. It’s not like a million dollar Lotto ticket. But the reaction has been mean and nasty to the coffee chain’s decision to base rewards on how much one spends. It used to be a reward per transaction, no matter how small the amount. Locally, Starbucks watchers say the company stubbed its toe in closing the bright and airy shop at :Laird Drive and Kenrae Road.  Yes, it was small, but so much nicer than the dark cave on Wicksteed. CBC

CGS students rehearsing SHREK for presentation in May

shrek thetre w words
The SK- Grade 3 students at Children’s Garden School are very busy rehearsing SHREK, a light-hearted musical production coming to the CGS stage May 25 and 26, 2016. Directors Ashley Medeiros-Felix (of Arts Express) and Lauren Crowther (CGS music teacher) are having a great time working with the actors. The children are building their characters, learning multiple songs and figuring out when and where to be on stage, all impressive skills for such young children.


Many schools don’t emphasize the performance arts at this grade level. At CGS, musical and theatrical experience is considered integral to a well-rounded curriculum. Want to learn more? Contact Kelly Scott, Director of Admission at

shrek kids

Art workshop for Grades 1-3 at Children’s Garden School

CGS art 1

Natalie Kauffman finds kids engaged for talk about Toronto artists

Grades 1-3 students at Children’s Garden School (on Eglinton, just east of Bayview) were the lucky recipients of a very unique visual arts experience on February 5. Blank Canvases, a company dedicated to exposing Toronto students to contemporary artists from their own city, delivered a workshop in the style of Liz Pead’s work. CGS students focus on the work of many artists throughout history in their Visual Arts curriculum and they were eager to learn about the fine work being made in their own city, right now. Liz Pead works with fabric to create her striking images and the children loved using fabric and oil pastel to create beautiful works of their own. 


The Arts are an integral part of the curriculum at CGS and efforts are always being made to bring engaging and new opportunities to the children. Next up is a visit from Juno nominated singer/songwriter Craig Cardiff on April 5. Grades 2-3 students  will write a song with Craig and take it into the studio to record later in the month. Want more info? or contact Director of Admission, Kelly Scott at 416 423 5017 x 43

CGS art 2

Using fabric in the creation of art