Category: Children’s Garden School (CGS)

Parents consider options facing an uncertain school year


Fun, good conduct and mastery of basic facts

September is right around the corner and if you haven’t finalized a school for your child, don’t like the idea of full-day kindergarten or are worried about possible strike action in the public system, you may wish to consider Children’s Garden School on Eglinton Ave. E. near Bayview Ave. Leaside is lucky to have such an excellent private school option for the early years right in the neighbourhood. Founded in 1986 by Principal Marie Bates, CGS has been working with little ones for 30 years. At CGS, creative, fun independent learning is balanced with basic facts mastery and a strong focus on conduct. The phonics program is second to none. Boys and girls thrive equally in the CGS environment. Small class sizes and lots of one on one attention means your son can be his active self but also stay on task and your daughter can progress quickly and happily. Spaces available for the 2015/16 school year. Contact Kelly Scott, Director of Admission, at or 416 423 5017 x 43.

LEASIDE: CGS’s fun-filled summer camp adventure


Buccaneers believed to be from the area of Hanna Rd and Eglinton Ave. E.


Masked and wanted (by their parents) and a gathering of water rascals


Nothing but laughs with good pals


Super Hero Day (for sure) and Canada’s sport on hardwood


Friends at work and happy card makers

CGS at Eglinton Ave.E and Hanna Rd is just half way through its summer camp. Everyone is having fun and is very busy.

Leaside’s CGS Adventure Camp fun for kids: ARRGH!


Buccaneers believed to be from the area of Hanna Rd and Eglinton Ave. E.


Masked and wanted (by their parents) and a gathering of water rascals


Nothing but laughs with good pals


Super Hero Day (for sure) and Canada’s sport on hardwood


Friends at work and happy card makers

CGS at Eglinton Ave.E and Hanna Rd is just half way through its summer camp. Everyone is having fun and is very busy.

CGS young minds stimulated by challenges of Science


Left, a young scientist answers questions. Right, awards for ease and clarity of presentation

If you visit CGS in Leaside, there is a good chance you may catch the students doing science experiments — whether it be “making” blood, deciding which boat will sink or float or how a catapult works — CGS students love the challenge of their hands-on science lessons. The CGS Science Fair is a chance for students who are particularly interested in asking scientific questions to delve a little deeper. The Fair is open to Senior Kindergarten through Grade 3 students. The children set up their displays in the gym and classes come to visit one by one to browse the fair and ask questions of the presenters. A panel of four judges spent time with each student to learn about their projects. Demonstrating their knowledge, without looking at their written work, was a large part of the evaluation process. The students who were able to explain their work with the most clarity, understanding and enthusiasm were recognized for their efforts with a first place win. A winner was declared for the SK/Grade 1 category and for the Grade 2-3 category. Congratulations go out to all the participants!


Alice in Wonderland a stage triumph at Leaside’s CGS

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Every spring at Children’s Garden School, the Senior Kindergarten through Grade 3 students stage a full-scale musical production. Past productions have included Annie, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This year the children loved adapting the story of Alice in Wonderland. A musical director and choreographer are brought in from the Toronto-based Arts Express each year to produce the show.


The children rehearse for three months and throw their heart and soul into the show. This year was no exception. The Performance Arts curriculum at CGS is an exceptional vehicle for those children who are already motivated to be on the stage and for those children who are shy, it is a great way for them to challenge themselves and try something new. Students are already looking forward to next year’s show, Shrek The Musical! More pictures at CGS blog


The Director of Admission is Kelly Scott who may be contacted at and (416) 423-5017 x 43 The CGS website is here.

CGS Track and Field Day played in warm morning sun

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Playing the game at CGS. Faces tell of the day’s fun

The 2015 CGS Track & Field Championships had beautiful weather on Tuesday, May 19 at Leaside High School’s large field. The warm, morning sunshine was a real inducement to participate fully on the LHS grounds, which are just half a block away from Children’s Garden School.
Events included the standing long jump, shot put and the 100, 200 and 400 metre races. Hearty congratulations to all participants. Parents came out to support the kids as well as help CGS staff keep record of the results in each event. The Award’s Assembly was held at the end of the day. The children displayed excellent sportsmanship as the results were announced.
The Children’s Garden School Physical Education program incorporates Track & Field every spring. The Junior Kindergarten to Grade 3 students also had a trip to the Norval Outdoor Education Centre in May. This was the first visit for CGS to the exceptional Upper Canada College facility.


Leaside’s CGS lemonade and cookie sale funds to Nepal

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Lemonade and cookie sale sent $400 to Nepal earthquake relief

This is the sixth in a series of stories about Leaside’s Children’s Garden School. All stories  

Kids at Children’s Garden School have fulfilled their pledge to the CGS Principal’s Club by earning and donating $400 to the UNICEF Earthquake Relief Fund in aid of those struck so hard by multiple quakes in Nepal. The Principal’s Club teaches the selfless duty of philanthropy.

The Year 2014-15 saw the Club complete an incredibly successful year of fundraising for Children of Hope Uganda, the chosen charity for the past few years. But following the Lemonade and Cookie Sale on Wednesday, May 20 the children made a decision to divert this money to Nepalese relief.

The sale is a great way to finish off the year. The weather is fine and parents and staff love the event. Earlier in the year the Presidents Club students raised enough funds to help build  a playground at the Early Childhood Education Centre in Barlonyo, Uganda as well as provide books and educational materials for the children there.

The Principal’s Club is open to Grade 1-3 students at Children’s Garden School. Members gather once a week with Principal Marie Bates. They start out the year by choosing the charity they would like to support and spend the balance of the year learning about how they can help and preparing for their fundraisers. Philanthropy, both local and global, is a real focus of the curriculum for senior students at CGS.

The children come away from their experience with the club knowing that they have made a real difference in the world. The Director of Admission at Children’s Garden School is Kelly Scott who may be contacted at and (416) 423-5017 x 43 The CGS website is here.

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CGS President’s Club ready for business

Dressing for Success Day at Children’s Garden School


This is the fifth in a series of stories about Leaside’s Children’s Garden School. All stories  

There are many special events on the CGS calendar — Diwali (the Hindu festival of lights), the Chinese New Year Banquet, Spirit Day and Hockey Day, just to name a few.

Every special event is an opportunity for CGS staff and students to learn new things, dress up and celebrate. The latest addition to the CGS calendar is Dress for Success Day which took place on May 1. Children come to school “dressed to succeed” in their chosen career. There are doctors, dancers, scientists, cashiers, singers, fashion designers, explorers, super heroes and fireman. Students walk the red carpet as they arrive for school, have a picture taken at the CGS photo booth in the gym. They visit the Job Fair (hosted by the Grade 2s), give demonstrations to their classmates about what their jobs entail and have a special pizza lunch in the CGS Career Cafe. The children love imagining what it will be like to be grown up and working.

The special days at CGS continue: The Principal’s Club Mother’s Day Tea (May 8), Grandparent’s Day, (May 14) CGS Track & Field Championships (May 19) and, last but not least, Alice in Wonderland, this year’s musical. The students will render this timeless children’s drama on 27 at 2 p.m.  May 28 at 6:30 p.m. Senior Kindergarten to Grade 3 students will take to the stage with their version of this wonderful tale. Directors Meredith and Ashleigh have been rehearsing with the children since March 23 and can’t wait for the performers to show off their hard work. Tickets available at the door. Adults $15/Children free. Everyone welcome. Interested in the school? Please contact Kelly Scott, Director of Admission, for your complimentary ticket.

The Director of Admission is Kelly Scott who may be contacted at and (416) 423-5017 x 43 The CGS website is here.

CGS public speaking puts children on road to leadership

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This is the fourth in a series of stories about Leaside’s Children’s Garden School published by The South Bayview Bulldog  All stories

Public Speaking is an integral part of the curriculum at Children’s Garden School. From morning announcements and monthly assemblies to the Public Speaking Contest in the Spring, students are given many opportunities to develop their public speaking skills throughout the school year. Public speaking can be a challenging and frightening experience at any age and CGS staff is there to guide, support and challenge children as their skills grow. Over time, students gain the confidence needed to become relaxed speakers, able to communicate with humour and feeling.

The Public Speaking Contest for the Grade 2s and 3s at the end of April is a chance for CGS students to truly consolidate their public speaking skills. Children craft their own speeches and then present them to their classmates, classroom teacher and Principal. Finalists are then chosen to present their speeches to a panel of four judges. The judges come from a variety of professional backgrounds that rely heavily on public speaking skills (i.e. lawyers, actors, musical directors and educators).
Speakers are evaluated (out of five) on the criteria below:
Content (research,understanding of topic, familiarity with material)

Voice (intonation, expression, projection, speed, fluency)

Captivation of Audience (attention-getting, interesting)

Eye Contact (looking up at audience)

Posture (standing tall, standing still)

Memory (how much of the speech is presented from memory?)

Once the tallies are taken into account and the winners have been chosen (one per grade), the judges have an opportunity to share their feedback with each contestant. Comments are always positive, with a few suggestions for improvement. Common comments include slowing down and using a louder voice. Contestants are reminded that it is ok to share their passion and humour, and to remember that the most compelling speeches include a balance of facts and personal feeling. Congratulations to this year’s winners, Peter in Grade 2 and Carmen in Grade 3. (Pictured below with the Principal.) We see contestants Isabella and Charlotte speaking (inset) and the judge listening carefully. All are well on their way to a life time of successful public speaking.

One parent said the CGS public speaking program had provided his son, at a very young age, with ample opportunity to get up on stage in front of others and speak at monthly assemblies.  “What has been great is that the program does it in a way where he feels very proud of this responsibility and prepared for the task at hand.  This has made it a very rewarding and confidence boosting experience for him to build from – he has asked when he can speak in assembly next”‘

The Director of Admission is Kelly Scott who may be contacted at and (416) 423-5017 x 43 The CGS website is here.

Leaside’s CGS will honour Ugandan moms on Mother’s Day


Scarves are also baby carriers

This is the third in a series of stories about Leaside’s Children’s Garden School by the South Bayview Bulldog 

Among the exciting opportunities established for students at Children’s Garden School is the chance to help in the philanthropic work done for Ugandan children through the charity Children of Hope Uganda. CGS Co-Founder and Principal Marie Bates created The Principal’s Club to give students an introduction to this and other such selfless giving. The Club is a structure within which children learn the meaning of philanthropy and see first hand how small things can make a very big difference.  Throughout the year the students work on a number of projects, generally making things with their own hands to sell and generate funds for the chosen charity. 

The Principal’s Club has helped a number of charities over the years but since 2012 it has maintained a strong partnership with Children of Hope Uganda. Through their hard work and dedication, CGS students have raised enough money to create a playground and equip classrooms with furniture and supplies for their Ugandan counterparts. Through their Principal’s Club experiences, students are encouraged to think outside of themselves and realize that it is part of our humanity to help those less fortunate and more vulnerable than ourselves. The exercise has been a great success and critically forms a moral framework students may take with them into adulthood. 

Club members have been busy thinking about the children in Barlonyo, Uganda for many months now and they wanted to extend their thoughts to the mothers there as well. The Club decided that, instead of the usual separate classroom events for CGS moms, there would be one Mother’s Day Tea and that they would ask CGS moms to donate a colourful scarf for the Ugandan moms. These scarves are deeply valued by Ugandan women for head covering, to carry food and transport babies. The Principal’s Club is making decorations and preparing for the tea over the next few weeks. Everyone is now looking forward to tea, strawberry shortcake and the celebration of motherhood on Friday, May 8, 2015. A final fund-raising event this year for Children of Hope Uganda will be the CGS Lemonade and Cookie Sale in June. The Director of Admission is Kelly Scott who may be contacted at and (416) 423-5017 x 43 The CGS website is here.


Uganda students celebrate new reading material and CGS uniforms

Leaside’s CGS known for small classes and nurturing staff

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Caring, competent and nurturing staff at Leaside’s Children’s Garden School

This is one of a series of stories about Leaside’s Children’s Garden School (CGS).

Children’s Garden School has been serving the Leaside community since 1986. If you are looking for a neighbourhood school with small class sizes and a nurturing and highly capable staff, you are in luck. CGS is situated at 670 Eglinton Ave East, inside Leaside Presbyterian Church. If your child is Preschool-Grade 3 age, Children’s Garden School may very well be a great fit for your family.

One of the main concerns for parents of young children is finding a loving, safe school atmosphere. Children’s Garden School is well known for its caring staff. Because CGS specializes in the younger grades, the staff is particularly adept with this age group. They give gentle guidance and support as well as provide and reinforce appropriate boundaries every day.

CGS staff is a mix of veteran and younger teachers (anywhere from 20 years at CGS to 3 years). This combination provides an excellent balance of experience, perspective, energy and fresh ideas. Teaching young children requires patience, creativity and passion, qualities our veteran and newer staff bring to their classrooms, assemblies and CGS special events all year long.

At CGS, teachers in the Preschool – SK rooms are ECE (Early Child Education) certified and teachers Grade 1 and up have their B.Ed, or equivalent (if they have received training outside of Canada). Many staff have additional qualifications in Reading, Math and Special Education. CGS drama, music and art teachers are also working professionals in the city and bring a unique flare to their projects with the children. Please visit their faculty page here to learn more about current staff.

Teacher qualifications are very important of course, but the feel and culture of a school is also critical to finding the right fit for your child. The culture at CGS is warm, inviting and fun. A ‘family feeling’ is palpable when you visit the school – the children are happy, engaged and polite – a sure sign that they are in a positive environment, just right for young children. The Director of Admission is Kelly Scott who may be contacted at and (416) 423-5017 x 43 The CGS website is here.

Leaside’s CGS keeps JK student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1

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Students at CGS at a monthly assembly where parents attend

Parents frequently wonder if their kindergarten kids are learning up to their potential.The issue is in sharp focus this year as all-day kindergarten has been fully implemented across Toronto in the public school system for 2014-2015. Previously, half-day kindergarten had capped the number of children per class but the government specifically refused to do that last fall and some parents complained of classes with as many as 40 children in them. It is one of the things that motivates Marie Bates, principal and founder of Children’s Garden School (CGS) in Leaside to keep kindergarten classes at the appealing ratio of 13:1. The kindergarten classes at CGS also separate Junior and Senior Kindergarten classes. The kids all get to know each other but the classes themselves are separate for JK and SK in both the half-day and full-day programs. It seems like an asset to the task of young learning. Kindergarten is a time of great potential for children. The CGS presentation to parents makes the point. No learning opportunity is to be missed. “Kindergarten age children are very capable students who can achieve high levels of literacy well before Grade 1. At CGS we move beyond the sand table and provide students with daily challenges in a supportive atmosphere.” The foundation of the CGS kindergarten program is a highly successful phonics program called Remediation Plus. It is a program which addresses many different styles of learning using a multisensory approaches. Children manipulate letters on magnet boards, look in mirrors as they watch and experience letter sounds as they speak them and draw in rice trays to “touch” the letter sounds they form words. These techniques guarantee that no young reader is left behind.” With all this innovative teaching comes a structure that most parents find gratifying. The JK children study language arts and mathematics every day, incorporating basic facts mastery all the way along. They learn French four days a week and fit in generous periods of gym, music and specialized visual arts. Parents keep well connected by many means but mostly through the enjoyable monthly assembly. The photo above shows JK kids reporting to their parents on the nature of Trust. In the next few weeks The South Bayview Bulldog will report further on this remarkable local school which was founded in 1986. We hope you are able to catch the articles. The Director of Admission is Kelly Scott who may be contacted at and (416) 423-5017 x 43 The CGS website is here.