Kendalwood Parent Ambassadors – Cultivating Our Montessori Community

Nurturing a strong sense of community is one of our biggest priorities at Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary. Creating an environment based on individual growth where our students and their parents can establish roots, deepen relationships and feel connected as a whole is something we’re proud of which sets us apart.

Kendalwood encourages partnership with our parent community as we feel that parents are the first and most important teachers for their children. For this reason, we are very excited to announce our Kendalwood Parent Ambassador program.

Parent Ambassadors are a resource to all Kendalwood families, offering a friendly ear for any questions about school matters and/or their personal experience with Montessori education. Families often need advice or even reassurance when it comes to education and parenting in general. We are thrilled to have Parent Ambassadors volunteer to support our Montessori community and extend the “village” which helps nurture the growth and education of Kendalwood students.


“When the environment meets all the needs of children they become, without manipulation by the adult, physically healthy, mentally and psychologically fulfilled, extremely well-educated, and brimming over with joy and kindness towards each other.” ~ Maria Montessori


Introducing Our Parent Ambassadors

We aver very happy to introduce two Parent Ambassadors for the 2014-2015 academic year:

Gillian Koch has been part of our parent community since 2010. She has one child enrolled at Kendalwood. Why Gillian loves Kendalwood:

“We love the warm family type atmosphere that has inspired Liam to grow academically, socially and emotionally. Our whole family feels welcome the minute we walk in the door…in short we love the Happiness within.”

Jennifer Pratt joined Kendalwood in 2013. She also has one child enrolled and a younger child joining us next year. Why Jennifer loves Kendalwood:

“Prior to starting our daughter at Kendalwood, we interviewed every Montessori School in the Durham Region. No other school offered what Kendalwood does! Kendalwood is a feeling. It is more than a school – it is a community, a spirit and a family! “

Gillian and Jennifer are available as a resource for families who are new to our school and/or new to the community. If you are looking to connect with someone experienced in a specific area, or speak with someone who may have been through a similar experience you are dealing with, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Kendalwood families will receive information on how to contact our Parent Ambassadors in the next newsletter. If you are interested in becoming a Kendalwood Parent Ambassador, please see the office. Thank you!

Hands On Learning at Kendalwood’s 1st Annual Food Day

Today is Food Day, a celebration and movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Originally launched by Jamie Oliver‘s Food Foundation, Food Day is aimed at bringing awareness, celebration and enjoyment back to real food via schools. Kendalwood Montessori and Elementary is tremendously proud to be the first school in Canada to participate in the Food Day movement. We are joining many other organizations and institutions across North America as they take part in Food Day on Oct 24th, 2014, encouraging everyone to eat real!

Essential Montessori

Learning about food and cooking has always been an important element of a Kendalwood education. Practical life activities, such as food preparation, cultivate independence and self-esteem while developing purposeful self-care skills. Food Day expands on this foundation to further educate our students and parents on the benefits of shopping and eating locally grown food.

This week, our students have been participating in a number of activities in preparation for our Food Day celebration. Upper Elementary students visited a local farmers market to purchase fresh local foods while our Casa and Elementary classrooms worked to prepare those locally purchased foods. Project work has focused on the importance of choosing healthy foods and plenty of interesting discussions around healthy food and the broader issues have taken place.

Untitled design (5)

Untitled design (5)Untitled design (5)The week culminates with today’s Food Day events. Our campus is bustling with excitement as we prepare for our special lunch of foods prepared by the students. Each class is wearing a specific colour to represent the different food groups and we have several guest speakers with us. A dairy farmer is sharing the process of “Moo to Milk” and a personal trainer will be here to highlight the connection between fitness and food while leading an activity with students.

At Kendalwood, we believe in helping our students learn about the world around them in applied, experiential ways. As we strive to develop leadership skills, students are provided with opportunities to practice becoming good stewards of their community to create positive impact. Food Day has been such a wonderful addition to our curriculum and we plan to make it an annual tradition!


A Montessori Start

In the first three years of life, the brain of a child develops at an astonishing rate. In fact, these early years see more cognitive development take place than the remainder of an entire lifespan. A Montessori approach to the early years involves a deep respect for a young child’s innate desire to learn during this critical time, aiming to nurture and develop that desire into a natural lifelong love of learning and interest in the world.

Help Me to Do It Alone

Maria Montessori understood that children want and need independence. Her motto “Help me to do it alone” is one which we live by at Kendalwood and these words are proudly displayed in all of our classrooms.

Toddler (ages 1 – 2.5) and Pre-Casa (ages 3-5) development is best supported through opportunities to observe, explore, and manipulate their environment and a Montessori classroom is prepared to encourage independence. Montessori follows the child; their interests, strengths, and curiosities. This allows for a child to learn and develop at her own pace which leads to a better head start for further learning.

In a Montessori environment, we refer to a child’s work whereas others might call it play. A child’s play is their work and therefore it is with careful consideration that we set up the learning environment. Everything the child comes in contact with is designed to facilitate independent learning. In contrast with less considered play-based approaches, Montessori enables the child to create themselves through meaningful ‘work’ and applies practical life skills on a daily basis. Practical life in Montessori gives children the opportunity to complete everyday tasks and develop skills such as hands on care of one’s self (dressing, putting on shoes, washing hands),  setting the table, caring for plants and  contributing to care of the home and school environment. This work develops true self-confidence and self-sufficiency and sets a strong foundation for self-directed learning.

The Montessori approach has been praised as the most developmentally appropriate model currently available by top experts on early childhood and elementary education. At Kendalwood, we believe in Montessori as the path to building the skills sonecessary for success in the contemporary world. Our philosophy is centered on teaching for understanding, as it is of the utmost importance that our students gain knowledge through understanding, rather than develop the ability to retain information by rote. Through Montessori, children develop critical thinking and problem solving skills which become key attributes that remain throughout academic pursuits and life.

Research conducted by the International Montessori Council suggests that Montessori children are better prepared for academic achievement and exhibit enhanced social development over students from other educational approaches.  For any parent considering daycare, preschool or private school education, we encourage you to learn more about Montessori and what it can do for your child. Please contact us at Kendalwood to answer any questions or to elaborate on our approach to helping each of our students reach their unique potential. Discover the Kendalwood difference.



Kendalwood Montessori: Doors Open

It’s always exciting for us to have new families visit our campus to experience a glimpse into life at Kendalwood. A visit really is the best way to see what makes Kendalwood unique and how your child can grow in our inspiring Montessori learning environment. We are looking forward to opening the Kendalwood doors on Wednesday October 15th for our fall Open House.

Parents from Whitby and surrounding areas are invited to drop in to the campus anytime between 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm to tour the school and meet our Principal, Janis Koenders, and some of our experienced faculty.

Experience the Kendalwood Difference

We are dedicated to providing an environment where your child’s intellectual abilities and self-esteem grow hand in hand, and where imagination and curiosity are cultivated. The Kendalwood environment provides an authentic “Casa dei Bambini” for our younger students. The classic Montessori “Children’s House” is a child-centered approach to education which supports high engagement and effortless learning.

As our students grow and mature, they move through our elementary program and enter the Montessori Renaissance years in grade 7 and 8. Here they learn about the larger world they are quickly becoming part of while participating in a supportive community during this unique phase of their personal development.

Whether you are looking for an exceptional child care solution for your toddler, researching programming for your preschool aged child, or exploring Montessori education for the elementary years we encourage you to visit Kendalwood to explore our programs and outstanding facilities. We are Durham Region’s only Montessori school that is both fully accredited by the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators and licensed under the Day Nurseries Act.

Visit us on October 15th to see what a Kendalwood Montessori education can do for your child! Bring your children along. If you cannot attend our open house, please call 905-665-4766 to arrange for a tour. We would be happy to meet with you.