Beyond Core Curriculum – Music Enrichment at Kendalwood Montessori


Learning the Ukulele!

At Kendalwood Montessori and Elementary School, our academic program goes beyond the Ontario Curriculum in many aspects. Beyond the core curriculum, we are always further developing our enriched Arts offering, including drama, dance, fine arts and in particular – music.

Learning to makes music together is a wonderful exercise for students to experience and Kendalwood provides many musical opportunities in our classrooms. The process fosters cooperation, teamwork and an appreciation for the skill required to produce a pleasing tune.

A Joyful Experience across All Ages + Stages

Creating a joyful musical experience is at the heart of our music program. Music is integrated into our curriculum at all ages in a fun and interactive way.

Mr Linderman leading students in song

Mr Linderman leading students in song

In our Toddler program, music education begins with simple songs and rhythms. Songs such as, “Poor little bug on the wall” and “C is for cookie” are among our current favorites. The addition of diverse music from around the world adds interest and complexity.
In our Casa programs we increase the complexity of our music while keeping it developmentally appropriate for the students in each class. Our focus is on group singing, learning the fundamentals of rhythm, and call and response songs. We are currently exploring the similarities and differences in culturally diverse music using Eya Emose, a lullaby originating in Sierra Leone.

Music theory fundamentals are introduced at the Lower Elementary level. We always work on applying our learnings to the music we enjoy together in class. Our song selection ranges from world music to original compositions written for events in our school. These original pieces of music allow the students the opportunity to study musical composition in a more personal way. We have recently introduced our lower elementary class to the Penny Whistle this year, a 17th century transposition woodwind instrument. It has been such fun to learning how to play it together!

The Upper Elementary class spent the fall term exploring musical theory and learning the history of western music. We are now learning to play the ukulele as a class. Our lessons are built around a favorite Bob Marley song with a special focus on student composition.

The Inspire Choir

Penny Whistles & Ukuleles!

Penny Whistles & Ukuleles!

The Kendalwood music program comes together in our Inspire Choir, a weekly club focused on creating music for performance. In each class we focus on the most important element of music; that it is a joyful expression of the human spirit, which allows us to join together in harmony as a school community. It’s so much fun!

We are looking forward to our annual Spring Concert, where parents will have an opportunity to see their children perform some of their newly acquired musical skills.  Our theme will be A Cultural Celebration and each class will be performing a cultural song or dance to portray around that culture. We hope to see you there!

Kendalwood Montessori Sets High Standards for Student Assessment

Staying up to date with the progress of a Montessori student is quite different from the approach in a traditional classroom. When following a child in a Montessori environment, the role of the teacher is that of a model, guide and resource. As a thoughtful and perceptive observer, the teacher monitors each child’s progress and plans for their individual development.

Montessori Student Assessment

The Montessori Method ensures students are learning at their own pace, which requires an atypical approach to student assessment.  Montessori teachers recording progress for an entire classroom must take extra time and care when students are progressing through the curriculum at differing rates.

As a CCMA Accredited Montessori school, Kendalwood ensures that our teachers have a strong understanding of student progress at all times. We keep clear and detailed records as a continuous form of assessment. They are not compared against other children, or against an average/benchmark.

Kendalwood uses the Montessori Clarity computerized system to manage student progress at the Casa and Elementary levels. The system provides teachers with a method to easily track progress on a daily basis.  It enables reporting on each individual their own pace. The program allows teachers to quickly determine where each student is in their development and plan for their upcoming lessons. Additional features give context, such as the number of times a lesson has been given.

From a broader perspective, using the Montessori Clarity system ensures quality and consistency for our students. The program helps teachers to ensure all students are receiving new lessons on a frequent basis and that they are meeting the developmental and academic milestones in each program.

As a result, parents can gain a comprehensive overview of the Montessori Curriculum and two formal progress reports each school year, outlining their child’s development. As teachers update their student records frequently, they are well prepared to discuss mid-term progression with parents at any time.

High Standards for Student Assessment

Quality student progress reporting is important to us at Kendalwood Montessori and we set high standards for ourselves. We feel that personalized student assessment is worthy of the effort required. At Kendalwood, we strive to provide our families with an environment where parents and teachers support each other and work together to help students to be successful. Our student assessment methodology supports us in this goal.

Make sure you ask about student progress methodology when selecting a Montessori school for your child. Comprehensive student assessment is one of the many reasons for parents to look for CCMA Accreditation in a Montessori school. CCMA ensures consistency of standards and the safeguarding of authentic Montessori philosophy.



AIM French Program Unique to Kendalwood Montessori

oui, ouiLiving in a country with two official languages makes bilingualism an important element of a Canadian education. Kendalwood Montessori is uniquely positioned to offer French learning to Durham Region students. We integrate French instruction into the daily routine in all our classrooms from toddler through elementary, ensuring students gain natural and regular exposure. Starting in our toddler program, our youngest students have an opportunity to begin their French introduction at 18 months of age. This early exposure and opportunity to use newly acquired language regularly is key to developing native-like fluency with ease, which is much harder to achieve as students grow older.

The public school system is less flexible with regard to French language instruction, requiring parents to make a decision between full immersion in the French stream, or waiting until the fourth grade to begin a basic introduction to French within the English curriculum.  These options provided by the school board are problematic, as they result in an all or nothing verdict. Students are either left with a wide learning gap during an important window of opportunity, or they are required dive headfirst into an immersion program in pursuit of language skills over other educational priorities.

AIM Language Learning at Kendalwood
Every student at Kendalwood receives French instruction on a daily basis with our French Directress, Mme. Borges. She has been with us for over seven years in a variety of roles, including Lead Casa Directress after obtaining her Montessori Teaching certificate in 2011. Mme. brings a great passion and infectious energy to her teaching, as her boisterous and excited voice can be heard echoing through the halls. She has a great connection to all her students and is always able to elicit their attention and enthusiasm!

Mme Borges demonstrates AIM French with gestures.

Mme Borges demonstrates AIM French with gestures.

AIM French Daily Instruction

Toddlers – 20 minutes
Casa – 30 minutes
Elementary – 50 minutes

Our French program is based on the Accelerated Integrated Methodology (AIM) which ensures students successfully and rapidly build proficiency in a second language. Mme. Borges spent three years familiarizing herself with the AIM program in order to bring the technique to Kendalwood. AIM utilizes key strategies such as gestures, useful key words, and content based instruction which creates an Immersion-like experience. The methodology uses storytelling and music to allow language development to be supported and nurtured within a familiar, predictable context. Simply put, the AIM approach closely resembles the way we learn our first language and it’s done in a fun and interactive way.

We chose the AIM program because it is such a natural complement to the Montessori philosophy:

Prepared Environment – The French classroom is set up with visuals and teaching aids to ignite the passion for learning for the students.

Individualized Learning – The children are encouraged to learn at their own pace, as the teacher observes and provides assistance whenever needed. At the Elementary level, students are divided into three groups for French, based on their current level of comprehension.

Use of the Senses – Maria Montessori found that children will develop more wholly when all their senses are engaged in their learning. AIM incorporates all the senses through listening, visuals and gestures.

If you are looking to prepare your child for French fluency in a program that provides early exposure with an individualized approach, we would love to share more about our French program with you. Kendalwood is the only Montessori School in Durham Region to offer the AIM Learning program.

Contact us to book your personal tour or visit our school calendar to find our next Open House. We look forward to meeting you and your child!



Kendalwood Montessori – Full of Life After the School Day Ends

Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School offers a rich after school environment for our students. Extracurricular and enrichment programs are a key ingredient in a Kendalwood education, and many opportunities exist for students to develop interests and connect with friends during lunch or after school.

Our after school clubs are open to all students at Kendalwood at no additional cost! We feel that enrichment and community should continue at every opportunity and our commitment to our students extends beyond the instructional day.  Each term, programs are scheduled based on the interests of our students and we always introduce new themes to encourage ongoing growth and discovery.

Clubs are run by Kendalwood staff, often based on their own individual interests and talents. For instance, Mr. Linderman offers Chess and Choir clubs while Mrs. Tal shares her love of science in a variety of STEM inspired clubs. Language based session are offered regularly, including Spanish, German and Sign Language.

Chess clubThe after school programs and activities at Kendalwood are designed to be fun and enjoyable, and to serve our thriving Montessori community. From drama to Lego, and everything in between, there is a club for every child, providing wonderful opportunities for enrichment, socializing with peers and teachers and cultivating a strong sense of belonging.

For any students looking for a more in-depth opportunity to learn a musical instrument, one on one music lessons can be arranged during the after school period with qualified faculty. French tutoring is also available for those focused on developing strong second language. More information and pricing for music and language tutoring can be obtained at the office.

Our after school program is something we are so proud to offer at Kendalwood Montessori. We feel that our inclusive approach is unique, contributing to the Kendalwood Difference. We strive to provide a diverse program to develop the whole child through expanded cultural, artistic and skill set horizons.

Is there a club you would like to see added to our roster? Please let us know!