Why Choose Montessori for The Early Years?

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.

“When examined through the lens of environmental enrichment and brain development, Montessori education presents a radically different – and radically effective – educational approach that may be the best method we’ve got to ensure the optimal cognitive, social, and emotional development of every child.”

– Dr. Steven Hughes, Ph.D, President, American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology

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 so necessary 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 & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.

Montessori Renaissance – Developing Young Adults

During the upper elementary years, children reach a critical stage in personal development. It is a time of great transformation where adolescents truly begin to think for themselves. Maria Montessori believed that students at this stage required two important things: protection during the difficult physical and emotional transitions that will be experienced, and a greater understanding of the society they are beginning to participate in as young adults. These students need a supportive community where they can learn more about their expanding world as they stretch their boundaries.

Montessori Renaissance Years

The Kendalwood Renaissance Program is designed to meet the unique needs of students aged 12 to 14, encompassing the traditional two-year grade 7/8 program. We encourage students to act as leaders, become good stewards of their community and to be responsible for their own education. We also encourage critical thinking, questions and discussions that help students make sense of their world.



Some of our Renaissance students working independently

During the Renaissance Years, students self-direct through six modules covering a range of topics including Hunter/Gatherer, Peace Studies, Aboriginals, Physics and Transformations, Canadian History, Civics and Careers and more. Each module contains lessons, assignments, and quizzes across all areas of the curriculum including math, science, geography, history, language, etc.

Our Curriculum Blocks have been selected and decided upon from several sources:  Montessori Curriculum, guidance gained from our network of Montessori schools, Ontario Curriculum Documents, and interests of both the students and teachers of Kendalwood Montessori School.

Emphasis is placed on becoming more resourceful, improving study and life skills, and developing essay writing proficiency.  Mathematics, Language, and all Culture areas of the Montessori curriculum are woven throughout each Block. All Curriculums for the Renaissance Level 1 program follow and cover the Ontario Curriculum expectations for the grade seven level. Testing and exams, while not generally a Montessori practice, are administered at this level to ensure effective preparation for secondary school education.

Expectations / Grading

At the Renaissance stage students will be graded using percentages for the first time. In addition, they are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5 in the following areas each term:

– Self-Awareness

– Self-Management

– Social Awareness

– Relationship Skills

– Responsibility

As part of these learning skills, students are expected to follow our Code of Academic Integrity which is agreed to by signature of both parents and students. Students in the Renaissance program are provided with responsibility and autonomy, encouraging a level of independence and maturity that produces youth who are self-motivated, goal-oriented, and responsible. In part, our expectations for Renaissance students include:

– Completing all assignments in a timely manner and handing in their best work

– Keeping their binder in good condition – neat and organized

– Ensuring that daily logs are filled in and maintained

– Any clarifications, questions, or concerns should be addressed immediately, students should not wait until problems becomes larger or more time sensitive

– Computers are maintained and cared for gently – students are responsible for making sure that they are plugged in and charged for the next school day

A Kendalwood education means an opportunity for your child to be inspired and challenged through exploration and discovery. We offer a well-rounded and integrated program designed to prepare students for today’s complex and rapidly changing world, where each child is supported within our learning community. Kendalwood is a place for your child to reach for their aspirations.

Interested in learning more about Kendalwood Montessori in Whitby? Contact us to book your personal tour.

Montessori Accreditation – A Measure of Quality

Maria Montessori’s methodology has been widely used by her followers since she opened the first Casa dei Bambini over a century ago. Her innovative approach to education was never trademarked, a conscious decision made by Montessori before her passing. Over time, many of those who followed her philosophies adapted and modified Montessori’s methods. As a result, the approach found in Montessori ‘inspired’ schools can vary greatly.

In Ontario, the Ministry of Education does not oversee or ensure the quality of education in private schools.  As the term Montessori is in the public domain, any organization is free to declare themselves a “Montessori School”, regardless of their regard for genuine Montessori philosophy. The well respected Montessori name, together with the lack of regulation for its use, presents a challenge for parents seeking the best education for their child. Choosing a private school requires careful consideration. How can parents’ best assess and weigh the options?

A Measure of Quality

As a Montessori parent, or as a parent considering Montessori for your child, you may be familiar with the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA).  This organization promotes standards of excellence in Montessori education through accreditation. By achieving CCMA accreditation, authentic Montessori schools are able to identify themselves and demonstrate their commitment to the original Montessori principles and the strict standards set by CCMA.

“The primary objective of an accreditation is to make good schools better. “

–  Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators


Durham Region’s First Fully Accredited Montessori School

Kendalwood Montessori and Elementary School is very proud to be the first fully Accredited Montessori School in Durham Region, having achieved accreditation in 2011. It was important to us to complete the CCMA accreditation for several reasons:

_DSC1586– Accreditation reflects our deep commitment to authentic Montessori education.

– Accreditation attracts the best Montessori  teachers – those who have received Montessori Teacher training from a MACTE (Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education) certified institution and who want to practice their craft in a school of the highest standards.

– Accreditation supports ideal learning environments and outcomes for students.

We encourage parents considering a Montessori education for their child to ensure the selection process includes accreditation. Ask the right questions to gain insight into this key criterion. It’s the only existing safeguard parents have to secure a true Montessori provider.


Our Promise to Our Students

We will teach you according to the Montessori ideals created and developed by Maria Montessori. We will be your aid to life. We will help to ignite the fire for a lifelong love of learning.

Discover the Kendalwood difference. Book your personal tour or check our school calendar for our next open house.

Kendalwood Montessori & Elementary School is Durham Region’s first fully accredited Montessori school. At Kendalwood, we believe that our job is to inspire children to become the best students they can be. With a curriculum that focuses on developing the intellect as well as nurturing self-esteem, academics are taught, curiosity is cultivated and respect is fostered. Our approach creates an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong love of learning.