Tag Archives: Dearcroft Montessori

Mindfulness In Montessori

Mindfulness in Montessori:

Mindfulness in Montessori can be observed and experienced by being present with a child, by observing their language and their movements. Actively listening to what the child is saying and what thoughts they share and to whom they say and share them with, can present many creative ways to connect and cultivate learning moments that have a healthy and lasting impact on them.

An interconnected form of being mindful and present -by way of observation and connection, for example, with a child in the classroom is within the duration of a lesson. When a child is offered and presented a lesson, being present with them models and expresses grace and courtesy such as kindness, respect for space and time, focus and productive attention.

An equally important aspect of mindfulness that is embedded in Maria Montessori’s pedagogy, and tightly integrated in the atmosphere of every interior and exterior environment is the preparation of oneself -the adult. Being mindful and present with your thoughts, your words and your actions will

help you to model to the child: grace and courtesy for each learning process and developing wholesome relationships in every aspect of their development.

-Julie Agiannidis

Dearcroft At Learn From Home


Director’s Letter Fall 2021

Director's Letter Fall 2021

Dear Parents,

Although it has certainly been a challenging and very busy start to our new school year, at the same time it has been a wonderfully happy and smooth transition.  It's been a very special time welcoming back all our classes to campus after the prolonged period our elementary students and staff spent learning from home.  To those on our team who spent months teaching remotely last year, and indeed to all of our staff… we're so appreciative of your resilience, creativity and commitment.  Your remarkable leadership and resolve.  Indeed, EVERYONE… including students and parents… you have all been truly amazing!

Although the challenges presented by the past 18 months have been exhausting for all of us, like a Dickensian paradox… it has seemed the best of times and the worst of times.  A tale not of two cities, but of two extremes… the polarity and pain of Covid's impact and the incredible energy and hope embodied by our collective determination to overcome adversity… our shared commitment to emerge from the struggle.  Despite the overwhelming nature of the pandemic, we have learned so much about the importance of cooperation, compassion, and the power of kindness.  We have discovered strengths we didn't know we possessed and cultivated new interests and skills that will serve us well as we emerge into a future we all have a chance to shape together.

One aspect of pivoting to adapt to Covid's realities has been embracing something we can all enjoy.  Spending time outdoors, immersed in nature and enjoying the subtle but powerful rhythms we had perhaps all but taken for granted.  The beautifully full and radiant harvest moon we've just enjoyed as we all prepare to welcome a new season, reminds us of the incredibly restorative power of our planet and the healing, timeless rhythms of nature.  The natural world we need to do everything we can to protect.  Throughout the pandemic, access to fresh air, natural spaces and the beauty of our surroundings has brought a level of comfort to all.

With the arrival of the Autumnal Equinox, as the leaves change colour and the delights of the crisp fall air usher in the promise of a new harvest, we can all be thankful for the blessings of a new season.  The blessings of living in a free and inclusive land… a globally respected and decent country… where we have choice and opportunity.

At Dearcroft we have always considered a primary responsibility of our work to be the creation of a kind and caring environment.  A place where we can gather and work together in a peaceful and supportive community.  A community of kindness.  As the fall semester continues to unfold, we have already enjoyed the return of some of our longest running traditions including last week's wonderful Terry Fox Run for cancer research.  Many thanks to Mrs. Picone and all our staff for carrying on this wonderful tradition on campus.  An event we have held for nearly 35 years.  To host Terry's Run is always a very special honour as we remember the courage and vision of one of Canada's greatest heroes.

Additionally, as we revisit our past and look forward to the future, one of our countrys greatest lessons and subsequent opportunities for growth, lies at the root of addressing the tragedy of Canada's Residential Schools.  It is a special time of reflection as we pursue a path to shared healing alongside the generations of First Nation families affected by this dark chapter in our shared history.  For many years, Dearcroft has been a leader at incorporating First Nations history and indigenous teachings within our curriculum.  As part of this ongoing commitment and as we further acknowledge the truth and reconciliation journey, we are very pleased to welcome our good friend Doug Pawis (an Anishnabe elder from Shawanaga First Nation) back to Dearcroft on September 30th, Canada's inaugural National Truth and Reconciliation Day.  We look forward to Doug's visit as he shares his story and the timeless wisdom of First Nations teachings.  As you know, we encourage all to wear orange on September 30th in solidarity and acknowledgement of those children lost… in honouring the importance of this dialogue and ongoing journey.

The most important aspect of our journey ahead lies in supporting each other and recognizing the path we're on together.  Global events, particularly over the period of our shared Covid journey have only magnified the importance of courage, cooperation, conviction, and faith in the future.  Changes are rapid and many of the progressive developments in science, technology and education are leading us to a brighter path.  As we begin our 54th year of operation at Dearcroft, there is much to celebrate and of course, countless exciting opportunities for learning and sharing.  We wish everyone a truly wonderful year ahead.  Be well, stay strong and enjoy the journey.

Gord Phippen

2019: Reflecting on Another Eventful Year

Dear Parents,

Dearcroft Montessori, Director's Message

Reflecting upon yet another eventful year on our campus, following last year’s very exciting 50th anniversary year, there are many aspects of Dearcroft’s traditions that we continue to embrace and build upon.  Since mid-way through our fifth decade, we have steadily developed into a comprehensive Toddler to Grade 8 program.  We have pursued the development of academic space and teaching teams to serve the needs of families looking for a best practices, authentic Montessori experience for children, 18 month to 14 years of age.  Our students are guided by wonderfully dedicated teachers who enjoy working together to create harmonious and productive classrooms.  Learning environments where children are inspired and challenged.  A great sign of a successful school is the atmosphere one encounters upon walking in the front doors.  When visitors come to see our classes they are always amazed by the warmth of the atmosphere, level of focus and genuine degree of joy and happiness they observe.  We hear this constantly as well as familiar refrains of praise from those who host our students on class trips and school outings.  At Dearcroft, our students love school and being with their friends.  They love the community they have helped create and they reflect it beautifully when they represent us off campus as well.

As we look forward to Dearcroft’s next 50 years, we will remain true to what has made our school great while also being vigilant in maintaining our place of excellence in an ever dynamic and rapidly changing world.  Although Montessori education is timeless, many aspects that surround our school community are in constant evolution, driven by technology, changes in community dynamics and the general passage of time.  When Dearcroft was founded by my parents in 1968, Oakville was a much smaller community with a population of just over 20,000.  Dearcroft joined Appleby College and St. Mildreds on the independent school map that year and now, over half a century later we remain the third oldest Independent school in Oakville a community that is 10 times larger than it was then.  Looking ahead, it’s an interesting exercise to project how everything from population dynamics and demographics as well as general infrastructure development, including the creation of municipal facilities, can influence where people choose to live.  Certainly having a quality school in your neighborhood is a major draw for many.

As we have now been on our campus for over 40 of our 50+ years, we are looking forward to planned improvements to our facility, updating and renovating our original school building.  As Oakville plans and carries out a massive re-build of it’s original downtown area, a little over a kilometer’s walking distance from our front gates, change and renewal will be in the air as 2020 approaches.  The natural beauty and ideal location of our campus has served us well over the decades.  Dearcroft remains a wonderful community tradition, highlighted by it’s natural beauty and perfect location in the heart of Old Oakville.  We are so fortunate to be able to serve our families in such a naturally inspiring and carefully planned setting.  In an environment that was designed carefully and with much thought, so many years ago.  In the early years, my parents, Peter and Barbara had a wonderful vision for a unique and special school community.  They followed their hearts and ambition without compromise.  Along with our amazing team of gifted and enthusiastic educators and you and your amazing children we continue on this journey of learning together.  We are thankful for the opportunity to carry on such a wonderful tradition and thank you for your part in making Dearcroft such an amazing place to live and learn.  Thank you for another great year and your contributions to the very special Dearcroft story.


Gord Phippen

‘Gifts from the Heart’ Thank You

Thank You!

Gifts of the Heart Event

Thank you to all of our Dearcroft Montessori community who attended out pop-up shopping fundraising event ‘Gifts from the Heart’ held by Dearcroft staff and students in support of the work of Ten Thousand Villages Canada. We raised $2328 to help global artisans and also have a small portion go towards supporting our West Wind Junior High Montessori students who have been raising money for their trip to New York City this February. They will be participating in a model United Nations conference. We are so thankful for everyone’s support.

‘Gifts from the Heart’ Shopping Event

December 13th

1:30 p.m. – 3:30p.m

Fundraising for Ten Thousand Villages

A fundraising event held by Dearcroft staff & students in support of the work of Ten Thousand Villages.

Where: Dearcroft Montessori School Gymnasium

Bake sale & creations made by Dearcroft Students

Dearcroft is hosting a pop-up shopping event to support the Ten Thousand Villages downtown Oakville store. Our gymnasium will be transformed into a Christmas shopping market with items from at Ten Thousand Villages.

Dearcroft students will also be holding a fundraising bake sale that will include homemade crafts available for purchase.

Please extend the invite to your friends and family. You may collect your child from class between 1:30 to 3:30 pm to shop for ‘gifts from the heart’.

Dearcroft Workshops for November



Please let us know if you can join in for the following workshops we have set up for November.  These sessions are appropriate for parents from all of our classes, and we hope you can join us!


Tuesday, November 19th        Elementary Curriculum Session (Grades 1-6)

                                              Anna Campbell, Director of Programming, Dearcroft

9:15 am – 10:00 am 

Come learn about how students in the Junior and Senior Elementary program become their own ambassadors of learning and growing, and how we encourage and inspire a love of learning by going beyond and helping the student develop as a whole person.  Join us for an informative session to learn more about Montessori in the Elementary years and why it is such a natural choice.  Learn about how careful attention is paid to the development of language and mathematical skills and how these abilities assist in the integrated areas of history, geography, science, botany, zoology and peace education. Gain information on how our program allows for students to have consistency, challenge, individualized instruction, and programs tailored to their specific needs.  Bring your questions and find out how you can work closely with the school and teachers on your child’s development.

Wednesday, November 20th:            MYndfulness Movement Program

                                                        Deb Taylor

2:15 pm – 3:15 pm

This informative workshop will provide a brief introduction to the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of mindfulness-based techniques, designed to give students relevancy to their lives to motivate ongoing practice.  Gain insight on Dearcroft’s 8-week mindfulness-based program for students from Casa through to Junior High.   Deb Taylor, our mindfulness instructor, will lead a variety of activities, including breath work while setting positive intentions, mindful movement for self-regulation, active listening for enhanced focus and sensory awareness for emotional regulation. These are easy to teach and lead, as parents find their favourites to continue practicing at home with their child.  A more regulated system of their own often comes as a pleasant surprise to parents as they practice with their child.  Parents will see how these engaging activities help our children and youth see through a lens of mindful awareness with compassion to themselves and others for a more ease-filled life.­­

Friday, November 22nd:         Vision and Learning Workshop 

                                              Dr. Gall from Oakville Centre for Vision

                                              2:15 pm – 3:15 pm

Did you know that nearly 80% of what we learn channels through our eyes, and is processed to make sense of what we see? Vision problems can contribute to eye-use difficulties which may not be detected during a basic eye exam. A patient may have 20/20 vision clarity yet still have visual interferences, limiting school performance or making the student work twice as hard for their academic success. Learning- related vision problems are treatable with diligent effort.


Please RSVP to these events by checking the boxes below:

Parent’s Name: _____________________________________________________________________

______YES, I can attend Elementary Curriculum Session with Mrs. Campbell on November 19th
________YES, I can attend MYndfullness Movement Program workshop on November 20th
_______YES, I can attend the workshop on Vision and Learning Workshop on November 22nd

Practical Life Skills


Montessori students are very helpful when it comes to practical life skills.

In the classroom you will find them sweeping and mopping the floor, cleaning and setting the tables, washing dishes, cutting fruit, preparing snack, pouring water, serving food with utensils, baking, dusting etc… These are all tasks that they love to do, they love looking after themselves and their classroom. It fosters independence and sense of self, with a deeper understanding for their place in this world.

Our Third Year Casa students had a lesson in baking cupcakes.