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Welcome

Imagination is a bilingual, independent preschool for children aged 18 months to 5 years, and a nursery for children less than 18 months. At Imagination we have the resources, experience, space, time and energy to focus on each and every child’s happiness and health. Taking care of children is about thinking of the best way to ensure their safety, their development (physical and psychological) and most of all how to nurture their self-confidence. Borrowing from Montessori, Reggio-Emilia and High-Scope philosophies of learning, Imagination’s program creates a rich learning environment for children.

Mission

Our goal is to provide a safe and nurturing environment in which children are encouraged to explore their intellectual, emotional and creative capacities, through play, communication and physical activity. We foster co active and shared learning by helping children to develop respect for themselves, others, and their world. It is also our goal to ensure that we instil all of the qualities (shown in the illustration above) in your children. Our program is completely bilingual. We are convinced that exposing young children to French and English greatly promotes language development. We are here to help them grow and with your help we have no doubt that this goal is easily attainable. Furthermore, we all know that children tend to think that they are the center of the universe. One of our many challenges is to gently and gradually pull them away from this belief and have them recognize that they are an important part of a whole. That their community is there to love and support them and that they benefit tremendously from doing the same.

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Independence

Independence is a quality which helps children to discover, an activity which comes easily to adventurous and courageous children. The classroom environment is set up so that there are suggestions of activities for the children to do, encouraging them to embark upon projects on their own. Teachers act as aids and are not constantly pushing the children, but allow them to seek out their own stimulation, in the degree that they can handle at any given moment.

Self-confidence

Children are people just like us with traits, some good and some less glorious. With traits come feelings that are in a constant state of flux. Sometimes we understand them sometimes we don’t. Being armed with as much knowledge of ourselves and of those around us as possible, helps us to be accepting and self-confident people. We help the children to recognize these qualities in themselves, be proud of their fine qualities and aware that there are other areas which may need some work. When a child knows that it is okay to stumble in some areas of life, not only are they able to face the world with a smile and a helping hand but they are then very accepting of others and whatever strengths and weaknesses they may boast.

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There is no greater sense of pride than that which comes with accomplishing a task. As part of the program, the children have tasks to accomplish and chores to do. Children carry out many of their chores and tasks in teams.  The older children love to take care of the younger ones, show them how to do different things. The little ones look up to the older children. They learn from them: language skills, manners, drawing and painting and cutting with scissors, and even how to use the toilet and wash their hands. From this the older children learn to be patient and they learn the value of sharing. This also helps to build their self-confidence.

Respect

We work on respect all the time, whether at the table eating lunch, sharing tasks, paying attention to the teachers when asked to do something, or the kind and gentle way in which the children are expected to interact with their peers. Respect for themselves and others is learned through the building of genuine self-confidence.

Language

We have bilingual educators who speak in a mature and clear fashion to the children.  This is very important to help them develop their language aptitudes correctly. Also, we believe that exposing young children to english and french helps them develop better communication skills in the long term. A big part of our program involves reading stories on a daily basis, as well as group interactive storytelling sessions.  We have an extensive library of books available to the children during their free playtime, during which they can choose whatever they’d like and spend time getting to know their favorite books.

Health

Our holistic approach to learning recognizes that children’s minds and bodies are interdependent. This is why our health philosophy addresses many important aspects. First of all, we offer a highly nutritious menu, consisting of natural, unprocessed foods for snacks and meals. Avoiding over stimulation is a very important goal.  Sustaining a harmonious environment is essential to lower stress levels and is key to children’s mental and physical health.  We maintain a clean, bright, naturally lit space with well-ventilated and filtered air. The colors that surround the children are neutral to promote calm. During the whole year we spend two periods per day outdoors whether on excursions or playing in the garden.  The weather has to be really bad to keep us from going outdoors.  Fresh air is also crucial to children’s equilibrium. Sports are fundamental to global health and each day the children have a discipline which is structured and physical: dance, yoga, etc. These last ½ hour. Also, during play time in the Great Room they have plenty of space and accessories to spend their energy.

Development

Manners are an integral part of growing up. Good manners are the outward sign of self-respect and respect for those people and things which surround us. One important aspect we constantly work on with the children is to teach them not to scream and not speak too loudly. This is a very important part of politeness that makes it possible to maintain calm and harmony in the school. Happy children are kind children. They naturally know how to express themselves accordingly.  We invite children to be conscious of this great quality and how it can bring benefits to people around them as well as themselves.  Children have lots of interesting things to say and being polite enables them to express them and puts their unique personalities under a favourable light. We make every effort to encourage them, especially with the little things, so that they will leave with the life-skills they need to be happy, successful, well-rounded people.

Motor Skills

Whether indoors or outdoors, the children are constantly working their gross motor skills. During play time in the Great Room they slalom cones, they throw and kick balls, they twirl ribbons and roll hula-hoops. They dance and jump, hop and skip. When they play with the parachute, they laugh and laugh and laugh…They push the meal-time trolley to class, maneuvering down the hallway. During their day they practice climbing up and down the front steps. Yoga and dance are a big part of their physical activity time, helping them appropriate balance and body coordination. To develop their fine motor skills children play dress-up and learn all about zippers, buttons, laces and buckles. They play with musical instruments, learning to reproduce beats and rhythms. During arts and crafts, they bend pipe cleaners, mould clay and homemade dough, paint marvelous, colorful things, apply glue to popsicle sticks and learn to cut with scissors. The plants get lots of love as the children plant little seeds and watch them grow. Then they trim, spray and water them. They clean the table, they wash their hands and they use forks when they eat. Sometimes they even help to make lunch.

Creativity

At Imagination we can easily say that creativity is at the center of all activities. There is a lot of focus on art, music and exploration, in and out of the classrooms: gardening, science, puppets, dress-up and game playing. We have a great art room where children can unleash their creative potential and realize beautiful projects. Creativity also takes place in other activities, like accomplishing tasks or conflict resolution. We always encourage new ways of approaching situations and people. It is one of the most important aspects for developing the social skills needed to succeed in real life.

Social Skills

We believe the 0 to 5 years ages window is when children can build a strong foundation on which their social skills can root and grow throughout their lives. We create a predictable and structured environment where calm, joy and happiness flourish so that children can socialize as easily and as much as possible.

Programs

Less is more. Children have a lot going on in their minds, without the clutter of today’s sensory landscape.

The bombardment of media-rich marketing messages not only burdens developing minds with overstimulation of the senses, but teaches toddlers materialism and passive behaviour at their most sensitive developmental stages. At Imagination, we believe in stimulation through exploration. We provide children the opportunity to create their own environments through constructive play and activities, through crafts, music making, gardening, cooking, storytelling and plenty of romp time. Our open-ended learning tools include manipulative materials such as blocks, puzzles, books, clay, gardening kits, a wealth of art supplies and a lot more. Themes are on a bi-weekly rotation. Information about the current theme can be gathered from the bulletin board. Children reflect on different themes through discussion, movement, games, stories, art and imitation. All classes have objectives, a schedule and specific activities. We conduct several evaluations per year and follow with parent-teacher meetings.