We have been part of TNS&K since 2009. My son Nathan started then in pre-nursery and is now currently enrolled in SK. My daughter Ashley began pre-nursery last year and is now in the nursery class. TNS&K is such a special place. When you walk through the doors, you are greeted by warm, caring teachers, and you feel a sense of calmness leaving your children in such wonderful hands. You know that not only will your children be nourished emotionally and socially, but will also excel academically. Each program is specially designed to incorporate all aspects of a child’s development. As a parent who has experience with both public and private schools, I can’t even begin to describe the differences that I have encountered. When I walked into the SK room at TNS&K in September, I saw bright colours, words in English and French, numbers and graphing. It was exploding with knowledge and the children were excited to learn! When I walked into the public school split JK/SK class I was quite disappointed. There was no life in the classroom. No numbers, no words, no labels on the children’s cubbies, no calendar time—the list goes on. I was disenchanted, and I came home and quickly looked up the kindergarten curriculum on the YRDSB website. To my disappointment, I read all about the play-based curriculum and discovered that the children will learn primarily through play. There will be no worksheets and they will learn their numbers and letters using manipulatives. They do not participate in calendar time because the government does not believe that children of this age can grasp time yet.
It is now November, and the work that has come home from TNS&K has far exceeded my expectations, while the work that has come home from public school has been almost nil. The first few years of a child’s exposure to school are the formative years, where the foundation for all future learning is developed. I truly believe that TNS&K is a unique and special place where your children will excel academically in a warm and nurturing environment that will enrich their lives forever!
Thornhill Nursery School & Kindergarten has been “home” for my family for seven years. As a parent, I can say that it is a school that has and continues to engage my children in quality education. It exudes a friendly and caring environment with qualified teachers and assistants who are always professional and have the children’s best interests at heart. It is a school that meets the provincial curriculum guidelines with innovative and intriguing lessons and activities. But perhaps most importantly, it is a school that fosters a strong sense of love, friendship and equality among all students, and that lays the foundation for building lifelong friendships. It provides a safe, supportive place for the children to develop their self-esteem and talents.
As a teacher in the public school system, I chose this private setting for both my children because it offered things that the public system could not. TNS&K offers small class sizes, which directly affects teaching and learning. Teachers are able to target the strengths of each individual student, and also provide specific assistance with areas that need further development. With its small student population, it offers a more intimate school community where teachers know all the students and parents by name, thereby making all families feel “special”. With a more intimate community comes the opportunity to speak directly to teachers daily, keep up to date on student information, and have open discussions with teachers rather than waiting for specific interview periods. The consistency in teaching staff offers stability to the school as a whole and speaks highly to the effective team teaching of the teachers. I strongly recommend TNS&K as your child’s school.
As parents who have experienced both the private and public school system with their daughter, we have come to the conclusion that it is not the system that determines educational success and well being of one’s child, but the people who lead and teach the children.
Although we have only been here a few short months, our interactions with our daughter’s teachers in the SK class have been excellent. Jackie Chenkin, the school director, has been outstanding. It’s apparent that under her consistent and dedicated leadership, Thornhill Nursery School & Kindergarten is a school that practises what it preaches—a school that cares—and isn’t that what we all want for our children? The school’s genuine open-door policy is refreshing and what lends to its specialness. Having access and the ability to communicate on an ongoing basis with our daughter’s teachers and Jackie has been invaluable, giving us peace of mind. Most importantly, we have a school experience that finally benefits our daughter, addressing many of her unique educational, emotional, physical and social needs.
We have witnessed some real growth with her since September, and are excited to see where this will lead by June. It will be sad to have an end, but at least she will be leaving sure footed and with a skill set she will need for whatever path she takes next. Thanks, TNS&K, for being the one that made the difference.
Sincerely John & Helen Baik
Thornhill Nursery School & Kindergarten was the best start of our children’s education. We have three children ages 8, 6 and 4. They all started when they were age 2.5 and our youngest is now in JK. We have been part of this great family since 2006. Thornhill Nursery School & Kindergarten has been invaluable to the growth of our children’s social, emotional and cognitive development. The staff are extremely professional, knowledgeable and welcoming. They not only provide a school environment, but also a warm and nurturing family setting.
Our children treasure their time at Thornhill Nursery School & Kindergarten and were well prepared for Grade 1. A big thank you to the entire team!
Chris & Joanne F
My son began attending Thornhill Nursery School & Kindergarten in the 2009-2010 school year. He attended Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays all day. The atmosphere was warm, safe and inviting for the students. Darrius knew his teachers by name and never left without a hug for Jordana, Heather and also Jackie. He soon came home singing an “alphabet song of sounds” composed by Jordana, and it was clear that the program was more than just play and social skills. His academic foundation was being laid.
When Darrius graduated into Ms. Da Costa’s JK class, we thought it best to divide his time between TNS&K and our public school. He would maintain a consistent environment at TNS&K but also develop neighbourhood friends at a local public school. But by January (if not before) it was clear that any academic gains were fruits from his time at TNS&K. Ms. Da Costa had a rich program centered on learning and reading. Beginning in October, she began to send a book home for reading. She had high expectations—that all four–year-old students, if exposed to reading, could read (this is not always the expectation in the public system, and no formal reading program or assessment of their reading skills had been started at his public school). She used the Handwriting Without Tears program to address the writing component of the curriculum. The show and tell was a richer version that developed oral communication skills and was connected to the letter of the week. And if this wasn’t enough, there was exposure to French oral language, special community guests and programs brought into the classroom, and field trips outside the school. If this isn’t interconnected curriculum at its best….. Darrius will never forget Ms. Da Costa and Ms. A., their patience, attentiveness to his needs and unique way of establishing that learning can be fun.
So my husband and I realized that the best thing we could offer our children was a full-day and a full-week SK and Nursery program for the 2011/2012 school year. My daughter Sadee was entering Ronny’s Nursery class and Darrius was entering his last year at TNS&K. We had aspirations for Darrius to transition into a French Immersion program for Grade 1, and knew that it would be best if his English skills were at grade level at least.
Mrs. Grimaldi’s SK program was highly lauded from other TNS&K parents (parents that I now call friends). So my husband and I agreed to invest in their future at TNS&K. With a class of 16 to 20 students in varying schedules on full-day alternate-day, full-day every-day and half-day alternate-day schedules, Mrs. Grimaldi quickly discerned each child’s unique skills with her assistant Mrs. S. By October, the children were settled into a routine, and the book bag program began with a homework sheet that had to be completed in response to the book they had been reading. At first I thought, “The same homework every week?” Despite my education background (I have a BA and MA, and am registered with the Ontario College of Teachers), I had no formal experience with pre-primary curriculum, and took a confident step back to allow Mrs. Grimaldi and Mrs. S. to “do their thing”.
It was the best move I made. Darrius’ oral language skills in French blossomed (singing O’Canada and recognizing a great deal of vocabulary), he soon began to complete his reading response independently, and this is a skill that he has carried with him now that he is in Grade 1. (When at home, he sits down to do his homework while I finish preparing supper or doing the dishes). He is confident in his own ability to complete the assigned work, and willing to spend the 10-15 minutes that it will take him. Mrs. Grimaldi’s program exceeded my expectations. Darrius completed SK having moved over a dozen levels and finished reading at a public school – early Grade 2 level! Reading gave him the confidence to enter into the French immersion program and transfer his learning to develop his French language skills, his social skills and his self-advocacy skills at a new and much larger school.
The home school connection is strong here at TNS&K. It was and continues to be a collaborative responsibility of school and home that nurtures my children’s academic growth and maturity. They encouraged my husband I to become a part of Darrius’ and Sadee’s learning, and welcomed me into their professional space to grow and learn through volunteering, for example, by making play dough for the classrooms. All the while they loved and taught my children, they were also complementing the values I was instilling at home by teaching the whole child. Because as Robert Fulghum wrote:
All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten.
- Share everything
- Play fair
- Don’t hit people
- Put things back where you found them
- Clean up your own mess
- Don’t take things that aren’t yours
- Say sorry when you hurt somebody
- Wash your hands before you eat
- Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some
- When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together
- Remember the little seeds in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that
- Goldfish and hamsters (Max & Ruby) and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup—they all die—so do we
No matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together. So parents, everything you need to know about your decision for your children’s schooling is reinforced in the story of Noah’s Ark:
- Don’t miss the boat
- Plan ahead—it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark
- Don’t listen to critics, just get on with the job that needs to be done
- Build your children’s future on higher ground
- Believe in your three-, four- and five-year old children, because remember that the ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.
Submitted by Kimberly D.
During the two school years that my twins attended TNS&K, I was consistently impressed by the team’s ability to ensure that the learning experience for each child was appropriately tailored to their unique needs. The staff and teachers at TNSK are passionate about the provision of “first class” preschool education, and make all students and parents feel like very much a part of the TNS&K family.
TNS&K has been the best placement for my two children over the last four years because of the caring, devoted and special staff that work there. The academic program is excellent and the staff have always encouraged my children to achieve, but it is the compassion and individual attention that sets this school apart from the rest, and that is what engages my children in their learning. I feel lucky to have been able to send my two children to TNS&K for nursery, JK and SK, and my third child will be definitely attending when she’s old enough to go to school! I couldn’t think of a place more nurturing, safe, educational AND fun for them to be. Thanks, TNS&K!
Thornhill Nursery and Kindergarten is a place where care and calibre come together to celebrate our children and advance their learning. If the early years are as important as the experts say, then boy am I glad we’re a TNS&K family. Next year, we will proudly be enrolling our youngest daughter, age 3, in Thornhill Nursery School & Kindergarten to follow her two older sisters who had an amazing experience from Nursery through to SK. I can’t imagine a more loving and nurturing place to kick off one’s school career. At every level, the teachers and staff provide the right mix of academic rigour, fun and genuine care that begins with really getting to know our kids and ends with a great kick start for Grade 1 and beyond. At TN&K, the teachers know how our children learn best, who they are friends with, and how they need to be challenged both academically and socially. They teach our kids well because they know who our kids are as whole people, and they treat them with the kindness and nurturing they need and deserve. What keeps us coming back is the care they receive above and beyond a great education.
The Daniel Family
Thornhill Nursery School and Kindergarten offers a fun, warm and stimulating learning environment, and my son absolutely loves it. The teachers are focused and attentive, and the programming is interesting and relevant. The facilities are well kept, and the space is well organized and inviting. My son is thriving here and getting a great head start in life!
Thank you Thornhill Nursery School & Kindergarten teachers and staff for nurturing our children and providing them with such a wonderful academic and social environment in their early school years.
Alyssa & Mark Rolnick
My daughter is in her second year with Thornhill Nursery School & Kindergarten. It is a warm and safe environment with loving and caring teachers. Each child is treated as an individual and there is a strong spirit of co-operation amongst the staff and parents. The best testimonial is that my daughter always has a smile on her face at the beginning and end of her school day.
Our daughter attended TNS&K for three and a half years, during which time she thrived under the tutelage of the wonderful teachers and staff of the school. We highly recommend TNSK for any parent interested in initiating their child’s education in a caring environment that promotes learning and growth.
Sharon and John Liddle
Thornhill Nursery School & Kindergarten has been a part of my family’s life for six years, since both my sons attended from Nursery to SK. The experience they had at TNS&K is something I think they will carry with them forever. Their teachers were always both educating and nurturing. The environment was always positive and fun, and the school director treats each child as if they were her own. For myself as a parent, having served on the school board for three years, I know that TNS&K has only the best interests of the children at heart.
Lovingly, Cathy Iaboni
An incredibly warm and safe atmosphere, with wonderfully caring teachers. Thornhill Nursery School & Kindergarten is one of the best nursery programs in the area! I would highly recommend it, and often do to many of my clients.
Esther Singer, Kidsmusik
TNSK has truly been a gift for my family. My eldest son is in the SK program, and attended JK at the school last year. The amount of one-on-one attention he receives is wonderful: in public school, he would be one in a crowd; here, a 1:8 ratio ensures he gets help whenever he needs it. My youngest son is in the Nursery school. When he started, his separation anxiety was terrible. Now, thanks to the patience and nurturing of his teachers, he loves school and is learning so much. I can hardly believe the transformation. Thank you, TNS&K!
My twins started at Thornhill Nursery School & Kindergarten in the Nursery class of 2007. I’ve watched them flourish and grow into little people, which has been largely due to the love and attention they receive from the teachers. They are given individual attention, and their abilities are recognized and developed. My twins are now in Junior Kindergarten and are loving it. They always say how wonderful their teachers are and how much they look forward to each school day. My husband and I are also amazed with how quickly they pick up new things, like counting in French. They are truly thriving at Thornhill Nursery School & Kindergarten. We can’t say enough good things, except “Keep on doing a great job of fostering each child’s potential.” Thank you,
Philip & Judy Antecol
We wanted our children to experience the joy of feeling comfortable, respected and loved for who they are as unique individuals, in an environment that inspires their love of learning and expands it. In every area, TNS&K has been an enriching experience. As an added unexpected benefit, being part of Thornhill Nursery School & Kindergarten taught us how to be better parents, just by watching and learning from the teachers, staff and our children. We highly recommend this wonderful school and all the teachers to anyone who is thinking of joining.
Marc & Tracey Salsky