Programs Overview


The 3 Year Cycle

Our program is specifically designed to encompass a three-year cycle, which coincides with the crucial development of children aged 3-6.  This learning period has been recognized by educational experts as a critical stage in a child's educational development.  Children begin our program at age three, progressing through specific milestones within the Montessori environment in preparation for their third and final year as kindergarten students.

Gatehouse Montessori would like to acknowledge the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia through their Direct Access Program Grants in support of our school.


Activities in the Practical Life area of the classroom set the child up for success when taking care of their classroom, themselves and socially. Grace and Courtesy is discussed and encouraged at all times. Small and gross motor movements are strengthened through the use of activities in this area as well. The activities in the Sensorial area develop and enrich all five senses, which in turn heightens the child’s experiences while at school, outdoors and at home. The materials for Math help the children develop an understanding of mathematical concepts in a concrete way. Activities designed to prepare the children for reading and writing are presented to the child from the start of their life in the classroom. Geography, history, biology, botany, zoology, art and music are covered through a hands-on approach based on the fact that children learn most effectively from their own personal and purposeful experiences.



The importance of our full-day kindergarten program is immeasurable. During the first half of the day, the Kindergarten children join the 3 and 4 year-old preschoolers in the classroom. This is an ideal opportunity for the Kindergarten children to use their skills as ‘leaders’ in the classroom and to feel a sense of accomplishment when helping the new and younger students adapt. All the activities and experiences the Kindergarten children had during their Montessori preschool years come together and they are now the role models.

The kindergarten program at Gatehouse meets the BC kindergarten curriculum requirements, and in fact the Montessori program goes well beyond the Ministry’s requirements.

Our goal is to help children become self-motivated, curious, enthusiastic learners. We offer a well-rounded program encompassing academics, fine and gross motor activities, French, music and fine arts.

Our program and materials have been carefully structured as a three year program. Each individual year, although important in itself, is at the same time part of a whole. A child who is withdrawn from the Montessori program before the completion of the three year cycle will be at a disadvantage in terms of meeting their potential. The child at the end of their second year may be writing and perhaps on the verge of reading.

When they continue working with the carefully developed Montessori materials in a familiar environment, these skills develop at an impressive rate. It is this continuity that children crave. The third year child is ready for all of the more advanced materials in the math, language and cultural areas. This is a child in the position of leadership.

Five Areas of Learning

Practical Life

The Program

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    Morning Half Day Preschool Program

    Gatehouse offers a morning preschool program, which runs from
    Monday to Friday, 8:30 am - 11:30 am.

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    Afternoon Half Day Preschool Program

    Based on demand Gatehouse will offer an afternoon preschool program, which runs from
    Monday to Friday, 12:15 pm - 3:00 pm.

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    Extended Day Programs

    The Extended Day Program is for 4 year olds and is a continuation of our morning program.

    a) Monday to Friday, 11:30 am - 3:00 pm
    b) Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 11-30am-3:00pm

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    Full Day Kindergarten Program

    The all-day Kindergarten (Third Year) program runs from
    Monday to Friday, 8:30 am - 3:00 

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    French Program

    Taught by a professional French-speaking teacher dedicated solely to teaching French

    • Preschool: once per week.
    • Kindergarten: twice per week.

Gradual Entry

Starting preschool, or moving from one to another, can be a stressful event for children. At Gatehouse, we believe that a carefully planned gradual entry will assist your child to:

  • Feel comfortable at the school
  • Begin to build a trusting relationship with the staff
  • Experience a positive start at Gatehouse

Gradual Entry Steps:

The child and parents are invited to come in to the classroom individually to meet the teachers before school officially begins.  The teacher will call you to set-up this visit.

Our goal is to have the child attending regular hours as soon as he/she is able. Our gradual entry program is typically two to three days in length. On some occasions, depending on the individual child, gradual entry may need to be lengthened.

*Licensing requires that all children be toilet trained prior to entering our program.

Extended Day Program

Children who are 4 years old in September can register in our extended-day program.  After the regular pre-school session ends at 11:30, the children enjoy lunch time in the classroom, followed by a supervised playtime with their friends.

From 1:00-3:00 students participate in a program which continues building their foundation through the use of the Montessori materials. Our pre-school students who are four years of age and demonstrate an ability and interest in having a longer day should participate in this program.  Parents can meet with the child’s teacher to assess the suitability of their child’s participation in this program.

*Parents can choose the five day or three (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) program.

Parent Observations

Parents will have an opportunity to observe in their child’s class in November and May. In the week following the observation, interviews with the teachers take place during the day when classes are cancelled. Child-minding is available.  Sign-up sheets will be posted outside each classroom door.