La Petite École - French language preschool

General Philosophy

Our general philosophy applies to both morning and afternoon programs.

   Children holding musical instruments are engaged in an activityDrawing from the Ministry of Education's guiding document, "How Does Learning Happen?", our pedagogy is based on four foundations: belonging, engagement, expression and well-being. A child who belongs, feels engaged, can express oneself and feels good, is a child who can learn and develop optimally. We view children as competent, capable of complex thinking, curious, and rich in potential, and, therefore, take our cue from the children in forming our curriculum. This "emergent curriculum" is play-based, but includes set learning objectives, such as target French vocabulary, and carefully chosen books, songs, and activities, that specifically reinforce these linguistic goals all the while developing knowledge of the topic at hand. At the heart of our programming is the child's global development: the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional aspects of learning. Through this guided curriculum, our preschoolers discover the essential skills for life-long learning. 


   Learning French is at the heart of the LPE curriculum. At our school, language is not taught through grammar rules and vocabulary lists. We employ a para-verbal methodology where the child acquires new words, the meanings of which are clarified through use in familiar contexts. The child progressively absorbs the syntax of French. The communication between a child and staff is constant through free play, circle time and organized activities. Oral expression clearly enjoys a very important place in our school. This approach allows us to engage children at any level of French language proficiency.


   Two girls paintingWe recognize that children enter LPE at different stages in their development, and that they have different interests, abilities and learning styles. Our programs consist of many types of  activities, including "free play", dramatic play, arts and crafts, physical exercises, singing and reading. This variety allows us to keep children engaged as well as to satisfy different needs of individual students. Play is the defining aspect of the relationship between the child and the staff. We share the belief that "the child exists through play.  He or she does not play in order to learn, but learns through play"  (Jean Epstein, L'explorateur Nu).


   We believe that a good relationship between the school and the parents always lies at the base of a strong education. We keep a close personal contact with the parents of each child to maintain understanding and trust. Parents of prospective students are encouraged to make an appointment for a school visit, where they can learn about our facilities, talk about our pedagogy, meet the staff, ask questions and observe the atmosphere in the classroom. This visit will also give us an opportunity to learn about the child’s individual needs.


   Once the child joins our school, this conversation continues on a daily basis during our extended drop-off and pick-up times. Staff are always available to talk to parents about the progress of their children in the school. Once a month, parents are invited into the classroom for a goûter (snack) to experience the program and discuss student performance. Parents are also encouraged to make private appointments with the school’s director, to discuss the child’s progress and future steps. Through this dialogue we can identify the individual needs of each child and come up with a personalized approach.

Essential Information

The aim of our morning program is to provide children with a positive first school experience. It is designed to foster the child’s self-confidence, independence and ability to socialise with peers, while learning the French language.



  • For ages 2 to 3.5.
  • Runs from 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM.
  • Drop-off time from 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM
  • Pick-up time from 11:30 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Available Monday through Friday
  • Enrollment options from 2 to 5 days per week
  • Available year-round
  • Children of all language backgrounds are welcome
Girl proudly raising her artwork

Specific Goals


   Little girl deeply engaged in a art activityWe believe that the first school experience can set the tone for a child’s attitude toward education for many years to come.  For this reason our main goal is to ensure that the child always feels safe, happy and engaged in our school. To this end, our program includes a gentle adaptation period during which children grow accustomed to their teachers, their new environment and their peers.

   By engaging children in activities and establishing comfortable routines, we provide a positive environment in which the children have a sense of belonging. Also as a member of a larger group the child learns how to interact with his or her peers, through exercises designed to cultivate cooperation, listening and empathetic skills. While teaching children how to be a part of a community, we dedicate a special effort to the fostering of individuality and self-reliance. For us, " behaviour management" is really a matter of helping a child to develop self-control. We deeply believe that a good educator should give children many opportunities to cooperate, negotiate and talk together. Children are allowed time and space to explore their own interests, to choose their own friends and to solve problems at their own pace, with the confidence that a teacher is nearby to help.   

   While it is not mandatory that the child be fully toilet trained before attending the school, it is highly recommended that toilet training begin at least a few weeks prior to the first day at the school. It is not advisable to introduce many changes to a child’s routine at the same time.

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