La Maternelle

The Gift School has two maternelle classes, one for 2-3 year olds and one for 4-5 year olds. All classes at the Gift School are limited to a maximum of 15 pupils.

Each maternelle class has a French-speaking teacher and a native English-speaking assistant. Children are therefore immersed in a bilingual learning environment from the youngest age and a second language can be learned in a most natural way.

Nature is an essential element of the maternelle classes. Whenever possible, teachers organize activities outdoors, as close to nature as possible. Every spring, each class designs and develops their own fruit and vegetable garden in the school’s vast garden.

The Gift School adheres to the principles of holistic education which seeks to address all of a child’s needs (mind, body and spirit).

With a sophrologist, Gift School children learn to manage their emotions and improve their concentration, using breathing techniques and other child-friendly methods. In addition, yoga and mindfulness are taught on a daily basis to help children develop their learning skills.


The idea that a child would be “toilet-trained” denotes some form of teaching. From the Montessori perspective and in practice at the Gift School, we do not believe in “teaching,” but in observing a child’s needs (whether physical, psychological or emotional) so that we can determine the best way to assist them on their path to independence,

In light of this, we do not require that children be able to use the toilet independantly, when they start in our school.


Sleep is an essential part of a young child’s day – key to a healthy lifestyle and to the child’s ability to learn, process information and feel comfortable in her or his environment. After lunch, a calm reading time is organized every day in the youngest class, and each child’s need for an individualized bedtime ritual is fully respected. Cuddly toys and pacifiers are welcome and parents can provide pillow cases from home, to use on the child’s own individual bed.

There are absolutely no age limits imposed by the Gift School, for naptime. Children of any age are welcome to naptime.