What will my child learn and do?

Beginning full-day kindergarten is an exciting milestone for your child and for you. It is also an important step to help children better prepare for Grade 1 and be more successful in school.

Full-Day Kindergarten Program

Full-day kindergarten is designed to give your child a stronger start in school and in life – by providing four- and five-year-olds with an engaging, inquiry and play-based learning program during the regular school day. Children are involved in a variety of learning opportunities to help them investigate, problem solve and collaborate, under the guidance of an educator team that includes a teacher and early childhood educator.

The teacher and early childhood educator are guided by a new curriculum, the 2016 Kindergarten Program document, which is based on the most up-to-date information about child development and how children learn best.

We know that through play-based learning and a culture of inquiry, children develop a strong foundation for learning in all areas. This includes:

  • problem solving and creative thinking;
  • thinking critically about ideas and information in literacy and math;
  • learning to think for themselves, understanding their feelings and those around them, recognizing and respecting differences in others, and assessing the consequences of their actions;
  • understanding their connections, contributions and relationships with others as part of a group, a community, and the natural world;
  • developing socially and emotionally through their relationships with other children and the educators who guide them; and
  • developing as a citizen, through a sense of personal connectedness to various communities, like their class, their grade and their school.

Through informal meetings, parent conferences or written communication of learning, parents will receive regular updates on their child's learning.

Examples of activities in the classroom

These activities help children learn through play and inquiry.

Exploration and investigation:
Several children design small boats and then bring them over to the water centre. Each child puts his or her boat in the water and then places one shell at a time in the boat. Another child helps keep track of the number of shells using a simple tally. The teacher or early childhood educator asks the children to find out which boat held the most shells before sinking and think about how it is different from the other boats.

Creative thinking:
A small group of children make several attempts to build a tower as tall as the tallest child among them. Through trial and error, they discover that if they make the bottom of the tower wider they can build it taller. They draw a picture of the finished product and label the pictures to show their solution.

Observing and learning:
After making bird feeders from recycled materials, the children fill them with seeds and place them in the tree outside their classroom window. They watch the activity that takes place at each of the feeders and record what they see. With support from the teacher and early childhood educator, and based on their own observations, some of the children change their feeders and place them back outside to see if the birds will eat more seeds or land more easily.

Before- and After-School Programs

Before- and after-school programs are designed to complement the regular school day in the full-day kindergarten program. These are optional and are offered to parents for a fee. Subsidies are available for some families based on income. School boards are not required to offer the before- and after-school programs if there is not enough demand.

Find out more about options before and after the regular school day.