Understanding The NEW Kindergarten Program
The face of Kindergarten is changing for Ontario students. In the past, children in Kindergarten have been known as Junior Kindergarten (JK) and Senior Kindergarten (SK) students. Each JK/SK student had specific expectations to meet and were evaluated in areas such as: Arts, Health and Physical Activity, Science and Technology, Personal and Social Development, Language, and Math.
In September 2016, some Ontario schools began to adopt the new Kindergarten Program. In this new program, children will be referred to "Year 1" and "Year 2" students, and the learning expectations will now be organized into four frames, or broad areas of learning.
Belonging and Contributing
Supporting children's ability to form relationships and make contributions as part of a group, a community and the natural world.
Self Regulation and Well-Being
Developing children's ability to understand their own thoughts and feelings, understand and manage their emotions and impulses, and build awareness of their physical and emotional well-being.
Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematics Behaviours
Developing children's ability to communicate their thoughts and feelings by engaging in literacy and mathematics behaviours, and fostering a love of learning.
Problem Solving and Innovating
Developing children's ability to make meaning of their world by asking questions, testing their theories, solving problems and using creative and analytical thinking.
How Is Each Child Assessed?
Throughout the year, within the play-based learning environment, each child's learning and development will be documented by his/her teachers. The teachers will gather evidence about each child's growth in learning in various situations across a period of time. These samples of learning may include photographs, video clips, transcripts of conversations, and each child's work (e.g., paintings, drawings, writing, etc.). This ongoing collections of evidence provides a profile of each child's learning that will be shared with the parents over the course of the year.
Kindergarten Progress Report
The first formal opportunity to learn about each child's progress will take place in the fall. Year 1 parents will be invited to participate in an In-Class Observation Visit. Year 2 parents will receive a Progress Report and be invited to participate in a parent-teacher meeting.
Kindergarten Communication of Learning - Term 1 and 2
Families of children in both Year 1 and 2 will receive a Kindergarten Communication of Learning in February and June. In this report, each child's learning will be summarized using the four frames of learning. Within each frame the child's "key learning", "growth in learning", and "next steps in learning" will be described. Grades or rating scales are not a part of the Kindergarten Communication of Learning.
In Kindergarten, children have the opportunity to learn by exploring ideas and language, manipulating objects, acting out roles or experimenting with a variety of open ended materials. These experiences expand each child's natural curiosity, creativity, inquiry, and imagination. Educators observe, listen, question, and guide children to promote their growth as independent learners.
Although this program was introduced in the Fall of 2016, not all schools were ready to implement the changes. The expectation is that ALL schools will adopt this new Kindergarten program so as to have continuity throughout the province.
More information about the Kindergarten program can be found at: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/kindergarten.html
* All information has been gathered from "Understanding The Kindergarten Program for Families" distributed by the York Region District School Board.