The Kindergarten Years
The Kindergarten years are a time of tremendous growth for young children, in which they grow physically, socially, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually.
During the kindergarten years, your child will learn how to:
- Celebrate the many gifts that God has given to us in creation, in ourselves, and in each other
- Work alone and with others
- Explore and expand his/her abilities and interests
- Listen to and share with others
- Begin simple problem-solving
- Develop responsibility for selecting and caring for materials
- Express his/her thoughts and ideas
Your child will participate in activities designed to:
- Build self-confidence
- Show differences in sound, shape, and colour
- Improve co-ordination, stability, locomotion, and manipulation
- Develop vocabulary
- Increase interest in books, numbers, and people
- Introduce new ideas
Typical Kindergarten Day
A typical kindergarten day includes the following types of activities.
Circle time is a shared group activity such as storytelling, the teaching of a lesson, or a group discussion about a concept from the religious program.
Children participate in centres focusing on art, literacy, numeracy, etc.
Children explore areas of particular interest (i.e. sand and water tables, dramatic play, blocks, and puzzles).
Gym and Outdoor Play
Children move their bodies and practice gross motor skills such as running, jumping, hopping, and climbing.
Children choose books to bring home to enjoy with their parents, and begin to learn about accessing information using all the resources available in the school library.
Lunch and Snack Times
During lunch and snack times, students are supervised in the classroom by a teacher, an educational assistant, or an adult lunch supervisor.
Children participate in literary activities that include rhymes, finger plays, songs, stories, poems, and sound and letter recognition.
Children participate in numeracy activities that promote mathematical thinking and encourage a positive disposition towards mathematics. Activities include counting, looking for patterns, sorting, measuring, and collecting data.
Learning Through Play
Kindergarten-aged children do much of their learning through play. Play is natural to a child's mind and spirit. Every child wants to explore, experiment, and discover.
Play in the classroom is:
- Your child's attempt to recreate experience
- Your child's means of learning language
- A self-directed activity with a purpose that may not be obvious
- An activity with self-imposed rules that change frequently
- An activity that develops both your child's emotions and thinking powers
- Where your child learns to interact in socially acceptable ways
- Where your child learns intellectual operations that cannot be directly taught
- Where your child learns concepts and skills
- Where your child learns about his or her own capabilities
The Home and School Partnership
Parents play an important role in their children's success at school. Your child will feel more comfortable in the school setting if he or she has learned:
- The route to and from school, and his/her teacher's name
- How to put on shoes and outdoor clothing independently
- How to use the bathroom and wash his/her hands independently
- His/her address and phone number
- How to keep track of personal property
- How to independently open and close his/her backpack and lunch containers
Your child will be more likely to join in the fun if he or she:
- Gets plenty of rest (ideally 10 to 12 hours per night)
- Eats a good variety of healthy foods, especially at breakfast
- Gets up in plenty of time for school so that he/she doesn't have to hurry unnecessarily, and is wide awake by the time school starts
- Wears comfortable clothing that is designed for active play, and that he/she can unzip or unbutton with minimal assistance
Your child will be more willing to participate in classroom activities if he/she feels confident of success. You can help your child to be successful at school by:
- Talking about school in a positive way, so that your child will think of it as a happy place
- Displaying your child's schoolwork proudly and praising all his/her school efforts
- Ensuring consistent attendance and punctuality
- Encouraging your child to talk about experiences and express opinions
- Reading to your child daily and telling him/her stories
- Providing a selection of materials for play at home (i.e. glue, pencils, markers, paints, play dough, scissors, crayons, and scrap materials such as wood, paper towel rolls, and boxes) as well as a place to use these materials
- Allowing your child to practice his/her counting skills (i.e. counting money, crackers, toys, etc.)
- Making everyday activities (i.e. grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, driving in the car) sources of learning
- Understanding that children grow at different rates, and be patient with your child if he/she is slow to acquire a particular skill
- Encouraging your child to use his/her senses - smelling, hearing, seeing, tasting, and touching
You can help your child's teacher by:
- Keeping your child home from school if he/she is ill (i.e. upset stomach, runny nose, fever, or sore throat)
- Notifying your child's school (or the designated safe arrival volunteer for your child's classroom) if your child is going to be absent from school
- Providing the teacher with written instructions regarding any change to your child's regular routine (i.e. if you will be picking up your child instead of having him/her take the bus, or if your child will be going home with a friend after school)
- Ensuring that your child arrives at school on time, and that he/she is properly supervised until the start of the school day
- Labelling all of your child's personal possessions
- Sending your child's lunch and snacks in carefully-labelled and easy to open containers
- Providing your child with a backpack that is large enough to accommodate a lunch bag, snacks, library books, artwork, extra mittens, and notes from your child's teacher
- Providing your child with clean indoor shoes that he/she can wear at school
- Checking your child's backpack daily for notes from your child's teacher, and returning forms and other important documents as promptly as possible
- Sharing information with your child's teacher on an ongoing basis
- Encouraging your child to follow school rules regarding clothing, money, and supplies
- Arranging a time to meet your child's teacher prior to the beginning of class time or after class is dismissed to discuss your concerns or to obtain answers to any questions you may have
The Parent and Teacher Partnership
- Parents may arrange an interview with the teacher at any time during the year
- If you have a concern, contact your child's teacher to discuss it
- If your child's teacher has a concern, he or she will contact you
- Interview and visits to the classroom occur during the school year and are arranged at times convenient for both teacher and parent
- A progress report is completed at the end of the school year
Assessment and Evaluation
In junior kindergarten and senior kindergarten, a teacher evaluates a child's growth through observation. Early and ongoing assessment strategies are used throughout the kindergarten years. The teacher provides verbal reports for the first term. The second and final reports are a written outline of the year's program.
Visit Kindergarten Registrations for additional information regarding the admission and registration process.