The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board’s Kindergarten program provides children with educational activities appropriate for young learners, taking into account their physical, intellectual, social and emotional needs. The young child’s natural world is one of curiosity, exploration and imagination and the richest gains are likely to occur when these capacities are promoted in a play-based, inquiry focused classroom. Children investigate and develop an understanding of their world through play. Play provides the context in which the educator observes the children’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual interactions within a classroom setting, assesses their stages of development aligned with the curriculum, and supports and encourages experiences to further their growth.
Personal and Social Development: In order to learn effectively, children must feel good about themselves, about school, and about others. A prime goal of kindergarten is to foster social and emotional growth. In Kindergarten, children practice socially appropriate behaviour and develop self-regulation skills to assist them in working with new people and situations.
Cognitive Development: Kindergarten encourages children to develop critical thinking skills such as observation, compare/contrast, categorization and sequencing skills, to question, to experiment, and to develop creativity through language, music, the arts, and drama. Children explore topics of natural interest to young learners through inquiry, connecting prior knowledge to new contexts in order to further understand their world.
Language and Mathematical Development: The Kindergarten program enhances communication skills in early learners. Language skills such as speaking, listening and concepts of print, are explored through games, music, stories, and discussions, building the necessary emergent literacy skills required for later instruction in reading, writing, and oral communication. Children’s conceptual understanding of mathematical thinking is developed through investigation of number, measurement, geometry and spatial sense, patterning, data management and probability. Children are provided with opportunities to explore these concepts in a variety of ways, such as the use of manipulatives, sand and water, dramatic play.
Science and Technology: Children’s natural curiosity and sense of wonder is enhanced through Science and Technology in Kindergarten. Through hands-on investigation, focused and free exploration, observation, questioning, and predicting, children will develop their awareness of the natural and built environment and the need to care for and respect the world around them.
Health and Physical Development: In Kindergarten, children also begin to explore concepts related to their own health and well-being such as healthy physical activity and nutrition. Children will use a variety of materials such as balls, hoops, water, sand and climbers to further their large muscle, gross motor control. Fine motor development is enhanced through activities such as painting, cutting, gluing, keyboarding, tracing, manipulating small objects (eg. buttons, zippers), puzzles.
The Arts: Early Learners are naturally drawn to artistic activities. In Kindergarten, children are given opportunities to express their growing sense of self through drama, dance, music and visual arts. Early learners have access to a wide variety of materials, resources, experiences and open-ended activities allowing them to express themselves and foster their imagination, creativity, and diversity. Through the arts, thinking and communication, as well as early literacy and numeracy skills, are enhanced.
French as a Second Language Instruction: All children in junior and senior kindergarten will receive 50% of their instruction in English and 50% of their instruction in French. They learn through songs, rhymes, movement, stories, and a variety of other activities. Our child-centered FSL program serve to develop students’ communication skills in the French language, focusing on the concurrent development of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. The programs promote an appreciation of French culture in Canada and in other regions of the world.