Starting school is an exciting time for your child and you, and the Northwest Catholic District School Board welcomes you to our schools!
Our Board's mission is to provide students entrusted to our care excellence in Catholic Education in partnership with home, Church and community. Our schools offer a two-year full-day, every day Kindergarten program with rich learning environments designed to support your child's learning and growth.
Our Kindergarten Program is child-centered; giving every child the opportunity to learn in the way that is best suited to their individual strengths and needs. We offer a variety of learning opportunities and experiences that connect with the way children naturally learn, ensuring your child has the best possible start to their education. Our programs lead with relationships and excellent curriculum, with quality Catholic education infused. We also offer a variety of unique programs across our Board including: French Immersion, Native Language, and Yoga and Mindfulness taught by qualified instructors.
Our programs help every child reach his or her full potential through a play and inquiry approach to learning. Children are naturally curious, and are involved in many different kinds of activities intentionally designed to help young learners explore, investigate, discover, and question the world around them. Our educators carefully observe the social, emotional, physical and intellectual interactions within the learning environment, while assessing your child's stages of development.
A Catholic Environment
We offer kindergarten programming within a faith-based learning environment. Parents and children will experience a Catholic environment that focuses on creating a school community that gives witness to the teachings of Jesus and celebrates diversity, inclusion, and the permeation of Catholic values throughout all curricular areas. We believe that children are precious gifts of God who are encouraged to reach their fullest potential. We welcome families into the school community and recognize that parents and caregivers are the primary educators in faith. Kindergarten children will have opportunities for expressing lived faith through school based social justice and service opportunities.
A Team Approach
Each Kindergarten class is led by a team that consists of a certified teacher and a registered early childhood educator. The team works together to help your child learn throughout the day. They implement a carefully planned play-based program that is challenging and geared to each child's development, so that all children can be successful. The team responds to your child's ideas and interests, which brings joy and enthusiasm to learning, while challenging and extending their learning in a safe and caring environment. The kindergarten team values the relationships they have with the children and their families, and look forward to partnering with you in supporting your child.
Helping Children to Regulate Emotions
Our Kindergarten classrooms embrace self-regulation, and together with the children, educators help them recognize their emotional state throughout the day, while working on strategies that keep them calm and alert for learning. When children are learning through play, they are interacting with others and experiencing a wide range of emotions. We believe it is crucial that young children be given the tools to help them understand these changes and understand how their emotional state affects their well-being and learning.
The Kindergarten program, is a two year program based on the Ontario Ministry of Education, Kindergarten Program, 2016. The foundation is based on four broad learning areas - Belonging and Contributing; Self-Regulations and Well-Being; Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematics Behaviours; and Problem Solving and Innovating. These areas reflect the integrated way in which your child will learn through play and inquiry in our classrooms. The program is designed to create a strong foundation for learning that promotes all areas of a child's development in an environment that supports learning through relationships, play, exploration, and inquiry.
For more information on the Ontario Kindergarten Curriculum, please visit the Ministry of Education website.
What can I do to help prepare my child for a successful start to school?
As your child begins this new adventure, it is natural that it may cause mixed feelings of excitement and nervousness for children and families. Before starting school, parents and caregivers can prepare themselves and their child by:
- Visiting the school during a Kindergarten open house, Catholic Education week or other special event.
- Visiting the Kindergarten classroom environment and meeting the educator team.
- Involving your child in activities that promote learning in the community (e.g., library programs, local EarlyON Centres).
- Talking positively and modeling excitement about school and school-related activities.
- Reading books and talking about school and making new friends.
- Walking or driving to school before the first day to practice the route.
- Talking through any fears or concerns your child may have about starting school.
- Establishing a routine a few weeks before beginning school.
Parents and caregivers are encouraged to speak to their child's teacher or ECE if there are any concerns or questions regarding adjustment to Kindergarten. We are here to work together to support you and your child in achieving the best possible start to school.
The Ministry of Education's website offers information on how to prepare your child for Kindergarten. Visit: How can I prepare my child for starting Kindergarten?
The following resources are available to help parents and guardians support a child's transition into Kindergarten.
Play Based Learning
Full Day Kindergarten A Question and Answer Guide for Parents
Your Preschool Child's Speech and Language
Eye See Eye Learn (Free Eye Exams and Glasses) Program
Reading and Writing with Your Child, K-6, A Parent Guide
Doing Mathematics with Your Child, K-6, A Parents Guide
Self Regulation Guide for Parents
Understanding Stress Behaviour for Parents