Welcome to Our Kindergarten Program
What Our Program Offers
Our Commitment to Fostering Strong Partnerships with Families
Our team is dedicated to fostering strong partnerships with families and the community. We welcome families to be involved in the program and active participants in their children’s education. Reciprocal communication is foundational for building partnerships with families and for participation in the program; therefore, the program utilizes many methods to facilitate communication with families, including Storypark; an online, collaborative documentation of each child’s individual learning and development, formal parent/teacher meetings, documentation around the classroom, parent workshops, and e-mail updates of program developments and daily conversations. Through ongoing two-way communication with parents and families, we foster their engagement and encourage them to be involved with us, which strengthens the children’s sense of belonging in our program.
Our French program is delivered using a variety of teaching methods. A bilingual educator converses in French with the children throughout the school day, having conversations, and reinforcing concepts in French as play happens, naturally. We provide learning activities which are connected to key concepts as well as have group times offered in French. Concepts include: greetings, posing questions, using simple sentences, learning numeracy concepts, expanding our vocabulary to include colors, animals, clothing and more and with our emergent curriculum, exploring other areas of interest. We use flexible learning techniques with a balanced approach of speaking, listening to, and reading in French. Our goal is to allow children to gain confidence in speaking French, be exposed to repeated pronunciation of vocabulary, to become engaged, and motivated while making real life connections through simple conversations which happen throughout the day.
Each day the curriculum opportunities are thoughtfully planned to build on the children’s curiosity and questions about the world around them. Through the process of exploring inquiries, children and educators are actively involved as co-learners as they explore new ideas, build meaning behind the ideas and construct knowledge together. Through this process, children learn the skills to synthesize, interpret, and evaluate information in ways which are meaningful to them.
Each thoughtfully planned experience takes into consideration the learning expectations set by the Ministry of Education’s Kindergarten curriculum. Learning experiences offered, incorporate learning expectations in the areas of Belonging and Contributing, Self-Regulation and Well-Being, Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematics Behaviors, and Problem Solving and Innovating in the following ways:
To read through curriculum expectations for kindergarten, please visit the ministry website at https://files.ontario.ca/books/kindergarten-program-en.pdf
Belonging and Contributing
The Kindergarten team is dedicated to creating a warm and responsive environment that contributes to children’s ability to experience success. Through a variety of experiences in which they are supported in demonstrating their competence, children further develop the capacity to understand their own emotions and to express them with consideration. A key focus in our program is teaching children about empathy. Through a variety of books, activities and reflective discussion that promote the development of empathy, the children learn about their own feelings and the feelings of others.
Our program offers opportunities for children to learn about what it means to be a responsible, active citizen in the community of the classroom and the diverse communities to which they belong within and outside the school. Program experiences consist of opportunities to develop an early understanding of the diversity of individuals, families, schools, and the wider community.
There are several ways that we develop this idea. One way is through a partnership with Chartwell Retirement Residence. Each month we make regular visits to Chartwell Retirement Residence providing meaningful cross-generational experiences for the children and seniors.
Another way children learn to contribute is by listening and responding to others, expressing their thoughts and ideas as we exploring our inquires in groups. Our inquiry based approach allows children to explore many different possibilities and to sustain and extend an interest over a period of time. Children are given space and time to exchange ideas and collaborate in groups – asking questions, doing research, working with a variety of materials, and engaging in meaningful conversation as well as learning how to work collaboratively together, to share, to practice negotiating, resolving conflicts and learn self-advocacy skills.
Our environmental education program gives children yet another opportunity to connect to our local green spaces and learn about ways we can contribute by caring for our earth and local community. We make use of the many green spaces, trails, and parks that surround the KRP campus. Each week we make regular visits to a local forest. Our time spent engaged in outdoor / forest learning promotes an engaging passionate learning environment that encourages problem solving, creative and imaginative thinking, and strong communication skills as well as understanding and appreciation for nature. Planned experiences give the children opportunity to explore, play, build, create, imagine, and use their senses to experience the outdoor environment and engage with one another.
Each spring to autumn the children plant and care for our community garden. Our school garden provides an enriched garden-based educational program for the children, increasing awareness of environmental issues, sustainability, and healthy eating. Our school garden has allowed us to foster a partnership with the local food cupboard as some of the vegetables harvested by the children is donated to support local families in need each year.
In the Kindergarten program, the arts provide a vehicle through which children can express their growing sense of self and their interpretations of the world. Experiences offered in the arts consist of opportunities to demonstrate an awareness of themselves as artists through engaging in activities in visual arts, music, drama, and dance. The children are given opportunity to develop preferences in forms of artistic expression while exploring materials and techniques used to produce different forms of art. Exploring art forms including music and dance from different cultures is a key components of the program.
Each week we offer a music program. Through the music program the children are exposed to rhythmic activities, and concepts such as tempo, pitch, timbre, and melody. The children are given an introduction to percussion and orchestra instruments as well as instruments specific to certain cultures. In the program, the children explore the beginning of notation representation. Singing is a key component of this program as the children are given opportunity to learn new songs and explore their singing voices. Dance is explored in the music program as children explore music and dance from a variety of different cultures.
Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematics Behaviors
An environment rich in literary experiences is an important daily part of the kindergarten program. We use samples of quality literature to stimulate ideas about character, plot, and setting and other characteristics of books. Storytelling, retelling stories, predicting what will happen in a story or in the text, reading in a group or individually, listening activities, shared reading, echo reading and choral reading are used to promote imagination, memory, vocabulary, understanding and comprehension, grammar and syntax, logical thinking and regulation of attention. We introduce the children to chapter books and extend learning experiences from these books into other areas of the curriculum. Literary learning experiences include creating our own books, activities in early reading and writing, dramatizing well-known stories, playing with words and word sounds, sight word recognition, and a variety of other curriculum opportunities. Using language in all of its forms of reading, oral language, writing, and listening encourage children to approach literacy with life-long enthusiasm.
Daily writing time is provided for children to express themselves in a personal journal. The process of writing is documented throughout the year, as children move from ‘scribble’ writing and using pictures to represent their ideas, to more conventional writing with some letters on a page, invented spelling and sight words. Educators nurture writing development providing resources, conferencing and individual instruction to scaffold each child’s learning and development during this process. Inspirational items such as photograph documentation, story books, sentence starters, and artwork is used to provide ideas or a starting point for the writing experience.
Math opportunities consist of activities which demonstrate an understanding of numbers, using materials to explore and investigate counting, quantity, and number relationships, opportunities to measure and compare length, mass, capacity, area, and temperature of objects/materials as well as concepts such as the passage of time, using non-standard and standard units, describing, sorting, classifying and comparing two and three dimensional shapes. Additional opportunities offered allow children to describe and create patterns, collect data, begin to read and describe displays of data, and begin to explore the concept of probability in everyday contexts.
Problem Solving and Innovating
The Kindergarten educators plan opportunities explicitly and intentionally, for children to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they will need for solving a wide variety of problems. Children develop the skills required for problem solving, creative and critical thinking, and innovating; confidence, curiosity, and the willingness to take risks and to see mistakes as opportunities for learning; and the ability to collaborate and to build and maintain relationships. Curriculum with a focus on science and technology provides many opportunities for the children to wonder, observe and question the world around them through hands-on investigations. In Kindergarten we conduct simple investigations working through the scientific process of observing, questioning, developing a hypothesis, planning methods for an investigation, carrying out the investigation, and communicating findings. The children are given opportunity to explore technology in a variety of ways from photography and simple machines. A weekly component of our program incorporates activities from teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in the early years.
Self-Regulation and Well-Being
One way educators support children’s emerging ability to self-regulate is by providing children with choice in the learning environment. The children have access to a variety of materials, tools, and spaces in the classroom and they gradually learn to select the ones that provide stimulation or a calming effect, as needed.
In addition, an environment of caring, kindness, and cooperation in the classroom supports the development of social and prosocial self-regulation in children. Initially modelled by the educators, practices such as making time for conversation, checking in with one another, helping out, and solving problems with friends become part of the culture of the classroom and of the accepted behaviour of the children.
We promote children’s well-being by creating a learning environment/class culture that is caring, safe, inclusive, and accepting. Curriculum experiences offered in kindergarten consist of opportunities to demonstrate an awareness of health and safety practices for themselves and others and a basic awareness of their own well-being.
Meal times in kindergarten provide good food, good conversation, and a relaxed environment. Nutritious meals take place in a family style where children and educators will sit and eat together. Children are given the responsibility of setting the tables and serving themselves, giving them control over their eating. Meal times provide children with opportunity to develop healthy eating habits, be independent, and engage in meaningful conversation with others.