Our Kindergarten Program will be a full-day program from 8:20-3pm (See full schedule below). The purpose of the full-day kindergarten program is not to pile on more academics at an earlier age, but rather to allow more time for play-based exploration and inquiry. These hands-on experiences are responsible for most of the cognitive growth in children in the early years. All elements of the Kindergarten Program have been adapted from the British Columbia Kindergarten Curriculum Guide.
Full day Kindergarten provides more time for children to:
engage in developmentally and culturally appropriate experiences that foster their learning and development in all areas
learn through exploration and play, indoors and outdoor
experience opportunities that foster their social-emotional learning, self-regulation,
and positive relationships with teachers and peers
engage in enriched experiences that facilitate conceptual, cognitive, and language
growth, and foster inquiry
learn about their local communities and cultures, and the natural environments in
which they live
participate in learning activities that extend beyond the school, such as neighbourhood and nature walks, and visiting the local library.
The extended day provides teachers with increased opportunities to support children’s
interacting with children individually and in small groups, including facilitating their play
providing children with individual attention and support for learning
providing deeper exploration of topics related both to the curriculum and emergent curriculum based on children’s interests
conducting authentic, developmentally and culturally appropriate assessment
communicating with children’s families and communities.
Play, when choreographed thoughtfully, is one of the most powerful learning contexts
available. In the hands of a skilled Kindergarten teacher, play is a rich laboratory that can be used
to teach multiple concepts simultaneously in a way that differentiates instruction. Two kinds of play
are useful in Kindergarten — play initiated by children and teacher-initiated learning experiences
guided by an adult. Through its less formal structure, play provides children with chances 1. to choose
their own level of challenge, and 2. to be stretched by others in a low-stress opportunity. This is truly
differentiation in action. In child-initiated play, children select and initiate their own activities from a variety of learning areas prepared by the teacher. Areas usually include dramatic play, blocks,
science, math, games, puzzles, books, recordings, visual arts, and music. As children play
they learn to interact with others, recognize and solve problems, and develop language,
thinking, and motor skills.
Child-initiated play contributes to children’s learning and development in the following ways:
Physical development and well-being
Active play facilitates children’s sensory-motor development.
Active play contributes to children’s overall health, and acts as a natural preventive for childhood obesity.
Hopping, skipping, throwing and catching, climbing, running, jumping, and playing with balls, bats, hockey sticks, hoops, and ropes all contribute to children’s gross motor skills development, and helps them support the physical education learning outcome to identify physical activities they enjoy doing.
Fine motor skills develop as children engage in sand or water play (manipulating small objects and toys, measuring, pouring, sorting); playing house (dressing up in play clothes and shoes with different types of fasteners, using play cooking utensils and cutlery); building, stacking, and arranging blocks; using visual arts materials
(pencils, felt pens, chalk, crayons, scissors, paint brushes and paint, sponges, modelling clay and dough, paper, tape, nature and found materials); and playing with puzzles.
Play contributes to healthy cognitive growth, the development of
imagination and creative thinking, logical reasoning and problem-solving skills, and memory.
In dramatic play, children learn to use objects and actions symbolically, which is essential for language, literacy, and numeracy.
Play and language both involve symbolic representation: language uses words to represent objects, actions, and situations, and in play children use language and objects to represent other things, such as a cardboard box for a tent. Socio-dramatic play fosters Kindergarten children’s language development by nudging them to make
intentional use of talk to identify and elaborate on play themes.
Play lays a foundation for future success in writing, reading and developing abstract scientific and mathematical concepts. Active play — including recess — also contributes to children’s academic achievement.
Social, make-believe play contributes to the development of cooperation, empathy, and impulse control, reduced aggression, and better overall emotional and social health. Appropriate rough-and-tumble play provides physical release. It also facilitates pro-social cooperative attitudes and behaviour, and fosters friendships. Playing games with rules (e.g., tag, board games) helps children adapt to social rules. Play helps build social competence and confidence in interacting with peers.59 Dramati play, with its system of roles and rules — who does what and what is allowed — is the training ground where children learn and practise their developing self-regulation. Children are highly motivated to stick to the roles and rules that are part of the play. Child development experts argue that plenty of time for childhood play is one of the key factors leading to happiness in adulthood. Play helps build social competence and confidence in interacting with peers.59 Dramatic play, with its system of roles and rules — who does what and what is allowed — is the training ground where children learn and practise their developing self-regulation. Children are highly motivated to stick to the roles and rules that are part of the play. Child development experts argue that plenty of time for childhood play is one of the key factors leading to happiness in adulthood.
In teacher-initiated play, children’s activities are directed by the teacher or teacher assistant. This type of play can be facilitated through large group approaches that introduce new materials, ideas, and activities, which children can later explore on their own. Group learning needs to be systematic and sequenced, and may explore specific
skills and concepts in areas such as literacy or mathematics. Educators can initiate play in various ways, from creating a thoughtful environment, to giving hints and prompts, to modelling what to do, to providing explicit instruction. For example, children’s dramatic play can be stimulated by providing props and helping
them create scenarios, expanding play roles, and developing written plans and rules that
will govern their play. Teacher-initiated group play fosters children’s development in many ways, including the
Physical development and well-being
Engaging children in music activities — such as playing musical instruments, doing finger
plays, and participating in action songs and games — promotes fine motor development.
Guided real-life activities such as cooking are beneficial as children pour, measure, and
use spoons, ladles, tongs, etc.
Teacher-led games and activities that introduce new ways to move the body (e.g.,
dance, sports) or support exploration in movement contribute to children’s physical development and well-being.
Teachers can capitalize on language play to create opportunities that foster children’s
phonological awareness, such as rhyme, rhythm, onsets and rimes, and phonemic awareness. Form and structure of language are transparent when children use language to communicate because they are focussing on the meaning. In playing with language, however, the form and structure of language become apparent.
Directing children to centres with theme related literacy materials and props increases writing and reading activity and furthers children’s emerging knowledge of print. Children often learn to recognize some words in the context of play, such as the words “blocks” and “sticks” in the construction centre.
Teachers can provide rich experiences (e.g., field trips, stories) on which they may later base dramatic play scenarios. Props related to these experiences can encourage and extend dramatic play.
When teachers gently enter children’s dramatic play, they are able to nudge children’s
thinking to a higher conceptual level.
When teachers introduce games with rules (e.g., tag, soccer, board games), children
learn cooperative interaction, important in promoting children’s ability to adapt to social rules. Playing as part of a large, coordinated group also helps to build a sense of community.
Teachers help children learn to pretend by modelling different roles and helping children think about what might come next. Teachers don’t direct all of the play; theystep out once children get their pretend ideas going.
Learning through Inquiry
Inquiry-based learning builds on Kindergarten children’s innate curiosity and sense of wonder. Through inquiry, children are engaged in activities that help them actively pose questions, investigate, solve problems, and draw conclusions about the world around them. Questioning is at the core of inquiry based learning and drives the learning and teaching process. Through inquiry, children become researchers and do meaningful work, addressing questions that are interesting and relevant to them. One of the advantages of full day Kindergarten is the increased opportunity to explore emergent curriculum, which capitalizes on children’s innate curiosity and addresses many
of the Prescribed Learning Outcomes for Kindergarten in a meaningful, integrated way. Emergent curriculum refers to the process of using the spontaneity arising in children’s daily lives, together with teacher planning and guidance. The project approach is the way in which an emergent curriculum is carried out, and the terms “emergent curriculum” and “project approach” are often used interchangeably.
The K-2 Combined Classroom
All the elements of the kindergarten program will take place at the same time as the Grade 1-2 class. With With the Modern Classroom Approach and the use of differentiated centers and stations, we will be able to meet the needs of the variety of ages & abilities within this group. We believe deeply that it is a very positive experience for students to be a part of a multi-age group. Younger students can look up to older students and older students can guide and support younger ones.