January 16th, 2018
For most children and parents, the transition into kindergarten can be an exciting milestone. At Waterloo Region District School Board, we want to ensure parents that their children will receive the best education in the region, throughout their Kindergarten to Grade 12 journey.
When students begin school in Kindergarten, all students will learn through play. Play-based learning is an essential part of a child’s development. Play combines all areas of learning. Through play, children learn skills to help them negotiate social relationships and use language to express their thoughts. Educators guide children during play to help them learn that words and actions can affect others.
“Research shows that early learning has long-term benefits for a child’s academic and social skills. It can also improve your child’s reading, writing and math skills—in school and in life,” said Elaine Ranney, superintendent for student achievement and well-being.
As a parent or caregiver, you may have some important questions leading up-to this transition, including:
What will my child learn and do?
Kindergarten is designed to give your child a stronger start in school and in life by providing four- and five-year-olds with an engaging, inquiry and play-based learning program during the regular school day. Children are involved in a variety of learning opportunities to help them explore, investigate, think creativity, observe, problem solve, and collaborate, under the guidance of a teacher and early childhood educator.
Who is working in the classroom?
Teachers and early childhood educators (ECEs) are working together to help young students learn during the regular school day. These educators have complementary skills that create a learning environment to support the unique needs of each child. With two qualified professionals in the classroom for the full school day, children receive individual and small group instruction.
Early childhood educators have knowledge of early childhood development, observation and assessment. They bring a focus on age-appropriate program planning that promotes each child’s physical, cognitive, language, emotional, social and creative development and well-being.
Teachers have a knowledge of the broader elementary curriculum, assessment, evaluation, and child development. They are responsible for student learning, instruction, evaluation and formal reporting to parents, based on the teacher-ECE team’s assessments of children’s progress.
How can I prepare my child for starting kindergarten?
Your involvement in your child’s learning is important at every stage of their education. There are many things that you can do at home to give your child a positive start to help them make the most of kindergarten. You can contact your child’s school for information and resources, listen and talk to your child about their school day, and set-up playdates with friends and family.
Are there before- and after-school programs available?
Before- and after-school programs are designed to complement the regular school day for Kindergarten students. These are optional and are offered to parents for a fee. Subsidies are available for some families based on income. For complete details on our extended day programming, visit www.wrdsb.ca/beforeafter.
To learn more about about WRDSB Kindergarten programming, visit www.wrdsb.ca/kindergarten.