The Québec Education Program
Your child is starting kindergarten this year. This first step in a childs schooling, which is also called preschool education, has a very important influence on the rest of the childs education. It is the beginning of a long voyage of discovery and learning.
In order for children to want to embark on this voyage, they must enjoy learning from the outset and they must be encouraged to go forward. This is one of the goals of preschool education.
As you probably know, the Ministère de l'Éducation has begun a reform of the curriculum, which is applicable to all schools. This year the reform will affect preschool education and Elementary Cycle One (first grade and second grade). The program will be modified as a result.
This brochure will help familiarize you with the environment in which your child will learn, develop and gradually increase his or her knowledge. We urge you to read it carefully and to remember that the school is there to support your child and provide him or her with everything necessary to succeed.
A PROGRAM THAT AIMS TO GIVE CHILDREN A DESIRE TO LEARN
This year your child will experience school for the first time. Regardless of what he or she has already learned before starting kindergarten, the school will welcome your child and the life experience he or she brings.
It is important that everything be done to make the introduction to kindergarten a success and to allow the child:
A PROGRAM THAT USES PLAY AS THE MAIN WAY OF LEARNING
The kindergarten program takes into account the fact that play has always had an important place in childrens development. Because play is part of the childs world, the program uses it as a way of learning, to increase childrens knowledge and gradually prepare them for elementary school. For example, the activity of piling up wooden blocks to build a house will be carried out in a supervised way instead of simply for pleasure, in order to help the children develop the ability to:
Remember that children at this age learn primarily through play such as making up stories or using puppets. This is why preschool education places such importance on play as a way of learning.
A PROGRAM THAT FOSTERS CHILDRENS OVERALL DEVELOPMENT
The preschool education program fosters childrens physical, emotional and social development as well as their language development and acquisition of knowledge. It does this by helping children acquire and develop abilities that will enable them to live in society while stimulating their intellectual curiosity.
The program aims to stimulate childrens desire to discover the fascinating world they will experience in elementary schoolthe world of languages, the arts, mathematics, science and technology. This world will seem all the more inviting to them if they are able to have fun while exploring it. It is not only the knowledge children acquire that is important, but their enthusiasm for increasing this knowledge.
As children learn, they prepare to become students who are interested in school and who take responsibility. They become capable of using their judgment and making wise choices in life. At the end of their year in kindergarten, they will be ready to start elementary school.
A PROGRAM BASED ON COMPETENCIES
Through a variety of learning situations, your child will acquire competencies that will be useful throughout his or her life.
The following are some of the competencies the children will learn:
Because they are rooted in childrens everyday physical, emotional and cultural life, these situations promote the acquisition of knowledge while reinforcing the childrens independence. They also give children opportunities to develop judgment and express their personalities.
A PROGRAM BASED ON TEACHERS SKILLS
The preschool education program is based in large part on the skills of teachers, who use these skills to foster childrens development. The teachers take into account what the individual children already know, and help them progress at their own speed through learning suited to their age level.
By organizing activities in keeping with childrens needs and interests, teachers give them opportunities to meet challenges at their level of ability and encourage them to make an effort and to excel. Teachers guide children, providing activities that will capture their interest and stimulate their desire to learn.
Throughout the school year, the teacher will keep you informed about the various facets of your childs development. By observing the child during classroom activities, the teacher will be able to pinpoint his or her strengths and identify any weaknesses. Thus, you will be better able to help your child.
A PROGRAM THAT ENCOURAGES PARENT PARTICIPATION
In order for your child to successfully complete the first stage of his or her voyage to the land of learning, it is essential that you provide ongoing support. As your childs first teacher, you know his or her strengths and weaknesses. Throughout early childhood, you have developed a special closeness with your child and learned to interpret his or her physical and verbal language and even silences.
Not only are parents indispensable allies in a childs success, but they are also a constant source of assistance that children may call on at any time:
AN EXCITING CHALLENGE
Remember that the school is there to help you encourage your child to be successful. Be assured that your childs teacher will work to build a relationship with you that is based on respect, trust and open-mindedness. Your childs development and desire to keep on learning are the primary concerns.
We are counting on you, as you can count on the school, to meet this demanding and exciting challenge!
TO LEARN MORE
The following publications are available for parents whose children will be in kindergarten or Elementary Cycle One this year:
For more information, visit the Ministère de l'Éducation's Web site or ask your school, school board or regional office of the Ministère de lÉducation.