Frequently Asked Questions
Registration for new Kindergarten students occurs in January-February but parents are welcome to register their children at any time of the year.
Students are registered at the school they will be attending. Please pick up your detailed parent information package and registration form at your neighbourhood elementary school.
If you do not know which school you should attend please visit mybustoschool.ca and enter your address.
School phone numbers may be found in the Schools Directory.
To register your child in Kindergarten please bring:
Proof of age for each child
Name and phone number for family doctor
Ontario Health Card number (optional)
Child’s immunization record
Residence road name and 911 address
French Immersion Programs are offered at the following schools:
Haliburton: Stuart W. Baker Elementary School and J.D. Hodgson Elementary School
Muskoka: Monck Public School and Riverside Public School
City of Kawartha Lakes: Leslie Frost Public School
Potential French Immersion students may register at their local school for JK or they may register for JK at the French Immersion School in their area. After March 31st, registration of out-of-area JK students at French Immersion schools will only be permitted if space is available.
You are your child’s first teacher and are still the source of much of his/her learning. We encourage you to communicate with teachers, to offer useful information and to ask relevant questions about your child’s progress. Knowing the expectations – skills and knowledge – of the Kindergarten Program will help you to understand the assessment of your child’s learning. You and the teacher will be working together to improve your child’s progress throughout the year.
Note: Reading with your child each day has been proven in research to have an impact on future academic success.
The Kindergarten classroom reflects the developmental needs and Ontario curriculum. It is alive with activity centres, artwork, toys, learning spaces, creative materials, books, letters and words, dress-up clothes, puzzles, games, and much more. Every day, the teacher will spend time with the class as a whole group, and will also spend time with students in small groups, and one-to-one.
The teacher will read stories, and the whole class will learn rhymes, chants, and poetry. There will be drama, music, and art to encourage self-expression. Children will learn through directed play and physical activities will occur both indoors and outdoors.
In Kindergarten, children learn best through active experience involving exploration and discovery. Teachers combine subject areas to create learning opportunities that resemble real life experiences. There are times when children are expected to sit quietly and listen, but most of the time Kindergarten classes are filled with sound and activity. Teaching happens through mini-lessons that are engaging and appropriate for this level. The teaching is enlivened with rhymes, chants, and poetry. There will be drama, music, and art to encourage self-expression. Children will learn through directed play and physical activities will occur both indoors and outdoor.
Choose clothes, jackets, shoes, and boots that are easy to put on, take off, and fasten.
Kindergarten children learn best when they are experimenting, exploring, discovering, and getting messy. Choose clothes that are durable and easy to clean.
In the course of the day, your child will sit on the floor, jump, run, walk, bounce, stretch, bend, and sit in a chair. Choose clothes and footwear that will be comfortable during all of these activities.
Outdoor play is an important part of the program. Your child needs outdoor clothing for all types of weather.
Label everything with your child’s first name and the first letter of last name (e.g. Jane M.)
Children learn best when they are having fun. Playing, experimenting, doing things, taking on different roles, imagining, pretending – these are all important learning techniques. When children are playing in the kindergarten class, they aren’t taking a break from learning, and their teacher isn’t taking a break from teaching. They are playing with purpose and are learning academic skills such as reading, writing, math, and science. They also learn problem-solving, creative thinking, and essential social skills through interaction with others.
Of course, Kindergarten classes also have learning activities that you may think are more typical of school. Teachers do direct teaching with the whole class, such as identifying letters of the alphabet and their sounds, demonstrating numbers and illustrating science facts. Together, the class looks at the calendar every day as a way of learning about concepts such as days of the week, seasons, weather, counting, and special occasions. Students also spend time putting pencil to paper – printing letters, words, and numbers.
Listening is a complex skill. Help your child to understand and practice the steps involved in listening:
Stop what you are doing
Look at the person who is speaking
Don’t talk or move around when the person is speaking
Think about what the person is saying
Repeat what the person has said to be sure that you understand
Play is your child’s homework. Watch your child at play; your observations will give you insight into how he/she prefers to learn. All play – in fact, anything your child is doing – can be a learning experience. Here are some ideas to help you make the most of these opportunities.
Help develop personal and social skills (e.g. praise and label manners, independent behaviour, good problem-solving . . .)
Provide opportunities for your child to play with others
Encourage sharing and taking turns
Teach basic safety rules and encourage your child to follow them
Encourage self-control and acceptance of responsibility
Your child’s teacher will be continuously assessing your child’s progress and will keep you informed. The most important method is through observation – watching and talking with your child. Your child’s teacher will use many strategies to assess your child’s learning such as small tasks, assignments and activities. Each strategy gives the teacher another part of the picture about how and what your child is learning.
Each child develops in her own way. Young children go through many stages as they grow and learn. One of the things your child’s teacher will be considering as part of the assessment is your child’s stage of development. That’s important information to help the teacher plan a learning program suited to your child’s needs.
The Ontario Kindergarten Curriculum is an outline of learning expectations (knowledge, skills, and attitudes) that children should develop by the end of the two year Kindergarten program. The learning expectations represent the first steps in a continuum of programming from Kindergarten to Grade 8.
More information is available at the Ministry of Education website.