The Kindergarten Program
Niagara Catholic welcomes you and your child to our Kindergarten Program. This is a two-year program for students who are four and five years old. The Board is committed to providing young children with a faith-filled program that is rich in literacy and numeracy, and which offers many opportunities that respect their individual needs. Giving students a strong start on their learning will improve their reading, writing and math skills, and provide a smoother transition to Grade 1. Niagara Catholic recognizes and encourages the important involvement of your family as you are your child’s first and most important teacher, and we strive to strengthen the home, school, and Church connection.
We have registration open houses at our Catholic elementary schools in the fall and the spring, however registration is always available at a Niagara Catholic school. Stop by a school at your convenience to chat with a school principal, or plan ahead and fill in the registration form, application for school support and the Niagara Catholic school assessment lease forms online in advance, then simply print and bring them with you. Jump to the admission section here.
Celebrating the Wonders of God
Parents/Guardians are recognized as the prime educators of their children. Spiritual growth takes place within the home, Church, school and community. Niagara Catholic believes in the support and development of the child as a whole, and provides an environment that is based on the teachings of Christ in which your child can grow and learn.
In God’s Image, an early childhood resource, is used in our kindergarten program. This Catholic resource nurtures our youngest students as they continue to discover the wonders of God’s world and their place in it. In God’s Image, with its creation-based approach and child-centred activities, honours the contemplative nature of young children and nurtures them as they reach out to embrace its beauty.
This resource is divided into eight modules, each nourishing our children through prayer, celebration, song, exploration, art and discussion. These modules are: Me, Earth Time, Church Times, Special Days, Community, Plants, Animals and Changes.
The Kindergarten Program and Catholic School
Kindergarten provides an extension and strengthening of the partnership already present among home, Church and school. Teaching Catholic values and beliefs is a significant part of our program. Faith experiences and values experienced at home are enhanced and enriched through activities provided in kindergarten.
Positive early experiences with school lay the foundation for a child’s future academic success. Our programs are designed to meet the diverse needs of all children. We are committed to providing your child with a secure, respectful and nurturing environment that allows for exploration and inquiry, and enables your child to reach his/her full potential.
Early learning experiences are crucial to the future well-being of children, and establish the foundation for the acquisition of knowledge and skills that will affect later learning and behaviour. The goals of kindergarten are:
- To enhance the growth of each child’s self-concept and develop a positive self-image, so the child recognizes him/herself as a person who is loved by God and can do many things.
- To nurture each child’s growth – spiritually, intellectually, physically, emotionally and socially.
- To provide a program that is relevant to the lives of children and varied enough to be challenging and engaging.
- To provide all children with opportunities for learning, self-expression and self-discovery in a variety of areas.
- To develop fine and gross motor skills.
- To provide challenging and engaging learning experiences that will build children’s confidence, and encourage them to see that learning is enjoyable and useful.
- To provide a strong foundation for the future intellectual, physical and social development of children.
- To socialize with others during independent and co-operative learning opportunities.
What Will My Child Learn and Do in Kindergarten?
Kindergarten prepares students for their formal education, in Grades One through 12, and helps them make a smooth transition from home or day care into a classroom setting. In kindergarten, children will learn and enhance their social skills and will begin laying the foundation for their reading, writing and math skills, in a safe, caring and inclusive play-based environment.
Our youngest students learn to find God in themselves and in the world around them, recognize God as Father and Creator, and Jesus as their friend and saviour. They will pray daily, learn scripture and Bible stories, and explore the symbols, rituals and traditions of the seasons of the Church year.
Learning through play
Children learn best during play. The Ontario Kindergarten Program focuses on four areas that experts believe best prepare children to become active, responsible, healthy and engaged citizens who take responsibility for their own well-being and the well-being and feelings of others.
Belonging and Contributing
This area focuses on the way in which our youngest students feel connected with one another, their ability to form relationships and be part of a community. They will develop an understanding of how others relate to each other and the world around them.
Self-regulation and Well-being
This area focuses on helping students develop empathy and understanding for those around them, and to respect the different opinions, experiences, abilities and feelings of others. Students learn impulse control, how to regulate their behaviour and that actions have consequences. They learn to deal with distractions and gain awareness of their physical and mental health and wellness.
Literacy and Mathematics
This area helps students learn different ways to communicate their thoughts and feelings. They will learn new ways to use language and materials to express their ideas and emotions, begin to think independently and learn to read and write.
Students will develop early mathematics skills through play, which includes using numbers and patterns.
Problem Solving and Innovating
This area focuses on a child’s natural curiosity. By exploration, students develop their minds, senses and their bodies.
Students are encouraged to ask questions to solve problems using creative thinking. By doing this, students gain confidence in their abilities and become fearless about exploring new and complex ideas.
Every Niagara Catholic elementary school will hold a Kindergarten Open House and Registration event on Wednesday, November 23 from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm.
A child must be four (4) years of age by December 31st in a given year in order to be eligible.
Please register early. This will help with planning classes and helps you with arranging for daycare or transportation.
To register, you will need the following:
- Your child’s birth certificate
- Current immunization record
- Ontario Health Card
- Baptismal Certificate
- Proof of address
Contact your nearest Catholic elementary school for further information.
The Role of Parents/Guardians
Partnerships with parents and communities will strengthen the ability to meet the needs of young children in kindergarten. Whenever possible, parents/guardians are encouraged to be active participants in The Kindergarten Program by:
- Offering your knowledge of your child to educators;
- Being involved with the school and your Catholic School Council;
- Sharing your home and community experiences with your child’s educator, which will help educators be better able to meet the individual learning needs of your child;
- Reading with your child as often as possible;
- Talking to your child about school events and reading school newsletters;
- Visiting the school and taking part in classroom events;
- Meeting with the teacher or principal, as needed, if questions or concerns arise; and
- Attending school meetings or parent-teacher interviews as called by the school
- In May/June a Parent/Guardian Orientation meeting will take place at your child’s school
- Parents/Guardians receive information about the program at this meeting
Safe Arrival/Safe Dismissal
- Kindergarten students should arrive and leave the playground under the supervision of a parent/guardian or designate
- Supervision begins 15 minutes before the bell or when the first morning bus arrives
- Families are instructed to use the Safe Arrival system to report absences and late arrivals. More information about this will be made available when they begin school.
- Safe dismissal coincides with the dismissal times for the rest of the school and the afternoon buses
Outdoor Supervision and Activities
- Outdoor play, recess and activities are a daily part of The Kindergarten Program. For outdoor play, schools ensure a safe, adult-supervised play environment.
- Parents/Guardians can be assured that during extreme weather conditions children will not be sent outdoors. Extra socks, shoes, mittens, hats and dress code items are important back-ups for that puddle that just couldn’t be resisted.
Transportation is provided according to Board policy.
The First Ride Program, which helps children become familiar with the bus, is available and will be held at the Pen Centre and the Seaway Mall.
Bus routes and First Ride Program dates and times will be available the Niagara Student Transportation Services website or call 905-346-0290
“Onelist” Online Registration Program
If you require before or after school care in our schools that offer the Full Day Early Learning Program, you must register online using “Onelist.”
Online application and waitlists for all licensed child care and before-and-after school programs can be found at Niagara Region Child Care Registry.
If you would like further information or have any questions, please contact Debbie Ogilvie, Community Outreach Coordinator at 905-735-0240 ext. 277.