THE KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM
Niagara Catholic’s Kindergarten Program is a place where our youngest learners play, learn and grow together in faith. Kindergarten is a discovery-based environment, where children are encouraged to discover the joy and wonder of learning by playing and exploring in safe, caring, inclusive environments.
Parents are a child’s first teachers and are valued partners in Catholic education. Together with our school staff and parish priests, we are a team dedicated to supporting your child’s development in mind, body and spirit.
Kindergarten and Catholic School - Celebrating the Wonders of God
At Niagara Catholic, we believe that when we look at each other, we see the face of God looking back at us in return. Niagara Catholic nurtures our youngest learners to find traces of God in themselves and the world around them, recognize God as Father and Creator, and Jesus as their friend. Students will pray daily, listen to bible stories and explore the symbols, rituals, traditions and seasons of the Church.
Our Catholic faith is embedded throughout the four frames of the Kindergarten program. In Kindergarten, the one guiding question that is asked daily, within play and inquiry, is “where is God?” We believe children are born with a natural sense of God, and discover God in all things and beings. It is through this gift that they learn what it is to be a child of God, loved and accepted unconditionally.
Kindergarten prepares students for their formal education, and helps them make a smooth transition from home or day care into a classroom setting. Kindergarten 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 how our youngest students feel connected with one another, their ability to form relationships and be part of a community.
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 and their senses.
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 Day in November and in February.
A child must be four years of age by December 31st in a given year in order to be eligible to start school.
Registration is always available online. Early registration allows parents to make arrangements for child care and transportation, and helps schools get an advance look at class sizes to ensure staff are in place for the start of the year. Visit our registration page for more information.
- 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 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
The majority of Niagara Catholic elementary schools offer before and after-school care. If you require before or after school care for your child, you must register online using the Niagara Region Child Care Registry Online Registration Program.
If you would like further information or have any questions, please contact Debbie Ogilvie, Community Outreach Coordinator, at 905-735-0240 ext. 277.