At the Child Study Centre Junior Kindergarten, all members of our school community (students, staff, families, teachers, volunteers, researchers, and adult students) have a right to learn, work and play in an environment supportive of their self-concept, safety, health and dignity. The members of the school community have a responsibility to contribute to the learning environment and foster positive learning attitudes and acceptable behaviour. Developing a sense of belonging to a democratic community of learners is our goal.
On this page:
Located in the education south building Junior Kindergarten occupies two spacious classrooms and access to a beautiful outdoor courtyard.
Learning is planned using an emergent curriculum, which grows out of the interests and curiosities of the children. The investigations are evident on the classroom walls, which display the children’s work. The Alberta Education Early Learning Program of Studies as well as the Guiding Principles for Primary Program informs the teaching practices of the Centre.
Project topics are chosen based on interests expressed by the children. Some projects may last from a week to a month, depending on children’s interest. Topics that have been explored in the past are:
Transportation (PDF), Puppets (PDF), mapping, music that we love, to list a few. Field trips and guest experts are an essential part of this inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning. They help to put learning into context for children.
Inquiry-based learning provides the children with opportunities to learn from first-hand experiences and represent their ideas in many different ways. This approach capitalizes on familiar experiences of the children and provides a learning environment where children learn through investigation, observation, and discussion. Children are guided to develop interests in many topics, investigating these by applying new levels of skill and knowledge.
Common features of inquiry-based learning:
- Children conduct multi-faceted investigations/projects that extend over long periods of time;
- the projects explore with real-world questions and topics generated by the children;
- children are encouraged to question, look for resources, and solve problems in a variety of ways;
- children are supported as they make connections among ideas and acquire new skills; and
- children receive feedback about their ideas from teachers, parents, experts in the field, students, faculty members, and researchers.
Play is considered as an important aspect of early childhood educational experiences. It is significant for the socialization and development of children for it provides many different experiences including aesthetic expression, communication, creativity, thinking and problem-solving, imagination, exploration, and language development. We acknowledge the importance of play in supporting children’s learning in all areas.
A day in junior kindergarten
Children gain confidence through daily routines. They learn new vocabulary, articulate their thoughts, and explore the topics to make sense of the world around them.
Child-directed play while families arrive
A day in Junior Kindergarten begins with child-directed play. Adults accompanying children to school are welcome to join in at this time. Once everyone has arrived, the class gathers for their first meeting of the day.
Children sit in a circle and enjoy activities that build a sense of community, develop literacy and numeracy skills, and stimulate curiosity and discussion.
In small groups of 4 - 7, the children participate in numeracy activities, listen to audio stories, and draw/write in their journals.
Return to child-directed play
The children have opportunities to participate in a variety of activities including play. At this time the teachers may also work individually or with small groups of children depending upon the projects that are being explored.
The snack time is flexible and children choose when to eat their nut-free snacks brought from home. This flexible snack time empowers children by providing opportunity to decide when to eat. The teachers supervise hand washing and eating and ensure that all children take time to eat their snacks.
This time of JK encourages children to enjoy books and magazines alone or in the company of friends.
Playing in outdoor courtyard/gym (Mon/Wed)
Time spent in the courtyard helps keep children connected to nature. In addition, it is an opportunity to run, play, climb, and explore with other young children. When the temperature dips below -10C the children enjoy the indoor gym.
Each Tuesday and Thursday children explore their musicality through 30-minute classes with our music teacher. They have the opportunity to play instruments and musical games, dance and move, listen and sing. Activities expose children to music from various cultures and styles, enabling them to engage with basic musical concepts and nurture their connection with the world around them.
Our teaching team
The highly qualified teaching team of the Child Study Centre consists of a Lead Teacher, a Teacher, and a Music Teacher. A Faculty Director and an Administrative Assistant support them. Please visit our staff page to meet them in person.