DAN CEARNS The Standard
NORTH DURHAM/KAWARTHA LAKES: The Ontario government is making changes to the Kindergarten curriculum, which will go into effect in September 2025.
On Tuesday, January 23rd, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced the government is taking a “back-to-basics” approach to the curriculum.
“The Ontario government is taking continued action to emphasize back-to-basics learning by introducing mandatory learning through clear and direct instruction in reading, writing and math for kindergarten students. Combined with hands-on and play-based learning, this new kindergarten curriculum will ensure students entering Grade 1 across the province have the foundational skills in literacy and math and intellectual growth which will help set them up for long-term success,” an Ontario government press release stated. “All students will soon benefit from evidence-based clear and direct instruction in literacy for the first time to build their vocabulary and instill a passion for reading and writing. New and mandatory learning will include the understanding of sound-letter relationships, developing phonics knowledge and using specific vocabulary.”
Minister Lecce explained how and where the current Kindergarten problem appeared to be lacking in the government’s eyes.
“In the Ontario Human Right’s commission’s report, they set out a problem. In our Kindergarten plan, we do not have those connections and links to literacy and math as updated in the new Grade 1 to 8 curriculum. They recommend an overhaul where we have more explicit, daily knowledge and learning with respect to reading and math.”
He noted these changes will help create “a much smoother transition for students entering Grade 1,” and aligns with the government’s focus on certain subjects in other elementary school grades.
“The updated curriculum is part of our plan to modernize the curriculum, to make sure students have the skills they need for success in life,” Minister Lecce added.