Monday, 13 June 2016

Full Day Kindergarten

In Toronto, Ontario it was a pleasure to make daily visits to Post's Corners Public School in the Oakville neighbourhood. This is a learning environment with beautiful facilities, a calm atmosphere, clean and tidy property, and a place where mothers and fathers walk their children to school and linger for chats at the gate with the teachers and each other.

We took particular note of the Junior school programme. The Full Day Kindergarten for 4 and 5 year olds would be the envy of New Entrant teachers in NZ. The class size is 15 -25 learners and has TWO trained teachers; one a fully qualified ECE teacher and the other a fully qualified primary school teacher. (NB: less than 15 learners and the teacher ratio reduces to one teacher).

Read what they have to say about it on the class site or a snippet below….

Here’s what you can expect:

Enhanced learning during the school day  
  • Teachers and early childhood educators will work together in the classroom to help young children learn and grow. This team approach will bring out the best in your child through activities and play, guided by a new full-day kindergarten curriculum.
A stronger foundation for learning
  • Research shows that early learning has long-term benefits for a child’s academic and social skills. A full day of learning early in life can help improve your child’s reading, writing and math skills later on. It also makes the transition to Grade 1 easier – for you and your child. Good for kids, good for parents, good for Ontario
  • Full-day kindergarten is an investment in our future. It’s part of the government’s plan to better prepare our kids by giving them the tools they need to succeed and build a stronger Ontario.

Read the government research published about Full Day Kindergartens.

My instinctive response was, “Imagine the progress we could make in our Manaiakalani schools if we were resourced like this!” And then remembered, well actually our MDTA classes do have two teachers and evidence to date has proven significant acceleration is possible.
See Michelle and Karen’s posts from 2014 and Steph from 2016 - all New Entrant teachers demonstrating the benefit of a powerful pedagogy and two teachers.

While exploring this concept online, I discovered that our experience of a school in a high decile neighbourhood was not necessarily the experience of all learners in this city.

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