Welcome to Primary
What is Primary?
The Primary year is a time for children to wonder, to explore and to develop a love of learning with new friends.
It's also a time of tremendous growth. You will see your child blossom into a reader, a writer and a problem-solver! If your child is in the French Immersion program, they will be speaking French themselves.
The curricula is the same for both the English and French Immersion programs. Only the language of instruction is different. Primary is designed to encourage discovery through a child's natural desire to play.
We know your child is coming to school with an abundance of knowledge, interests and unique life experiences.
The role of the classroom teacher is to get to know your child academically, socially, emotionally and culturally so they can best support their learning styles in a way that is meaningful and engaging.
If there's something you feel the teacher needs to know about your child, don't hesitate to reach out! They are partners in your child's learning from now until they graduate.
Learning Through Play
Play-based learning encourages children to show their learning in a variety of ways:
- writing, painting, building, creating
- exploring things and asking questions
- drawing pictures or painting numbers, letters or words
- engaging in storytelling
- using technology to record and communicate
- expressing themselves through music and movement
A Focus on Mathematics
Your child will enter Primary with many experiences connected to mathematics. Counting, recognizing and seeing numbers in their environment will help your child see the importance of math. While in school, your child will learn math in a social, hands-on and collaborative way.
Your child will begin to:
- use mathematic vocabulary
- recognize numbers from 1-10
- rote count (sing-song counting to 20)
- see numbers in two parts
A Focus on Literacy
Children first use listening and speaking to learn about language, and then begin to explore reading and writing. When children are first learning to read and write, it is important to talk about the ideas they are reading about as this will help deepen their understanding.
In Grade Primary, your child will begin to:
- share their thoughts and feelings of their daily lives in school
- notice letters on signs and use those in their writing
- match written words to spoken words
- see relationships between sounds and letters
- experiment with writing - labelling drawings and writing groups of random letters and then eventually write real words
- wonder aloud, question and use new vocabulary.
How can we support your child?
HRCE's Student Services team is a network of interconnected resources dedicated to supporting students, families and staff as we work together to maximize student success.
Learn more about Student Services here.
Each child brings unique abilities, needs and experiences to learning. Every child can grow as a learner.
Here are some ways to help your child grow:
- Spend time doing everyday activities - actively talk, play and listen together.
- Read! Read often. Read aloud. Read a variety of books, including wordless picture books, dual-language and first-language books.
- Play games! Games are to math as books are to reading. Play games that ask children to count, such as Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders. Play games with cards, such as Go Fish. Play games with dice or dominoes and count the dots.
- Count, count, count! Count the number of rocks collected or the number of strawberries for a snack.
- Share in everyday activities such as setting the table, preparing meals and grocery shopping.
- Ask open-ended questions about stories that will encourage conversation and connections to your child’s life experiences.
- Talk about the messages and ideas that they are writing, drawing and creating.
- Read books about starting school
- Make time to talk positively about going to school
- Visit the school's playground
- Start school routines weeks before school begins (regular bed times and wake times)
- Provide opportunities for creative play such as puppetry, painting and drama
- Point out and talk about numbers and letters in your home and community
- Provide opportunities for your child to independently dress themselves by buttoning buttons, zipping zippers, and putting shoes on the right feet.
- Celebrate your child’s growing independence