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Canadian Kindergarten vs UK Reception

(9 Posts)
oneofeach2010 Mon 22-Oct-12 20:52:52

We are potentially moving to Canada next year, and wondered if anyone can give me any advice regarding the above?

For example:
Is there any comparison?
Do private Canadian kindergartens go full time?
Does anyone have any experience of their child re-integrating into the UK primary school system?

I suppose my main concern is that when we move back to the UK in 2015 my DD will be a year behind? Is this a fair assumption?

crazyforbaby Mon 22-Oct-12 21:15:19

Hi there!
I brought my children out to Vancouver 4 years ago. We were shocked to find that our DD (who had learnt to read and write in Reception in UK) was too young to attend kindergarten and that we could not find childcare for her initially. When she did get into Kindergarten, it was all day, but that was because we paid through the nose at an Independent School. The teachers thought she was a genius cos she cld read and write, which did her self esteem good smile. Next year we plan to send our youngest to a bilingual Montessori preschool, which is going to be pricy, but I am hoping to get her into a French Immersion School (a state school) the following year, where up to 40% of her lessons will be taught through French until she reaches college age. Having French is a real plus here,with many employers offering better pay for bilinguals!
The other thing to think abt is that the school looks at the child's admision age from 1Jan - not Sep like they do at home.
I do find the kids are babied a bit more here; my eldest started High School last month and she was aged 13.
We haven't returned to the UK-children v settled here now (wish I was!) so cannot discuss reintegration back to UK.
Good luck with your decision making! grin

oneofeach2010 Mon 22-Oct-12 21:26:34

Thank you for your quick reply. We have lots to think/worry about.

Hopefully someone will have some info on the re-integration back to UK schools smile

slavetocat Tue 23-Oct-12 02:06:49

I Posted in the Primary section, but wanted to pick up on the assumption that your child will be behind UK children. International studies suggest that the Canadian system is better in many areas than the UK. Also, a friend of mine went back to the Uk with her two kids aged 15 and 12. She was convinced they were going to be behind, especially in Math. However, she found the opposite to be true and her kids are ahead of their peers. She is a Maths teacher and was very surprised at this. Therefore, I suspect that Canadian kids catch up pretty quickly! Check out the Alberta Program of Studies and you can see what is taught at each grade level.

HerRoyalNotness Tue 23-Oct-12 02:17:59

crazy how old was your dd?

My DS started Kindergarten this year, he is 5yo at public school. I had him in private preschool from 3 for 2 years. His day is 9am to 3.20 and he attends before and after school clubs. He is in English school with a French immersion program, 100% French until grade 3, then 50/50.

If you're coming to Quebec you will probably find the schools lower quality to the rest of Canada. When you read surveys of anything Canadian, QC is generally not included. There is a site here called the Fraser institute where you can check out the performance of schools in Canada. (only secondary for Quebec is in the site)

crazyforbaby Tue 23-Oct-12 05:16:50

Hi there smile
When we first moved here, my daughter was almost five. My youngest daughter is now three and goes to a public school preschool, which is excellent - much better than the fee-paying independent preschool that one of my other children went to. I really do not want to move her to a different school next year, but it is v v difficult to get your child onto French Immersion Elementary here in BC...<sigh> Overall, I have been happy with Canadian schools because of the smaller class sizes and the kids have enjoyed the education system because of the lack of homework and the daily PE!!! grin

Alligatorpie Tue 23-Oct-12 07:13:10

In BC kindergarten starts the year you turn five. So all children born in 2007 (Jan 1- Dec 31) started K in Sept 2012. You do have the option of holding your child back if they are a Dec baby so they would start the following year.

We do not teach children to read in Canada in K. That is done in grade 1. If you google BC PLO (prescribed learning outcomes ) you will find a list of what the govt. expects students to learn broken down by year. You can them compare this to what she would learn in the UK.

Each province has it's own ministry of education, so look at the province you are going to and do search for specifics.

Full day K was Implemented a few years ago in BC. School generally goes from 9-3, depending on district.

My dd is currently in grade 1 at a BC (Cdn ) international school ( where dh and I teach) and we do plan to switch to the British system at some point. Depending on her age, I will have an assessment done to see where she best fits in. It would be more difficult if she was going back to her old friends and was a year out through, but this may not be the case.

oneofeach2010 Tue 23-Oct-12 10:49:23

Thanks very much everyone, your advice has been very helpful.

For those people who live in/know Calgary, can you recommend any public kindergarten and pre-schools please?

slavetocat Tue 23-Oct-12 22:49:07

Kids tend to go the the school in their neighbourhood and they will have Kindergarten classes. Calgarians tend to think living in the NW or SW quadrants is more desirable. Some of the newer commmunities have over subscribed schools and older ones may have kids being bussed elsewhere. So check what the designated school is for the area. The Fraser Institute ranks the schools based on data from the Provincial Achievement Tests in Grade 3 and 6. It can give you some idea of the top performing schools. Results go along socio- economic lines though, same as in the UK. Pre school classes are generally privately run for a couple of hours each morning or afternoon and are not every day. They vary in program and facilities. Many do not have an outdoor area. So check them out carefully. There are lots of good schools and areas to choose from!

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