Our curriculum for all age groups is planned to balance the need for structured as well as spontaneous learning opportunities. We have three distinct pre-school program options.
1) Nursery School is a morning-only learning enrichment program for children aged 30 to 44 months. Children are dropped off by their caregivers at 9:15 AM and are picked up at 11:30 AM. These children may attend for 2-3-4 or 5 days per week.
2) All Day Preschool & Part Day Preschool for children 2.5-3.8 years of age is actually a combination of the previously mentioned Nursery School Program and daycare. While Nursery school children attend only between the hours of 9:15-11:30 AM, their Pre-School friends continue on through lunch, rest time and afternoon activities. The Preschool program is designed for working parents who might need to drop their child off any time after 7:30 AM with a pickup at either 3:00 PM in the case of Part Day Preschool or as late as 6:00 PM in the case of All Day Preschool. Different fees apply in each program. See our fee schedule for further details.
A typical morning at nursery or an afternoon at pre-school daycare may consist of but not be limited to the following:
Children go outdoors daily in all types of weather. Children who attend morning only Nursery will usually go out for 30 minutes to an hour depending on weather conditions while children who are picked up later will go out again for an hour or more in the afternoon. Appropriate clothing to fit the weather conditions is a must.
Circle time consists of reading, storytelling, discussion, co-operative games, music and movement within a group setting and is primarily a teacher-led activity.
Free Play and Activity Centres
Each day after our snack or circle time, children can choose to visit one of several play/learning activity areas set up by our R.E.C.E. staff which allow each child to explore and develop according to his/her own interest level. Some play areas are less structured while others are purposely set up by staff to encourage specific learning concepts such as counting, sorting, literacy and fine motor skill to name a few. No matter what concepts we are trying to teach, we always try to do it in a really fun way with lots of positive encouragement thrown-in.
We spend countless hours observing children keeping notes on their interests and development. Based on these observations of interest and skill levels, program plans are drawn up for each two-week cycle. A pictorial and written record of children’s highlighted activities is kept throughout the year and shared with parents.
Music, Rhythm and Drama
A great way to have fun while reinforcing your child’s sense of rhythm and overall appreciation of music and dramatic arts.Activity songs utilizing elements of music and drama will help children to become better listeners and increase team building skills. The use of rhythm instruments will allow for greater enjoyment, participation, skill development and physical co-ordination.
We employ a music/drama specialist who teaches a variety of songs, rhythms and movements using the Kindermusik program. Please Google Kindermusik to obtain more information on this wonderful program. Other guest artists and staff may also visit to enhance the music and rhythm program throughout the year. Special events or mini-concerts utilizing our learned musical, movement and dramatic skills may be held at various times throughout the year.
Arts and Crafts
Hands-on projects using paints, brushes, crayons, markers, pastels, play dough, clay, paper, paste, glue and scissors help boost self-esteem while emphasizing process over finished product. Children gain and improve fine motor skill and increase their own power of imagination by using these implements on a regular basis to create unique art works. Most artwork will be sent home regularly while other pieces will be kept for display or archived in a binder to illustrate progress made during the school year.
We have added a weekly yoga session for both nursery school and preschool/Kindergarten daycare kids led by Mai Meret a veteran Early Childhood Educator with over 12 years of experience teaching child centered yoga classes. Great exercise for body mind and spirit- also loads of fun.
Finger plays, stories, puppets, costumes and props promote self expression and the use of verbal skills. Dramatic or fantasy play also enhances, imagination, opportunities for social interaction, problem solving and good old fashioned fun. Guest artists will visit to enrich dramatic activities.
Language Arts and Reading Readiness
Lots of reading in group and individual settings along with the playing of educational games in a relaxed environment will help children learn to express themselves. Associating word symbols with pictures of actual things or events and the creation of children’s own books and stories will enhance reading readiness and self-expression. Additionally, letter and number recognition activities are incorporated into many aspects of the curriculum at an age-appropriate level.
Science and Math
Children experiment with natural phenomena to gain and broaden their understanding of the world around them while learning to verbally express their experiences and newfound understanding. We will be experiencing magnification, magnets, temperature, biodegradability, oceans, jungles, forests, insects, farm animals and everyone’s favourite...dinosaurs. Number readiness will be enhanced through use of counting toys, sorting, shape discrimination and puzzles. Some of these activities will be set up deliberately while others will be incorporated into other daily activities.
Hands-on food preparation encourages children to widen their dietary choices, learn about the culture of others while consolidating fine motor skills and math concepts. Cooking is also a great sensory activity which we incorporate on a regular basis.
Adventure walks in the neighbourhood, running, hopping, jumping, tricycle riding, ball playing and the use of the preschool playground in fair weather will aid large muscle development. Additionally, daily fun movement and exercise programs will round out the program and visits from guest “lecturers” will broaden our knowledge of nutrition and body awareness.
Snack and Lunch Service
Snack time is daily ritual that allows children to relax and take a break from other activities while refueling for further play. Snack time as a group activity, teaches many socialization skills and allows children to reinforce concepts of sharing, using appropriate language for requests and teaches the art of pouring liquid. (OK, the pouring doesn’t always work out but it’s excellent practice for the future and keeps the makers of J-Cloths in business.) Water, milk, cereal, sliced fruit, vegetables, cheese and crackers yogurt and occasional special treats will be the usual light and nutritious fare. Please note that we are a nut-free centre. For more information about our catered Lunch and Snacks, see
our Fees page.
For children in our all-day pre-school program we have added a component of French language curriculum which includes a once or sometimes twice weekly class which aims to teach commonly used words and phrases as well as songs and stories in the French language. This is a terrific early grounding especially for those children who may enter French immersion or core French in later grades. Some fun homework also accompanies this program.
We have recently added regular phonics sessions as part of our weekly circles conducted in the later afternoon. We use well established methodologies to teach children how to recognize, sound out and combine letters. This is an excellent reading readiness program taught in a fun way. A little bit of simple homework goes with this program to help re-inforce concepts.
Anti-Bias Multicultural Programming
Multicultural programming is an important aspect of learning at JRRCC Nursery School. We aim to teach respect and tolerance of others and to promote a healthy awareness of the differences as well as the universal similarities among people of all genders, ability levels, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Our teachers research and implement programming and events that teach children in a practical, hands-on way about other cultures. This is done through pageants, parades, cooking activities, crafts, show and tell and many other creative methodologies throughout the year.
We do this by:
Junior and Senior Kindergarten: Since the implementation of Full Day Kindergarten (FDK) in September 2014, Kindergarten children requiring before and after school child care receive their care in one or more of the same rooms that are used for the full day kindergarten classes. In 2016-17 we will be housed in rooms 103 and 104.
The general curriculum outline for the Kindergarten age group is a protracted version of the Preschool one above. Each room used will have 1 staff and up to 13 children or 2 staff with up to 26 children per room depending on how many children are registered. The centre reserves the right to merge some of our FDK children with Preschoolers as we have done in the past should enrolment in one of our FDK rooms fall substantially short of children. For more information about FDK please read FAQ on our home page.
John Ross Robertson Child Centre
Dedicated to the Future