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 that will help set them up for long-term success.
All students will soon benefit from evidence-based clear and direct instruction in literacy for the first time to build their vocabulary and instil 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. For example, as children are constructing a house with building blocks and other materials, the educator would intentionally use new words to build student vocabulary.
“It’s critical that our youngest students develop core foundational skills earlier on in their lives,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “That is why we are introducing a new kindergarten curriculum that will help to lay the foundation for strong reading, writing and math skills from day one. Our government will continue to relentlessly advance back-to-basics education that restores the focus on academic achievement, common sense and excellence in literacy and STEM disciplines.”
New learning expectations are also being added to the kindergarten curriculum. In math, clear and direct instruction in foundational numeracy skills will be provided to all students in addition to daily opportunities to explore math concepts through regular classroom activities. All students will start to learn about fractions, coding and patterns earlier in their education. These new lessons will build foundational math concepts and skills that are the gateway to the disciplines of science, technology and engineering, as well as construction, skilled trades and architecture.
The changes and supports, which will be in place starting in September 2025, are the next step in Ontario’s plan to modernize the curriculum and ensure every student has the skills to succeed in the classroom and prepare them for whatever path they choose.