The Ontario Curriculum

A guide to understanding your child's education

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Where can I find information about the Ontario Curriculum?

You can access the Ontario Curriculum documents as well as additional information such as Ministry policies online here, published by the Ontario Ministry of Education:

Frequently Asked Questions

Who creates the Ontario curriculum?

The Ministry of Education is responsible for the establishment, development and modification of the Ontario Curriculum. Teachers are responsible for educating students based on the Ontario Curriculum with their professional teaching style and outlook. The Ministry implements a revision cycle to certify that the curriculum stays up to date with current education.

How do I know what is expected of my child at the end of each grade?

The Ministry of Education organizes the Curriculum documents by subject and grade. Within the curriculum are overall and specific expectations which identify what the student should know and be able to do by the end of the grade.

What are the similarities and differences in the curriculum of the subjects taught?

Each subject document that you will find on the Ministry of Education website is efficient in the clarity of its presentation. For example, the Ontario Curriculum for Mathematics, Science & Technology, and Social Studies are similar in their structure where the goals, program, assessment and evaluation, expectations, and important vocabulary are identified.

The differences in the documents are simply the subject-defined knowledge and understanding, the use of critical, creative thinking skills and processes, the expression of ideas through oral, visual, and written forms, and the application of knowledge of material learned at each grade level.

Key Terms

Strand - expectations of a subject that are organized into separate categories. For example, in Social Studies, the two strands that students study are:
a) Heritage and Identity and,
b) People and Environments

Overall Expectation - highlights the knowledge and skills students are expected to understand and demonstrate by the end of each grade. For example, in Mathematics, students in grade 1 are expected to learn the material in the following five strands: Number Sense and Numeration, Measurement, Geometry and Spatial Sense, Patterning and Algebra, and Data Management and Probability.

Specific Expectation - describes the required expectations of students in detail that are subject specific. For example, in Mathematics, grade 1 students are expected to understand and demonstrate material learned in the strand Geometry such as identifying geometric properties, relationships, and location and movement.

Levels of Achievement - included in the assessment and evaluation of student achievement. Demonstrated as follows:
Level 1: represents achievement below provincial standard
Level 2: represents achievement that approaches provincial standard
Level 3: represents achievement that is the provincial standard
Level 4: represents achievement that exceeds provincial standard

Assessment and Evaluation - The process of assessing and evaluation students' work based on professional judgment. Teachers gather information from student work such as assignments, tests, and presentations and establish reports based on curriculum expectations and level of achievements. The assessment and evaluation are demonstrated in student report cards, and the information is collected from evidenced student work and observations. Teachers are responsible for acknowledging individual needs and ensuring they design lesson plans that target and integrate all learning styles in order to effectively have students improve and succeed.

Fundamental Concepts - important concepts in a subject that provide a structure for further progression of a subject. For example, in Science and Technology, students will cover the fundamental concepts of matter, energy, systems and interactions, structure and function, sustainability and stewardship, and change and continuity that are taught from grade 1 to grade 12. The key is for students to acquire knowledge, and deepen their understanding of these concepts as they progress into their educational career. Every subject document includes fundamental concepts.

Check this out!

An informational video to extend your knowledge about the Ontario Curriculum.

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