Ontario Curriculum Documents

Information Tool for all

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How to access Ministry Curriculum Documents

All Curriculum documents are online and are accessible to all (parents, students, teachers, principles etc.).
Located at: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/grade1.html
You can find curriculum documents ranging from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Within these documents you will find all subject areas in which are taught in the curriculum.

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How these documents get made and who makes them

In Canada, each Province and Territory has its own Curriculum. As stated on the Ministry of education website, the provincial government is responsible for the development of the education policy. Along with the assistance from alternate sources,

  • "The Minister/Ministry of Education develops the curriculum, sets curriculum policy and defines what teachers are required to teach and students are expected to learn in each grade and subject."
The Minister/Ministry of Education also establishes a province wide curriculum in which all teachers follow and use as a guide to teach.

How the Ministry Documents are organized

When going through each of the documents [i.e. Social Studies (Grades 1-6) History and Geography (grades 7-8) - Language (Grades 1-8) - Health and Physical Education (Grades 1-8)] they are organized very similarly. Each document has a table of contents which consists of:

  • Introduction
  • The Program
  • Assessment and Evaluation of Student Achievement
  • Some Considerations for Program Planning (within each subject)
  • Overview (of each grade)
  • Appendices
  • Glossary

Foundational Vocabulary


  • Expectations: knowledge and skills expected to develop

    • Overall Expectations: knowledge and skills expected to develop by the end of each grade

    • Specific Expectations: specific knowledge and skills in greater detail

  • Comprehension: understanding and drawing meaning from spoken, written and visual communications

  • Strand: four major areas within each Curriculum document

i.e. language: oral communication, reading, writing, media literacy
(Language doc, p. 151)

Social Studies, History and Geography:

  • Premier: Head of Provincial/Territorial government in Canada
  • Prime Minister: Head of the Government
(Social Studies, History and Geography doc, p. 199)

Health and Physical Education:

  • Self Concept: Self perceptions of ones self
  • Physical Fitness: Mental and physical abilities to perform physical tasks with a positive attitude so as to improve health and establish confidence in daily activities
  • Mental Health: Mental health is the state of balance, emotions and behaviour in ones-self

(Health and Physical Education doc, p. 227)

How student learning in Ontario is assessed and evaluated

All Curriculum documents are very similar in how students learning is assessed and evaluated.
Some of the methods are as followed:

  • Assignments
  • Day to day observations
  • Conversations or conferences
  • Demonstrations
  • Projects
  • Performances
  • Tests

In addition, each curriculum document uses the Achievement Chart. This chart consists of four board areas of knowledge and skills:

  • Knowledge and Understanding
  • Thinking
  • Communication
  • Application

Each area lists the expectations for the particular subject:

  • age appropriate (knowledge), comprehension and significance (understanding)
  • critical and/or creative thinking skills and/or processes

  • conveying meaning using knowledge and skills to make connections within/between various contexts

(Language doc, p. 17, 18)

How teachers’ understanding of student learning is expected to be communicated

Some of the ways in which teachers' understanding is excepted to be communicated is through a variety of methods. Some of the methods consist of descriptive feedback through:

  • Achievement chart guidelines
  • Report cards
  • Parent teacher conferences
  • Communication with principle/community partners

Through these methods, teachers are able to indicate where a student is at in their academics. Report cards allow them to narrow in on where students are excelling and where they may be having difficulty while also allowing them to list a set of goals and strategies that will help set the student up for success. In addition, parent teacher conferences allow the teacher to effectively communicate with parents face-to-face in a private space.

All these strategies will help be effective in ensuring the students success!

How overall expectations, fundamental concepts and specific expectations should drive lesson design

Within each of the Curriculum documents, there are clear outlines of what overall expectations the Ministry expects students and teachers to meet. These specific expectations and fundamental concepts outline "expectations for each grade and describes the knowledge and skills that students are expected to acquire, demonstrate, and apply in their class work and activities, on tests, in demonstrations, and in various other activities on which their achievement is assessed and evaluated." (Social Studies, History and Geography doc, p. 18). As a result, it is the teachers responsibility to ensure and drive lesson designing around various teaching strategies and methods in order to meet the ministries expectations and ensure students success.

In addition, teachers can use cross-curricular learning which can be implemented to "provide students with opportunities to learn and use related content and/or skills in two or more subjects.” (Language doc, p. 17, 18). Assisting the teacher and the student to meet these specific expectations and requirements.

How curriculum documents expect teachers to design instruction so that it meets the needs of every learner

It is the responsibility of the teacher to design instructions so that it meets the need of every learner in the classroom. The teacher’s role is to help the student gain an understanding of the curriculum and to cover the required expectations. In order to do this, not only do they need to present curriculum material through various teaching strategies, they also have to create “a fostering, and sustain a learning environment that is healthy, caring, safe, inclusive and accepting.” (Social Studies, History and Geography doc, p. 3). A learning environment of this kind will support the students cognitively, socially, emotionally, physically and mentally. All these factors have been known as the “determinants of health”. They can impact a students learning, thus making it important for educators to have an understanding and awareness of a students development, as well, these four areas of development:

  • Cognitive
  • Emotional
  • Social
  • Physical

(Social Studies, History and Geography doc, p. 3)

As an educator being aware of all these key components will allow instructions to be designed to meet all learners needs and will ensure success within the classroom. Teachers will have to provide an enriched environment with a variety of methods (visuals, group work, educational tools etc.) to meet the student's individual needs and set them up for success!

Meeting the needs of every learner!


The information listed within this site has been obtained through these sources: