Junior Kindergarten

Junior kindergarten is the start of a bright future at WPGA. Our teachers build joyful classroom connections, incorporating community and character into thematic units purposely designed for the 4-year-old mind.

Program Philosophy

Rooted in our school’s mission, Shaping Lives of Inquiry, Action and Joy, WPGA’s signature inquiry-based junior kindergarten program aims to inspire in children a lifelong love of learning. Through guided inquiry and experiential activities, many of which take place outdoors, children develop a strong foundation in literacy, numeracy, motor skills and creative expression. Music, art, French, science and social studies are woven into every day’s schedule, with a PE block daily and Spanish or Mandarin alternated weekly. Students are active each day and spend a lot of time in nature.  

AREAS OF FOCUS   
 
Literacy and Numeracy
  • A literacy-rich environment fosters reading engagement and vocabulary development; multiple interactions with text each day explore relationships between letters, sound, structure and grammar.  
  • The use of natural elements, with connections between shape, form, quantity and quality, facilitate an understanding of abstract math concepts.
  • Technology is used as a tool, where appropriate, to enhance learning. 
Character Development
  • Teachers, trained in attachment theory, develop connections with each student to support children’s social-emotional wellbeing and decision-making capabilities.
  • Children are guided to naturally converse with peers, which sets the stage for friendship and collaboration. 
  • The school’s values of inclusiveness and mindfulness are integrated to encourage kindness to self and others. 
Community/Global Connections
  • Language lessons (French, Spanish, Mandarin) include interactive activities that relate to different cultures around the globe.  
  • Children are part of the school community, with older student "buddies," regular visits to the school library, and participation in school events, concerts and assemblies.
  • Service and sustainability are emphasized, with opportunities to contribute to our school and global communities and the environment.

A Typical Day in JK

The full-day program is designed to align with children’s natural rhythms and maximize their learning and development. Although no two days in JK are the same, below is an example of a day in the life of JK.  
 
8:30am-9am:
Flexible drop-off  
9am:
Review the day’s schedule and the big idea/concept of the day 
Morning:
Explore the inquiry topic of the day, alternating between whole class, small group and individual instruction
Sample activities:
- Exploring English phonetics and alphabet code through movement, song, role-playing, stories and art. *inspired by the work of educator Nancy Young
- Exploring numeracy through cooking and baking activities (learning to count, measure, follow direction)
- Exploring ecology and science and developing gross motor skills while in nature (beach, meadow, woods, garden)
- PE follows morning inquiry. Rest/recharge is scheduled before lunch 
Lunch:
Lunch (provided by family). Lunches and snacks must be nut free. Snack time is open throughout the day.
Early Afternoon:
Outdoor activities, e.g. planting in the JK garden
End of Day Activity:
Storytime or singing
Pick-up:
2:30pm-3pm

Program Features

  • Full day program (8:30am-3pm, with flexible drop-off until 9am and pick-up to 3pm). 
  • Three teachers for one class of 25 students (8:1 student teacher ratio).
  • Early Childhood Education Centre features two spacious classrooms, art and science stations, a comfortable quiet room, parent room, kitchen, large outdoor garden and nature discovery area.
  • Specialists teach Mandarin, Spanish and PE.   
  • Guest presenters and field trips related to curriculum. Weekly walking excursions to Jericho Beach and other nearby outdoor spaces.   
  • Parent involvement is encouraged, with parent-teacher conferences, student sharing sessions, parent education workshops and grade socials throughout the year.