Early childhood is a significant period in human development. Independence, initiative, decision making, creativity, the ability to learn, the ability to relate to others and feelings of self-worth all have their beginnings in early childhood. What young children learn at this stage will have a major impact on their successful learning experiences in school, on their personal development and on their future participation in society.
The term primary grades describes the Kindergarten to Grade 3 years in elementary school; it is not a separate or additional curriculum. During this phase of schooling, children experience rapid growth and development. They arrive in school from diverse backgrounds and with a variety of experiences and make the significant transition from the home to the school environment. During this period, the task of formalizing students’ learning experiences begins as the foundation is laid for later learning. Students’ early experiences in school help form their identities as learners.
A key purpose of the primary grades is to help students develop a solid base of literacy, numeracy and social skills that will provide a foundation for later success. The outcomes in the provincial programs of study are intended to engage students in rich learning experiences in which they develop understandings that both relate to and make connections across specific subject areas.