Elementary School in Canada

Understand the junior (or primary) school system for children aged six to 13...

Children start school in the elementary system. This normally starts at five years of age, with Kindergarten (K). However, Ontario offers a Junior Kindergarten (JK) programme for four to five year olds.

Government funding and the number of hours for Kindergarten vary from province to province. For example, Ontario and British Columbia now offer full-day Kindergarten programmes. Check with local schools and government education ministries as to what is offered in each province.

Entrance to mandatory education is normally six years of age but again, this varies slightly between provinces. Education is available in both English and French (if it is justifiable) in most regions across Canada. As Canada is a bilingual country, French language schools and French immersion programmes are available, however, some French schools may limit intake to children with at least one francophone parent.

Entrance to Grade 1 in elementary school is normally at 6 years of age. In most provinces elementary systems go from Grade 1 (6 years) to Grade 7 (13 years). In Quebec, children go to elementary school from pre-school (Kindergarten) to Grade 7. Some areas have junior high school for Grades 6 to 9 (age 11-13 years) also referred to as junior secondary, intermediate or middle level.