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JK-Grade 5

As children move through Junior Kindergarten to Grade 5, the emphasis is on building a foundation for lifelong learning and community service. Within the curriculum, strong emphasis is placed on teaching public speaking and presentation skills. Students from JK-5 are provided with opportunities to communicate to small and large groups of students and adults, in formal and informal settings. Most importantly, they speak about topics that motivate them to learn and they, in turn, inspire others with their enthusiasm.  Expectations for academic achievement are set high yet are balanced with a rich curriculum of competitive and recreational activities including athletics, music and drama, visual arts, and exciting excursions. Family-style hot lunches, supervised at each table by faculty members, are a time to learn table manners, share stories and meet children from other grades.


In Junior School, the Foundation Years Program focuses on inquiry, creativity, and collaboration. It sets the foundations of Global Leadership through cumulative challenges and interdisciplinary projects organized around six building blocks: Global Engagement, Leadership, Design and Build, Environmental Stewardship, The Arts, as well as Literacy and Languages.

In each grade, students undertake age-appropriate inquiry connecting their classroom lessons to outdoor education, whenever possible. The students identify and investigate an issue, generate questions, and explore the significance of their results. Students then communicate their ideas in a variety of ways with diverse audiences. Finally, students act by translating their ideas into appropriate actions to improve conditions based on what they have learned.

Global Leadership in Junior School culminates in the Grade 5 project – My Key Idea – where students take what they have learned through their research and prepare a public speech advocating for support on a topic of personal significance. Upon completion, they are ready to transition to the Middle School program.

Community Service

In the Junior School, community members and groups are invited into the classroom to inspire students to make connections between their interests, their passions, and the learning they are doing in class. Students participate in leadership roles in the school and focus on citizenship as well as social justice in the classroom.

Experiential Learning

In the Junior School, students in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 2 use the Reggio Emilia approach to inquiry into the world around them. Students in Grades 3-5 use inquiry cycles to delve deeper into topics. Methods of inquiry enable metacognition and creative problem solving to help our students become thinkers. 

The Junior School program is also enriched by the arts. Taught by specialist teachers, students from JK-5 participate in music concerts twice each year and drama productions.

With a strong emphasis on experiential learning, students participate in several curricular excursions throughout the year including: 

  • Farm trips
  • Science centres
  • Outdoor education excursions
  • Museum day trips
  • Sainte-Marie among the Hurons
  • Sugar Bush
  • Sudbury Rocks & Minerals excursion in Grade 5

Students in the Junior School participate in coding and robotics through the FIRST LEGO League (FLL). Working together in small groups, students design and build a LEGO model using a motor and simple machine. Junior School students also participate in environmental stewardship projects. Some of these inquiry projects include studying endangered species; composting with vermi-worms; taking responsibility for personal waste; and learning about trees, soil, and habitats.

Co-curricular Activities

The Co-curricular Program at Pickering College is a valuable and fundamental part of each student’s education, growth, and health. It contributes to school spirit, developing healthy, active lifestyles and a balanced program that exposes students to a range of activities they might not otherwise be willing to try.

Building a sense of teamwork and school spirit is an important learning opportunity that can be enhanced through appropriate competition. Therefore, the school is committed to building competitive athletic programs where students are provided with increasing levels of competition as they move through the Junior School to the Senior School in a way that supports their skill development, sense of teamwork and commitment to sportsmanship.
Expectations for academic achievement in Junior School are set high yet are balanced with a rich curriculum of competitive and recreational activities that could include:

  • Chess Club
  • Drama
  • Visual arts
  • Table Tennis Club
  • Reading Club
  • Robotics Club  
  • Junior School electives (Examples could include sewing, woodworking, radio, fencing, dance, culinary arts, filmmaking and curling)

Kindergarten Program

In our full-day Junior and Senior Kindergarten Program, your child will develop essential learning skills and will receive individualized attention. They will engage in interactive lessons in math, reading, writing, listening, speaking, science, technology, and health. As our program is Reggio Emilia inspired, students will also have many opportunities to explore and investigate, which will deepen their understanding and develop their ability to think critically and analytically. Kindergarten students also receive lessons from specialist teachers for visual arts, music, and French.

Kindergarten students begin each day at 8:30 a.m. in Morning Meeting where they will hear stories, listen to presentations by classmates and share thoughts on topics of interest. The day follows with a blend of engaging lessons, outdoor activities, guest speakers, and special school events. As in all grades, our family-style hot lunch, supervised by faculty members, is a time to learn table manners, learn why eating a healthy balanced meal is important, share stories and meet children from other grades.

Kindergarten students take part in a structured recreational program including swimming, skating, gymnastics, and a variety of sports and cooperative games. Creativity and artistic abilities within each child are also developed through programs covering vocal music, visual arts, and drama.

After Care Program

Pickering College helps to simplify life for busy families by offering the convenience of a daily After School Care Program for students in JK-Grade 6, after school clubs, CanSkate Program, and more.

After Care supervision is available daily until 4:00 p.m. at no charge for Junior School students. Any child in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6 picked up after 4:00 p.m. will be charged by the ½ hour at a predetermined rate. There will be no grace period. After Care closes at 6:00 p.m.  All charges for the After Care Program are billed to the student account.

After Care from dismissal to 4:00 p.m. will be supervised unstructured play time, in the playground areas. For inclement weather days, supervised unstructured indoor play time will be moved to the Dining Hall. 

Pickering College does not offer Before Care. Drop-off for Junior School students begins at 8:00 a.m.