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Elementary and High Schools in Canada


The elementary and high school systems in Canada, also referred to as primary and secondary education, provides foundational education for students typically ranging from kindergarten to grade 8 for elementary education and grade 9 to grade 12 for secondary education, depending on the province or territory. Here are some key aspects of the elementary and secondary school systems in Canada:

Structure and Grade Levels: The structure of the elementary school system may vary slightly between provinces and territories, but it typically includes two main stages:

Primary Education: This stage typically includes kindergarten (K) and grades 1 to 3 or 4, depending on the province. Students in primary education focus on developing fundamental skills in subjects like language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

Junior Education: After primary education, students enter junior education, encompassing grades 4 to 8 or 9. During this stage, students continue to build upon their foundational knowledge and skills while exploring a broader range of subjects.

Transition to Secondary Education: At the end of the elementary school years, students transition to secondary education, which typically begins with grade 9 or 10, depending on the province. Secondary education continues through to grade 12 and culminates in high school graduation.


Secondary Education: After Junior education or transition period, students enter high schools. Students in high schools may choose some of their favourite subjects to study, both in academic and vocational. Some schools offer International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) programs to students.

Curriculum: The elementary school curriculum in Canada emphasizes a well-rounded education. Students study core subjects, including English or French (depending on the province), mathematics, science, social studies, and physical education. In some provinces, students are also exposed to art, music, and health education.

Bilingual Education: In many provinces, students have the option to receive their education in either English or French, reflecting Canada's bilingual nature. French immersion programs are available in several regions, allowing students to become proficient in both languages.

Special Education: Canadian elementary schools are committed to inclusive education, accommodating students with diverse learning needs. Special education programs and support services are available to ensure that all students receive an education tailored to their abilities and needs.

Assessment and Evaluation: Elementary schools in Canada employ various assessment and evaluation methods, including regular quizzes, tests, projects, and teacher observations. Report cards are issued to parents or guardians to track students' progress and provide feedback on their performance.

Extracurricular Activities: Elementary schools often offer a range of extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, music, and arts programs. These activities provide students with opportunities to explore their interests and develop social and teamwork skills.

Safety and Inclusivity: Canadian elementary schools prioritize creating safe and inclusive learning environments where diversity is celebrated. Anti-bullying initiatives and support for students' social and emotional well-being are common.

Parental Involvement: Canadian elementary schools encourage parental involvement in their children's education. Parents are often invited to participate in school activities, parent-teacher conferences, and school committees.

Provincial Variations: It's important to note that education in Canada is provincially regulated. Therefore, while there are similarities in the elementary school system across the country, there can be variations in curriculum, policies, and regulations from one province or territory to another.

Overall, the elementary school system in Canada focuses on providing students with a strong educational foundation, fostering a love for learning, and preparing them for future academic pursuits in secondary education. Below are some of the websites of school boards or independent school organizations in major cities.




Calgary Catholic Schools

Calgary Public Schools

Edmonton Catholic Schools

Edmonton Public Schools


British Columbia


Catholic Independent Schools Of British Columbia

Coquitlam Public Schools
Independent Schools

Richmond Public Schools

Vancouver Catholic Schools

Vancouver Public Schools




Peel Region Catholic Schools (Mississauga and Brampton)

Peel Region Public Schools (Mississauga and Brampton)

Toronto Catholic Schools

Toronto Public Schools

York Region Catholic Schools (Markham, Vaughan and Richmond Hill)

York Region Public Schools (Markham, Vaughan and Richmond Hill)


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