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School Spirit

Most children attend elementary school (or primary school) and then high school (or secondary school). Usually, children enter high school at about age 13 or 14. Some school systems have middle schools that children attend for two years before they enter high school.


Elementary school starts with Kindergarten at age four or five. The purpose of Kindergarten is to help young children become used to school. At age six, children attend Grade 1 and continue through to Grade 6 or 8 before they enter high school.

In most elementary schools, children have one classroom teacher for all general subjects. Other teachers may help for special subjects such as music or physical education.

About the school

When you look at schools, ask about the kinds of studies that they offer. Some high schools are academic, aimed at teaching children who plan to attend college or university. Other high schools teach trades such as carpentry, plumbing or auto repair. Many high schools offer both kinds of courses.

Students must complete high school if they wish to attend college or university.

Some families choose to educate their children at faith-based schools. In some provinces, children can receive a Catholic education within the public school system. There are many private schools where you can send your children for a faith-based education. Private schools require a fee.

To find out what faith-based schools operate in your community, contact your local school board.

There are many ways that you can help your child make friends and become familiar with the neighbourhood. You can go with your child to explore the places where he or she can play safely. You can also take your child to visit libraries, school playgrounds and recreation centres where other children play.

Get to know your neighbours so your child can see you making friends. Talk to your child about their new friends and learn the friends’ names. You may also want to allow your child to invite a friend to your home and make arrangements with the friend’s parents.