Canadian Education

Canada ranked fourth for  "The Best Countries for Education in 2021". The selection criteria was based on the national public education system, the quality of education and the level of colleges and universities.

 

Canadian education system 

Each province in Canada has a slightly different elementary and secondary education system. We have summarized each and every level of education currently offered in Canada. 

  

Preschool education 

  1. Children aged 4-5 can go to kindergarten for free in public elementary schools to prepare for formal entry into elementary schools. 

  2. Canadian preschool education also includes a wide range of music, art, science courses, as well as extracurricular activities. The kindergarten will often invite dentists, animal trainers, painters, and other professionals into the classroom to communicate face-to-face with the children, and will often organize field trips to the beach, forest, supermarket, farm, and similar locations so as to get close to the natural scenery.

 

Primary education 

  1. The Canadian education design is: the younger the child, the more important it is for them to get physical training, cultivate interests and take art courses. As the age of children increases, the proportion of knowledge-based and practical courses also increases. 

  2. Therefore, at the elementary level, a large number of sports and art courses are arranged for students. At the same time, courses related to daily life and basic abilities are also incorporated, such as computer courses, needlework courses, listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Taking Ontario as an example, we have listed some common courses for everyone: 

    1. Arts

    2. French as a second language

    3. Health and Physical Education

    4. Languages

    5. Mathematics

    6. Music

    7. Native Languages

    8.  Science

    9. Social Studies  

  

  1. Children usually leave school at three o'clock. Children at this stage hardly have much homework and seldom take exams. They are motivated to learn more about how to perceive the world, and to train their hands-on skills, speech skills, and the ability to collect and organize information. Teachers will often lead children to various history museums and natural museums, or participate in sports such as skating and swimming, or other physical activities, so that children have the most intuitive experience of history, culture, art and nature. 

  2. Some parents are worried that this kind of education is too relaxed and they can't learn anything? In fact, the knowledge learned from observation, life, games and practice is often easier to absorb and master than knowledge instilled in the classroom. 

 

Secondary education 

  1. Different from the enlightened and exploratory education at the elementary level, practical and knowledge-based classwork significantly increases in Canadian secondary schools. The middle school stage is mainly to cultivate students' critical thinking, find problems, analyze problems, as well as independent survival ability and teamwork ability. 

  2. In the middle school education system, there is a lot of verbal and written communication skills training. Students have to design and complete a large number of projects, so as to exercise students' project management and speech abilities. 

  3. Since Canada does not have a unified national college entrance examination system, going to university is determined solely by the usual academic performance and personal abilities. Therefore, students do not have a lot of test pressure, and basically grow up in a relatively relaxed and voluntary learning environment. Students' personality and creativity can be more fully developed. 

 

 

Kindergarten 

Elementary School 

Junior High School 

High School 

Alberta 

(AB) 

5 years old 

6-12 years old 

Grade 1-6 

12-15 years old 

Grades 7-9 

15-18 years old 

Grades 10-12 

Columbia  

(BC) 

5 years old 

6-12 years old 

Grade 1-6 

12-15 years old 

Grades 7-9 

15-18 years old 

Grades 10-12 

Manitoba 

(MB) 

Early education 

 

5-10 years old 

Kindergarten-Grade 4 

 

Mid-term education 

 

10-14 years old 

Grades 5-8 

Senior education 

 

15-18 years old 

Grades 10-12 

Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) 

5 years old 

6-12 years old 

Grade 1-6 

12-15 years old 

Grades 7-9 

15-18 years old 

Grades 10-12 

Prince Edward Island 

(PE) 

5 years old 

6-12 years old 

Grade 1-6 

12-15 years old 

Grades 7-9 

15-18 years old 

Grades 10-12 

New Brunswick 

(NB) 

5 years old 

6-12 years old 

Grade 1-6 

12-15 years old 

Grades 7-9 

15-18 years old 

Grades 10-12 

North-west region 

(NT) 

5 years old 

6-12 years old 

Grade 1-6 

12-15 years old 

Grades 7-9 

15-18 years old 

Grades 10-12 

Nunavut Region 

(NU) 

5 years old 

6-12 years old 

Grade 1-6 

12-15 years old 

Grades 7-9 

15-18 years old 

Grades 10-12 

Nova Scotia 

(NS) 

5-12 years old 

Kindergarten (Grade Primary)-Grade 6 

 

 

12-15 years old 

Grades 7-9 

15-18 years old 

Grades 10-12 

Ontario 

(ON) 

4 years 

6-14 years old 

Grades 1-8 

14-18 years old 

Grades 9-12 

Saskatchewan 

(SK) 

5 years old 

6-14 years old 

Grades 1-8 

14-18

Grades 9-12 

Yukon Territory 

(YK) 

4 years and 8 months 

6-13 years old 

Grades 1-7 

13-18 years old 

Grades 8-12 

Quebec  

(QC) 

4/5 years old 

6-12 years old 

Grade 1-6 

12-14 years old 

Grades 7-8 

14-17 years old 

Grades 9-11 

 

Should parents choose private or public schools? ? 

In order to better answer this question, we first compare Canadian public schools with private schools. 

 

 

Public School 

Private School 

Student Source 

  1. Student living nearby

  2. No exams, no family background required. 

  1. Regardless of school district 

  2. Students basically come from high-income families. 

Entry Requirements 

  1. As long as it is in the school district, the school must admit students unconditionally. 

  1. Generally requires an interview or exam 

  2. Some private schools will also interview parents 

Tuition 

  1. Free for children of citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents who hold study or work permits               

  1. The tuition fee for a year is around 10,000-50,000 Canadian dollars 

  2. The sponsorship fees of private schools are also quite high

Education resources 

  1. Comparing public schools and private schools from the four aspects of teacher-student ratio, annual teaching time, the average number of computers each student has, and the proportion of teachers with a bachelor degree, there is no big difference in numbers between the two. 

Class size 

  1. Lower than 5th grade: about 22 people 

  2. Above grade 5: about 32 people               

  1. Small class teaching, about 15 people 

Curriculum 

Ordinary Teaching Course 

  1. Some public schools will provide ESL language courses, IB (International Baccalaureate) courses or AP (Advanced Placement) courses 

  1. Include all courses in public schools 

  2. In addition, there are more resources for extracurricular activities, which can provide a variety of extracurricular activities and competitions, and students have more opportunities to exercise and practice. 

Basic education 

  1. Parents often complain that the learning materials are way too easy. 

  1. All subject designs exceed the requirements listed in the provincial syllabus. 

Management method 

  1. Public schools generally have two semesters a year, and students usually leave school at 3:10 pm. 

  1. Many private schools will arrange for students to leave school at 4:00PM. For private schools, the way of managing students is more flexible. Many private schools can have 3 semesters according to their own circumstances. 

Learning Environment

  1. The learning environment is relatively relaxed. 

  2. A good public school not only has a good style of study, but also has excellent learning programs to help students with different specialties develop their strengths, such as art classes, business classes, trade classes, computer classes, media classes, and so on. 

  1. The learning atmosphere in private schools is stronger, competition is more intense, and the overall level of students is higher, so the progress of each subject will be accelerated. 

Graduation goal 

  1. The responsibility of a public school is compulsory education. It will not affect enrollment and funding because of students’ performance. It can insist on putting the overall development of students first. 

  2. Most public school graduates go to Canadian universities or colleges. 

  1. Many students in private schools have the goal of enrolling in American universities. 

  2. Their parents have the ability to send their children to American universities, so by the 11th grade, supplementing the SAT has become an indispensable part. 

 

How to choose between a public school and a private school? 

  1. If the family’s economic condition is sound and if parents want their children to follow a particular curriculum that they appreciate and approve of, they can choose a private school. 

  1. If your child has special talents and talent needs , and the public school cannot meet your requirements, you can also choose the corresponding private school 

  2. If your child needs assistance in self-discipline, I believe that a private school will be a good choice. 

  3. In addition, I suggest you choose the optional top-ranked public schools. After all, as a taxpayer in Canada, your child is eligible for free, high-quality education in Canada. Moreover, public schools are closer to our real society, and it will be more beneficial for the children of new immigrants to make new friends and integrate into society. 



Written by Xueran HAN
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC)