Ontario Curriculum

All publicly funded schools in Ontario are required to use The Ontario Curriculum which outlines the curriculum requirements and specific learning expectations throughout each of the elementary and secondary school years. 

Teachers use these documents to develop lessons to encourage and support student success in attaining specific curriculum learning outcomes.  The curriculum is organized by indicating overall expectations as well as stating very specific learning expectations. In addition, numerous examples or samples are provided to assist students, parents and educators understand the focus of the learning.

Professional development for educators is mandatory and strongly supported, and teachers have on-going access to new teaching resources and the latest pedagogical research. 

Elementary Curriculum

The Ontario Curriculum for elementary students has specific curriculum documents for the following areas:

  • The Arts
  • French As a Second Language
  • Health and Physical Education
  • The Kindergarten Program
  • Language
  • Mathematics
  • Native Languages
  • Science and Technology
  • Social Studies

Example learning expectation:

Here is an example of a specific learning expectation in Language (Reading) for Grade 5:

“By the end of Grade 5, students will: analyse texts and explain how various elements in them contribute to meaning (e.g., narrative: character development, plot development, mood, theme; report: introduction, body, conclusion)”

Secondary Curriculum

The Ontario Curriculum for secondary students has designated curriculum documents for the following areas:

  • The Arts
  • Business Studies 
  • Canadian and World Studies
  • Classical Studies and International Languages
  • Computer Studies
  • English
  • French
  • Guidance and Career Education
  • Health and Physical Education
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Native Studies
  • Science
  • Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Technological Education

Example learning expectation:

Here is an example of a specific learning expectation for a Grade 11 Mathematics course (Functions MCR3U):

“By the end of this course students will: determine, through investigation, how sinusoidal functions can be used to model periodic phenomena that do not involve angles 

Sample problem: Investigate, using graphing technology in degree mode, and explain how the function h(t) = 5sin(30(t + 3)) approximately models the relationship between the height and the time of day for a tide with an amplitude of 5 m, if high tide is at midnight.”

Need more information on The Ontario Curriculum?

Elementary

Secondary

French as a Second Language (FSL) in English Language Schools

Because Canada is officially bilingual in French and English, both languages are taught in Ontario to all students.  The study of French as a Second Language (FSL) helps students to 

  • understand Canada’s history
  • appreciate the influence of French culture 
  • develop literacy skills
  • increase opportunities in a globalized society and economy

All publicly funded English language schools teach FSL. There specific requirements by the Ontario Ministry of Education are that all

  • elementary students study FSL from Grade 4 to Grade 8
  • secondary students complete at least ONE FSL credit in order to graduate with an Ontarion Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

These requirements apply to all students, including those with special needs and to English Language learners. 

Different FSL programs are available in various school boards across depending on local interest and demand and upon availability of resources.  Contact individual school boards to inquire about the availability of the various FSL programs: www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/sbinfo/boardList.html

 There are three main types of FSL programs:

  Elementary Secondary

Core French

Students Learn French as a subject

600 hours of French Language Instruction by the end of Grade 8 Applied, Open, and Academic courses are offered in Grades 9 and 10;
Open and University Credits are available in Grades 11 and 12

Extended French

Students learn French as a subject,
and French is the language of instruction in one other subject area

25% of all classroom insturction is conducted in French Students obtain seven (7) credits in French language instruction,
where four courses are FSL and three (3) courses in other subjects in which the language of instructions is
French Courses are availabe at the Acedemic level in Grades 9 and 10,
and at the University Preparation level in Grades 11 and 12.

French Immersion

Students learn French as a language,
and French is the language of instruction in two or more other subject areas

50% of classroom instruction is in French Students obtain ten (10) credints in French language instruction,
where four (4) courses are FSL and six (6) courses in other subjects in which the language of instuction is
French. Cources are available at the Applied and Academic level in Grades 9 and 10,
and at the Open and University Preparation levels in Grade 11 and 12.

* Chart adapted from Ontario Ministry of Education website

Need more information about FSL in Ontario?

French as a Second Language

A Framework for French as a Second Language in Ontario Schools, Kindergarten to Grade 12

To learn about FSL programs in specific school boards, go to: www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/sbinfo/boardList.html