How to Prepare
As Kindergarten is a time of learning independence, it is a good chance to provide your child with items he or she can manage on their own. Children are proud of their accomplishments as they learn and grow – over the summer patiently help them on their road to independence and praise their efforts (even if it means messes and spills along the way).
- Help your child to become toilet-trained and to learn thorough hand-washing.
- Teach your child to be independent in dressing/undressing in outdoor clothing and in opening/closing their snack/lunch containers and eating lunch.
- Let your child know about all of the exciting activities they will be doing at school: walks in the nature garden, circle time with songs and stories, free play with blocks, cars, water play, drawing and crafts. They will also have the chance to make new friends and learn exciting new skills.
- Acknowledge your child’s feelings and reassure them that you will be back to pick them up in the afternoon.
- Trust the staff and communicate with them when your child is having difficulties.
- Be on time at the start and the end of the day. Children often feel uncomfortable when arriving late.
On the first day of school, give them a big hug … but then give them wings to fly.
What to Bring
- A big smile
- A full-sized backpack with enough room for your child’s lunch bag as well as library books, notes, and workcrafts from school (labelled on the inside with your child’s name).
- A nut-free, littlerless lunch as well as two healthy snacks. At Runnymede School we have “Boomerang lunches” where students return uneaten food back home, along with all containers and food packaging. Please use reusable containers where possible.
- A pair of indoor running shoes (labelled with your child’s name) that your child can put on and fasten by themselves. Your child will be assigned a place to leave their indoor shoes in the classroom. Running shoes are strongly recommended for outdoor shoes as crocs and sandals are not allowed on the playground climbers.
- A change of clothes (underwear, socks, pants, top, all pieces labelled) in a large zip-lock bag labelled with your child’s name on it.
Individual teachers will send home information in the first week of school regarding any other requested items (school supplies, etc.)
It is also very important that all of your child’s outdoor clothes, shoes and boots as well as food containers be labelled with their name.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What will my child do all day?
A. The kindergarten program is specifically designed to develop children’s skills and abilities through inquiry and play-based learning.
What does that mean? Well, your child may spend some time learning about balance and structure playing with blocks and then move on to an art centre where he / she will develop the fine motor skills needed for writing. Your child may go for a walk through our nature garden with their class, discussing the seasonal changes that they see. Back inside, your child may investigate floating and sinking objects at a water table and then play a shape sorting game before reading stories about this month’s unit – community helpers. Each week there will be wonderful new activities lead by your child’s teachers and planned with specific skill-development and learning outcomes in mind. To your child is may seem like play, but don’t be fooled. There is A LOT of learning going on in kindergarten.
A curriculum night will be scheduled in September where Teachers will introduce themselves, their classrooms and their specific programming to parents.
In the interim, you can find more information on Runnymede’s kindergarten programming AND Registration from the TDSB Runnymede school website.
Q. Will there be nap time?
A. The short answer is no, though there are quiet times during the day when students will be engaged in more relaxing activities. As your child gets used to the school environment, they will adjust to the daily routine.
Q. Will teachers remind my child to go to the washroom?
A. Yes. Children are encouraged to listen to their bodies and go to the bathroom when they need to but regular toileting and hand washing are certainly part of the kindergarten routine. That said children MUST be toilet trained before they go to kindergarten. No diapers or pull-ups are allowed. Moreover, children need to be independent in the washroom; teachers do NOT help in the washroom.
Though Teachers and ECEs will give reminders throughout the day, it is a good idea to make sure your child has a spare set of clean clothes at school in case of accidents.
Q. Is there a before and after school care at Runnymede?
A. Runnymede is pleased to share space with a 12 month on-site child care program. For more information about before and after school care, see the Runnymede Adventure Club website.
Q. Is there staggered entry for Kindergarten students during the first week of school?
A. No. Staggered entry stopped when Full-Day Kindergarten started in the TDSB. All students JK – Grade 8 will start school on the first day of school for Elementary students.