Grade 1: The Big Year

Welcome to Grade 1

Welcome to Grade One, a pivotal starting point of your child’s journey through elementary at Seneca Hill. This transformative Grade One year witnesses significant growth in our students as they transition from a Kindergarten program to a more structured learning environment. Our program is meticulously designed to offer abundant opportunities, support, and challenges that fortify students’ skills and confidence, laying a strong foundation for years to come.

Embarking on this empowering journey of self-discovery and academic growth with a focus on an executive functioning curriculum, students experience a critical shift that sets the stage for their future success. Our dedicated educators create an inclusive, nurturing, and engaging atmosphere, fostering an environment where students flourish and develop a lifelong passion for learning.

We invite you to discover what makes us one of the best elementary schools in North York!

Our Unique Grade 1 Program:

  • Small class sizes: With a maximum of 16 students per class, our educators can provide personalized attention and support to every child, ensuring their individual needs are met.
  • Project-Based Learning: Our curriculum is designed to ignite children’s curiosity and creativity through project-based learning experiences. These hands-on, collaborative projects encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and a deeper understanding of subject matter.
  • Integrated Approach: We embrace an interdisciplinary approach to teaching, integrating literacy, numeracy, science, social studies, and the arts to create a well-rounded educational experience where concepts and skills are reinforced in multiple ways.
  • Character Development: We place a strong emphasis on character education, fostering the development of empathy, kindness, mindfulness, and resilience. Our lessons in social and emotional learning help students build the skills necessary for thriving in a diverse and ever-changing world. We utilize the 7 Habits of Happy Kids (based on the book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) as a framework to help reflect on and build crucial skills.
  • Technology Integration: Our Grade 1 students are introduced to age-appropriate technology tools that enhance their learning experiences and help them develop essential digital literacy skills. This includes starting formal typing lessons in our Digital Literacy classes.
  • Strong Home-School Connection: We believe that a strong partnership between home and school is crucial for student success. Our online portal keeps families informed and engaged in their child’s learning journey through regular updates, resources, and opportunities for involvement.

Program Highlights

  • Reading and Writing Mastery: Our Grade 1 curriculum focuses on strengthening literacy skills, with an emphasis on phonics, comprehension, and fluency. Students engage in daily reading and writing activities that promote a love for literature and develop strong communication skills. We use a leveled-reader program that helps track progress and encourage future growth (we’ve had great success with this program!)
  • Building a Solid Math Foundation: Our numeracy program helps students to build on essential mathematical concepts, such as place value, addition, subtraction, measurement, and geometry. Through regular practice, focusing on mental math skills, hands-on activities and real-world applications, students develop confidence in their mathematical abilities.
  • Exploring Our World: Our social studies and science units encourage students to explore the world around them, delving into topics such as community, geography, weather, and living organisms. These engaging lessons promote curiosity, inquiry, and a respect for the natural world.
  • Expressing Creativity: The arts play a vital role in our Grade 1 curriculum, providing opportunities for students to express themselves through visual arts, music, dance, and drama. These experiences foster creativity, self-expression, and a deeper appreciation for the arts.
  • Celebrating Diversity: Our Grade 1 program embraces and celebrates the rich tapestry of cultures and perspectives within our learning community. Through lessons and activities, students develop an understanding and appreciation for diversity, promoting empathy and global awareness.


Come let your child embark on a journey of discovery and growth with the Grade 1 program at Seneca Hill. Together, we will nurture and inspire a love of learning that will carry our students through their educational journey and beyond.

Ontario Grade 1 Curriculum Summary

The Ontario Grade 1 curriculum is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in literacy, numeracy, and other essential skills. The curriculum is divided into several subject areas, each with specific expectations and goals. We’ve also added some additional courses (Digital Literacy, Life Skills, Engineering) that we feel are instrumental to provide our students with a well-rounded education.

Here’s a breakdown of each subject area:

  1. English Language: The Language curriculum focuses on developing students’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Students are taught phonics, comprehension strategies, and vocabulary development. They also engage in various forms of writing, including narrative, informational, and procedural texts. Oral communication skills are emphasized, with opportunities for students to express their ideas and respond to the ideas of others. Students build upon their reading skills through our leveled reader program, which includes analysis of texts and reading comprehension.
  2. Mathematics: The Mathematics curriculum is designed to help students develop a solid foundation in numeracy. Key concepts include number sense and numeration, measurement, geometry and spatial sense, patterning and algebra, and data management and probability. Students engage in problem-solving and critical thinking activities to build their understanding of mathematical concepts and their ability to apply these concepts in real-world situations.
  3. Science and Technology: The Science and Technology curriculum encourages students to explore the natural world through inquiry and hands-on experiences. Topics include understanding matter and energy, earth and space systems, structures and mechanisms, and life systems. Students learn to ask questions, make observations, conduct investigations, and communicate their findings.
  4. Social Studies: The Social Studies curriculum helps students develop an understanding of their place in the world and their relationship with others. It covers topics such as heritage and identity, people and environments, and the concept of citizenship. Students learn about local, national, and global communities, exploring the relationships between people and their environments.
  5. The Arts: The Arts curriculum encompasses visual arts, music, dance, and drama. Students are encouraged to express themselves creatively and develop an appreciation for various forms of artistic expression. They explore elements and principles of design, create and perform in various artistic disciplines, and develop critical thinking skills through the analysis and interpretation of various art forms.

6. Health and Physical Education: The Health and Physical Education curriculum focuses on developing students’ physical and emotional well-being. Students participate in various physical activities to develop their movement skills, understand the importance of healthy living, and learn how to make informed decisions about their personal well-being.

7. French as a Second Language (Core French): In French as a Second Language programs, students develop their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in French. They engage in various communicative activities and explore cultural aspects of the French-speaking world. A key focus here is to build interest in and utilize French for basic interactions, such as greetings, simple requests, introductions and more.

8. Life Skills: The Life Skills curriculum for Grade 1 students focuses on practical skills relevant to their daily lives. Students are introduced to basic financial concepts, such as earning, saving, and spending money. They also learn age-appropriate life skills like personal hygiene, self-care, time management, basic household chores, healthy eating habits, conflict resolution, culinary and teamwork.

9. Engineering: The Engineering course integrates math and science concepts, promoting hands-on learning experiences for Grade 1 students. Through engaging activities and projects, students apply their knowledge to design, build, and test various structures and mechanisms. The course emphasizes teamwork, problem-solving, and communication skills, as students work collaboratively on engineering challenges and present their projects to their peers. We emphasize utilizing the Engineering Design Process as a framework when building projects.

10. Digital Literacy: The Digital Literacy curriculum for Grade 1 students comprises four strands: a) Privacy and Security, teaching online safety and responsible digital citizenship; b) Health and Safety, promoting healthy habits and balance in technology use; c) Coding, introducing basic programming concepts and critical thinking skills; and d) Computer Productivity, focusing on essential computer tools, keyboarding skills, and multimedia presentations.


The Ontario Grade 1 curriculum is designed to provide a comprehensive education that nurtures the whole child, equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed for future success in school and life. It has been a cornerstone of our entire program, setting up students for success since 1988.

Contact us

We welcome families to get in touch with us and learn more about how our school can help unlock the potential in your child. We would be happy to arrange for a private tour to see our campus and facilities, arrange a call, or set up a video conference with our principal. To book an appointment please contact us at 416.499.8790 or [email protected].

Directions: We are located at Don Mills and Lawrence, adjacent to the Shops on Don Mills.
Address: 33 Overland Drive North York, Ontario M3C 2C3

Tel: 416.499.8790
Email: [email protected]