Pre Primary Lead Facilitator
Gillian Kiely
Phone: 902-521-3203


The SSRCE is pleased to be introducing the provincial Pre-Primary Program into nine additional schools in September 2018.  This marks the second phase of roll outs across the province.

The Pre-Primary Program is a play-based program for four-year-old children taught by trained Early Childhood Educators (ECEs).  ECEs will use the Nova Scotia Early Learning Curriculum Framework and Educators Guide to deliver the program.  This is a developmentally appropriate and approved curriculum model used in an early learning environment.

Children will be engaging in exciting and stimulating learning environments that are child-centered and led by their interests. Educators will create inviting indoor and outdoor environments and materials that encourage curiosity, discovery and wonder.  The Program’s philosophy is committed to inclusive practices that promote family, diversity and community involvement. The learning environments in Pre-Primary practice caring and responsive approaches for empowering children in developing their abilities and skills through developmentally appropriate activities and expectations.

Eligible children for this program must be living in the school’s catchment area and be four years old by December 31, 2018. Children are required to bring their own lunches, however, two snacks per day will be provided. Children can attend for one year only. This is a voluntary program. To register your child, please use the school registration form. You will need proof of address as well as your child’s birth certificate.

The following information has been provided by the Department of Education & Early Childhood Development. For more information visit their website at

What is pre-primary?

  • A play-based program that supports young children’s development.
  • A program that lays the foundation for school success and lifelong learning.
  • Voluntary — children do not have to go to pre-primary before going to primary.
  • An early learning opportunity that welcomes the child and family into the school community.
  • An environment that is inclusive and respectful of diversity.

Who is it for?

  • For children who will attend the school where the pre-primary is located.
  • For children who will be at least four years old by December 31 of the school year.

What is early learning through play?

Play is very important for children. It is how they experience their world and bring meaning to it.

Play engages young children and promotes learning in all areas of children’s development:

  • Physical Health and Well-Being
  • Social Competence
  • Emotional Maturity
  • Language and Cognitive Development
  • Communication Skills and General Knowledge

Why use a learning through play approach?

  • Play develops children’s creativity and problem-solving. For example, when children play pretend they are role playing based on their own experiences.
  • Play prepares children better for school learning. For example, talking about story books helps children expand their vocabulary and become familiar with print.
  • Play is healthy. It promotes strength, coordination, and brain development. For example, when children build things with large and small blocks, they use their gross and fine motor skills.
  • Play develops new skills that build self-esteem. Children try out materials and equipment at their own level, at their own pace. When they master a new skill, they feel good about their own success.
  • Play teaches social skills and helps children develop friendships. When children play together, they learn to problem solve and to help each other. They learn from each other.

A play-based approach to early learning builds upon children’s natural inclination to make sense of the world through play. Early childhood educators guide the natural play process. They extend children’s explorations with narrative, novelty, and challenges.

What does play-based learning look like in the pre-primary room?

You may see children

  • Making decisions around the size and shape of a tower to prevent it from falling.
  • Making up “shows” with song and dance to practice expressing ideas and to explore story development.
  • Using cars and ramps to change speed and direction.
  • Sorting through materials to make a boat and testing how it floats.
  • Using objects like toothpicks or paperclips as units for measuring

What will my child learn in the pre-primary program?

Your child will develop skills in four key areas that are part of the new Early Learning Curricuum Framework:

Well Being

Your child will

  • Feel safe, secure, and supported.
  • Develop social skills and make friends.
  • Start to learn responsibility for their own health and well-being.

Discovery and Invention

Your child will

  • Be curious, confident, and creative — and use their imagination.
  • Learn through problem-solving, trying new things, and asking lots of questions.

Language and Communication

Your child will

  • Express themselves in a variety of ways.
  • See different types of print and learn about symbols and patterns.
  • Learn how to find information and follow through with their ideas.
  • Develop a strong foundation in French, if they live in a French minority language community.

Personal and Social Responsibility

Your child will

  • Learn about respect, fairness, and the feelings of others.
  • Develop an awareness and respect for the world around them.
  • Feel a sense of belonging to groups and communities.

How can I be involved in the pre-primary program?

Families are children’s first teachers. Talk to your child’s early childhood educator about how they practice a play-based approach. Ask how your family can encourage learning through play at home.

Some possible questions you can ask your early childhood educators at the pre-primary program:

  • How will the pre-primary program prepare my child for school?
  • How can I as a parent add to the pre-primary program’s information and understanding about my family’s culture?
  • My child needs some additional supports in order to participate in activities with the rest of the children, how do you plan for that?
  • How do early childhood educators expand children’s opportunities to learn through play?

Pre Primary Lead Facilitator: 
Gillian Kiely
Phone: 902-521-3203

Schools providing the Pre-Primary Program:

Aspotogan Consolidated School (P-5)
Principal – Carol Hughes
105 Parkwood Drive, PO Box 247
Hubbards, Nova Scotia  B0J 1T0
Phone: 902-857-2600

Bayview Community School (P-9)
Principal – Craig Pottie
110 Clearway Street, PO Box 160
Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia  B0J 2E0
Phone: 902-624-2120

Big Tancook Elementary School (P-5)
Principal – Paula Baker
36 School Street
Big Tancook Island, Nova Scotia  B0J 3G0
Phone: 902-228-8300
(Pre-primary Program will be offered at Chester District Elementary School)

Chester District School (P-5)
Principal – Bernie VanDoninck
202 Duke Street
Chester, Nova Scotia  B0J 1J0
Phone: 902-275-2750

Dr. John C. Wickwire Academy (P-5)
Principal – Sarah Baker
311 Port Mouton Road
Liverpool, Nova Scotia  B0T 1K0
Phone: 902-354-7660

Greenfield Elementary School (P-6)
Principal – Jennifer Spencer-Weare
5060 Hwy 210, Greenfield, Nova Scotia  B0T 1E0
Phone: 902-685-5400
(Pre-primary Program will be offered at North Queens Community School)

Hebbville Academy (P-9)
Principal – Stephen Johnson
6161 Highway #3
Hebbville, Nova Scotia  B4V 6Y1
Phone: (6-9)902-541-8280 (P-5)902-541-8284

Newcombville Elementary School (P-5)
Principal – Alan Turner
4220 Highway 325
Newcombville, Nova Scotia  B4V 7W2
Phone: 902-541-8230

New Germany Elementary School (P-6) – Currently Early Years Centre
Principal – Angela Gladwin
150 School Street
New Germany, Nova Scotia  B0R 1E0
Phone: 902-644-5020

New Ross Consolidated School (P-8)
Principal – Dave O’Quinn
4689 Highway 12, PO Box 10
New Ross, Nova Scotia  B0J 2M0
Phone: 902-689-6100

North Queens Community School (P-12)
Principal – Jennifer Spencer-Weare
PO Box 184
Caledonia, Nova Scotia  B0T 1B0
Phone: 902-682-3500

Petite Riviere Elementary School (P-6)
Principal – Scott Rawding
123 Wentzell Road
Petite Rivière, Nova Scotia  B4V 5Y2
Phone: 902-688-3200

Pentz Elementary School (P-6)
Principal – Rebecca Smart
PO Box 88
LaHave, Nova Scotia  B0R 1C0
Phone: 902-688-3210

West Northfield Elementary School (P-6)
Principal – Deanna Rawding
6 Victoria Acres Drive
West Northfield, Nova Scotia  B4V 5C7
Phone: 902-541-8220




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