Typical School Day in Canada


Many families emigrate to Canada and one of the most common questions is about a typical school day in Canada and what it is like.


Every parent wants their child to be as prepared as possible for their new Canadian school adventure so this article is to help you and your children find out what school in Canada is like.


Mornings on a typical school day in Canada


Canadian school students start school between 8.30 and 9am depending on the school. Children wake up and have breakfast at home before school.


Schools normally have set times, usually about 30-45 minutes before start of school, that children are allowed to arrive. You can only drop your child off after the designated time issued by your child’s school.


Canadian School Uniforms


Schools in Canada have school uniforms. Your school will issue information about their uniform, what is required and where the uniform is to be obtained from. Usually your school in Canada will have a uniform shop where most will have a local store that handles the uniforms for a number of local schools. No schools allow, sandals, flip flops, open toed, or high heeled shoes for safety and for practicality reasons.


Are mobile phones allowed during a typical school day in Canada?


Most Canadian schools do not allow mobile phones at school. Some establishments do allow them as parents like to ensure their children are able to call if something goes wrong.


Getting to school in Canada


The Canadian school system is designed to mean students go to school near to their home whenever possible and every school has a designated catchment area. Children who live closer to school may walk while others may take the school bus or be dropped off by parents. In adverse weather conditions like heavy snow or extreme cold children are not allowed to walk or cycle to and from school in Canada.

Typical morning school assembly in Canada


Once at school in the morning most days start with a 10-minute class registration and perhaps a school assembly.


At a typical school day in Canada, the day is broken up into 3 sections:


• morning before recess
• Recess until lunch
• After lunch until end of school


Recess – Typical School Day Canada


Recess or morning break is usually around 20 mins in length. Children will generally eat a healthy snack they brought from home and have some time to play within the school grounds.


Lunch on a typical school day in Canada


In Canada, students either bring their own lunches from home each day or visit the refractory for hot lunches. Most schools in Canada have bans on unhealthy food. School in Canada Lunch guidelines and information on the healthy eating mission can be found on the Food Secure website.


Afternoon classes at school in Canada


Many of the artistic type classes are held in the afternoons. Once classes are finished younger children may need to be collected by an authorized adult, older children may be able to leave unsupervised. Students are expected to be collected within 15-20 minutes of school end time. If you are late, many schools cannot look after your children.

The school week and holidays in Canadian schools


The Canadian school week is Monday to Friday. Schools do not operate on weekends. The term dates vary slightly from state to state, and the dates will be published the year before by your school, so you can plan ahead. The common school holiday calendars for public schools in each state can be found on the Education Canada website.


Who is responsible Education in Canada?


There isn’t a directly Government funded state school system in Canada. There are some State schools and these are called public schools. These Public schools are actually Roman Catholic public schools). Anyone is free to attend these public schools though most choose not to do so.


More general Public schools are the responsibility of individual Provinces and their corresponding departments of education. The education system is very good in Canada and it often ranks among the best in the World. Schools are mainly funded by Provincial taxes and topped up with some Federal funds for Special Educational Needs and Sports. Provincial departments of education determine education policy in accordance with provincial laws.

Do Teachers need to be well qualified in Canada?


All provinces require teachers to have a license to teach in elementary and secondary schools. All provinces require a bachelor’s degree for teaching in elementary and secondary schools. There are currently 345,000 teachers in elementary and secondary.


When do children go to school in Canada?


Most children start school before the age of six, when compulsory kindergarten begins. After kindergarten, formal elementary and secondary education covers education from the ages of 5 to 18. Children can leave formal education at 16 if they choose to yet in Canada students are typically encouraged to remain in full time education until year 12 (18 years old).


Children typically begin kindergarten at age five and advance one grade per year until reaching 18. It is very unusual for a child to repeat a grade like in the movies. Usually a child has the same teacher for all major subjects during elementary and a different teacher for each subject during junior and senior high.


Child’s Age: Child’s Grade


Age 2 to 5: Kindergarten

Elementary School

Age 6: Year 1
Age 7: Year 2
Age 8: Year 3
Age 9: Year 4
Age 10: Year 5
Age 11: Year 6

Junior High

Age 12: Year 7
Age 13: Year 8
Age 14: Year 9

Senior High

Age 15: Year 10
Age 16: Year 11
Age 17: Year 12

Examination and Grading Systems in Canadian Schools


When a student enrolls in a public school, a file is opened which stays with a student throughout their school years. There is continuous evaluation throughout all grades and students are marked on each paper, exam and course taken during their 13 years of formal education. The Canada education grading system is used throughout Canada and both students and parents always know where they rank regarding educational development and expectations.


A: Excellent
B: Good
C: Average/fair
D: Poor
F: Fail


Is sport part of the typical school day in Canada?


School sports are popular in Canada and have a high profile. Being ‘on the school team’ is important to many students although if an individuals grades don’t reach the required level they will likely to be barred from sports until their grades show an improvement.


Extra Curricular activities on a typical school day in Canada


Lots of school-sponsored activities take place after school, including science, band, choir, drama and language clubs. Most schools have a student newspaper and run a yearbook program. Canadian Universities place lots of weight on extracurricular activities as they look to intake ‘all-rounded’ students to their Worlds Class Universities.

Editor in Chief - EmigrateCanada.com at EmigrateCanada.com | Website | + posts

Editor in Chief - EmigrateCanada.com

Dr. Montague John (PhD), is one of the World’s leading Canadian Immigration experts. Affectionately known as “Monty” he established EmigrateCanada.com more than 25 years ago and it has grown to be one of the most reliable sources of Canada Immigration information.

In 2022 Dr. Montague John (PhD) published his book, “How to Immigrate to Canada” as EmigrateCanada.com, which featured as Bestseller in its Category for several weeks. Montague co-ordinates all the qualified contributors at EmigrateCanada.com and serves as Editor-in-Chief.