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What is curriculum?

The Ontario curriculum outlines the knowledge and skills students need for success in any pathway they choose. Each grade or course builds on the learning in the previous one and progresses alongside students’ developmental growth.

The curriculum is developed by educators and informed by research and experts in pedagogy, industry, the labour market and academia, as well as by feedback from stakeholders and partners. This ensures that the curriculum remains current, relevant, developmentally appropriate, and supportive of the strengths, interests and needs of all learners.

Ontario’s curriculum is composed of four main elements, as follows:

  • Mandatory learning expectations. The expectations outline the knowledge and skills students are expected to learn and apply by the end of a grade or course.
  • Optional teacher supports. The teacher supports accompany the learning expectations. They may include examples, teacher prompts, and/or other resources that clarify the requirements in the expectations.
  • Curriculum context. The curriculum context is specific to each curriculum and indicates policy that supports the teaching of the subjects and disciplines. This section often includes the vision and goals, as well as program planning and assessment and evaluation information for a particular curriculum.
  • Program planning and assessment and evaluation information. These general sections provide information on policy governing education in publicly funded schools that applies to the curriculum in all subjects and disciplines from Grades 1 to 12. 

In addition to subject- and discipline-focused expectations, the Ontario curriculum includes learning related to transferable skills, Indigenous education, and the importance of human rights, equity, and inclusive education. 

The ministry is committed to fostering an education system where all students, parents, staff and members of the school community feel safe, welcome and respected. It is a system where all students see themselves reflected in what they are learning and are supported and inspired to succeed in a culture of high expectations for learning and in a school environment free of bias, racism and discrimination.

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