New Ontario elementary curriculum includes coding, cancels EQAO tests

Jun 23 2020, 10:33 am

The Ontario government released an updated mathematics curriculum, enhancing coding skills and financial literacy, while cancelling EQAO tests for Grades 3 to 6.

According to the province, the curriculum was developed over two years in consultation with parents, math educators, academics and math education experts, and is designed to “reverse a decade of declining math scores.”

It has been 15 years since the curriculum was last updated — it will be available to students across the province beginning in September 2020.

“A lot has changed since 2005 and our students’ education needs to change,” Ford said.

“Over half of the Ontario students were not meeting the math standards. I made a promise to parents that we would fix the broken education system we inherited, get back to basics, and teach our children the math fundamentals they need for lifelong success.”

The new math curriculum for Grades 1 to 8 will include building an understanding of the value and use of money through mandatory financial literacy concepts.

For the first time, schools will teach coding or computer programming skills starting in Grade 1 to improve problem solving and fluency with technology, to prepare students for jobs of the future.

And the Province says they will use relevant, current, and practical examples so students can connect math to everyday life and to put a focus on fundamental math concepts and skills, such as learning and recalling number facts.

“Today, our government is delivering on that promise with the first-ever math curriculum in Canada for Grades 1 to 8 that includes the teaching of coding and financial literacy, both critical skills that will help our students prepare for and succeed in the modern world and in the modern workforce,” Ford said.

Ford said that Grade 4 students will learn about saving and spending, with Grade 5’s learning how to budget, and Grade 6’s and up gaining a better understanding of financial planning.

The Ministry of Education is also changing how it makes curriculum available to better reflect how Ontarians consume information.

The new math curriculum will be the first uploaded to the new Curriculum and Resources website, a digital space where anyone can access curriculum and learning resources. This platform will help parents, students, and teachers see connections between learning in different grades and subjects.

The new elementary math curriculum is part of the government’s four-year math strategy to ensure that students can build the confidence and skills they need to excel in math.

“For over a decade, too many students were lacking everyday math, financial literacy, and numeracy skills,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce. “The new curriculum will help students solve everyday math problems, enshrine financial literacy in the early grades, and better prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow by ensuring every student learns how to code.”

On June 19, Lecce and Ford also announced the Ontario school reopening plan for when students return to class in the fall.

The province has now laid out guidelines for school boards on how best to proceed safely.