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4 Resources You Should Know to Prepare for School in Canada

Posted on: September 13, 2022

Immigrants to Canada are often surprised at the differences in education systems from their countries of origin. There are many supports in place to help you, and your family adjust to your new school. The NewToBC team has compiled a list of frequently asked questions by newcomers arriving to BC including answers to help you navigate your way to settling in your new country and prepare for school. Here are 4 resources to help you navigate the BC Education system. 

1. Settlement Workers in Schools Programs

The Settlement Workers In Schools program (SWIS) is a school-based outreach program that assists students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 prepare for school. This program helps newcomer students and their families transition into the Canadian school system and a new community. SWIS can assist families with:

  • School registration and orientation
  • Understanding school policies and procedures.
  • Communicating with teachers and administrators.
  • Supporting newcomer students as they transition into the Canadian school system.
  • Supporting newcomer families as they transition into a new community.
  • Connecting newcomer students and families with community resources and services.
  • Workshops, information sessions, and support groups.  (E.g. Parenting in Canada, Parenting circle, Lunchbox nutrition, Children and youth mentoring sessions).

Contact your local school and ask about this option for you and your family. 

2. The BC Curriculum Outlines What is Being Taught in Schools 

The BC Curriculum website outlines what is taught by course or subject by grade level. The BC curriculum is an interactive system of instruction and learning with specific goals, contents, strategies, measurements, and resources. The desired outcome of the curriculum is the successful transfer and/or development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes. The BC Curriculum teaches students by fostering a lifelong love of learning.

3. English Language Learning Programs are Available

Most students who need help learning English will get support in their classroom. Some older students attend both regular classroom programs and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. You should contact your local school for more information.

4. Libraries Offer Free Learning Supports 

Many other supports and services are in place to help newcomers ease into the school year. If you require more information, visit any of the websites mentioned above as they will link you to further information. You can also connect with your local settlement agency for any other questions you may have about education in BC.