Ministry of Education

Primary Years

Children in British Columbia spend their first four years of school in kindergarten to grade 3. Children must be five years old by December 31st in order to enter their first year of school (kindergarten).

The Primary Program: A Framework for Teaching English (PDF, 4.6MB) French (PDF, 1.06MB), developed by the Ministry, is a historical resource for kindergarten to grade 3 teachers. Although many of the ideas and pedagogy remain important, this document does not refer to the most current research, policies or curriculum. The up-to-date curriculum is available at:


In June 2010, the Ministry of Education posted an updated draft of the Primary Program: A Framework for Teaching (2000) to include the latest research and effective practices to support children’s learning and development.  The draft resource titled, The Primary Program: A Guide for Teaching (2010), was available for review on the Ministry of Education website from June 25, 2010 to October 15, 2010.  Education partners were invited to provide feedback on the draft document. The Ministry received numerous responses to the draft from educators, school district staff and researchers across British Columbia. Currently, the Ministry is considering next steps in light of recent discussions on personalized learning in the 21st century.