March 17, 2023 - Government media release
Elementary students and teachers will benefit from updated K-6 curriculums and resources in classrooms this fall.
Alberta’s government is continuing to take a balanced and measured approach to kindergarten to Grade 6 (K-6) curriculum renewal, based on advice from the Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group. All K-3 students will learn from new French First Language and Literature, French Immersion Language Arts and Literature and Science curriculums this September. School authorities will also have the option to implement new curriculum in these three subjects for grades 4 to 6 if they choose.
Alberta’s government is delivering on its commitment to provide updated curriculum with essential knowledge and skills to better prepare students for the future.
“Curriculum renewal is essential to help prepare our students for a rapidly changing labour market, which is placing an ever- increasing premium on adaptability and transferable skills. To ensure successful implementation, we are making significant investments to provide teachers with the resources they need to support students in transitioning to the new curriculum.”
Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education
In response to feedback on the original draft, changes across the three K-6 subjects have been made to address areas of concern with content load, age appropriateness and wording clarity. Subject-specific changes include:
- Strengthening French First Language and Literature content by adding spelling rules and specifying which types of texts are studied in each grade.
- Enhancing French Immersion Language Arts and Literature content to align with the principles of learning an additional language and developing students’ creative writing skills.
- Strengthening Science content to promote understanding of agricultural practices in Alberta and align with previously implemented subjects. In the new K-6 Science curriculum, students in Grade 3 will examine how layers of Earth’s surface, including the discovery and location of dinosaur fossils, hold information about the past. In Grade 6, students will examine abstractions, coding structures and the impact of computers and technology.
Alberta’s government has listened to all feedback from classroom piloting and engagement activities to make final updates to the K-6 French First Language and Literature, French Immersion Language Arts and Literature and Science curriculums. In the 2022-23 school year, 47 school boards across the province piloted the draft curriculum, including 941 teachers and 22,000 students. The updated curriculums align with top-performing jurisdictions in Canada and globally and with new curriculum previously implemented across the province. Albertans can access the final curriculum online to see what has changed.
“For this school year, we had 60 teachers from K-6 participate in the French Immersion Language Arts and Literature (FILAL) pilot. Teachers are impressed with how condensed and clearly laid out the curriculum is as well as the consideration that has been given to age-appropriate sequencing of learning outcomes. Teachers are looking forward to implementing this curriculum next school year and to receiving a list of curated Alberta Education resources to support with implementation.”
Cathie Williams, board chair, Calgary Catholic School Board
“The FCSFA appreciates the willingness to listen and the cooperation of Alberta Education. We are committed to continue this cooperation with the province to be able to offer a French First Language and Literature curriculum which meets the needs of our francophone students.”
Tanya Saumure, president, Fédération nationale des conseils scolaires francophones de l’Alberta
“The CASS board of directors appreciates the ministry’s responsiveness to feedback and supports phased implementation that provides school authorities flexibility to implement new curriculum based upon local contexts.”
Scott Morrison, president, College of Alberta School Superintendents
Supporting successful curriculum implementation
Alberta’s government is committed to ensuring the curriculum implementation process is as successful and practical as possible for elementary teachers this September. In 2023-24, approximately $47 million is being invested in teacher professional learning as well as learning and teaching resources to make sure teachers and students are equipped for the updated K-6 curriculum in classrooms.
“Professional development and timely access to resources are essential to ensure educators and the system are fully prepared to implement new curriculum. The Alberta School Boards Association looks forward to continuing to engage with our member boards, and to collaborate with the government and education partners on required supports to ensure the success of all students.”
Marilyn Dennis, president, Alberta School Boards Association
“The Calgary Board of Education shares the government's goal of providing a quality curriculum that prepares students for future success. Together, we are committed to ongoing effective implementation.”
Laura Hack, board chair, Calgary Board of Education
As part of this investment, Alberta Education is working with the province’s four largest school authorities to develop science resources. This collaboration will ensure resources are accessible to all school authorities to support student learning and the successful implementation of new K-6 Science curriculum.
“Through our pilot process, Edmonton Catholic Schools has worked closely with Alberta Education to provide feedback to ensure quality learning experiences for all students. An updated curriculum, including Computer Science, will help students develop skills and aptitudes for the future.”
Sandra Palazzo, board chair, Edmonton Catholic School Board
“Edmonton Public Schools is committed to creating resources and support materials that will help K-6 teachers across the province implement the new Science curriculum.”
Trisha Estabrooks, board chair, Edmonton Public School Board
To help teachers across the province prepare for the upcoming school year, Alberta’s government is providing a variety of supports and resources online, including:
- the final K-6 French First Language and Literature, French Immersion Language Arts and Literature and Science curriculums
- the Provincial Resource Review Guide, with guidelines for selecting learning and teaching resources aligned with the new curriculums
- bridging resources to assist with transitioning from the current curriculums to the new curriculums
- videos and support documents with an overview and orientation to the new curriculums
- tools that support teacher planning, collaborating and sharing
- information about flexible professional learning opportunities
Alberta Education will provide school authorities with additional details to facilitate planning and implementation for September. School authorities will also continue to have flexibility to select resources to support curriculum implementation in their classrooms.
Next steps for implementation, piloting and engagement
Alberta’s government is continuing to take a balanced, phased approach to K-6 curriculum renewal based on advice from the Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group.
More information on curriculum implementation, further piloting opportunities and engagement will be shared online as details become available.
- More than 240,000 students will be learning from the new K-3 French First Language and Literature, French Immersion Language Arts and Literature and Science curriculums during the 2023-24 school year.
- As announced in March 2022, school authorities will also implement grades 4 to 6 English Language Arts and Literature and Mathematics curriculums this fall.
- In 2023-24, approximately $47 million has been allocated for the K-6 implementation process. This includes funding for school authorities:
- $45 on a per-student basis to purchase additional curriculum resources to support implementation of new K-6 curriculum in three subject areas.
- $800 on a per-teacher basis to support professional learning.
- In addition, Alberta Education will retain funding to purchase, license and develop high-quality learning and teaching resources aligned with the new curriculum.
- Between March 2021 and February 2023, Alberta’s government provided many opportunities for Albertans to share feedback on the draft K-6 curriculum:
- More than 34,000 online surveys were completed.
- More than 1,100 attendees participated in virtual information sessions hosted by Alberta Education.
- Nearly 600 Albertans shared diverse viewpoints on each subject area at 31 virtual engagement sessions.
- Twelve partner organizations were provided $800,000 in grants to help them engage with their communities and report their unique perspectives.
- In the 2021-22 school year, about 360 teachers piloted draft K-6 Mathematics, English Language Arts and Literature, Science, Physical Education and Wellness, Social Studies and Fine Arts curriculums with about 7,800 students.
- In the 2022-23 school year, 941 teachers are piloting draft K-6 French First Language and Literature, French Immersion Language Arts and Literature and Science curriculums with 22,000 students in 47 school authorities across the province.
- The 12-member Curriculum Implementation Advisory Group had balanced representation from across the education system to help ensure the best interests of the entire education system inform the group’s advice and recommendations.