Pomme d’Api offers French Immersion Morning classes as well as Francophone and French Immersion mixed afternoon classes. Eligibility to the afternoon class does not require either of the parents to meet the criteria for the right to a French language education for their child under the section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
All classes are open to children between the ages of 3 and 5,however, every child must belong to a class with a fixed schedule of either 2, 3 or 5 days (morning classes) or 3 days (afternoon classes). One afternoon class a week is an “open class” where any child from any of our programs may enroll.
Your child can enroll in one of the following programs:
2 Day Morning Class: Child attends school Tuesday and Thursday morning from 9am - noon.
3 Day Morning Class: Child attends school Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning from 9am - noon.
5 Day Morning Class: You can enroll your child in both the 2 Day and 3 Day morning Class to attend school 5 mornings a week, Monday - Friday from 9 am - noon. If you do so you receive a discount on your tuition fee.
3 Day Afternoon Class – Francophone/French Immersion: Child attends school Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon from 1 pm - 4 pm.
Thursday Afternoon Open Class: Children enrolled in any of our programs may also attend school on Thursday afternoon. The class is limited to 20 children and enrollment is on a first come first serve basis.
*The morning class commences at 9 am, but we acknowledge that for parents dropping older siblings off at school at 9 am, it is difficult to be on time. The first 15 minutes of the morning class constitutes a grace period of welcoming the children into the classroom for free play and so you may drop off your child between 9 am and 9.15 am.
We accept children from 30 months of age (as of the start of the school year) who are potty trained.
What happens in class?
The morning and afternoon classes follow a familiar routine, which incorporates free play, directed activities, arts and crafts projects prepared and guided by the teachers, circle time (including opportunities for show and tell) and snack time.
In addition to the daily class structure, students are exposed to monthly and seasonal themes and activities. Classes will also have occasional field trips or in-class events that feature special performers or introduce students to a new theme in an engaging manner.
At the beginning of the school year our teachers work intentionally on bringing a harmonious atmosphere in the classroom, supporting students experiencing separation anxiety, teaching problem solving, respect for one another (sharing, taking turns, cleaning after oneself, etc.), and following routines. This is done through a cooperative play environment while acknowledging every child’s individual development.
As the school year moves on we continue to develop social skills, but also start encouraging students to complete some "work," focusing on fine motor skills and activities that will develop pre-math, pre-reading, pre-writing and logic. Sometimes the “work” will be done individually, and sometimes groups of children will be engaged in various projects together. These activities are adjusted to each child’s age and individual developmental level.
Children are expected to attend Pomme d’Api for two years and it is recommended that the amount of time spent at Pomme d’Api increases in the second year if your child attended the 2 days a week in their first year. Increased time at Pomme d’Api will allow the teachers to work in a targeted manner with your child on preparing them for elementary school start, both socially and through play-based academic learning.
Students who graduate from Pomme d’Api attend Anglophone or Francophone schools in the public or private sector, as well as a variety of immersion programs. Attending Pomme d’Api does not give your child priority registration at any one elementary school, but if your child is enrolling in a French Immersion program or a Francophone school, their experience and exposure to French at Pomme d’Api will give them a head start when transitioning to elementary school programs. Also, regularly attending pre-school is a great way to prepare your child for starting school by getting them used to playing and learning in a structured setting with a larger group of peers.
French in the classroom
Throughout the school year, French is used in the class room, and children are exposed to the language per their individual needs and abilities. Some children will already understand or speak some French when they start school, and some come from Francophone families. Some will come from Anglophone families with no experience of speaking French at home.
We incorporate French into the children’s daily experience of coming to class through the repetition of phrases and expressions during our routines. From the start, we sing our transitions in French, and French songs will be sung at circle time over and over again. It is important to know that we speak French to children per their ability prior to enrolling at Pomme d’Api, meaning that a child who has no prior mastery will be gradually introduced to French, whereas a child who comes from a Francophone family will be addressed by teachers solely in French. As such, all children in the classroom will be continuously exposed to French when spoken to them or around them. We want all our students to feel comfortable and understood at school, whether they are new to French or fluent.
Francophone/French Immersion mix program
The Francophone/French Immersion mixed afternoon program is open to all. Families who are Francophone or where one parent speaks French are encouraged to choose this program, as the teachers will cater to Francophone children’s language development through increased French language exposure. The teachers will also work with non-Francophone families who enroll their children in the Francophone program to integrate into the class so that no child is isolated due to language barriers or unable to follow the curriculum and teacher instructions. For non-francophone children, this program will generally accelerate their French speaking abilities as French will be more frequently spoken around them by their peers.