According to EduCanada, Canada is ranked #1 of the best quality of life. One of the reasons Canada is ranked so high is it’s education. School environments are typically safe and welcoming. In fact, Canada has one of the lowest tuition fees among English speaking countries. (EduCanada).
In Canada, pre-elementary or kindergarten is the first stage of education. For two years, children from 4-5 years will learn the basics. Each day will last at least 2.5 hours. This stage is optional in some provinces.
Primary or elementary school is the next stage. From Grade 1-6, school is mandatory in Canada. Depending on the grade and province, there are typically 8 subjects that are taught. Secondary education is next. There are two types: junior high/middle school and high school. The middle school curriculum is more difficult compared to elementary, but the jump from high to middle school is even further.
Post education is the last stage of education. It is optional to pursue post education, though the government provides support to low income families.
My experience in Canadian schools
From my own experience, middle schools and high schools have the most understanding and caring teachers. No matter what you are going through, most teachers will give you any resources that best help you strive in academics. For example, if you are having a difficult time and unable to complete work, you could possibly have an extension. There is no need to explain what you are dealing with, the teacher will respect and understand your privacy.
Homework in Canada is typically on the easier side and teachers are happy to answer questions. But of course, Canada has teachers that aren’t that great too; Canada isn’t perfect. In my elementary school, students would get into arguments and teachers never really evaluated both sides of the story. Students made up from a simple “sorry”. Teachers would also have this great confidence that they were always right and often avoid admitting to their mistakes because of our age. Canadian schools aren’t only about education, but mental and physical health.
Personally, all three of my schools — elementary to high school — I have been able to experience mental wellness sessions which really helped me cope through difficult times. In middle school, we had 20 minutes of exercise if we had no gym class. (In Canada, the health standard is at least 20 minutes of exercise.)
There are some middle schools that also provide a free breakfast for students who may suffer with food insecurity or don’t have time to eat. There are neutral gender washrooms available in some schools. I would say that most middle and high school teachers typically create an environment that is welcoming and comfortable.
Note: This is based on personal experience. The following does not ensure that ALL schools are performed as so in Canada.
- “Top reasons to study in Canada,” EduCanada, 6 Mar. 2019,
- https://www.educanada.ca/why-canada-pourquoi/reasons-raisons.aspx?lang=eng. Accessed 7 Sep. 2020.
- “Table 1 Calculation of instruction time by jurisdiction,” Statistics Canada, 17 Oct. 2011, https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/81-604-x/2011001/tbl/tbl1-eng.htm. Accessed 7 Sep. 2020.
- “Education in Canada: Understanding The Canadian Education System,” University of the People, https://www.uopeople.edu/blog/understanding-the-canadian-education-system/. Accessed 7 Sep. 2020.