Admissions Dates
young people, big minds


Early education is for adventure. We believe young children should expand their perspectives through integrated experiences with other children, the world outside the classroom and teachers who guide their ideas. Our Pre-Primary Program, known at Urban Academy as ‘Junior Kindergarten’, is where we begin to teach children to harness their imaginations, explore their surroundings and form critical opinions.

We believe that by following the enthusiasm of young minds, they will open big doors.

about JK

Urban Academy’s Junior Kindergarten program was inspired by the internationally acclaimed Reggio Emilia approach – a teaching philosophy developed in Italy. The approach has received numerous international awards and is widely recognized as the best teaching environment for a child’s first out-of-home learning experience. It teaches young children to explore, question and discover in a stimulating environment. As a result, there is a significant focus on bringing the outside world in and learning through all that nature has to offer.

We provide a warm, safe and nurturing environment to cultivate our students’ social, emotional, physical and intellectual skills. Our program creates a foundation for your child’s lifelong skills as a global citizen, teaching them how to respect others, channel their natural curiosity, share and take responsibility, question and explore and use their environment to learn responsibly.

Urban Academy Early Childhood Educators are trained Reggio instructors and they provide parents with access to online notes and updates, enabling you to check in and see what your child is learning, creating and discussing each day.

The Urban Academy JK program is open to students who turn four by December 31st of the year in which they begin at Urban Academy. JK students take part in many school-wide activities, have primary grade reading buddies and truly integrate into the larger school. Staff to student ratio in the JK program is set at a maximum of 1:8. The program is a five day a week, full-day program running from about 9am – 3pm. 

Applications for the following school year open September 1 of the previous year with classes set by the spring. We typically recommend beginning the enrolment process one year prior to when you would like your child to begin at Urban Academy. 

Creative Learning

JK students use clay, paint, sketching tools, building materials and other media to create, discover and explore. Their projects include creating self portraits, free play, dress up, a home corner and games centred around social and emotional learning opportunities. Drama and music lessons also introduce students to other diverse forms of learning.

Innovative Learning

We believe in not only learning, but finding the best ways to learn. Urban Academy follows each child’s interests to address emergent curriculum. To learn about anatomy, children have created an entire skeleton from clay and have written their own books to be “published” to learn about language and storytelling. They also create musical instruments and write and conduct their own songs, bringing music to life. They have also been introduced to science experiments by gathering and feeding germs to see what happens in petri dishes. By challenging what learning looks like, we are able to push the limits of what young children can achieve.

Experiential Learning

Students are introduced to science using rocks and outdoor elements to build structures, create instruments, write music and explore the world around them. They go on weekly nature walk to Hume Park to learn about all they can see and find in the forest and the creek. Emergent science, social studies, math and literacy skills are integrated into all aspects of a child’s experience in JK. As students experience the world around them, teaching staff are constantly assessing and scaffolding the children’s skill development and incorporate emergent curriculum into the daily routines; and it is a key focus of the program.

Real World Integration

Students have the opportunity to use puppets and reenact scenarios to work through social challenges and any peer conflict. They study animals by taking a trip to the SPCA and even spend a day per month cooking with JK parents and grandparents to learn about different cultures through food. The JK class also has many living things including a terraruim, garden and each year they hatch either duck or quail eggs. They also spend a lot of time learning about the world around them and where they fit into that world.

Emergent Curriculum

Students learn about subjects that interest them, engaging with their learning and developing natural interests and strengths.


Discovering the magic of stories is a wonderful thing. Students are introduced to the basics of literacy and encouraged to explore stories and storytelling on their own.

Early Math Concepts

Basic mathematical concepts appear in the Junior Kindergarten curriculum and students begin to anticipate problems and recognize what math is.

Social Emotional Learning & Mindfulness

From learning to interact with others to discovering how actions have consequences, students develop critical social and emotional skills.


Students enjoy sports and games (often outdoors) and learn healthy competition and physical intelligence.


One of our country’s national languages, French teaches students new perspective and boosts their language skills.


Students explore their creativity and express themselves through diverse projects and multi media approaches.


In Drama Class, students discover a world of exploration and fantasy, having fun and learning along the way.


Students begin to understand the basics of music, learning to identify genres and their own unique preferences.


Working with food teaches students integral life skills as they discover creativity and culture through food.

Field Study

Students leave campus to explore the world by surrounding themselves within it.


Emergent Curriculum

Students pursue their interests and passions while being introduced to concepts along the way. This allows students to follow their natural interests and remain excited about their studies, developing a positive relationship with learning.

Concept Introduction

Students are introduced to curricular concepts including math, language arts, science and the arts so they can explore their interests and be well prepared for Kindergarten.

Student Mentorship

“Buddies” from older grades connect with young students to build school-wide relationships and learn to develop positive friendships. These relationships help both buddies with confidence and interpersonal skills.

Cultural Cooking Classes

Monthly cooking sessions allow students to learn about a variety of cultures through food. Parents and grandparents are invited in to prepare food with the students to help them develop an appreciation of different cultures.

Weekly French, Music and Drama

Exposing students to a variety of subjects while they are young helps them develop an appreciation for the arts, language expands their skills. Through music and drama performances, they also develop confidence that leads to public speaking and presentation skills.

Routine-Based Learning

While K-12 is on a schedule, the JK day is routine based. The class follows a routine which allows children to thrive, allowing a balance of structure and flexibility.

Quiet Time

After lunch, children need time to recharge and reset. Quiet time allows students some much needed down time to reenergize for the rest of the day and get ready to take on the afternoon’s adventures.