Support from northerners like you keeps our journalism alive. Sign up here.

New JK-12 school curriculum trial to start in upcoming school year

A file photo of Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ Regional High School in May 2023. Megan Miskiman/Cabin Radio

The Department of Education, Culture and Employment has begun releasing a draft school curriculum for junior kindergarten to Grade 12.

The territorial government has released a draft curriculum for grades 4 to 6 and grade 9 on the ConnectED NWT website.

Curriculums for some or all subjects will be trialled in the upcoming school year, according to a Tuesday press release from the department.

It is up to education bodies to decide whether they would like to trial one, some, or all of the courses.

Throughout the trial period, the government will be collecting feedback on the curriculum, which is expected to be fully implemented over the course of the next five years.



The new curriculum is being adapted from the curriculum used in British Columbia schools.

In December of 2021, the territory announced it would be shifting away from the Alberta curriculum currently used in the NWT, in favour of a BC-based curriculum like the one used by the Yukon.

That came after Alberta unveiled a new curriculum in 2021, which didn’t include any input from the NWT in its development.

The timeline of the roll out for the new BC-based curriculum from the JK-12 curriculum renewal.

The new curriculum is a competency-driven curriculum.



More: FAQs about new competency-driven curriculum in NWT schools

More: GNWT webpage on JK-12 curriculum renewal

According to the GNWT, a competency-driven curriculum puts an emphasis on students learning through “doing.”

For example, a northern studies course could involve a treaty simulation, with students fulfilling the different roles of each government trying to come to a consensus, instead of just reading about treaty negotiations.