Isabella played with some playdough. (Chelsea Novak/Rossland News)

Four-year-olds in Rossland get head start on Francophone education

Four-year-olds at l’École des Sept-sommets started their first day of school last week.

Four-year-olds at l’École des Sept-sommets started their first day of school last week.

On Monday, May 29 the class of eight students started their first day of school in Sept-sommets’ new program.

“They have the same schedule, same holidays as the rest of our students, so they’ll be here til June 29 in the morning,” explained Marie-Josée Beaulieu, principal at Sept-sommets.

The school is one of four in B.C. participating in a pilot program for four-year-olds. Originally the program was intended to start at the beginning of the school year, but Sept-sommets ran into delays getting the necessary license for the program.

Now that the program has launched, the next cohort of four-year-olds will be able to start in September.

“We’re expecting five so far for next year,” said Beaulieu. “We’ll be able to have those five start Sept. 5, the same time as everyone else.”

As of last Thursday, Beaulieu said both parents and the students were happy with the program.

“I’ve been asking parents how they feel about their week and they’ve all been saying that they’re having a great week. They’re excited to come in the morning. They’re chatting at night about everything they do, everything they learn.”

The learning is mostly play-based and the students spend a lot of time outside, learning about nature and the environment.

“They have a garden outside that they’ve been working on and planting some seeds,” explained Beaulieu. “Our main goal is to prepare them language-wise as well. So getting them as much French as we can right now, so then the transition to kindergarten and learning to read and write … is made easier.”

Last Thursday the kids played a lot of games designed to help them learn the names of colours in French. They also climbed up on the counter to check out the class pets — a hive of bees.

The bees were provided to Sept-sommets by the Bee Awareness Society.

“It was offered to the school, so any classroom could have had it in their class, but they needed a south-facing window,” explained Beaulieu.

Each class at the school will have a chance to observe the bees and the Bee Awareness Society will be doing some workshops with the students.

The four-year-olds are also working on preparing a song and a dance for the school’s year-end show on Thursday, June 22 at 1:30 p.m.

Those interested in registering their four-year-old for September can visit for School District 93’s admission guidelines and contact l’École des Sept-sommets at 250-362-3395.


Emilie Ramboux, early childhood educator assistant, taught the kids how to say the name of each colour in French by having them collect objects in the corresponding colour from the classroom. (Chelsea Novak/Rossland News)

Ira and Isabella observed the classroom bee hive. (Chelsea Novak/Rossland News)

Talula and Nora posed for a photo on their first day of class. (Submitted)