NWT Curriculum

General Overview

In YCS schools, we follow the Northwest Territories approved curriculum for all subject areas except Religion and Health from Kindergarten to Grade 9. At the high school level, the Alberta Education curriculum is followed, as adopted by GNWT Education, Culture and Employment with the exception of Religion and Northern Studies, the latter of which is an NWT developed curriculum. Information on the NWT curriculum can be found on the Government of the Northwest territories website at:



Yellowknife Catholic Schools supports the use of technology as a tool for teaching and learning and is committed to preparing our students to lead and innovate in a 21st century global society.  YCS’s vision for learning and instructional technology is based in the context of 21st century learning skills:

  • Collaborative inquiry to solve real and relevant problems
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Communication

Technology enables this kind of learning, and engages students by:

  • Providing learning, anywhere, anytime
  • Supporting teacher innovation and capacity building
  • Using social media to support inquiry and communication while building social responsibility and digital literacy
  • Strengthening connections with parents.

“It is unlikely that technology will improve learning without a powerful vision and without thoughtful and creative teachers challenging students to go beyond traditional expectations of achievement.” (November, A., “Empowering Students Through Technology”, 2010, p.4)

For a more comprehensive look at the YCS District Technology Plan and district vision, please go to the following links:



Literacy with Information and Communication Technology (LWICT)

YCS follows the GNWT Education, Culture and Employment guidelines for the infusion of technology across NWT curriculum. This framework is intended to support teachers as well as students in the use of the continuum called, "Literacy with Information and Communication Technology" (LWICT). As per the ECE website, this "literacy with ICT" includes "learning about and choosing ICT to critically, creatively, and ethically use, produce, and communicate meaning." In addition, it is through education and practice that students will learn:

how to critically, creatively, and ethically use a variety of information and communication technologies to problem solve, make decisions, inquire, collaborate, demonstrate, and communicate;

how technology applications and systems often have similar designs and functions that can be learned and the knowledge transferred to new devices and contexts;

how ICT can positively impact relationships; and

how to determine which processes, tools and techniques are appropriate for various contexts.

For further information pertaining to curriculum documents in this area, please go to the following GNWT Department of Education, Culture and Employment links:

Literacy with ICT Across the Curriculum Infusion Guide

Parent Handbook


Career and Technology Studies

Career and Technology Studies (CTS) is a program designed to provide students with a variety of career related course choices. Alberta Education states that the CTS program offers opportunities for students to develop skills that can be applied in their daily lives, now and in the future, refine career-planning skills, develop technology-related skills, enhance employability skills, apply and reinforce learnings developed in other subject areas and prepare for transition into adult roles in the family, community, workplace and/or further education.

Features of the revised CTS program include organizing course by levels and not grades (introductory, intermediate and advanced), creating multiple entry points (so not all intermediate and advanced level courses have prerequisites), and a competency-based curriculum.

The CTS program is now organized around five clusters and more than 1000 1-credit courses in 28 occupational areas. A cluster is a group of CTS courses that represent occupations with broad industry commonalities. Clusters in CTS are aligned with the National Occupational Classification (NOC) and function as an organizing tool for the CTS program. The Northwest Territories utilizes the curriculum generated by the Government of Alberta. To access these documents, please click the link below.

Career and Technology Studies Curriculum


In the area of Religion, we follow the “Born of the Spirit” series that is approved by the Canadian Catholic Council of Bishops. This program is available for Kindergarten to Grade 9. At the high school level, we have developed our own program.

Health and Life Skills

Health education enables students to develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and lifelong behaviours that lead to a healthy lifestyle. The kindergarten to Grade 9 Health Curriculum is organized around the following themes: self-awareness and acceptance, relating to others, life careers, body knowledge and care and, beginning at the Grade 5 level, human sexuality. The human sexuality component of Health is taught in Religious Education and all themes are taught within the context of the Catholic Church.

Yellowknife Catholic Schools has an agreement with GNWT Education Culture and Employment to utilize the Alberta-based “Health and Life Skills” curriculum instead of the NWT Health Curriculum. This curriculum document can be accessed at the following link: https://education.alberta.ca/media/160196/health.pdf

It should also be noted that the grade 7 & 8 Health and Life Skills curriculum is covered primarily through the use of the Catholic Version of the “Fourth R”, as well as through an integration of the Talking About Mental Health (TAMI) program in grade 8 that focuses on raising awareness, reducing stigma, managing mental health, and increasing understanding of mental illness. Please refer to the following links to access these documents:


TAMI – Centre for Addiction and Mental Health  

At the high school level, students are required to take the three credit course, Career and Life Management 20, in order to fulfill the requirements for a high school diploma. More information about this program of studies can be obtained at the following link:


Beyond the parameters of the Health program listed above, teachers can also utilize a variety of need-dependent resources, with individual schools deciding which specific, health-related “programs” will be taught within their schools. Such programs may include, but are not limited to initiatives such as:

  • Butthead
  • Screen Smart
  • Smart Focus
  • Smoke Screening Contest