JK-12 School Curriculum

Curriculum in the Northwest Territories is managed by the Department of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE).

The GNWT is committed to doing its part to renew the Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum and ensure it is taught in relevant, research-based, innovative ways. 

Teachers are expected to follow the NWT Curriculum, which can be found in schools across the NWT or downloaded by visiting the three program pages:

JK-12 Curriculum Renewal

In December 2021, ECE Minister R.J. Simpson announced that the Northwest Territories (NWT) will partner with the British Columbia Ministry of Education for the renewal of the Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 (JK-12) school curriculum. The decision is the result of extensive research, analysis, and more than 40 consultation and engagement sessions with Indigenous governments, education bodies, the Northwest Territories Teachers’ Association (NWTTA) and educators.

ECE began research in 2019 to explore the curriculum of the western Canadian provinces to determine which most aligned with 34 longstanding NWT education priorities. BC’s curriculum was very clearly the most aligned to the NWT, being that it is one of the first in Canada to focus on competencies-based learning; is modernized to meet the needs of students in an ever-changing world; and it incorporates financial literacy, begins providing career education in the early grades, and offers applied design, skills and technologies curriculum that builds on students’ natural curiosity, inventiveness, and creativity. This all results in students being more prepared for the challenges of life after high school.

Crucially, Indigenous worldviews, knowledge, and perspectives are integrated in all BC’s curricula in a meaningful and intentional way, and are reflected in students’ mandatory learning outcomes. BC has also designed its curriculum to be flexible, which allows the NWT to adapt the BC curriculum to fit the NWT context with more ease. This can even happen at the local level, by incorporating place, school and community ways of learning and doing, and by considering this diversity an asset.

Implementing the new curriculum will be a phased-in approach over three to five years, and key education partners, including Indigenous governments, education bodies and the NWTTA, will play an active role in teacher training, and adapting classroom resources and large-scale student assessment tools.