At the heart of Surrey Schools is a district-wide shared vision for learning – Learning by Design – where we prepare our learners for a world in which they think creatively and critically, communicate skillfully, and demonstrate care for self and others.
Learning by Design has three core aspects – Learning, Structures, and Tools – that support innovation in our schools.
- Learning prioritizes the needs and gifts of individual students, helping them to demonstrate the core competencies in all aspects of their learning.
- It emphasizes their unique ability to contribute based on their experiences, cultures, heritages, languages, and diverse abilities.
- Learning by Design is rooted in the principle that all learning is driven by individual passions and interests, and must be connected to real-world experiences and challenges.
- Students and teachers demonstrate this learning in tangible ways.
- Structures are the time, physical space, access to information, and community connections that students need in order to learn.
- These structures meet the students where they are based on their individual needs, and must be inclusive of all individual ways of learning and knowing. For some, the structures that support learning may look different than for other students.
- Students with diverse abilities and disabilities deserve full and equal access to learning in the classroom and beyond.
- Indigenous students deserve a learning environment that is respectful of their experiences, recognizes the legacies of colonialism, and is consistent with the district’s commitment to reconciliation.
Tools for a Digital Age
- The learning process also requires tools that support learning within these structures.
- Innovative technologies can provide greater access and equity in learning, and the digital world offers opportunities for all students to harness new ways of demonstrating their learning.
- Innovative strategies to bring learning to life for students who experience challenges that impact the learning environment, including students with diverse abilities or disabilities, can create a learning environment that helps them achieve success.
Principles of Learning by Design
Learning by Design empowers our teachers to design learning conditions that are student-centred, inquiry-focused, engaging, and steeped in real-world experiences. It is focused on embracing technologies, innovation, and connecting learning to local and global communities.
Learning by Design enables our students to access learning according to their passions, curiosities, and needs.
Learning by Design encourages innovation in learning spaces where our teachers, support staff, and students inquire, imagine, design, think critically, reflect and learn together.
Learning by Design is not only a vision for the classroom. It anchors all aspects of our work. From instruction to professional development, research and program evaluation to school and community connections, the work we do across the district carries out this three-part vision for learning. Learning by Design in action uses all of these building blocks into priority practices: curriculum design, instructional strategies, quality assessment, and social and emotional learning (SEL).
Strategic Planning for Student Learning
Surrey School District’s strategic plan outlines the steps we are taking to achieve our vision of Learning by Design.
Learning by Design through classroom instruction
Students and teachers work together to gather, interpret, and respond to the evidence of their learning through answering the questions: What am I learning? Why is it important? How am I doing? How do I know? What are my next steps?
Learning by Design through community connections
Surrey enhances student learning by creating a community environment that helps students meet their achievement, attendance, and attachment goals based on their individual needs.
Learning by Design through research and evaluation
Research emphasizes the utility of the structures and tools used to ensure students are achieving their goals. The district collects data in accordance with legislative requirements on grade-to-grade and other transitions, literacy and numeracy, and student well-being.