Part 1: Analysis of Context
1. What do we know about our learners?
Students at AHP Matthew Elementary are from a culturally diverse community. In the last four years, Marjorie Dumont has established a drumming group that initially started with four students that has grown to over 20 students. The group is a reflection of our diverse culture and is thus named: All Nations. The students are dedicated to Mrs. Dumont and their drumming. They arrive at school by 7:30 am (by student choice) and practice at least two days a week. The group has performed for our school assemblies, gone to watch various cultural events within the Lower Mainland, and participated in community events. Parents of students in the drumming group are active volunteers for events that the drumming group participates in.
We also noticed that the student leadership group have expressed a curiosity and have become advocates for Aboriginal issues.
2. What evidence supports what we know about our learners?
- a. Student engagement in the All Nations drumming group, offered by our LST teacher, Margorie Dumont.
- Questions generated by student leaders during one of our Soaring Eagles meetings. A lot of the questions centred around the Residential School system and reconciliation.
- Students like to learn about the history of, as well as participate in the songs and dances that are performed at our assemblies.
- Students enjoy learning from the various Aboriginal cultural presenters who have visited classes as well as whole school assemblies.
- Students and staff have embraced National Aboriginal Day celebrations, where all staff and students participate in whole school activities.
Part 2: Focus and Planning
3. What focus emerges as a question to pursue?
How do you increase student awareness, knowledge and sustainability of Coast Salish culture?
4. What professional learning do we need?
School-wide ProD Day focus on Aboriginal Education occurred Fall 2016
School-wide ProD day focussing on the inquiry process at the Stave Lake Power House.
Brandon Gabriel to teach students and teachers alongside each other while completing the post painting.
5. What is our plan?
The school’s overall goal for this year is to honour, promote and sustain Coast Salish culture and ways of being through a project that includes:
- The painting of four house posts
- Creating resources involving the Coast Salish culture,
- Participating in Aboriginal cultural activities. at our school.
It is hoped that this project will bring Coast Salish’s rich culture and history alive to the your learners of AHP Matthew Elementary School. Not only will this help our school meet the new curriculum standards but also help build relationships with the First Nations in which the school is located on.
Brandon Gabriel, a contemporary artist of the Kwantlen First Nation, ws asked if he would create four designs for the four cement posts in the undercover area of our school.
Brandon Gabriel visited our school on three occasions in 2016, and discussed with the teachers various ideas and those who participated in the discussions were very enthusiastic about the learning and teaching that will occur.
At the beginning of April this year, staff and students will be meeting with Brandon to pre-plan the designs of the four story posts and students will create legends that will reflect the paintings of the posts. After the legends are created, a school book will be published. We will have an unveiling ceremony in June, where parents, students, staff and community members will be invited.
Part 3: Reflect, Adjust, Celebrate
6. How will we know our plan is making a difference? (evidence / success criteria)
It is hoped that the presence of an original Aboriginal artefact at our school that is in a central location, will develop discussion and awareness of Aboriginal culture.