Part 1: Analysis of Context

1. What do we know about our learners?

Bayridge is a Kindergarten to Gr.7 school located in the southern region of Surrey, B.C. Our student enrolment is 350 students. We currently have fifteen divisions including a fully integrated district MACC (Multi-Age Cluster/ or gifted Class). We are also home to Creative Kids Learning Centre which provides Junior Kindergarten and Before and After School Care.

Bayridge learners are multicultural and multilingual, kind, creative, and outgoing. Students are determined and strive for their personal best.  Both caring and thoughtful, our learners are increasingly becoming more self aware and responsible. Our learners are both athletic and artistic, with many of our students involved in various school extracurricular activities as well as community ones.

The staff at Bayridge have created a very unique environment for our students where hands-on experiences, problem based learning, and inquiry are a part of daily practice. Teachers are collaborative in their approach and are willing to try new things to meet student needs. From our classroom teachers to our LST team, librarian, music teacher and school counsellor, our staff truly believe in a team approach. Beyond the classroom they are involved in a multitude of school activities such as coaching teams, supporting individual student interests, sponsoring school leadership teams, facilitating library student monitor leadership, running choir and organizing professional development opportunities.

The parent community of Bayridge are highly involved and very supportive of school initiatives. Parents are actively involved in school culture: volunteering in classrooms, on field trips and by fundraising. Our community is very generous in directly supporting classrooms with learning supplies, technology, and books.  Our PAC just recently made possible a school wide production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  

We are very fortunate to have a cohesive, collaborative and welcoming support staff.  As our “directors of first impressions”, Mrs. London and Mrs. Ogilvie greet everyone who enter our school with a smile.  Our Education Assistant (EA) team and Child Care Worker (CCW) not only support individual students, but have created social opportunities, such as games club,  to support many of our students.

2. What evidence supports what we know about our learners?

School Culture – The History

In February of 2014, a small group of staff formed a committee to discuss and reflect on Bayridge school culture.  With the many changes to the school population and community (a rapid increase in the school’s ELL population and complexity of students) the staff decided to re-focus/re-vision the school context. 

A team of teachers, and administration worked with students to come up with an acronym that best described who Bayridge community members are.  The students felt, H.A.P.P.Y. best described who they are as students and who they want to be as community members. H.A.P.P.Y. stands for:

     be Yourself

In January 2015, staff (inclusive of teachers and support staff) met for a full day to engage in a “grassroots” look at their learners and themselves.  They spent a day looking at both, the strengths and challenges as a community (focused on student learning).

Staff identified two sub-categories: academic and social learning. Through facilitated activities, including small group and whole group discussions, staff reflected on past and present observations of student learning, trends in student understanding of concepts, report cards and the changing student population (ELL and complexity).

Two distinct themes emerged from the past reflection process:

1.         School Culture: H.AP.P.Y.

2.         Critical thinking: focused around problem solving and student reflection

The staff collectively agreed to move the school-wide learning focus to the two themes and developed the following inquiry question:

How can increasing the quality and frequency of student reflection (about learning, others and self) build student capacity and create a more positive school culture?

During the 2017/18 school year, staff met all of the professional development goals set out the previous years. During Summer Pro-d, staff engaged in a focus on formative assessment practices looking at Dylan Wiliam’s series, The Classroom Project and Ontario’s AER library of professional development materials on learning goals and success criteria.  In addition, a group of 8 teachers formed a book club in January 2018 to look at Embedding Formative Assessment by Dylan Wiliams and Siobhan Leahy and apply learned strategies to their teaching practice.

Part 2: Focus and Planning

3. What focus emerges as a question to pursue?

Two distinct themes emerged from the past reflection process:

1.         School Culture: H.AP.P.Y.

2.         Critical thinking: focused around problem solving and student reflection

The staff collectively agreed to move the school-wide learning focus to the two themes and developed the following inquiry question:

How can increasing the quality and frequency of student reflection (about learning, others and self) build student capacity and create a more positive school culture?

4. What professional learning do we need?

•       Summer Pro-D to focus on a variance to our two goals:

1. School Culture- introduction of T.E.A.M.( a new leadership initiative) to school population.

2. Critical Thinking- focus on problem solving in the area of numeracy.

•       Connecting with our area Helping Teacher to focus on numeracy.

5. What is our plan?

Goal #1: School Culture

The following has been implemented to support our goal of School Culture:

•       Development of school wide criteria for H.A.P.P.Y (completed for H.A.P.P.Y on the playground, in the classroom and the halls). In 2017/18 we added assemblies and washrooms completing this initiative. Posters were created and are posted throughout each area.

•       September school-wide lessons/review of H.A.P.P.Y.

•       Monthly assemblies that include looking at each aspect of H.A.P.P.Y. (what it looks like, sounds like, feels like). In 2017/18 we added the “H.A.P.P.Y. book Challenge.” Each month, we present a picture book and students have to identify the H.A.P.P.Y. attribute that is identified in the book.

•       Monthly school-wide run

•       Student and staff birthday recognition bulletin board and at monthly assembly.

• H.A.P.P.Y. tickets to recognize students demonstrating the attributes of H.A.P.P.Y.

•       Teacher observation and refection.

•       H.A.P.P.Y. committee meetings.

•       H.A.P.P.Y. shared with parents through newsletters, and school blog.

•       Student work space choice/flexible work spaces- open areas, Learning Commons.

•       Student survey was created to determine if student’s are able to identify what H.A.P.P.Y. looks like, sounds like and feels like in each identified area. Survey was completed in September 2017 by a grade 1/2 class and a grade 5 class.

Through the 2017/18 school year, we continue to address changes in cultural demographics at Bayridge.  Close to 40% of our school population speak Mandarin, Cantonese or Korean and a great percentage have recently immigrated to Canada. The cultural differences between school life in Canada and many Asian countries are significant.  Communication of information (expectations, events, important messages etc. ) has been identified as one of our greatest challenges as a school community.  We have put many things in place to help in this area including:

•       Creation of a communication role on our P.A.C. as a liaison for our Chinese speaking community.

•       P.A.C. meeting minutes translated and available online. 

•       Recognition and celebration of Lunar New Year. 

•       Weekly P.A.C. information bulletin translated and available online and through email in Mandarin. 

A “Welcome to Canada” workshop in the fall of 2016 was attended by members from the International Education Department.  Through reflective dialogue, and sharing, we identifieds specific needs for our community including:

•       improved communication with our Chinese speaking students and parents

•       increased opportunities for students and parents to learn English 

•       opportunities for students and parents to learn about Canadian culture, school life and expectations

•       sharing of community supports available to new immigrants to Canada

•       opportunities for “new to Canada” parents to become involved at school

From this dialogue, an idea emerged to create a district supported in-school program for both our Chinese speaking students and parents. The program developed out of a desire to help facilitate the adjustment process of Mandarin-speaking students and parents new to Canada at Bayridge Elementary and Chantrell Creek Elementary. With the help of a teacher and a Multicultural Worker, the ultimate goal was to help parents and students receive explicit instruction on cultural aspects of school right at the start of their educational journey. Topics for the lessons were created in collaboration with teachers, support staff and administration, based on the needs of their new students and families. The objectives of the program were to help bridge the students’ cultural learning prior to receiving ELL services, for parents and students to receive the same message, and to create a space for meaningful dialogue on education in Canada (and Surrey) for all participants. The program ran for the first time during the 2017/18 school year:

Participants: All participants were Mandarin-speaking, and were both fee-paying International and Ministry-funded. English language ability ranged from ELL starting-Expanding.

Bayridge: 17 Students (Primary and intermediate); between both groups on average 10 parents (more intermediate parents than primary)

Chantrell: 18 students; same as above

Lessons/Information covered during the sessions:

Lesson 1: Respect & Reading Social Cues:

–        Greetings; the importance of eye-contact and learning names

–        How to understand what is happening around you when you do not understand the language

Lesson 2: Boundaries & Safety:

–        Personal/cultural boundaries

–        School boundaries; physical (school perimeter) and cultural (pick up/drop off times, sign-in at the school)

Lesson 3: Food at School:

–        Packing healthy lunches and snacks (Canada health Guide)

–        Hot lunch at School

Lesson 4: Advice from Peers:

–        Students shared their stories, how they learned and gave advice

Lesson 5: Teamwork (and Halloween):

–        Challenges of group/team work

–        What makes teamwork successful

–        What to expect with Halloween

Lessons 6: building community at School:

–        What is the role of the students, parents, teachers, and principal in making a great school

Feedback from the program was very positive from both parents and students who attended the program.

The program will continue at both sites during the 2018/19 school year.  

Next Steps:

•       “Welcome to Surrey” (renamed from Welcome to Canada)program at both school sites 2018/19.

•       Discussion at May staff meeting for shift/growth to introduction of school-wide leadership program (T.E.A.M.) that includes H.A.P.P.Y as one element.


Goal #2: Critical Thinking: Problem Solving and Student Reflection

Bayridge has identified critical thinking through problem solving and student reflection a focus. With the majority of our staff using FreshGrade as a Communicating Student Learning tool, dialogue around how to improve the feedback skills of parents, teachers and students has been identified as an area of needed focus. The following has been implemented to support our goal of Critical Thinking:

•       students actively reflecting through FreshGrade on their work.

•       teachers providing descriptive feedback, goal setting opportunities and conferences.

•       parents providing feedback through FreshGrade in response to student learning and goals

•       3-way goal setting conferences with students. Conferences moved to match goal setting timeline.  Goal setting conference early in the year (Early Oct.) and a goal review/set new goals meeting in January.

•       information on Core Competencies and feedback shared with parents at P.A.C. meetings.

•       sentence starters shared with teachers and parents to assist in providing feedback

•       set of visual sentence reflection starters created by one of our teachers and a set provided to all teachers.

•       weekly Communicating Student Learning meetings every Thursday.

Next Steps:

1.     Expanding from a focus on two to most/all Core Competencies with students for self-reflection/assessment.

2.     Posters created and shared with each class to help guide conversation in these areas and to assist students in improving their reflective language.

3.     Share examples of improvements in reflection abilities of students over time.

4.     Survey data collected at the beginning of the year as to whether students are able to 1. Recall all 5 attributes of H.A.P.P.Y. at both the primary and intermediate level and 2. Provide examples of how to demonstrate each of the 5 attributes of H.A.P.P.Y.

5.     Track data collected by both the M.D.I. and Provincial Student Learning surveys to help identify if our work using H.A.P.P.Y. is effective.

6.     Staff inquiry on May 28th 2018 pro-d to investigate key questions around our learners and continued school learning goals

Part 3: Reflect, Adjust, Celebrate

6. How will we know our plan is making a difference? (evidence / success criteria)

Inquiry Question: How can increasing the quality and frequency of student reflection (about learning, others and self) build student capacity and create a more positive school culture?

Two threads of inquiry came from the first part of this question regarding student reflection. The first was work the professional development work teachers and staff undertook to improve their formative assessment practices and the reflection skills of their students. Below are examples of student reflection skills demonstrating their growth over time.

Evidence of, growth over time, of student reflection skills is demonstrated in the following snapshots. The first is from Nov. 2015 when the student was in grade 4. The second demonstrates growth and was captured June 2016. The last images capture the continued growth in reflection skills of the same student captured in Dec. of 2017 with the student in grade 6.

Student Reflection November 2015

Student Reflection June 2016

Student Reflection November 2017


Evidence of growth from the second element of our inquiry question regarding school culture is evident in our student’s understanding of H.A.P.PY. Not only in what it stands for, but on what it looks like and feels like at school.

Snapshot of Student Survey Results:

7. Based on the evidence, does our inquiry require adjustment?

While the work continues in both the areas of school culture and critical thinking, our focus is adjusting and growing.

Throughout the 2017/18 school year staff began to discuss a shift in focus: a shift to working on our goal through a specific curriculum strand. While we have focused on improving the ability of our students to reflect on their learning, it has been in a general capacity. Numeracy has been discussed as an area many teachers identified as challenging for students to reflect on in order to demonstrate understanding of their learning.

In addition, a small group of teachers are taking a closer look at our leadership program and envision a school wide initiative to engage all learners at Bayridge. The idea of T.E.A.M (Technology, Environment, Athletics, Managers/Events) as a service leadership model is designed to nurture leaders in the 21st Century and improve personal and social competencies in students. 

On May 28, 2018, school staff immersed themselves in an inquiry process to reflect on current school learning goals, and future direction.