Creekside Elementary 23-24

OUR CONTEXT

Creekside Elementary officially opened in April of 1999, in a residential neighbourhood in the Whalley (City Center) area of Surrey located on the traditional, unceded and shared territories of Coast Salish peoples: Katzie, Kwantlen and Semiahmoo First Nations. There are approximately 306 students enrolled in fourteen divisions, one of which is the District Intensive Literacy Program for students in Grades 4/5/6. Students are very respectful and well-behaved. They show tolerance and kindness towards their fellow community members, and engage in non-violent conflict resolution. The parent community is quietly supportive of the school and we are encouraging them to get more actively involved in PAC and school events. Many of our families are new to Canada and our school is a bridge connecting them to the greater Canadian society. Our staff take pride in exposing our students to new experiences and preparing them academically and socially for a successful future as citizens of Canada. For example, this year we  took all the intermediate students swimming six times in order to familiarize them with some nearby recreational facilities and to emphasize the importance of learning how to swim. We also had a school-wide focus on exploring all the provinces and territories of Canada with our own "fly-over" Canada assemblies. We celebrated our learning with food from each of the regions and had a final "Canada-thon" quiz as we completed our journey across Canada together.

OUR LEARNERS

The majority of our families (87%) speak a language other than English at home.   Literacy is a fundamental life skill. It is the ability to read, write, speak, and think is a way that lets us communicate effectively and make sense of the world. Communication - a core competency embedded across all areas of learning in BC's curriculum - is central to supporting our learners develop their literacy skills as they collaborate, problem solve, share ideas, exchange information, and express their individuality. Our learners can participate in conversations and communicate their ideas confidently about topics they know and understand. Evidence of our learners many gifts, attributes, and competencies are highlighted below. 

Our school goal is  to foster grit and determination through focusing on  improving reading.


Our learners can make sense of what they read by inferring, questioning, and using strategies to deepen their understanding and communicate their thinking. 

This Fall the Intensive Literacy class read the novel, Crash, by Jerry Spinelli with the principal. Students were assigned roles and read the dialogue and often acted out the scene similar to Readers' Theatre. The central character played football so many reading sessions were followed by physical literacy with a focus on football skills and drills and games outside. Students were engaged in the story and eager to read. There were lots of spin-off follow up research with iPads as students read about some aspects of the story that were new to them. Their understanding of the purpose of punctuation in reading for expression greatly improved and they improved in their use of punctuation in their own writing. They used better intonation in order to bring the characters to life for their classmates and the shared experience made reading fun and social rather than chore. Crash is centred around  characters who play football and many reading sessions were followed immediately by football practices outside. Many students including the most reluctant readers, reported enjoying the novel especially because it featured a sport. Some students expressed a desire to read more books by the same author.  Hands-on learning experiences combining football and reading together helped students to think critically about their learning and reading skills. Our learners were able to make connections to the real world and communicate their learning from reading beyond the classroom. The classroom teacher reported a shift in attitude towards reading and used this same approach to subsequent class read novels.

OUR FOCUS

Power of Reading

Every day among the variety of learning experiences presented to our learners, our team of educators focus on thinking, reading, writing and communicating in all curricular areas. Our aim is to build strong literacy foundations that are fundamental for students' participation in today's world.  

Our school goal is to foster grit and determination through focusing on  improving reading.  Student self-evaluation is an important part of being a reflective life-long learner. Positive thinking and a focus on strengths builds confidence so we were pleased with results from the school-wide Student Learning SurveyGrade 1-7  indicating an increase from 79% in September to 90% in May report a positive attitude towards reading. In particular, there was an increase from 74% to 87% strongly agree/agree that they are getting better at reading and 84% to 85% strongly agree/agree that they keep trying when reading gets hard or difficult. If students believe that they are good at reading, they will engage in more reading which will have a cyclical effect and in turn, will boost their reading skills. 

Our learners report a positive attitude and grit towards reading.

Students are very proud of their improvement in reading skills and we want to continue to foster grit and determination with more school-wide initiatives on improving reading such as book talks and displays  as well continuing to purchase diverse high interest books and on-line reading resources.  

FSA Results

Students in Grade 4 and 7 are showing increase participation and great improvement in their Reading and Literacy skills according to our most recent FSA results.  


Library - Hub of the School

This year our librarian organized several reading initiatives such as: Surrey Book Awards, Creekside Hooked on Books, Global Read Aloud, Camp Read S'more, and a Summer Reading Program. He also focussed on purchasing books recommended for these programs and made students aware through book talks. These contests brought students from all over Surrey and all over the world together and sharing their love of books and reading. Our librarian also hosted a very successful Scholastics Book Fair to promote reading for pleasure. Students lined up to purchase books and talked about books for the week that the book fair was at our school. We have a home reading program called,  "Hooked on Books" to promote reading for pleasure. There are monthly prizes awarded to students participating in home reading. At the end of June we have CAMP READ S'More  in the gym with tents and other camping equipment. Students will have an opportunity to read with a flashlight and beside a "campfire."


Noisy Reading

In order to encourage reading aloud at home, some teachers invite parents into the classroom in the mornings to read with the children. This has resulted in an improvement in Reading Comprehension with students now working on scanning for information, building vocabulary and inferring meaning. At the beginning of the school year a lot of teacher modelling and guidance was required but now student are much more independent with these activities and their overall fluency has improved.  



Students chose a favourite book and recommended their book to their classmates. They described the book and why they liked it. Students then read each others' books and then voted on what they believed to be the best book. As students traded books with each other there were many conversations about the books and students completed the reading of over 75 books in total during the course of two months. The top reader completed 13 books and the average number of books read was 8. This activity generated a lot of excitement about reading for pleasure and mimicked how adults share favourites books and participate in book clubs. The teacher reported increased interest and excitement for reading for pleasure. Twenty-five students focused on grit and determination through improving reading which resulted in eleven students achieving grade level proficiency and one student extending. Others are still emerging which supports a continuation of this Student Learning Plan but they are more motivated to read in their leisure time .

Many Primary teachers and Learner Support Teachers are sharing the merits of a concentrated Phonetic Program: Heggerty, UFLI, Decodable Readers supporting the science of reading. Whiteboards and word tiles are used to practice these strategies and literacy games are played to reinforce concepts. Teachers have noted an increase in confidence in literacy skills and students are reading and writing more.

Grade 2 Oral Reading Fluency (Sept. 2023-Feb. 2024)

Tracking five ELL students who were new to our school this year from other countries from Division 9.


Student AStudent BStudent CStudent DStudent E
September 202359%45%80%60%63%
February  202369%70%98%69%72%
Ref: Dibels Benchmarks

OUR NEXT STEPS

As a school community, we are committed to creating equitable, supportive, and caring learning environments where all children and youth can thrive and reach their full potential. To this end, we will continue to monitor and adjust our student learning plan. By determining our progress; identifying what is working and what needs to be improved; evaluating the impact of our plan; and using this feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning - we will support learners from all communities in developing literacy proficiencies that cultivate cognitive skills and "think habits" that prepare them for future success.  At Creekside Elementary, we are proud of the grit and determination our students are developing in order to progress  in their reading fluency.

1) Coninute to ask students the questions: Do you think you are good at reading?  Do you keep trying when faced with difficult tasks?

2) Continue with school-wide initiatives to promote fostering grit and enjoyment through improving reading such as: Hooked on Books home reading program, Camp Read S'more,  staff members recommending picture books and  chapter books for a hallway display.  Staff members submit pictures with  favourite books and students are encouraged to read the staff picks. In the past, this has sparked conversations between staff and students. Students were able to discuss favourite books with staff members and realize that reading is an enjoyable lifelong activity.


Surrey Schools

Formed in 1906, the Surrey School District currently has the largest student enrolment in British Columbia and is one of the few growing districts in the province. It is governed by a publicly elected board of seven trustees.

The district serves the cities of Surrey and White Rock and the rural area of Barnston Island.

Surrey Schools
14033 - 92 Avenue Surrey,
British Columbia V3V 0B7
604-596-7733