École Crescent Park Elementary 23-24

OUR CONTEXT

“What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all of its children. Any other ideal for our schools is narrow and unlovely” ~ Dewey

Crescent Park is a community-oriented school with a rich history dating back to 1917 and the Crescent Park Annex. Students at the school have a growth mindset, and they approach learning with an open mind and positive attitude. As tradition plays a prominent role at Crescent Park, we are fortunate to have generations of families return to our school and continue reinforcing the feeling of a Crescent Park family environment.

Many staff have children that currently attend the school, graduated recently from Crescent Park, or will soon be attending, to continue to foster the feeling of family within the school walls.

Crescent Park students are incredibly involved in their local community, and the feeling of family resonates through the school halls. Crescent Park students enjoy being immersed in the beautiful nature that surrounds them, and it is embedded in the student learning at the school. Through engagement in nature and outdoors, students have opportunities to use all five senses and truly become active and engaged learners. In addition, when students are actively connected with nature, they can grow in their understanding of themselves and their relationships with other living things.

As Crescent Park students believe in spreading kindness, being involved in the community, and supporting others; we are fortunate to receive support and be involved with many local businesses that share the same school outlook.

Crescent Park emphasizes building healthy, positive relationships and interpersonal connections among students, staff, and families. These values are considered fundamental to creating a school community that nurtures the well-being of the Crescent Park students.


OUR LEARNERS

Our school is home to approximately 350 students who are eager to learn and apply foundational literacy skills, such as reading and writing within the classroom and can be used to increase success in other academic areas.

Writing is an important language skill that allows us to communicate ideas to others. It is a skill that requires deep thinking and understanding how to develop ideas. It's about putting together a good paragraph, using different words, and applying grammar rules. For effective writing, one needs to pay attention to choosing the right words, organizing ideas, using grammar correctly, and making sure everything flows and makes sense. Because writing can be complicated, students might find it hard to put their thoughts down on paper.

Recently, our teachers have raised concerns about a noticeable trend in our students' written output. Based on their observations and assessment, there are significant challenges in both the quality and quantity of writing, as well as in the students' grasp of proper sentence structure; this compromises their ability to communicate effectively.

In response to these concerns, we are exploring several initiatives, including organizing more intensive writing lessons, enhancing classroom discussions to improve critical thinking, and providing more structured access to high-quality literary texts. Our aim is to empower our students to become confident and skilled writers capable of articulating their ideas effectively.

OUR FOCUS

While realizing the importance of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and its place within our school communities, this year, we have been excited to intensify our efforts in improving literacy among our students. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) will continue to be central to our work with students; however, we eagerly expanded our initiative by looking at student’s writing skills from K-4. We had a cohort of students in a grade 1, 1/2 and 4/5 classes. 

To determine what our student’s baseline was for writing, staff utilized the BC Performance Standards for writing to assess students’ progress, providing clear benchmarks for teachers to measure and support students’ growth. All cohort staff utilized the Performance Standards to assess students’ learning at the beginning of the year, mid-year, and at the end of the year to track improvement of writing skills.

By building our foundational writing skills, we strive for our learners to innately apply these skills in all curricular areas. This year, we focused on our primary students and their ability to transfer this skill set. Our student learning goals, as connected to the curriculum were:

  • Playing with language helps us discover how language works
  • Communicate using letter and words and applying some conventions of Canadian spelling, grammar, and punctuation
  • The structure of simple sentences

Given student’s varying levels of maturity and cognitive development, teachers made a concerted effort to focus explicitly on teaching proper sentence structure (i.e.: Capitals, Punctuations, Complete Thought: includes a subject and predicate). Teachers incorporated numerous strategies and tools to teach the act of writing, but highlighted the use of interactive resources, guided writing exercises, and extensive reading of children’s literature.

Cohort teachers worked together to determine the timeline for when assessment would take place. They also had meaningful conversations about specific strategies they utilized to help develop their student’s writing skills. Evidence that was collected was done so in the timeframe of September, March, and June.

SEPTEMBER


MARCH


JUNE

During the collection period, there was a positive improvement noted across all cohort classes. It was evident that there was a decrease in the number of students assessed as ‘Emerging’, and a growth of 5% for the number of students assessed as ‘Extending’.

More specifically, it was noted that:

  • Students demonstrated more explicit use of capitals at the start of sentences
  • Students expanded the quantity of writing by adding more details and descriptive language
  • Students were able to generally write in complete sentences with familiar words spelled conventionally

OUR NEXT STEPS

With this being a new shift for our student learning plan, we strive to have more staff join the data collection portion of the plan so we can see if the positive results we have seen this year is widely reflected among other learners, especially those in the intermediate grades. As there was minimally noted growth in the students that were assessed as ‘Developing’, a concerted focus will also be on how to move these students to ‘Proficient’ or beyond.

Moving forward, as a staff we will look at designing and executing comprehensive literacy programs across all grades at the school, not just in the primary grades. These programs will be tailored to enhance our students' abilities in writing, but also, reading and oral communication.

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