We acknowledge that our school, where we work, play, live and learn, is on the shared traditional territory of the Katzie, Semiahmoo and other Coast Salish Peoples. Ocean Cliff Elementary is located in the Crescent Beach/Semiahmoo area of Surrey. We have approximately 330 students in Kindergarten through Grade 7.
Staff and students enjoy many opportunities for outdoor learning and we are fortunate to have access to many unique outdoor spaces including our “secret garden” outdoor classroom. Our school is bordered by mature wooded areas and we are located a short walking distance from Crescent Park, Crescent Beach and 101 Steps.
Our school is an important part of our surrounding community and we value our close connection with community stakeholders. Our Parent Advisory Council supports field trips and classroom needs as well as families in need and hosts well attended community events such as a welcome barbecue and annual fun fair. The OC PAC and parent community work hard to support the needs that are identified by staff with funding support and volunteers. The Ocean Cliff PAC's diversity and equity committee works closely with our school to celebrate and educate about a variety of days of cultural importance as well as special topics such as Black History Month, Pride Month, International Women's Day and Autism Awareness. Throughout the year our community holds special fundraisers and clothing drives to support our sister school.
Ocean Cliff offers many extracurricular athletic opportunities for students including basketball, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, soccer, track and field, cross country, running club and intramural soccer. Other opportunities include student leadership, reading link challenge and grade seven band. Special learning opportunities this year have included a school pumpkin patch, student TED talks, night of the notables, "We Scare Hunger", young entrepreneurs fair, raising butterfly larvae, air pressure rockets, Minecraft club and a Christmas concert.
Our students are cheerful and engaged learners who enjoy coming to school. Many students attend Ocean Cliff for their entire elementary school journey from kindergarten to grade seven. Our students engage in a great range of extracurricular athletic activities including dance, theatre, acting, diving, triathlon, volleyball, baseball, track clubs, football and basketball. Many of our students have a particular passion for soccer and the OC Soccer League was a big hit this year! We are particularly proud of the way our students support each other and acknowledge and appreciate the diversity at our school. There are a range of languages spoken at our school including English, French, Hindi, Farsi, Punjabi, Mandarin, Cantonese, Sotho, Spanish and Korean. Students are proud to show off their second language and often volunteer to help with translation when needed.
We believe that a foundation of social and emotional learning needs to be in place to support learning in all other areas. According to CASEL:
“SEL efforts both contribute to and depend upon a supportive school environment with strong and positive relationships. How students feel in school—whether they feel connected to their teachers, other adults in the school, or each other—is a powerful contributor to their personal and academic success. Adults in the school help shape this environment by practicing and modelling their own SEL, while working together to continuously improve students’ learning and experiences."
We are working towards embedding SEL in all learning experiences through a systemic school wide approach. In particular we are focused on building student capacity with applying a growth mindset to learning, social responsibility and self-regulation. Our school has an SEL lead teacher who works with staff to coordinate school wide SEL initiatives. We hold monthly SEL team meetings to coordinate our focus in this area. In September all classes read the book "Smart Cookie" to learn about growth mindset. We presented our learning at an assembly and all students contributed to a "Smart Cookie" display. To promote gratitude and kindness, students and staff submit "Kindness Claps" to show gratitude to others. Kindness Claps are chosen weekly for special recognition on out lobby display and in our school newsletter. Other school wide SEL themes this year have included respect and accountability. Many teachers are beginning to explore CASEL's Three Signature SEL practices to work towards embedding SEL into daily classroom routines.
Our students can persevere through challenging tasks and solve problems. They approach learning with an open mind and apply thinking and learning strategies suited to the task at hand. They understand that learning takes patience and time. They reflect on and assess their experiences, thinking, learning processes, work, and progress in relation to their purposes. Students give, receive, and act on feedback and set goals individually and collaboratively. They determine the extent to which they have met their goals and can set new ones.
Our students are resilient. They take ownership of their choices and actions. They set goals, monitor progress, and understand their emotions, using that understanding to regulate actions and reactions. They are aware of a variety of strategies that help them recognize and manage their feelings and emotions and to calm themselves when they are upset.
Our learners contribute positively to their family, community, and environment; empathize with others and appreciate their perspectives; resolve problems peacefully; and develop and sustain healthy relationships. They show empathy, disagree respectfully, and create space for others to use their voices. They generate, use, and evaluate strategies to resolve problems. They understand that learning involves recognizing the consequences of one’s actions.
In addition to our school wide social and emotional learning initiatives, several cohorts of learners are engaging in targeted instruction around our focus areas of growth mindset, self regulation and social responsibility.
Promoting creative thinking and independent learning through open ended learning opportunities such as loose parts, counting collections and story workshop.
Use innovative thinking when solving problems- Grade 5 Career Education
Demonstrate curiosity and a sense of wonder about the world- Elementary Science Curriculum across several grades.
Many classes throughout a range of grades utilize our loose parts materials and discovery den learning space to provide flexible and open ended learning opportunities.
Building social problem-solving capacity and language with regularly scheduled class meetings.
Differentiate between short- and long-term causes, and intended and unintended consequences, of events, decisions, or developments (cause and consequence)- Grade 6 Social Studies.
Recognize the need for others who can support their learning and personal growth. - Grade 5 Career Education
Two middle intermediate classes are holding weekly, structured class meetings as part of their SEL routines.
Promoting growth mindset in numeracy with standards-based assessment
Develop and use multiple strategies to engage in problem solving. - Grade 3 Mathematics
Develop, demonstrate, and apply mathematical understanding through play, inquiry, and problem solving. -Elementary Mathematics Curriculum
Two upper intermediate classes have embedded standards based assessment in their numeracy programs.
Fostering self-regulation through regular outdoor learning opportunities.
Analyze and describe the connections between eating, physical activity, and mental well-being.
Describe and apply strategies that promote a safe and caring environment
Describe and assess strategies for promoting mental well-being, for self and others
Many classes across several grades make outdoor learning a regular part of their class routines.
|Improving social problem solving and goal setting using the structured and sequential SEL curricula.||Identify fair and unfair aspects of events, decisions, or actions in their lives and consider appropriate courses of action (ethical judgment)- Kindergarten Social Studies||Many classes throughout a range of grades have completed the Second Step curriculum for their grade this year.|
A variety of evidence shows that students are benefiting from a systemic and focussed approach to social and emotional learning and we look forward to building upon and expanding our focus areas next year.
Kindergarten students at Ocean Cliff have been learning about growth mindset and goal setting, emotion management, empathy and kindness and social problem solving using the Second Step curriculum as a weekly routine. This social and emotional learning is embedded throughout the Kindergarten curriculum. One specific curricular competency of focus is:
Identify fair and unfair aspects of events, decisions, or actions in their lives and consider appropriate courses of action (ethical judgment)- Kindergarten Social Studies.
At the end of their unit about social problem solving, students were given a performance task focusing on demonstrating appropriate ways to solve problems in given scenarios. A rubric was used to evaluate students ability to assess the scenario and to describe a variety of problem solving strategies. 100% of the students assessed near the end of the school year were meeting expectations with respect to this task.
Students in grades 2, 3, & 4 have embedded outdoor learning opportunities into their weekly routines to explore the connection between outdoor settings, physical activity and self regulation. Two specific curricular competencies of focus in this area are:
Explain how participation in outdoor activities supports connections with the community and environment -Grade 2 & 3 Health and Physical Education
Identify and apply strategies that promote mental well-being.- Grade 2, 3 & 4 Health and Physical Education.
In the video below a variety of Ocean Cliff students reflect on their outdoor learning experiences at school as part of student voice surveys.
In a cohort of grade 2 and 3 students 16/20 were able to describe the positive benefits of regular outdoor time on their mental well being in an end of year survey. The word-cloud below reflects some of the sentiments from these reflections.
In our grade 7 cohort, having strength-based descriptors in numeracy with a focus on what students can do with an additive component has led to a positive shift in students’ mindset . They recognize that everyone starts at Emerging and layers on the skills and concept that they ‘can do’ to demonstrate their understanding and what they have learned. Our evidence comes from classroom observations, student comments, and in how the students use the math rubrics to self-assess their learning. Two specific curricular competencies of focus in this area are:
Reflect on mathematical thinking.- Grade 7 Mathematics
Connect mathematical concepts to each other and to other areas and personal interests. - Grade 7 Mathematics
In the examples below grade seven teachers and students reflect on learning with the use of standards based assessment rubrics in math.
In this grade seven cohort during a math task 22/27 students were proficient with using standards based assessment rubrics to reflect on their math learning and to plan next steps for learning.
In the 2023/2024 school year the Ocean Cliff teaching staff plans to expand on our strong foundation of social and emotional learning to improve literacy. Our first step in the fall will be to explore school wide reading assessments and learn more about updated phonics and phonemic awareness strategies.