École Peace Arch 23-24

OUR CONTEXT

École Élémentaire Peace Arch School is located on the unceded traditional territory of the Semiahmoo Nation who share the remarkable White Rock Coastline and surrounding lands with our school community. Our team of educators take advantage of the many green spaces, parks and beaches that are within walking distance from our school and incorporate experiential learning into their curriculum that have our students out and connecting to their land and community often throughout the school year.

We have a unique campus setting with 5 "Pods" or modular like buildings, making our hallways primarily outdoors. We have a large outdoor space with two incredible playgrounds, undercover play areas, a gravel field, and an outdoor basketball court. We are alongside the grassy Peace Arch Playing Field, that our students are able to access throughout the day.

We are a dual track school where our Neighbourhood Program learners work, learn and play alongside our French Immersion learners. Regardless of the language of instruction, together we are the Peace Arch Ravens!

OUR LEARNERS

Guided by the BC Curriculum the following Core Competencies are imbedded in the learning activities, events and opportunities that our students experience in the Powerful Understanding Lessons:

Positive Personal and Cultural Identity involves the awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the factors that contribute to a healthy sense of oneself; it includes knowledge of one’s family background, heritage(s), language(s), beliefs, and perspectives in a pluralistic society.

People who have a positive personal and cultural identity value their personal and cultural narratives and understand how these shape their identity. They exhibit a sense of self-worth, self-awareness, and positive identity to become confident individuals who take satisfaction in who they are and what they can do. They contribute to their own well-being and to the well-being of their family, community, and society.

Our students continue to develop their Positive Personal and Cultural Identity through the English Language Arts Curriculum and can:

  • acknowledge their strengths and abilities
  • understand that their relationships and cultural contexts help to shape who they are
  • understand that they are unique and are a part of larger, and often multiple, communities

OUR FOCUS

Last year, the focus of our Student Learning Plan was for students to understand themselves and to see themselves and their families represented in the curriculum and learning. This year, we will continue this work with a focus of understanding others which we will do with the help of Adrienne Gear's Powerful Understanding book. This understanding involves:

  • seeing things from others' perspectives 
  • celebrating diversity 
  • making a positive contribution to the local community 

Some of the themes we focused on included kindness, diversity, inclusion and being part of a local community. 


Our school librarian is using some of the suggested anchor books with her classes to focus on the above mentioned themes. One lesson she did with her Kindergarten classes was with the book The Invisible Boy which led to a discussion about the word inclusion and the students making self-to-text and text-to-text connections. For their story workshops, students were given the prompt, "Can you tell a story about inclusion?"

Students were able to explore the English Language Arts Curricular Competencies: "Create stories and other texts to deepen awareness of self, family, and community" and "Explore oral storytelling processes."


Our Kindergarten classes have been learning about our local community. 

After going for a community walk in White Rock last week, they continued their learning about the community by comparing historical photos to what White Rock looks like now on Google maps to explore the following Curricular Competency in Social Studies: "Sequence objects, images, or events, and distinguish between what has changed and what has stayed the same." They began by looking at  historical photos that were primarily of Marine Drive in the 1930s and made observations of features that seemed unfamiliar or missing, such as the road not being paved, the pedestrians wearing dressier clothing and the older models of the vehicles. They  drew their observations of the "then" photo. Afterwards, they pinpointed the  same location on Google maps and viewed the spot with street view to share what they noticed  to compare the similarities and differences. They drew their observations of the "now" photo and then shared their ideas orally using their drawings as prompts.

Learning Target:

I can share what I notice about historical and present photos to draw comparisons between White Rock then and now.                                                  


The grade 6/7 cohort was asked to self-assess themselves in their understanding of themselves, others and their community. 

 


EmergingDevelopingProficientExtending
Understanding of Self
27%61.5%11.5%
Understanding of Others4%19%62%15%
Understanding of Community
15%62%23%

In hopes of improving these understandings, various lessons were done using the following anchor books:

                   

                                                                 

Through these lessons, students were given the opportunity to explore the following Curricular Competencies:

- "Exchange ideas and viewpoints to build shared understanding and extend thinking"

- "Construct meaningful personal connections between self, text, and world"

- "Think critically, creatively, and reflectively to explore ideas within, between, and beyond texts "



OUR NEXT STEPS

As reflected in the student self-assessments, there is still room for growth in relation to our student learning plan goal of understanding others.

Using oral storytelling, students shared their own family's immigration story and also learned about others' stories. This learning will lead to a better understanding of the members of our local community who may have different cultural backgrounds from them.


                                            

 

Our K class has been going on seasonal walks to the local pond to learn about nature and make connections to the learning that took place with their Indigenous Cultural Facilitator that was in during First Peoples in Residence week. 


We will continue to be intentional about diversifying our curriculum and creating opportunities for our students to engage in experiential learning in our local community to allow for this important learning to continue. 


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