École Woodward Hill 23-24


Woodward Hill Community School takes great pride in fostering a secure, inclusive, and inviting environment for all learners. Our school, established in 2010, hosts one of the District’s Early Immersion programs for students from Kindergarten to Grade 7. Located in an area that has experienced significant population growth in recent years, our community reflects a rich tapestry of diversity, with residents speaking 53 different languages at home.

We recognize and honor our connection to the traditional, ancestral, and unceded lands of the Katzie, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo, and other Coast Salish Peoples. In our commitment to Truth and Reconciliation, we recognize the importance of bringing parts of Indigenous culture to our school.

At Woodward Hill Elementary, students are encouraged to engage in a variety of extracurricular activities, including soccer, basketball, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, track and field, and more. Student leadership plays a central role in our school community, organizing events like Spirit Days, We Scare Hunger, food drives, and the Cozy Kids Campaign.

Fostering strong ties between home and school is paramount for us. Our Parents as Partners literacy event is a testament to this commitment, where parents can participate in activities designed to enhance their understanding of how to support their child’s reading journey. By collaborating to cultivate a love for reading, we empower all our students to thrive academically and emotionally.

In recognition of our diverse community, we embrace and celebrate a multitude of cultural holidays, including Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Vaisakhi, Ramadan, and Lunar New Year. At Woodward Hill, every tradition is honored and cherished, contributing to the vibrant tapestry of our school community.


Reading is a foundational skill that opens a world of opportunities for our students. Where our youngest learners are building skills to learn how to read, our intermediate students continue to develop their reading reading skills to broaden their understanding of literature, science, sociology, technology and many other concepts. 

Our learners use decoding strategies to strengthen their reading skills.

Our youngest learners practice decoding strategies to develop strong reading skills. The image on the left demonstrates using picture clues to build meaning. Using picture clues is an important beginning reading strategy for all learners, as Sumair describes, "I knew this word was 'robot' because on the left page it kind of looks like a robot. Also, I read this book a lot. Also, the first letter is'r' and that makes sense." 

In the middle image, students receive direct instruction on how to use Magic 'e' to decode and write words. Direct reading instruction is central to helping students learn how to read at all levels. In the example below, the use of white boards during whole group instruction is not only fun for students, but also  provides instant feedback to the teacher on student understanding. The third image on the right demonstrates how students use loose parts to create stories. Through story writing, students develop language skills that support their reading development. 

The videos below demonstrate reading strategies used by our early learners. Encourage your children to practice these strategies while reading at home.

Blend the sounds


Magic "e"

Flip the Sound

Two Vowel Rule

Use Picture Clues

Our learners develop their vocabulary skills to be strong readers.

Our learners are exposed to rich vocabulary through non-fiction resources, field trip, pictures, videos, assemblies and classroom discussion and activities. By intentionally exposing our learners to language, they are developing competency in reading skills.

Our learners can recognize and value the joy in reading.

Our learners have access to rich resources and high interest books to nurture joy in reading. Finding joy in reading supports feelings of calm and self-regulation. Our Library Learning Commons is a hub in our school and serves as a space where students can nestle with a good book, find their next great read, and explore alternative genres to pique their interests. So, while learning to read is a priority for our learners, it is equally important to find joy in literature.

Reading is joyfully calming 

Sia reminds us that, "you can calm your body by reading a book standing up, sitting down or lying in your bed. It's good to do when the room is quiet."

There is joy to be found in sharing a book

Buddy Reading is one way books can be enjoyed together. Below, we see Nathan, Tanvir and Kaavya reading together.

Discovering the right book or genre brings joy to our lives

Our librarians are the perfect people to help students to find books and genres of interest. Beth and Jayde talk about joy in reading.

Our learners support each others' reading skills through mentorship and practice (and have fun while doing so!)

Reading Buddies is a school project where older students read with younger learners. Reading Buddies provides opportunities for mentorship, relationship, community building, and reading support. A win, win, win! 


Reading proficiently is a foundational skill that enriches the well-being of our students now and in the future. Strong readers have the opportunity to better their lives both professionally and personally. Our team of educators understand the significance of developing our learners' reading skills. Each day our learners  experience text-rich environments and explicit reading instruction to support the development of their full potential. Our vision is to have all students reading strategically and with joy.

Our students' learning goals are

  • reading strategically 
  • valuing the joy in reading and its contribution to feeling calm
  • developing strong vocabulary

While we have assessed all learners' reading skills, we have focused on our early learners - Kindergarten to Grade 3 - to document and identify successes and gaps.


Reading spans all areas of learning from arts and culture to science and technology and beyond. And because reading to learn is central to our students' school experience and life opportunities, our educators prioritize learning to read for all children. A quote by one of our learners aptly describes learning to read, "reading to someone helps me to be a better reader because when you’re learning the words you can help people”.

In the video below, Ms. Harold demonstrates one way to help students practice and learn their letter sounds. Practicing letter sounds is foundational to learning to read and a skill students learn at school. Consider having your children rehearse their letter sounds at home.


Our focus on teaching students to read strategically is positively influencing our early learners. Using the Fountas and Pinnell reading assessment, the graphs below demonstrate progress with two cohorts of students. The coloured regions of the graph represent the following:

GREEN - students reading at or above grade level

YELLOW - students approaching grade level expectations

RED - students not yet meeting grade level expectations and requiring learning support intervention

Cohort 1 from May 2021 to May 2023 

Cohort 2 from May 2021 to May 2023 

Cohort 3 from May 2021 to May 2022*

Cohort 4 from May 2021 to May 2022*

*In 2023 an alternative assessment was used to assess Cohort 3 and 4s' reading skills. The data is not available. 

In the graphs above, we see improvements in students entering the green region over a three year span. One exception is Cohort 2 and 4 where we see a drop in Year 3 and 2, respectively. Reasoning for this is related to student turnover and an influx of students with intensive language needs. We expect Cohort 2s reading to trend upward over time. Our team of early literacy teachers use evidence based practices such as Heggerty to explicitly teach reading and improve outcomes. Other strategies we use include guided reading where small groups of students receive instruction from their teacher, literacy circles where students work together to reflect on literature, and buddy reading where older students read with a younger child. Some of our teachers have been exploring Noisy Reading. Noisy Reading invites families into the learning space to read with their child and promote joy and love for books. During this time, teachers provide small tips families can use at home to support their child's reading.

Parents reading with their children makes a big difference in their long-term reading outcomes.

These images show Hasina, Adrian, Shabeg and Rahaao enjoying family time with a book.

As we turn attention to the 2024-25 school year, our team will continue early reading initiatives to support our youngest learners. In addition, we will expand our learning plan to include intermediate grades with an emphasis on classroom strategies to sharpen reading skills and build student competence.

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