FLEETWOOD PARK SECONDARY SCHOOL CONTEXT
Fleetwood Park Secondary school is an amazing community with students of diverse backgrounds, abilities and interests. The school has a strong sense of community and tradition. "Dragon spirit" is highly valued! FPSS students are engaged in their learning and demonstrate excellence in all forms of learning every day. Our students value and celebrate the diversity of their school community. They support a friendly and inclusive environment grounded in respect for each individual.
“FPSS is a place of fairness because it is a school that doesn’t discriminate against one’s gender, culture, etc. FPSS has many classes and clubs, including leadership, social justice, Gay-Straight alliance club, multi-cultural club, etc. which all advocate for equality and fairness. Fleetwood Park is very multicultural and diverse.” Gr. 12 Leadership student
“Fleetwood Park Second is a place of caring. It has a friendly environment and everyone, for the most part, is kind to each other. There are great relationships between students to students and also between students to teachers. Everyone is respectful and supportive to each other. Teachers want what’s best for their students, and for the most part, students are respectful to their teachers, the staff, their peers, and the school.” Gr. 12 Leadership student
The diversity of our student body is celebrated. This year we will complete our Indigenous Welcome Post project with our theme of "unity". The project provides a focal point for our school community and is a physical and symbolic reminder of the importance of community. Our school has partnered with Master Carver Mr. Brandon Gabriel from the Kwantlen First Nation. Brandon has interacted across our school community as he has carved the post and discussed its meaning and symbolism. Through his teachings of Indigenous art and culture, through the act of shared artistic creation and through dialogue focussed on the First People's Principles of Learning, we are teaching our students that learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place.)
"As an indigenous youth, I was very inspired hearing about the impact these carvers have had in our communities sharing their art and teaching their culture. From getting to work hands on with the tools, learning about carving, and hearing their stories about their practice, it has been really cool watching the development process and getting to be a part of it." Student - Indigenous Leadership Council
"This is a great experience and I have enjoyed learning about the symbols on the welcome post. I have been quite honored for being given this chance and being taught how to use the tools. It is nice to be able to get along with the other kids and relate with their backgrounds." Student - Indigenous Leadership Council
"I have really enjoyed talking with Brandon and the other carvers. Learning about my culture and spending time with elders has been an amazing experience. I can't wait to see the project finished." Student - Indigenous Leadership Council
The First Peoples Principles of Learning support the success of our students across all curricular and extra-curricular areas of our school. These principles are embedded in all subject areas in BC's curriculum. This year, our staff and students are focussed on two First Peoples Principles of Learning. We celebrate our learners' successes and strengths through the implementation of the following principles:
Learning is embedded in memory, history, and story
The exploration of history through story-telling helps our Learners understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures and contexts.
Students understand they are a part of a larger system/community yet their individual impact and place within it is valued and significant. Students in our Humanities 8 classes recognize that their fingerprint on the school is greater than the one they left on the canvas in this example. Their fingerprint isn’t necessarily physical and represents the impact they have on peers, teachers and the broader community. Our learners value the potential to have a lasting, positive impact on those around them and believe that this is primary in both their learning and development as members of a community.
“Seeing the fingerprints across the canvas showed us our entire class together and we were also able to see that each of us is unique. We can put our own mark on the school!”
Learning requires exploration of one’s identity.
Our Home Economics Department reaffirmed and celebrated our student diversity with their shoe decoration project. Students reflected on own identities and discussed the importance of maintaining healthy and supportive relationships. Students created their own shoe designs that represented themselves and amazed us with their talent and creativity.
Students in our PHE class explored their own family history in sport to learn more about their own identities.
Students were asked to talk to their family (parents, grandparents) about sports/activities they enjoyed when they were their age growing up. Did they share the same interest in these activities? Were their experiences with sports and activities something that you would have enjoyed or would like to learn?
"In my family traditions like soccer and traditional dance runs through the generations, as both my parents were athletes growing up. I also have the same interests as them. I play soccer outside of school and dance. I been playing soccer for all most 5 years and been dancing for almost 14 years. I enjoy these sports massively as they have a lot of meaning for me. Dance helps me connect with my culture as I am the second generation, both my parents are born and raised in Canada which gave a barrier between my culture and my family. Dance helps acknowledge the values of our heritage and bring peace to the mind. Soccer is a way for me to stay active and it encourages me to stay fit and healthy. I would love to learn more about basketball because this sport seems interesting and fun once you understand the rules and get the hang of it."
Every day our learners are presented with opportunities to learn and grow through the implementation of First Peoples Principles of Learning. We have focused on the use of two Principles of Learning within a cohort of learners. 1) Learning is embedded in memory, history, and story, and 2) Learning requires exploration of one’s identity. This cohort includes a diverse range of learners that are representative of our school’s population and across all subject areas. These Learning Principles found expression through the following Curricular Competencies.
Fleetwood Park Secondary students have recognized personal, social and cultural contexts, values and perspectives in text. They have had the opportunity to learn from and develop their story-telling abilities across numerous curricular activities. As an example, students in the cohort participated in a “Hidden Ancestors” project. They researched their ancestors and learned the stories of their lives. Students reflected on how their ancestors’ lives and experiences have shaped their own lives.
Students in the cohort also constructed meaningful personal connections between self, text and the world. They explored various aspects of their own identity through their participation in a “Masks and Identity” project. Students created their own set of masks representing their “true” selves and their “public” selves. The masks were a visual representation of their differing character traits. Students then wrote a descriptive summary of their identities and how their masks represented themselves in the world.
OUR NEXT STEPS
Our learners will continue to develop their skills and capacities through the use and practice of First Peoples Principles of Learning.
Students were able to demonstrate greater levels of proficiency in constructing meaningful personal connections between self, text and the world.
Through the use of story-telling and exploration of memory and history, Humanities 9 students completed a journalism writing task called "Hidden Figures." After viewing a film, students considered people they knew who make a significant impact without receiving the credit they deserve. They viewed magazine articles for ideas on style, brainstormed questions, practiced interviewing, interviewed their hidden figure, collated the responses and produced a magazine-style feature article (or podcast). Many students chose a family member for their subject, and the interviews often focused on obstacles these family members faced on their journeys. The assignment directly supported the ". . .story-telling and exploration of memory and history" element of the Curricular Competency.
Upon completion of the “Hidden Figures” project, students’ understanding of this Curricular Competency was significantly deeper.
Students in the cohort also focussed on learning to recognize personal, social and cultural contexts, values and perspectives in text through the exploration of their own identity.
This learning was supported through their “Masks and Identity” project. Again, students’ initial articulation of their identities prior to the project was often limited.
Upon completion of the project, through discussion, reflection, art and writing, students in the cohort were able to reflect at a much deeper and more meaningful level and articulate their identity, and factors influencing their identity, through their expressive work.
The growth of student learning was measured in two ways.
1) Grade 9 Humanities students responded to an anonymous "Identity" survey prior to the instructional unit and after completion of the unit. Students responded to the same 24 questions related to their own beliefs about their identity.
After completion of this unit of study, and significant self-reflection, students showed growth in these curricular competencies. Students gained an understanding of the numerous factors that contribute to one's sense of identity and how it can change over time. Students demonstrated that their thinking about their identity became deeper, more nuanced and subject to change.
2) Humanities 9 students were also asked to write a paragraph to respond to the factors that impact their identity. Students made two attempts with this writing prompt, before and after the instructional activities. Students' proficiencies were measured using the standard Humanities 9 Proficiency scales, with focus on Content.
The percentage of students achieving each level of the Proficiency Scale is represented below.
In the second attempt of this writing assignment, there was a significant increase in content knowledge and understanding. Structure, voice and mechanics showed little change, but content showed the biggest change of all areas.
In general, paragraphs included more detail and examples of the factors impacting one's identity. Students saw identity as more nuanced than originally thought - a construct that is derived from a wide variety of factors and experiences.
Advancing our learners skillsets through memory, history and story as well as through exploration of one’s identity have been very important. Our students have progressed in their understanding of themselves and how this connects to their interactions with their peers, our school, and the surrounding community. In moving forward, we plan on expanding the cohort of students across grades and disciplines who will focus on these Curricular Competencies and supported by these First Peoples Principles of Learning. As we continue with this work, we will build on it in the following ways.
Learning is embedded in memory, history, and story
Learning requires exploration of one’s identity