George Greenaway Elementary 23-24


We respectfully acknowledge that we work, learn and play on the unceded, shared territories of the Coast Salish peoples. We honour the q̓íc̓əy̓ (Katzie), Semyome (Semiahmoo) and Kwantlen First Nations who have been the stewards of this land since time immemorial. We highlight this history knowing that relationships and partnerships based on respect with the Indigenous peoples of this land are important for truth and reconciliation.

George Greenaway Elementary where "Everyone's Best Builds Success". Our mission is to create a community school where students feel connected to each other, our staff and the greater school community. George Greenaway Elementary welcomes and supports all learners with a goal to help every child reach excellence in citizenship and academic achievement. We strive to support our students to develop a ‘growth mindset’ to promote effort and persistence in learning. We want all our students to continue to build problem-solving skills and strategies in knowing how to productively handle conflicts. Diversity and inclusion are central to the learning and growth at George Greenaway. With a large, growing and increasingly diverse school community of over 620+ students, we continually work towards creating an environment that embraces the diversity of our students and a deeper understanding and appreciation of our whole school community. Throughout the year, we recognize, learn about and honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Orange Shirt Day, Black History Month, Vaisakhi, Eid, Pride Month and many more.

We offer opportunities for our students to flourish both inside and outside the classroom. In partnership with the ‘Community Schools Partnership’ (CSP) department at Surrey Schools and the ‘Washington Kids Foundation’, students can participate in different programs such as ‘Jumpstart’ and ‘Game Ready’. Our focus is on empowering our students to help them feel they have opportunities to make a positive impact on their school and community. Students in our intermediate grades can participate in a variety of sports including Cross Country, Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball, Badminton, Ultimate and Track & Field. In addition, Band is offered to our Grade 7 students interested in learning to play an instrument.


Over the last few years, our school has focused on enhancing our learner’s social-emotional awareness and skills through supporting them in adopting a growth mindset to positively impact their acquisition of new learning and tasks. This year, as we transition to a literacy focus, our students have been able to enhance their reading skills, particularly in the areas of building foundational phonics skills and in their fluency. Our learners are able to use various adaptive strategies such as making use of picture clues and reading on to make sense of what is being read. They are able to make connections to their own experiences and leverage their background knowledge so they can better comprehend and engage with print material, leading to increased confidence in their abilities. Reading fluency and comprehension are critical to students' academic achievement and self-esteem. Fluent readers can engage with various texts, understand content and think critically. However, before achieving reading proficiency, students must develop strong decoding skills. Decoding involves translating written words into sounds and is essential for word recognition and reading fluency. When students become proficient in decoding, they read more fluently, allowing them to focus on understanding the text.

Our Learners are Building Foundational Phonics Skills

Foundational phonics are essential for learning to read because it teaches students the relationship between letters and sounds. This skill allows our learners to decode words, which means they can sound out and recognize written words accurately and efficiently. Mastering phonics helps our learners read fluently and better understand what they read, forming the basis for all future reading and learning. By using a variety of reading programs and assessment strategies, we are facilitating the explicit and systematic teaching of foundational skills needed for our learners to become proficient readers.


*Student engaging with a reading program 

Our Learners are Developing Reading Fluency

Reading fluency, particularly in early primary, is crucial as it serves as a bridge between decoding words and understanding text. Fluent readers can read text accurately, at an appropriate pace and with expression. This skill is crucial because it enhances comprehension, aids vocabulary development, boosts motivation and fosters independence, laying a strong foundation for future learning and overall academic success. Our learners who read fluently are better equipped to study on their own, conduct research and engage with various types of written materials independently.

Our Learners are Finding Joy in Books and Building their Confidence around Reading

This year, our school participated in a Book Exchange Program facilitated by leadership students in the Environmental Club at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary School, who collected and donated books to our school for our students. This fantastic initiative promoted reading and community engagement. Our learners are encouraged to donate books they no longer need and/or choose a new book to keep. This program has sparked a joy for books and subsequently, the love for reading amongst our students has increased along with having access to books at home. Students who have a joy and love of reading are more likely to develop a positive attitude towards learning in general. As our learners grow, their overall reading skills, fluency and their confidence around reading increases and they are motivated to read more, and the positive cycle continues. 


And as our learners find joy and fall in love with reading, they also have a new-found desire to share their favourite books with others and also write their own stories. 


 *Grade 1 students become authors and illustrators


 *Grade 2/3s find inspiration from their favourite books


This year, our teachers identified literacy, specifically, reading fluency and comprehension as an area of growth for our students. Teaching fluency lays the foundation for lifelong literacy skills. It enables young learners to read with accuracy, speed and expression, enhancing comprehension and enjoyment of texts. However, before learners can become fluent readers, they must be able to decode text. Once our learners can decode text independently and with proficiency, they can focus more on understanding the text, which improves overall fluency.

The Learning Standard we are Focusing on:

Reading Strategies and Processes for

  • using knowledge of language patterns and phonics to decode words
  • identifying familiar and “sight” words

With a focus on our learners who receive targeted learning support, we implemented direct instructional strategies tailored for early primary students to address reading fluency concerns. Our Learning Support Teachers have been focusing on increasing our learners’ capacity for decoding multisyllabic words, explicitly teaching vowel teams to help our early leaners grasp the relationship between letters and sounds and collaborating with classroom teachers to create objectives and proficiency markers for reading that are being used universally with our Grade 1 students.


*Student practicing along with strategies/lessons in class

 *LST students practicing “word work” focusing on vowel teams

 *Grade 2 student who showed great improvement over the course of the year; reading independently, with confidence 

Our learners are using their prior knowledge and self-monitoring to decode words as they read. When students can decode words effectively, they become more confident readers, which leads to improved reading skills overall.


To support our learners in developing reading fluency, a variety of pre and post assessments and programming have been implemented for our early learners. Early identification and intervention for struggling readers was and continues to be essential. Our early primary teachers and LST team gathered the following data. Using data attained from our early learners and assessment of our ELL students, programming and objectives were set and assessed for progress in January and May.

Reading Strategies and Processes for

  • using knowledge of language patterns and phonics to decode words
  • identifying familiar and “sight” words

With collaborative and targeted programming between our Learning Support Team and early primary classroom teachers, our early learners developed their decoding and overall fluency skills. Data collected from a phonics survey marked improvement in alphabet skills (consonant sounds, short and long vowel sounds), and decoding skills (short vowel, consonant clusters, diagraphs and silent ‘E’). This indicated an increase in the proficiency of phonemic awareness in our cohort sample group.


Assessment results show that students who were instructed using explicit, systematic strategies made substantial progress in their reading skills. Comparing assessment results from January to May, many students were able to read and spell an increasing number of words that focused on the skills in which they were instructed. For example, a Grade 2 student who was assessed in January on a phonics assessment scored 7/15 for short vowel words, 7/20 for consonant clusters with short vowels, and 1/15 on short vowel words with digraphs. After 5 months of instruction, the same student was re-assessed in May with the same words and scored 15/15, 20/20 and 15/20 in the same reading skill domains. Other Grade 2 students showed similar growth in the same areas. However, when the students were being assessed on a section of the assessment in which they had not received explicit instruction, they were unable to successfully read the words because they hadn’t learned the tools to decode them yet.

Gaining confidence and increasing fluency in reading directly affects students' success in other curricular areas including writing. Here is a sample of a student from the cohort who made great gains throughout the year in reading fluency; sparking confidence and joy for her as a reader, leading her to become an inspired author and illustrator.



Insights and Reflections from our Students

Question: Please share a little bit about your learning journey in growing as a reader this year, and how you feel about yourself as a reader now.

 Grade 2 Student A:

"Well, I worked on reading in LST this year. I do enjoy LST because I learned how to read. I enjoy it because now I learned so much stuff and now I am getting smarter. And when I get smarter it is so much funner and I liked reading. It is actually kinda fun. I can sound out the words and I feel sooo confident as a reader now. Learning to sound out the words makes it easier to read and I like reading now."

 Grade 5 Student B:

"This year in LST we have been working on letter group and affixes, and vowel sounds. At the beginning of the year, I was not confident in my reading abilities. In class I would ignore any kind of reading and not do my work. After learning reading in LST, I am more confident as a reader. In class I actually read all the instructions my teacher gives me and I try to complete my work." 

 Continuing the Journey

At George Greenaway Elementary, we are proud of the progress our learners have made in a short time.  Based on evidence of students’ progress in relation to our learning goals, our next steps will include:

- Continuing to build fluency through the intentional use of instructional strategies to allow opportunities for students to further build their fluency skills.

 - Comprehensive school wide implementation of reading strategies (grade appropriate) to increase student fluency across all grade levels.

- For the 2024-2025 school year, we will expand our cohort, and data will be gathered from both primary and intermediate grade levels to gain a school-wide perspective on fluency and comprehension of students across all grades.

- At George Greenaway, we are dedicated to ensuring that all students acquire the literacy skills and proficiencies essential for success in school and beyond. As we continually monitor, reflect and refine our learning plan, we will also prioritize the equitable distribution of instruction, time and resources focusing on supporting and reaching our most vulnerable learners.


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