Grandview Heights Secondary 23-24


Grandview Heights is the newest secondary school in the Surrey School District which opened its door to our community September 7, 2021. We are proud to acknowledge that we come to school to work and learn on the traditional and unceded territory of the Katzie, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo, and other Cost Salish Peoples.

Our 1700 + amazing students love their school, as do our staff and parent community. The features of this state-of-the-art school are numerous, and include over 60 classrooms , a purpose-built black-box theatre, Grand Atrium that resembles a Coast Salish Longhouse , open concept learning commons, two gymnasiums, along with maker spaces with cutting-edge applied design classroom technologies.

Our teachers understand the importance of innovative learning spaces and that learning occurs every where in our building, not just inside classrooms.

Watch the creation of Grandview Heights here: 

Time Lapse Video of Grandview Heights Construction

The Beginning of a GRIZZLY Legacy

Our Grandview Heights students have joined us from a variety of local secondary and elementary schools; these include Elgin Park, Semiahmoo and Earl Marriott, Sunnyside, Morgan, Pacific Heights, Edgewood and Rosemary Heights. Very few students get the chance to create a new school community and culture from the ground up, and have an opportunity to learn and work in a truly modern and state-of-the-art secondary school.


Grandview Heights Secondary students have come from many places and represent many ethnicities, cultures and languages. Last year our students, staff, and parent community had a chance to tell us what they valued in our school, and through this process we have collaboratively developed our school vision:

"As Grizzlies we come to Grandview Heights seeking safe and respectful connections to our land, community, and one another. We value kindness, curiosity, resiliency, and personal growth."

Our diversity is what makes us great! Who we are and where we come from contribute to our vibrant and inclusive school culture.


What do we know about our students?

Grandview Heights learners understand that learning is a life long pursuit and that they will need to develop a variety of skill sets to navigate the world around them. One of the most important skill sets for our students to develop is the ability to COMMUNICATE clearly and thoughtfully.

Our learners exchange information, experiences, and ideas; to explore the world around them; and to understand and effectively use communication forms, strategies, and technologies. Communicating provides a bridge between peoples’ learning, their personal and social identity, and the world in which they interact.

Our learners can communicate their ideas to their peers. They can confidently express their experiences and ideas to each other in a respectful manner. Our learners understand the importance of communicating with one another and sharing their experiences. 

Through brainstorming on our vertical whiteboard surfaces, our learners are able to demonstrate their knowledge of different topics and see how these ideas connect. Our learners are able to work together to communicate their ideas with each other and their class.

Our learners can use different forms of communication to share their knowledge and ideas. They can communicate using words, pictures, videos and other forms of communication. 

Through the use of innovative technologies such as Minecraft Education our learners can showcase their knowledge of specific content and competencies using the flexible format offered by Minecraft Education. Our learners can communicate their learning in a way that values who they are as learners. For this assignment, Grade 8 Humanities students were tasked with creating a museum exhibit that focused on the theme “Power: Bringing Societies Together and Keeping Them Apart” and included items that they had studied and believed to be “historically significant.” For each item, they were to write a paragraph that explained to museum visitors about the historical significance of the artifact, as well as their reason for including it in the exhibit. Students were given the opportunity to create their museum any way they saw fit. Some chose to draw the floorplan, others build them out of cardboard. A few students even brought artifacts into the classroom and turned our physical space itself into their exhibit! Still, other students created their museum in Minecraft Education Edition. Here are some examples of students Minecraft models:

Our learners understand the importance of using communication as a tool to connect their learning to themselves, to others and the world in which they interact. 

Through our connection with First Peoples, our learners are able to communicate their mathematical knowledge of patterns and relationships to the world around them. In particular, our learners are able to use paper to create cedar weaving art and to illustrate the linear relationships found in this art.


Why does this focus matters?

"We believe that in the classroom, those who are doing the talking are doing the learning."

Communication provides a pathway to explore higher order thinking in numeracy. The students are able to utilize communication to explain and justify mathematical ideas and decisions.

By focusing on a learners ability to effectively communicate their mathematical thinking we empower them as critical thinkers, problem solvers and increase their understanding of how mathematics helps us understand ourselves and the world around us.

Student Learning Goals:

  • Communicate mathematical thinking in many ways
  • Represent mathematical ideas with concrete, pictorial, and symbolic forms
  • Use mathematical vocabulary and language to contribute to mathematical discussions
  • Explain and justify mathematical ideas and decisions

Our Cohort:

The Grandview Heights staff equip all our students with opportunities for improving and developing their communication skills. To monitor and improve our student's success and to understand any areas for improvement we are following one cohort across one subject area.

Numeracy Tasks - using these tasks to improve our learners communication skills

Our learners engaged in numeracy tasks designed to apply real life context to mathematical concepts. These tasks provide opportunities for our learners to work in groups and to communicate with each other as they work through the tasks. Learners are invited to share and test out ideas within a mathematical real life context. Our learners use vertical whiteboard surfaces to begin their work which allows them to generate ideas together as a group and to see how other groups are approaching their task. They are applying the communication competencies as they brainstorm, refine, validate and summarize their work.

Communication Competency Rubric - use this rubric to help our students know how they are doing with communicating

Our learners communicate everyday at Grandview Heights and to provide a way to capture this learning we created a competency rubric with a focus on communication to be able to understand where our learners are finding success and where there might be gaps in their learning. This allows teachers to focus their time in the classroom to help our learners to improve and become more proficient in communicating. Teachers use the rubric to asses student learning and students use the rubric to self asses their own skills. The "I can" statements in the rubric provide students with language they can understand and use, to know where they are at in their learning. 


After reviewing data from the completed numeracy tasks from our cohort, we found evidence of growth within the competency of communication of our learners. Our students' learning demonstrates that our focus on Communication within our cohort classes positively impacted our cohort of learners. Teachers indicated that students demonstrated growth in relation to the following competencies:

  • Communicate mathematical thinking in many ways
  • Represent mathematical ideas with concrete, pictorial, and symbolic forms
  • Use mathematical vocabulary and language to contribute to mathematical discussions
  • Explain and justify mathematical ideas and decisions

Results from Using Two Numeracy Task's to focus and improve communication with our Cohort

Our cohort completed two numeracy tasks, which we then used to asses their communication abilities. The first task was completed at the start of the semester in February of 2024 and the other near the end of the semester in May of 2024. We had 26 students complete the first numeracy task and 21 students complete the second numeracy task. We noticed an improvement in the number of Proficient and Extending level grades achieved and a decrease in the number of Emerging and Developing level grades. Students were given feedback on their initial work and encouraged to re-submit their work with changes for each task. The improvement was a result of spending focused time working to improve their communication skills using engaging tasks, rubrics and feedback. 

Learning Activity





Numeracy Task – Shoe Sale [Feb 2024]

3/26 = 12%

4/26 = 15%

11/26 = 42%

8/26 = 31%

Numeracy Task – Fair Teams [May 2024]

1/21 = 5%

3/21 = 14%

9/21 = 43%

8/21 = 38%

Change/Growth from Feb to March 2024

Decrease of 7%

Decrease of 1%

Increase of 1%

Increase of 7%

A Story of one of our students

One of our students from our cohort had previously really struggled with mathematics. They had a low self confidence when it came to their skills and they felt that they would always be terrible at math. With support and encouragement, this student has really begun to thrive in their math classroom. They are able to better communicate their ideas, more likely to attempt more challenging work on their own and more confident in themselves as a mathematics learner. 

The Numeracy Tasks used for collecting data:

Numeracy Task 1 - Shoe Sale - developing in their communication competency 

Numeracy Task 2 - Fair Teams - moving towards proficient in their communication competency

Moving Forward 

 Based on the evidence of students' progress in relation to improving communication, our next steps will include:

  •  Increasing opportunities for students to regularly use communication strategies in mathematics by using activities such as Estimation 180 (, Visual Patterns ( and Which one doesn't Belong ( to provide tasks for our students to use and improve their mathematical vocabulary. 
  • Continue to provide opportunities for our learners to connect mathematical concepts to each other and how these concepts relate beyond their math classes. We will do this by incorporating Desmos Activities ( which give students online tools to explore mathematical concepts that are connected to real life applications and to communicate their thinking along the way. Desmos also provides opportunities for students to work together to communicate their learning.  
  • Using the Curricular Competency Teaching tasks list created by Grandview Heights staff to engage students daily in communication competency tasks/activities to help to strengthen their communication skills. This will provide students with ample opportunities to learn and grown in their abilities to communicate. GH Mathematics Curricular Compentency Teaching Tasks List Grade 8.pdf

  • Using assessment tasks that focus on our students ability to communicate their understanding. This will ensure that in addition to making sure our students are learning all of the content in a course that we are also assessing their ability to communicate that learning. Commuincation.pdf

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