Hillcrest Elementary 23-24


Hillcrest is located on the shared traditional territory of the Katzie, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo and other Coast Salish Peoples. We recognize their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Our Clayton area school enrols approximately 500 students from K – G. 7. The community consists largely of young families, many with two incomes. The parents at Hillcrest work tirelessly helping to build a positive school community with special events and fundraising to support the school.  Many parents volunteer on a regular basis. The staff, students and parents work together to establish a strong collaborative and caring culture.  

At Hillcrest we believe in the importance of developing a love of learning and sense of inquiry with staff and students alike.  Hillcrest staff members are proud of and continue to dedicate efforts towards building and maintaining a strong collaborative and caring culture. Hillcrest is a very special learning environment where the staff willingly and regularly involve themselves in a multitude of activities to inspire and encourage the love of learning and sense of community.   These activities include the Student Leadership program, athletic teams, lunch monitors, ongoing professional development, and exploration of innovative teaching practices. At Hillcrest, we are proud of our caring, energetic, informed and thoughtful learning community.


Hillcrest Learners are Focusing on Writing

The students of Hillcrest are learning to write because writing is an important life skill necessary for both formal and informal communication. Writing practice also helps develop reading skills.
Hillcrest students work on developing writing skills daily through journal-writing, cross-curricular essays, digital presentations and other written assignments. We are a community of writers.

Some writing goals Hillcrest students are working on:

1. Hillcrest Students can Create Stories Through Play

2. Hillcrest Students Can Use Story Elements Appropriately

3. Hillcrest Students Can Create Proper Story Structures

In the above photo students are using loose parts manipulatives to create stories as part of the Story Workshop method.


Students at Hillcrest are Developing their Writing Skills

A cohort of primary students was selected to represent early writing development at Hillcrest. Students in the cohort are working on these writing goals:

  • Create stories to deepen awareness of self, family and community

  • Communicate using sentences and most conventions of Canadian spelling, grammar and punctuation

Every week the cohort receives instruction on how to use the Story Workshop method, and time to practice with it. This includes instruction on story elements and structure and takes advantage of a young child's innate ability to play. Story Workshop uses "loose parts" as manipulatives through which a child can create a narrative. Loose parts include simple objects such as buttons, feathers, blocks and ribbons.



With consistent instruction and practice, the cohort of students demonstrated notable growth towards the goals. To monitor growth over time student writing was assessed using the proficiency scale pictured below. 

To demonstrate proficiency, we have included two samples:

  1. In the below video one of our students shares a "proficient" story. It includes characters, a problem and solution, a beginning, a middle and an end.
  2. Pictured below is a written story, also assessed proficient. 

Over the course of the 2023/2024 school year the cohort of students practicing story workshop weekly demonstrated clear growth in story-writing. In term one nearly a third of the cohort was assessed as "emerging" and while half of the cohort was assessed as "proficient," no one was "extending" (see Term 1 pie chart).

In term 3 more than half of the students are "proficient," no one in the cohort is "emerging" and a sixth of the students are even "extending" (see Term 3 pie chart).


Going deeper with this goal, all Hillcrest students will be participating in a "cold write." A cold write is a writing assessment which will allow us to identify what writing skills students need the most support with and to demonstrate growth over the course of a school year when the assessment activity is repeated in future.

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