A Glimpse into Hyland Elementary
Hyland Elementary is situated in Surrey's Newton suburb in British Columbia, nestled in a residential area near Hyland Creek Park. The park features lush trees, a flowing stream with spring salmon sightings, and a playground. Our school comprises 20 classrooms, offering programs in French, Music, and Band. Additionally, students can enjoy our inviting learning commons, which provides opportunities for reading, ADST activities, and experiential learning.
Hyland Elementary offers two specialized programs catered to students in our district. Our first program is the Multi-Aged Cluster Classroom (MACC), led by a dedicated teacher who fosters an intellectually stimulating and emotionally supportive atmosphere. Students in this program pursue an advanced curriculum tailored to their individual goals. Our second program is the Challenge Program, available for students in Grades 3 to 7. It provides an exciting platform for active participation and collaboration with students from neighboring elementary schools, offering academic and creative challenges.
Within Hyland, there is a before school and after school daycare program for Hyland students. There is also a pre-school program that runs daily for our future Hyland Hawks. Also our community offers before school and after school care all serviced by Cambridge Learning Centre.
Our Hyland Elementary Community has a diverse group of students. There are 28 languages spoken by our families at Hyland Elementary. Hyland Elementary has over 200 English-language learners, ranging from beginning to bridging.
Hyland Elementary welcomes many students who are new to the country, with sixty-three new students arriving new this year. We have been fortunate to be able to welcome so many new students to our community and have been able to offer different supports through the both the district and the ministry. This makes certain school events like our multicultural day even richer with so many families participating.
At Hyland, we prioritize the cultivation of future leaders through mentorship and providing diverse opportunities through participation and leadership in a range of experiences and activities. Our students actively contribute to our school community and collaborate in numerous ways to foster a positive culture of care, inclusivity, and respect for all learners.
These leadership roles encompass a range of responsibilities such as Fitkid athletics, assembly leadership, technology support, playground mentoring, walk and roll monitoring, and announcement coordination, clubs organization, and others.
These incredible opportunities empower all of our learners to actively engage in a diverse range of activities, enabling them to embrace new experiences and fostering a vibrant environment of meaningful involvement and transformative growth. As students embark on these enriching endeavors, they will carry the seeds of change far beyond the confines of the school, nurturing a lifelong spirit of exploration and personal development.
Our Hyland Learners
Our students over the last two years have demonstrated tremendous resilience and continue to show great pride in being a part of our Hyland School community. Our students can adapt, work together, learn from each other, work independently and can apply what they have learned to their lives at school and at home. In general, our students are respectful, hardworking and as a school, we have been focusing on understanding the core competencies and identifying specific strengths and challenges that our learners possess and need to build upon. This year, our School Learning Plan focuses on Core and Curricular Competencies, with particular emphasis on Positive Personal and Cultural Identity under the umbrella of the Personal and Social Core Competency.
As a school, we are focusing on increasing student’s ability to engage in reflection and self-assessments with teachers being intentional in addressing and building the language and understanding of the core competencies. We are using reflective prompts, criteria and conversations that are strength-based and ask open-ended questions that are critical in helping students increase their ability to self-reflect and self-assess. We emphasize the need to understand our family and cultural backgrounds and learn about other cultures and the mosaic of backgrounds that make up the Hyland community.
Our work began in the 2021-22 school year where we originally began working with the resource Six Cedar Trees by Margot Landahl and Celestine Aleck. We had focussed on the animals Wolf and Bear (Communication and Personal Awareness and Responsibility). We continued our work this year by focussing on the Orca (Personal and Cultural Responsibilty). We also decided as a staff to work more intentionally with the Core Competency by only working on one compentecy this year. We are planning to continue this effort and focus next year with the selection of Salmon (Critical Thinking) from the Six Cedar Trees book in 2023-2024.
This resource connects six Coast Salish animals to BC's Core Competencies. The Six Cedar Trees, grew out of a personal inquiry into British Columbia’s Core Competencies and a school inquiry into the The First Peoples Principles of Learning. Each animal was carefully chosen by the authors as an “anchor” to teach children holistically, ways of being a reflective, compassionate and well-adjusted person connected through a sense of social responsibility and compassion for place and people.
Our focus was on the core competency of Personal and Social. The Orca is a teaches us about who we are, where we come from, and our own personal histories. Our goal was for our community to gain a greater sense of self for the purposes of improving confidence and self advocacy. Using the First People Principals of Learning as a guide, and understanding that learning requires exploration of one‘s identity, we collectively explored the theme of Orca.
Positive Personal and Cultural Identity encompasses the recognition, comprehension, and admiration of the elements that contribute to a wholesome perception of oneself. This involves being aware of one's familial background, heritage(s), language(s), beliefs, and viewpoints within a diverse society.
Individuals possessing a positive personal and cultural identity hold their personal and cultural stories in high regard and comprehend how these narratives shape their sense of self. They demonstrate a strong sense of self-value, self-awareness, and a constructive self-perception, enabling them to become self-assured individuals who take pride in their identity and capabilities. Moreover, they actively contribute to their own well-being as well as that of their family, community, and society.
To understand and track students' progress with the competency, 10 divisions ranging from grade 1 to grade 7 participated in a survey. Two versions were create with the goal of having simpler more accessible language for the younger students, and more direct and specific language for the intermediate students, yet both trying to determine the same information. Students were given a visual with which to respond, and did so by circling their response. The results of the survey were compiled to show a baseline of where students were at towards the start of the year. Several questions were highlighted as being goals for classes to focus on. It was also administered in May to see where there was student progress in relation to those goals.
The initial results showed (using language from the Primary Survey):
Question 1 - I can list the ways I am special. (53% of students responded Yes)
Question 2 - I can name the people that are important to me and I can explain why. (74% of students responded Yes)
Question 3 - I can tell my likes and dislikes. (72% of students responded Yes)
Question 4 - I know about my family and cultural background. (70% of students responded Yes)
Question 5 - I can explain my personal strengths. (59% of students responded Yes)
Question 6 - I know what my academic strengths are. (60% of students responded Yes)
Question 7 - I know what subjects I like and why. (82% of students responded Yes)
Question 8 - The subject I would like to improve on the most is: (Math - 40%, Reading - 25%, Writing - 35%)
With this knowledge the school embarked on a journey of self discovery through the Orca theme.
Some examples from our classes:
This work lead students to learn more about themselves and their own culture.
This culminated with the school reissuing the survey and seeing positive movement in most areas (using language from the Primary Survey):
Question 1 - I can list the ways I am special. (53%-->61% of students responded Yes)
Question 2 - I can name the people that are important to me and I can explain why. (74%-->81% of students responded Yes)
Question 3 - I can tell my likes and dislikes. (72%-->82% of students responded Yes)
Question 4 - I know about my family and cultural background. (70%-->78% of students responded Yes)
Question 5 - I can explain my personal strengths. (59%-->57% of students responded Yes)
Question 6 - I know what my academic strengths are. (60%-->66% of students responded Yes)
Question 7 - I know what subjects I like and why. (82%-->83% of students responded Yes)
Question 8 - The subject I would like to improve on the most is: (Math - 41%, Reading - 20%, Writing - 39%)
OUR NEXT STEPS
We will continue to focus on students and staff digging deeper with their understanding of the core competencies. Having both students and staff examine their strengths and their challenges as well as setting goals for successes. As a school we will be using specific prompts for reflecting on student self assessments.
Describe a form of communication you are proud of. What would you like others to notice about it?
Describe ways that you contribute to discussions.
Explain what you do when you disagree with someone in your group. How did you learn this strategy?
Describe how you share ideas and questions
What strategies do you use when you want to generate ideas? How do you develop your ideas?
Talk about something you designed. If you did it all over again, what adjustments would you make?
What helps you get new ideas?
Describe the environment you like to be in when you are coming up with new ideas?
POSITIVE PERSONAL & CULTURAL IDENTITY
What are you good at?
Describe something you really liked in the work you did. What made it special for you?
How have your experiences, family history, heritage and/or peers helped shape who you are today?
How do you make good decisions? What influences your decisions?
What makes you unique?
PERSONAL AWARENESS & RESPONSIBILITY
How are you progressing as a learner? How can you use your strengths to improve?
Describe a time you stood up for something you believed in. How did you express yourself? What motivated you? Did you need help?
Talk about a time that you made some good choices that contributed to your well-being.
When I am having trouble with something, I...
I can keep myself healthy by...
Describe some of the ways you have collaborated with others in...?
How have you strengthened your relationships with others this year?
Describe how your actions have helped make your classroom, school, community or the natural environment a better place.
What does fair look like, and how do you make that happen?
Describe a time you used kind words and actions to encourage or help others.
Describe a problem that you solved. What choices did you make that made a difference to the outcome of the problem?
When you analyze and critique your work, what evidence and criteria do you use to draw conclusions about it?
What strategies do you use to determine the truth about what you’re reading on a social media site?
When you are curious, how do you find answers?