Katzie Elementary 23-24

OUR CONTEXT

ʔəy̓ sweyəl! 

Our school is on the land where the Katzie People traditionally gathered and hunted their food, shared stories in their hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language, learned from their Elders and celebrated community.  The land was shared with the Kwantlen, Semiahmoo and other Coast Salish People.   

As a school community we acknowledge our privilege of working, learning, and playing on this unceded land. We are honoured to have been given the name Katzie for our school and we treasure the special relationship we have with the Katzie First Nation.  Our staff and students are actively engaged in learning from the Katzie People by studying their history, cultural practices, learning the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language and making meaningful connections with the land and its life. 

Rooted in the First People’s Principles of Learning, Katzie Elementary is an inclusive, diverse, and connected community who learn from each other's strengths, work together to build an environment of respect, and gather in many ways to develop our personal and social identities. 

At Katzie, students are offered opportunities to grow within and outside of the classroom.  Through intentional classroom instruction, various clubs, athletics, the Fine Arts, leadership groups, and school-wide events, students are developing competencies and knowledge connected to the curriculum, their passions, and talents.  Our House Teams bring us together in multi age groups to build a sense of belonging and focus on shared values of kindness, inclusion, and authenticity.  

The families of Katzie play a key role in our learning goals.  Parents are invited to engage and support through the PAC, volunteering, to celebrate learning and participate in teaching by sharing their gifts.  We are a strong community, centering relationships and the belief that we all have something to share. 

OUR LEARNERS

Writing is a powerful form of communication and an essential component of literacy.  Literate students can make meaning of text, think critically and communicate in a variety of ways.  Writing helps us to share our thoughts, feelings, understandings and ideas.  It can also help us complete tasks that are important to daily life.  We also know that written expression benefits the author and the reader through sharing stories and knowledge. 

Because “everyone has a unique story to share” and “stories help us learn about ourselves, our families and our communities” (British Columbia English Language Arts Curriculum), our primary aim is to: 

  • Provide students with opportunities to develop their story 

  • Engage students with instruction and practice of the skills needed to clearly communicate their story 

  • Offer authentic opportunities and audiences for sharing our stories through writing

These goals are rooted in the Curricular Competency in the English Language Arts Curriculum, “Plan and create a variety of communication forms for different purposes and audiences”. 

In relationship to this goal, our students can: 

  • Plan their writing with a purpose 
  • Write a first draft connected to their topic and with an effective form to share their ideas 
  • Revise their writing considering content, structure and organization 
  • Edit their writing employing knowledge of conventions 
  • Share their writing with their audience in a meaningful way 

OUR FOCUS

Writing provides students with opportunities to share their stories and through them share their thinking, feelings, knowledge and ideas.  We can find understanding of ourselves and connection to others through sharing our stories. 

Our focus is to help students deepen their ability to communicate through building their writing sophistication from grade K–7.  Specifically: 

  • Make a plan for writing 

  • Develop, revise and edit a piece of writing 

  • Share writing with an authentic audience in a meaningful way

To accomplish this, our students will be engaged in learning opportunities rooted in content and curricular competencies from the curriculum.  Our teachers worked collaboratively to develop writing rubrics based on the content and the curricular competency in the English Language Arts curriculum that builds from 

  • “Plan and create a variety of communication forms for different purposes and audiences” (Grade 1) to 
  • “use writing and design processes to plan, develop, and create engaging and meaningful literary and informational texts for a variety of purposes and audiences” (Grade 7).  

The data collected from using the rubrics as an assessment tool will guide instruction and learning at each grade level and can be embedded across all subject areas.  They will also be used to measure student growth over time. 

Each one of our classes, from Kindergarten to Grade 7, spends significant time each year focusing on developing strong writing competencies. To highlight and determine overall successes and growth, we monitored the progress of two cohorts. 

With an emphasis to create and communicate through writing, our students will be prepared to not only communicate effectively, but also gain insight into their own identity, the lives of others, and the world in which they live. 

OUR NEXT STEPS

This year at Katzie, we measured every students development of our learning goal, “plan and create a variety of communication forms for different purposes and audiences” (BC ELA – BC English Language Arts Curriculum). We specifically monitored and tracked progress in one primary and one intermediate cohort. 

Rooted in the BC Ministry of Education’s Proficiency Scale (see below), teacher created rubrics were used to evaluate an initial writing sample (November 2023) and a final writing sample (May 2024) from all the students in each cohort.   

BC Ministry of Education Proficiency Scale 

Between the writing samples, teachers provided explicit writing instruction of each facet of the learning goal, provided many opportunities for practice and competency development, and gave individual feedback to students to support the improvement of their writing competencies.  Teachers also provided students with writing experiences that engaged their learners’ interests and provided authentic audiences. 

The data demonstrates that student learning improved school wide in relation to the learning goal.

Primary Cohort 

The following shows the rubric used for measuring students’ competencies, the data collected from the primary cohort and illustrates the impact of explicit instruction and student experience through one student example. 

Katzie Elementary Primary Writing Goal Rubric 

The following chart shows where on the proficiency scale the primary cohort began in relation to this learning goal (November 2023) and their progress near the end of the school year (May 2024): 

This data was collected by having each student in November write on the topic “All About Me” and again in May on the topic “All About My Family”.  Using the teacher created rubric rooted in the learning goal, students’ writing in each area of the learning goal was evaluated.   

20% of students began the year at the emerging level and within 7 months all had progressed to either a developing or proficient level.  40% of students began the year at the developing and proficient level. 0% of students began at the extending level.  By the end of 40% were at the developing level, 60% were proficient and 30% moved to the extending level of the writing goal. 

Primary Student M 

Looking at one students progress helps us understand the growth over time. “Student M” began with some developing and proficient competencies and ended the year with all proficient or extending competencies. 

Student M’s growth is evident when comparing the November and May writing samples. 

Intermediate Cohort 

The following shows the rubric used for measuring students’ competencies, the data collected from the intermediate cohort and illustrates the impact of explicit instruction and student experience through one student example. 

Katzie Elementary Intermediate Writing Goal Rubric 

The following chart shows where on the proficiency scale the intermediate cohort began in relation to this learning goal (November 2023) and their progress near the end of the school year (May 2024): 

This data was collected by asking each student in November to write on the topic “The Places You Most Want to Visit” and again in May on the topic “Three Places You Want to Visit”.  Using the teacher created rubric rooted in the learning goal, students writing in each area of the learning goal was evaluated.   

15% of students began the year at the emerging level and within 7 months all had progressed to the developing or proficient levels except one student who showed some progress towards developing but many competencies were still emerging.  28% of students began the year at the developing and 75% were at the proficient level. 0% of students began at the extending level.  By the end of the year 8% of students were developing, 80% were proficient and 8% moved to the extending level of the writing goal. 

Intermediate Student E 

Looking at one students’ progress helps us understand the growth over time. “Student E” began with some developing and proficient competencies and ended the year with many proficient competencies.  View the slideshow below:

Student E’s growth is evident when comparing the November and May writing samples. 

Reflections and Next Steps 

As a result of the data, one question that arises is, what instruction and learning opportunities need to be provided to support students in the intermediate cohort to progress beyond proficient?  

Moving forward, we will continue to: 

  • intentionally develop student writing competencies through intentional instruction 

  • give students a variety of opportunities to practice their writing 

  • explore what is necessary to support students at all competency levels to continue to growth in their writing 

We will also begin to explore: 

  • how can competent written communication help us explore our personal identity? 

  • how could oral language competencies improve our writing competencies? 

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
604-596-7733