Surrey Traditional Elementary is in North Surrey and is located in the middle of the Bolivar Heights and Whalley Communities. It has a stunning view of the North Shore mountains, while also overlooking the Fraser River. Surrey Traditional is a Choice school in the Surrey School District, and the families who attend our school have done so through the District’s online lottery and subsequent registration process.
Our current student population is 316 students in Grades K-7, and we have 14 divisions. Many of our learners do not live in the surrounding neighbourhood of Surrey Traditional, and their parents/guardians choose to have their children attend our school.
Our students proudly wear their Surrey Traditional School uniforms, and as a school community, we highly value and work hard to uphold the values of respect, responsibility, and care. Specifically, we:
As such, our students are acknowledged and recognized with “Bulldog” slips when they are “caught” upholding those school values. On a weekly basis, we publicly recognize these students through a draw that happens during the Morning Announcements.
As a school staff and community, we highly value the importance of active home-school communication, the home-school partnership and the vital role that parents play in the success of our students, particularly as their child’s first teacher. It is our belief that when communication and collaboration exist between home and school, our students thrive and perform at their best. We also recognize the value and importance of broad-based leadership and extra-curricular activities. Students at our school have had the opportunity to participate in leadership initiatives through various Leadership activities such as, but not limited to:
At Surrey Traditional Elementary, we recognize the important interconnectedness between academic success, and social-emotional well-being. We know that in order for students to be their best version of the unique individual they are, and to be active and inclusive participants in our school community, that they must have a solid foundation in Social-Emotional Learning.
Social-Emotional well-being is at the heart of the work we do with our learners and within our school community, and at the core of this, is the belief that when we have a strong foundation of social-emotional learning and wellness that our learners are most successful and will thrive both as individuals, and as members of the overall school community. We believe that our direct focus on SEL over the past three years has led it to become part of our school culture, embedded in explicit instruction at all grade levels.
Literacy skills are fundamental to how we communicate and express our ideas, and become successful collaborators and members of society. At Surrey Traditional, our goal is to enable our students to comprehend and connect to a variety of texts (print and digital) in order to communicate effectively with others. We want our students to have early learning experiences that allow them to play with and love language and have daily reading experiences. As many of our students are ELL learners, we know that the importance of building background knowledge through these experiences is vital, and involving our families in building their own understanding of and confidence with home-based literacy practices is essential.
In September of 2022-2023, Surrey Traditional Elementary began its transition from SEL to Literacy. We recognize the value of SEL, but we felt, as a school, that we were beginning to "live" the Social Emotional Learning, and it was time to place a targeted focus on literacy.
Literacy skills are the foundation upon which children not only learn the lifelong skills of reading and writing, but also, life skills that enable them to make sense of their world, build essential critical thinking skills, and effectively communicate with others. Our goal is to place an emphasis on the vital role that the early years play in developing a love of language and story, that continues through a child’s Primary and Intermediate years of schooling.
The Learning Goals we will focus on are:
Phonemic awareness is a part of phonological awareness in which we are able to hear and recognize sounds in words. This is a crucial component of early reading success, and can have a profound impact on a child’s future literacy development. It is our belief that the development of phonemic awareness skills in a child’s formative years of schooling is directly correlated with reading fluency and a student’s ability to decode text, as well as the skill of understanding and making sense of the words on the page. Skills involved in phonemic awareness include rhyming, blending, and syllabication. The work with our first cohort of students has focused on developing these skills in a fun and play-based environment, that allow for repeated exposure and practice which benefits our more vulnerable learners. We have also focused on having our Kindergarten teachers providing support and opportunities for parents to learn literacy strategies at home to continue this work with their children in authentic ways.
Throughout 2022-2023, we gathered baseline data so we can more effectively begin building a more robust plan for our learners in 2023-2024.
Primary data sources for this plan include:
With some initial data, we can begin a pre-post study involving our aforementioned goals:
In looking at reading fluency, we will still need to gain baseline information with running records and miscue analysis for our early learners who formed our cohorts (Kindergarten and Grade 1). They will be in Grade 1 and 2 in 2023-2024.
Some initial interventions at our school include honouring what we are doing well in our classrooms in early literacy. We will then look at a three-pronged approach to supporting teachers to support our learners:
Success Criteria (for next year):