Walnut Road Elementary 23-24


Please click on the video link below to learn more about Walnut Road Elementary:



Learning is a collaborative and life-long process that involves time, engagement, curiosity, and the contributions of all members involved in the education of our children. A key component of this learning process is the development of literacy skills, which includes the ability to read, write, speak, and think in a way that allows us to communicate effectively and make sense of our lived experience. The BC curriculum plays a key role in supporting our learners in the development of these skills as it paves the way for collaboration, problem solving, sharing of information, and expressing individuality. Evidence of the diverse, creative, meaningful, and inspiring ways in which our students engage in the literacy learning process are highlighted below. 

Our learners can engage in a variety of oral storytelling processes. 

Oral storytelling is a powerful and engaging way of creating connections with one another through the sharing of ideas and experiences. The example above was created during a community event that we hosted at Walnut Road this year for students and their families. It was a Celebration of Identity event in which students expressed themselves in creative and meaningful ways. The example above is a celebration of all the ways in which our Walnut Road community greets one another in various languages. It was wonderful to observe the conversations that emerged from this activity as students and their families excitedly shared aspects of their culture with one another through conversation and listening. 

Our learners can use language in creative and playful ways to develop style. 

Inspiration for writing can come from a variety of sources, including the visual arts. Reflecting upon the process involved in a creative endeavour such as the sewing project above is a powerful way of documenting the artistic process, while also developing a confident voice and presence when writing.

Our learners understand the power of exploring their identity and taking pride in who they are through both images and written language. 

We always encourage our learners to not only explore their identity, but to celebrate who they are! One of the ways in which they do that is through both writing and drawing. In the example above, students wrote about what they believe makes them special and unique. In doing so, students can not only reflect on their own special qualities, but also share these qualities with one another. 


Literacy is a key focus for all of our learners as it plays an instrumental role in the ways in which our students experience and engage in the world. It is our desire that each learner meaningfully develops reading, writing, thinking, listening, and speaking skills in order to facilitate effective communication and understanding throughout their lives. Continually working to develop the literacy skills of our learners, with a particular focus on writing, is our main focus.  

Our student learning goals, as they relate to writing, include:

  • Using writing and design processes to plan, develop, and create text for a variety of purposes and audiences.
  • Using the features and conventions of language to express meaning in their writing and representing.
  • Exchanging ideas and perspectives to build shared understanding.

All of our learners, across all grades, are provided with a variety of creative and relevant opportunities in the area of writing development. These opportunities include various strategies and processes that work to support this. In order to discover both the key successes and areas for further growth in this area, we monitored the progress of a cohort of intermediate students in relation to the student learning goals listed above.

Writing and Communicating

Our students consistently engage in the writing process in all areas of the curriculum. Specifically, they use various planning techniques such as brainstorming, drawing, and communicating with their peers to first draw out their ideas and then to refine them through various revision processes such as peer editing and conferencing. 

Hands-On Learning

Our learners love to create! They value the creative process which includes thinking outside-the-box,  brainstorming various possibilities, refining their ideas through trial-and-error, asking questions, communicating their thinking with others, being open to feedback, and putting their ideas into action.


Through actively engaging with our literacy focus, specifically as it relates to writing, evidence of our students' learning demonstrates that our cohort of learners have been positively impacted by this focus as the majority of students have demonstrated growth in relation to our three literacy goals, particularly in the area of building shared understanding through the exchanging of ideas and perspectives:

  • Using writing and design processes to plan, develop, and create text for a variety of purposes and audiences.
  • Using the features and conventions of language to express meaning in their writing and representing.
  • Exchanging ideas and perspectives to build shared understanding.

Our results indicate that in relation to our three writing goals (as stated above), the most significant growth occurred for our students who were developing in these skills at the beginning of the year. By the end of the year, some of these students demonstrated proficiency in the writing and design progress, in their ability to use the conventions of language in meaningful and creative ways, along with their ability to refine their writing through peer collaboration. It is also important to note, however, that approximately 25% of students are not yet proficient in our three writing goals. As a result, this will remain a focus for the coming year. 

Our learners use writing and design processes to plan, develop, and create text for a variety of purposes and audiences.

Student learning evidence is gathered in a variety of ways. For example, in one method, student strengths and challenges in relation to writing samples are identified and comments are provided. The following assessment is based on writing conferences, conversations and student work:

In their work related to writing an essay expressing a personal interest,  77% of students were able to use writing and design processes to plan, develop, and produce non-fiction piece of writing from a research frame. There remains 23% of the cohort who require further attention and development in this area.

Some reflections from our learners based on their experience with the writing design process, with a particular emphasis on peer and teacher conferencing.

I like the way the teacher conferences with us because it helps me with my grammar and my spelling. For the peer conferences, it sometimes is helpful because my peers give me more ideas of what to write about.

I sometimes find it difficult and embarrassing to write about myself – sharing my feelings is challenging. But after going through the writing process - brainstorming, peer editing, and teacher feedback - I realize that my family members do take my writing seriously and it motivates me to talk more about myself in my writing and to go deeper.

Editing and refining my writing is an effective process because it is helpful to have my peers' perspective on my writing. This is important because I do not always realize my own errors, so they can help me see things that I can’t see.

One Student's Story

One student shared a powerful example of how an initially frustrating writing experience turned out to be one of their most memorable writing pieces of the year. This student referenced a particular assignment called The Best Part of Me  in which the class chose a physical attribute that was meaningful to them, following which, they then expressed why this was the case through some personal writing. During the beginning stages of this process, the student experienced frustration, confusion and disappointment as they felt as if their writing was not capturing the importance of this attribute in an interesting and powerful way. Although these feelings were dominant, the student still committed to the process of brainstorming, writing a draft, and conferencing with his teacher and peers. In the end, the student expressed how proud they were of their writing due to the support they received throughout the process. This support allowed them to notice things they otherwise wouldn't have noticed, along with receiving affirmation for the parts that were already interesting and impactful.

Moving Forward

Based on the evidence of our students’ progress in relation to our three learning goals, our next steps will include:

  • Continuing to exchange ideas and perspectives to build shared understanding. 

We would like to devote more time and attention to creating opportunities for students to communicate more frequently with both their teacher and peers in relation to the writing process. Specifically, we would like to be intentional to about setting aside devoted time for writing conferences. In doing so, the sharing and understanding of ideas can be facilitated in meaningful and purposeful ways.

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