School Name: Adams Road Elementary
School District: SD#36 Surrey
Inquiry Team Members: Jennifer Cox <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Lilliana Bolton <BOLTON_L@surreyschools.ca>; Shannon Tito <email@example.com>; Annie Rodgers <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Kori Langston <email@example.com>; Kristin McPhillips <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Shelley Vernon <email@example.com>
Inquiry Team Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Inquiry: NOIIE
Grade Levels: Primary (K-3), Intermediate (4-7)
Curricular Area(s): Arts Education, Career Education, Language Arts – Oral Language, Social Studies
Focus Addressed: Indigenous understandings (for example, Traditional Knowledge, oral history, reconciliation), Community-based learning, Core competencies (for example, critical thinking, communication, problem solving), Differentiated instruction, Experiential learning, First Peoples Principles of Learning, Formative assessment, Growth mindset, Inclusion and inclusive instructional strategies, Indigenous pedagogy, Inquiry-based learning, Self-regulation, Social and emotional learning, Universal design for learning
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? Our focus for this year was to bring authentic learning experience to students and to share our learning with our colleagues and wider school community.
(OECD principles) – We focused on maintaining learning environments that had learning and engagement central. We ensured that learning is understood as social, while being highly attuned to learners’ emotions by reflecting on individual differences, and all while avoiding being overloaded. We also used broad assessments, feedback, and promoted connections.
(First Peoples Principles of Learning) – We focused on how learning recognizes the roles of Indigenous learning and requires the exploration of one’s identity. We also focused on how learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and on a sense of place). Our students were connected and had a sense of belonging within their classroom community, but unfortunately due to COVID-19 we were unable to extend this connection and a sense of belonging to the wider school community.
Focus: We selected our use of Circle Forward with the addition of the Mobile Museum, to extend our learning from the previous year. With students who have anxiety and/or experienced trauma, we felt as though creating a sense of belonging and horizontal connection would support their social and emotional development and growth. This support was also introduced to our students in the Social Development program. We wanted a hands on component so our students not only heard, but had, first-hand experience. Our hope was for our students to share their hands-on experience with their peers and wider school community. Sadly, due to COVID-19, this did not happen.
Hunch: Our goal was to expand our classroom experience and learning to the wider school community. The use of Circle Forward, social and emotional practices, OECD principles and First Peoples Principles of Learning, was making a difference in our individual classes. As mentioned above, our hope was to share with the school (students and teachers), but regrettably due to COVID-19 this did not happen.
New Professional Learning: During our 2019 summer professional day, we shared our focus and the benefits of the Circle Forward resource. We continued to share resources and information during monthly staff meetings.
Our administration supported the Mobile Museum experience and had scheduled our district’s First Nations In-Residence presenter to join our school community in the Spring of 2020.
Within our classrooms our support staff (EA/ABAs and CCWs) participated, and the use of common language was beginning to flourish.
– Hands-on Learning: Mobile Museum (drew on this experience throughout the year, always connecting back and reflecting)
– Presenting to the School: Planned to have the First Nations In-Residence presenter to join our school community in the Spring 2020 — this would have included our students sharing their learning as well
– Sharing with Staff: Summer Pro-D and reporting out during monthly staff meetings
Checking: We were starting to notice a difference in our individual classrooms, but we were unable to to extend the learning to our wider school community as we would have liked to. Our own spirals of inquiry were minimal as we transitioned into remote/online learning.
Reflections/Advice: Due to unforeseen circumstances (COVID-19), we began to learn ways to explore our practices with students and share our learning with staff through other means (i.e. Office365-TEAMS meetings). We hope to continue this exploration and sharing into the new school year.