School Name: Hazelgrove Elementary
School District: SD#36 Surrey
Inquiry Team Members: Amber Geremia: firstname.lastname@example.org
Adrian MacLennan: email@example.com
Inquiry Team Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Inquiry: NOIIE
Focus Addressed: The focus of our inquiry this year was on building connections with the Indigenous students in our school community. To make these connections we created an Indigenous Art group and invited all of the Indigenous students from the school to participate with teacher volunteers to help support.
Inquiry Story: As new teachers to the Hazelgrove community, our goal was to reach out and make connections with the Indigenous students of the school. Our work centered on creating a space during lunch time for students to come and create various pieces of art, while making connections to each other and different teachers in the school. The group was filled with mostly grade 2, 3 and 4 students from a variety of classrooms. The number of students fluctuated but overall, we had roughly 15 participate. Over the course of our time together, students created beaded flowers and learned how to weave using cardboard looms.
This experience highlighted the importance and value in making meaningful connections with students, including students not in our own classrooms. The students came to the art group with a positive attitude and were eager to create pieces of art. Some of the older students had the opportunity to teach and help guide the younger students through some of the steps and be leaders.
In addition to the art club, we also invited teachers to think more deeply about Indigenous issues and education by hosting two book clubs. There was a lot of support for this initiative and it brought about a lot of learning for everyone.
Moving forward we hope to continue this work in the years to follow. Having a space for our Indigenous learners and fostering relationships with various staff is important as it shows that they are valued and cared for.