BC’s newly redesigned curriculum came into full effect this September and our teachers and students have been hard at work implementing the changes. I am proud of and excited about the things that I see going on every day at school. Teachers are being creative and connecting with their students’ interests and skills in new and exciting ways. Walking the halls and looking in I am delighted to see students growing in meaningful ways in the areas of Thinking, Communicating, and Personal and Social Responsibility. Whether it is seeing Grade Twos building boats, Grade Sixes getting together as a group for team building challenges, or the Grade Fours making choices about how and where they best learn, school feels new and different, which is something I haven’t been able to say before.
While there are definitely changes, we have been careful not to forget the fundamentals. Students are still heavily engaged in reading, writing, and mathematics, but they are doing so with newfound curiosity and energy. Instead of just drilling 30 students with the same math questions at the same time, teachers are focussing on students’ individual levels of learning and knowledge gaps. Students are still writing, but now in the context of their interests and choices. Students are reading, but now with increasing purpose and critical thinking. By adding choice and meeting the needs of individual students we hope to make school more meaningful while still building skills and knowledge.
It’s an exciting time to be in education. While there are always challenges and adjustments when making a shift in thinking, I believe that overall this change is a very good and overdue one. I’m excited about what the future holds.