Our School Plan Progress 2018-2019

Improving Student Learning

The Abbotsford School District’s Strategic Plan reflects our public commitment to BC’s new curriculum by working together to continuously improve learning for each student.

School Goals

Under the Framework for Enhancing Student Learning, all Abbotsford School District schools are required to develop a long term plan to improve student achievement, one that maintains a balance on the intellectual, social and career development of students. Each year, each school develops an annual plan and sets individual goals to improve student achievement. 

Prince Charles Elementary School Goals

Intellectual

Our students will learn key academic skills - like reading, writing and math - to encompass the knowledge and processes associated with intellectual development. As learners and meaning-makers, students take subject-specific concepts and content and transform them into a new understanding. 

Our celebrations of learning

The new BC Curriculum focuses on a deeper, conceptual understanding of big ideas in Literacy and Numeracy.  A greater emphasis is being placed on what students are able to ‘do’ with the knowledge (content) they are being taught.  By applying their skills and knowledge in a variety of situations, students will develop strengths in the following competencies:

Critical thinking and problem solving;
Collaboration and leadership;
Communication and digital literacy;
Personal and social responsibility;
Creativity and innovation;
Global and cultural understanding

In Abbotsford School District, we are growing our practices to provide engaging and meaningful opportunities for students to develop their critical literacy and numeracy skills.

Our school goal at Prince Charles is to encourage every child to see themselves as a mathematician.  We are working as a team to deepen students’ understanding of number and increase their abilities to think flexibly about mathematical situations.  Students will develop a more conceptual understanding of mathematics (knowing more than isolated facts and methods) and this will allow them to understand mathematical ideas and relationships more deeply, in turn making it easier for them to transfer their knowledge to new situations and contexts.

Our term 1 report card data demonstrates that students have a good understanding of content knowledge in mathematics.

However, year over year cohort data does show that as students progress into later elementary grades, their achievement in mathematics (as measured by Term 3 report card data) begins to decrease.  We believe this reflects that they have a good understanding of content knowledge, but require a deeper, more conceptual understanding of number sense to be able to transfer their thinking to a variety of mathematical situations in later grades

As a staff, we administered an open-ended question that assessed a student’s sense of number, computational fluency, and their ability to communicate and represent their thinking clearly (core competencies).  We found that this is an area that we need to grow in as a school.

Some of the ways we are working to build number sense and mental math fluency with our students:

Number talks in all classes;
Time for staff to moderate student work and plan best next steps for teaching;
Professional development and planning support from our District Helping Teacher;
Piloting Zorbits (online interactive math game) in Primary;
Promoting a positive math culture at the school;
Math Talks at the bi-weekly assemblies;
Mighty Mathematicians problem-solving board for all students to participate in

Human & Social

Our students will study personal and human social skills and as they relate to students' identity in the world - both as individuals and as members of their community. We are learning that personal and human social skills encompass the abilities students needs to thrive as individuals, to understand and care about themselves and others, and to find and achieve their purposes in the world. 

Our celebrations of learning

Prince Charles is a Virtues School and is a member of the BC Schools of Character.  Character education is at the heart of everything we do.  Meaningful connections are made between the curriculum and character education through the texts we read, the classroom discussions we have, the service we provide to the school and local communities and the student leadership opportunities offered in the school.

Our Values

Respect: Give It To Get It
Empathy: Seeing Through The Eyes Of Another
Integrity: Doing What Is Right Even When No One Is Watching
Honesty: Always Telling The Truth
Excellence: Doing Your Best

Each of these core values is explored and reinforced through classroom conversations, bi-weekly assemblies and rich texts shared with students.  Our Prince Charles students gain a deeper understanding of each of these values and they are reflected in our everyday language at school.

This year our Kindness Krew (grade 5 leadership team) collected soup in the Fall and Pasta in the winter for the Salvation Army Foodbank.  This was a student-led initiative that yielded incredible results.  Leadership students created announcements and posters for each food drive, visited classrooms and counted and sorted all of the donations.  They are truly making a difference in the lives of others.

During the holiday season, Prince Charles community members purchase gifts for a family in need and place them under our ‘Angel Tree’.   This year Christmas was delivered to a family in our own community.  Students develop an understanding of what it means to care about others.

Connecting critical literacy to character development is an area of focus and growth at Prince Charles.  As a team, we are working towards using a variety of rich texts to develop our students’ critical literacy skills and their ability to deepen their understanding of the values we believe in.

Our Grade 5s at Prince Charles are leaders.  They are supervised by all three Grade 5 teachers and the Learning Commons Teacher.  The goal this year was to create as many leadership opportunities as possible within the school.  Staff wanted to provide students with skills that would allow them to be proud of their school building, serve as role models for the rest of the student population, and develop 21st Century leadership skills.

The Kindness Krew was created to allow students leadership opportunities that would serve the school and local community.  Students are able to give back to their community. 

The Library Leaders work in the Learning Commons focusing on organization; gathering resources for staff; providing enriching opportunities in the library for students.

The Green Team has learned about responsible use of materials, grown their own vegetables in garden boxes, encouraged the school community to reduce their environmental footprints and helped beautify our outdoor spaces. 

The Spirit Squad has the goal of bringing school spirit and a sense of community to Prince Charles.  Monthly spirit days have excellent participation from staff and students.

We are very fortunate to have a cultural support working supporting our aboriginal students at Prince Charles.  Sydney Ned provides in-class academic support as well as valuable lunch hour session for students to learn more about the Aboriginal culture.  

Careers

Our students will succeed in a much different future from the one we envisioned 10 or 15 years ago. It is our responsibility to prepare all children for success in whatever life path they choose, connecting learning opportunities with future career possibilities. We know that real-life experiences - like community involvement, gaining business knowledge, and hands-on-learning - build better students and life-long citizens. 

Our celebrations of learning

Careers

Prince Charles uses the foundation of the Virtues project to help teach social responsibility and build student's character.  We connect character education to critical literacy during our bi-weekly school-wide assemblies and in our classrooms. 

Our Kindness Krew is committed to connecting our school community to the larger community.  This team of staff and grade 5 students organize and facilitate intentional acts of kindness and compassion locally and globally.

This year the Kindness Krew has supported a local family through the Angel Tree, donated soup and pasta collections to the Salvation Army, recognized our support staff and lunch room supervisors, and contributed towards building a new room for families at Matthew’s House in Abbotsford.  Students learn about the impact of their actions on others’ lives and work towards making the world a better place. 

Prince Charles is equipped with the latest technology to help teach and engage students in the classroom.  These include smart boards, iPads, document cameras and laptops. The staff have been actively involved in discovering ways to enhance student learning and global awareness through the use of Twitter, class websites, email, and Skype.

This year, our LLC teacher has been partnering with classes to introduce them to Makerspaces and Coding.  Through the use of technology and partnering, we are encouraging our students to become creators and leaders, which will empower them with skills to be successful beyond the classroom. 

 

Coding

Coding is another avenue for students to develop their strengths in critical and creative thinking.  Coding is, “a system of signals used to represent letters or numbers in transmitting messages. The instructions in a computer program.” 

Why do we teach coding at school?

“Computer coding is the universal language of the planet. People who know how to code will be able to communicate across countries and cultures, be innovative, and solve problems more efficiently, with no barriers to impede their success. Learning programming at a young age helps your children solve everyday problems and get set up for a lifetime of opportunities.”  https://elearningindustry.com/4-benefits-learning-programming-at-a-young-age-2

At Prince Charles, our Learning Commons teacher, Ms. Bulat has been working in partnership with 50% of our classes on learning to code.  There are many websites, games, and pieces of technology that can be used to teach students how to code.  Code.org, Bee Bots and Spheros are some of the ways that we are learning to code at Prince Charles. 

This learning spans across disciplines, and allows our students to deepen their core competency skills in the areas of communication, creative and critical thinking.    

Makerspaces

A makerspace is, “a place in which people with shared interests, can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge.”  These spaces promote the development of the core competencies; communication, creative and critical thinking.  These core competencies are at the heart of the redesigned BC curriculum.  The development of these core competencies enable our students to deepen and develop skills for life-long learning.

The benefits of makerspaces are:

The empowering and cross subject approach of makerspaces help prepare our students for a future we cannot yet imagine;
Makerspaces are learner-centered.  Our students begin to see themselves as problem-solvers.  They have good ideas to share, and they experience success solving problems in co-operative teams;
Students develop confidence to tackle challenging problems that are often connect to the real world in a meaningful way; 
Makerspaces allow for all students to access a problem and to use their own areas of strength to work though, and solve, the problem. This builds confidence in ALL of our students;

Adapted from https://curiositycommons.wordpress.com/makerspaces-the-benefits/