On May 3, Ms. Corcoran, Mr. Mah and I hosted an Intermediate Curriculum Coffee Morning for grades 4-7 parents. This session reviewed the recent changes in provincial curriculum and introduced the new Applied Design, Skills and Technology Curriculum. Our Primary Curriculum Coffee Morning was April 19.
At the end of both sessions, we asked parents to complete exit slips. These slips are used in classrooms to help learners consolidate understanding and to give teachers feedback about what worked and how to direct next steps for learning. Thank you to all those who attended for your feedback and your interest in and enthusiasm for curriculum. Your suggestions will guide us in planning parent sessions this fall.
See below a summary of what was discussed at the sessions.
BC’s New Curriculum
If you think back to your own elementary experience, you would find that, in most cases, you would have one person, one book or one place where you could go to answer a question or find directions.
In today’s world, when we have a question, there is an abundance of places to find an answer: Google never provides just one link! We choose which resource to use based on our needs and our understanding of what is correct.
This change from a scarcity of information to an abundance of information means that our children need to be equipped with skills that allow them to sort, think critically and understand concepts so deeply that they can use knowledge critically and creatively, solve problems ethically and collaboratively, make decisions necessary to succeed in our increasingly global world, and feel confident in their understanding of themselves.
BC’s curriculum has changed to reflect this shift by implementing a model that highlights knowing, doing and understanding and by using Core Competencies, including strategic thinking, communication and social skills.
At WPGA, these changes are not new. For several years we have incorporated the inquiry-based learning model and the skills mandated under the Core Competencies in our classrooms, CARE Program and Digital Citizenship Program. We also want to be clear about what has not changed at WPGA: foundational skills in numeracy and literacy that are central to our curriculum.
Applied Design, Skills and Technology Curriculum
The Applied Design, Skills and Technology (ADST) curriculum builds on a student’s natural curiosity, inventiveness, and desire to create and work in practical ways. The model of knowing, doing and understanding aligns with the design cycle: define, ideate, prototype, test, make and share.
ADST curriculum is evident in most of our students’ projects, including essay writing, programming and numeracy problem solving. Students start by identifying needs, generating ideas and building prototypes or drafts. They then revise, editing and/or debugging, before sharing their product and requesting feedback from teachers and peers. The process allows for continuous refinement.
Our teachers have put tremendous work into the ADST curriculum, which includes our STEM and design programs and emphasizes the role of designing and making, acquiring new skills and applying technology throughout all grades.