BC School Ditches Report Cards, Individual Subjects
Eagle Mountain Middle School wins $8000 grant to continue unique programs and curriculum development
By The Early Edition, CBC News Posted: Oct 28, 2015 1:06 PM PT
Just one year old, Eagle Mountain Middle School in Anmore is one of the first in the province to implement the revised curriculum laid out in B.C.'s Education Plan.
- New B.C. curriculum includes residential schools, Asian immigrant experience
- Teachers endorse training plan for new curriculum
"A letter grade in the past sometimes stopped conversation," said principal Nancy Bennet.
Children now use "performance standards language," to describe their understanding of class material. For example, "I am really exceeding expectations. I'm doing more than you asked. I'm going more in-depth," offered Bennet.
Parents are able to keep abreast of their child's learning progress through the FreshGrade app, which instantly sends an email to parents when their child adds a submission to their e-portfolio.
Integrated subjects. Gone are the individual subjects of Social Studies, Science and Language Arts. Instead, they've been blended into an Integrated Studies program.
"They're much more powerful when they're combined as an integrated curriculum. It lets us focus on concepts, and big ideas, and competencies that we see in the new B.C. Ed plan," said Bennet.
"They took on all sorts of aspects in a much more meaningful way than perhaps building a pyramid out of sugar cubes."
No more 'stand and deliver'
When it comes to teaching, Bennet says "we're a 'guide on the side model' rather than 'sage on the stage,'" so that students "have an opportunity to follow different paths with their learning."
"We're not using textbooks, but students are accessing information on their devices," she said.
"They're often navigating through more information in a single year than during our time we would've encountered in ten years."
Other schools to follow suit. Within the next three years, every school teaching kindergarten to Grade 9 will have implemented B.C.'s new curriculum.
"Every school at every level in our province is working on this, this year. Our universities are changing too," she said.
"We think that we are producing students that are moving forward into secondary [school] with confidence, a nice skillset, and really authentic ownership of their learning."
The school has just won an $8,000 Innovation Grant from from the province to further develop its programs.