As a choice school, Caulfeild iDEC has continued to be innovative with ideas that foster modern learning for our students. As an inquiry-based/design thinking school we have embraced the 6 D’s of the learning process. Through this process driven model of education, our students are working on meaningful tasks that demonstrate the purpose of learning. The end result is no longer the most important indicator of success; it is instead a piece of the learning puzzle. Now, the process is where our teachers are able to work, and rework with students to ensure true learning occurs.
Not only has the implementation the the D’s encouraged our learning to be relevant and purposeful, it provides a common language for our students as they move from grade to grade. This common language allows for greater collaborative conversations amongst colleagues and a scaffolded approach to the development of inquiry-based/design thinking. Through this learning our students are understanding that school does not exist in a vacuum, and has powerful and relevant applications in the real world.
Caulfeild iDEC began scaling BYOD (bring your own device) before most schools in BC. Through the use of technology our teachers and students were able to provide “just in time” learning to compliment class inquiries. It is hard for learning to be relevant and timely if students need to check an encyclopedia from the 80’s in the library to satisfy their curiosities. In our classes you will see Google Classroom for collaborative work, Fresh Grade for e-portfolios of student success, coding in various forms, robotics, book creation on the iPad and student presentations using a host of online (and offline) programs. Our students have moved from consumers of technology, to producers with technology. A shift that put our students at the forefront of modern learning.
As a community of learners, our teachers work together in collaborative cohorts and we organize our students in multi-age groupings for specific learning opportunities. As a school we value the connection amongst all learners so we may learn from one another. That sense of community at Caulfeild does not end at the bell. We are proud to note that our Parent Advisory Council organizes a host of after-school activities to meet the diverse interests of our students. Some of our latest offerings are: Zen Maker Labs/3-D Printing, Jr. NBA, WV Minor Hockey League Ball Hockey, Artmania, Sportball, Chess and Lights Up Theatre.
We understand that parents need options for dropping off and picking up should they have work commitments or live out of catchment. This year we have two out-of-school care providers for our school community on site.
Finally, through experience, we all know that environment influences our being. Our school has developed learning spaces filled with micro-environments. These spaces allow students the freedom to move where they work best. When was the last time you sat in the same desk all day, every day? Did you enjoy it? Likely you did not – neither do most students. Our learning spaces bring the outside in, and provide the freedom of movement that reflects the freedom of thought we are fostering.
Does the learning at Caulfeild Elementary (iDEC) look like it did when you were growing up? Probably not, but neither does the world. Our students learn the foundational skills of literacy and numeracy, but more importantly the relevant and purposeful use of those foundational skills. Taking those skills and connecting them with the conceptual understandings behind our science and social studies work makes for powerful learning across the grades. Our students are creators, collaborators, communicators and critical thinkers – all of which will serve them well, whatever their future holds.