Communicating Student Learning

December 9, 2016 - 4 minutes read

As you are aware, this is the year where the new BC curriculum is fully implemented from Kindergarten to Grade 9 in our province. Our district has been hard at work for quite some time to support students and teachers in our community to ensure a smooth transition. In the same vein, educators have been involved in the new report card pilot project for the last couple of years. For a few schools, this template looks quite familiar by now since they were the first to jump into action.

Last year at Chartwell, a few classes at different grade levels piloted the new format, and the feedback has been positive. The goal of the report card is to inform parents of their child’s progress in the core and curricular competencies. Core competencies (communication, creative and critical thinking, personal and social) are not assessed. We report if they are used occasionally, often, or consistently. The report card has clear definitions of the curricular and core competencies of the front page. There are differences between templates of different grades. Teachers have been involved in the development of the new format, and our templates has been revised a number of times to take into account their feedback. We want to make sure that parents receive a document which reflects the authentic learning of the student, the individual strengths, and includes specific goals for future improvement. The progress is reported using a scale, instead of grades. Parents will know if their child is beginning or developing a competency, if a concept is acquired. As usual, teachers use formative and summative assessment to determine the level of each child in the different subject areas.

One of the most important changes this year is the addition of the student reflection piece. Teachers have a few different options to include their students’ reflections into the report card. At the primary level, it can look like a “happy face” worksheet or a few sentences in the student reflection box on the report card itself. At the intermediate level, many students have written a reflection letter which is an insert added to the report card. I have enjoyed reading the students’ self-reflections whilst reviewing all the report cards going home today. I am very impressed by their meta-cognitive ability, thinking about their thinking and learning. Knowing yourself as a learner is a great thing, at any age. It is wonderful to see that our students know how they are doing, and what they need to do to improve and why.

Communicating student learning is an ongoing process. Our Superintendent Chris Kennedy wrote a blog post about the new Communicating Student Learning format at the end of last year. His post is informative, and informs parents of the opportunity for feedback this school year. There will be a session held on January 24th. I hope many of you can attend and share your thoughts.

So now we start Term 2!