British Columbia’s curriculum is being redesigned to respond to the demanding world our students are entering. Transformation in curriculum will help teachers create learning environments that are both engaging and personalized for students. At the heart of British Columbia’s redesigned curriculum are core competencies, essential learning and literacy and numeracy foundations. BC Ministry of Education Website
What’s Been Happening in School District No. 60?
In School District No. 60, we wanted give teachers the opportunity to explore the new curriculum by working in groups with their peers. Approximately 93 educators from across the district including classroom teachers at all levels, learning assistance teachers, learning services itinerants and administrators have been engaged in learning sessions with district staff and Sharon Jeroski. Each school has sent at least one representative to these working groups.
In SD60, we decided to begin with the Core Competencies, as the provincial working team had given us so many good examples or ‘illustrations’ to learn from and together with the descriptions we were able to develop our understanding of how these might look in our own classrooms in Peace River North.
Core Competencies are being developed in jurisdictions around the world! They are sets of proficiencies in communication, thinking skills, personal growth and social responsibility that are developed minute by minute in the daily lives of children as they participate in the exciting learning opportunities in classrooms in our district schools. These competencies are about ALL children working where they are on the continuum to become more confident, capable learners in these areas.
Many of us have found that once we gained an understanding of the Core Competencies and recognized the aspects described in the profiles, we were able to ‘see’ them everywhere: in our favourite lessons, in the classrooms of our neighbours, in the samples produced by students and in the ‘talk’ of the children themselves! With our new ‘lens’ we are noting evidence of Core Competency work all over our district, in classrooms from Kindergarten to Grade 12!
It is exciting! Our teachers are telling us about and showing us the brilliant, thoughtful work being done with children to help them progress in each of these competencies. These competencies are interwoven into all content and curriculum subject areas.
The provincial working group has produced and published many excellent examples called “illustrations” of the Core Competencies in action around the province. One may find examples from all disciplines: English, Math, Science and Social Studies. We have found this very helpful and encourage our fellow educators to view a sample of the communication illustrations HERE.
Each member of our representative group has agreed to create and share an ‘illustration’ of one of the Core Competencies so we will soon has a repository of classroom examples right here in our own district where teachers can contact one another to network and collaborate, if they so wish. These illustrations will be published on this website throughout the year.
Our next working session for our representatives will be early in the new year and we will finish our work with the Core Competencies and move into the curricular learning standards. We will explore and learn about how each subject area is organized into big ideas, curricular competencies and content standards.
The school representatives will be provided with materials for thorough exploration with their own staffs at school sites during the two non-instructional days for curriculum work provided by BC Ministry of Education in consultation with the BCTF. More on this to come from our superintendent, Dave Sloan and our local union president, Michele Wiebe.
Several schools are also working with instructional coaches or onsite facilitators to explore the new curriculum by applying for district collaboration grants. Presentations have been made at staff meetings to provide overviews and room for discussion. We are happy to answer questions, brainstorm or work together to implement this new curriculum!
For further information, please contact Kim Boettcher, District Principal of Learning Services: Curriculum and Assessment at firstname.lastname@example.org