BC is in the midst of implementing the new grades K-9 curriculum, which officially begins September, 2016. The grades 10-12 curriculum will be implemented in September, 2017. The new curriculum is based on the BC’s Education Plan, Focus on Learning; designed to meet the needs of 21st century learners with personalized learning. Personalized learning is student-centred, which may include student choice, student inquiry, and project-based learning.
New terms such as Core Competencies, the Big Ideas, and the Learning Standards will be introduced with the new curriculum as well as new ways to communicate student learning. With a new curriculum, teachers require opportunities to learn, sense-make, and play with the possibilities. The 2015/16 school year is an optional year for teachers to explore and experiment with the new curriculum.
The SD46 Board of Education committed $156,988 of restricted surplus to support curriculum implementation. This funding provides time for teachers and principals to collaborate, plan, and learn together under the guidance of SD46 Curriculum Coordinator, Dave Barnum. Shortly after, the BC Government also announced the new curriculum support plan, which includes 10 hours of non-instructional time in 2015/16, followed up by 5 hours in 2016/17 and 2017/18.
On January 4, SD46 held its first teacher-planned non-instructional day with great success. The second non-instructional day is scheduled for Tuesday, March 29. The new curriculum has less content, deeper learning and more flexibility. The NEST nature education program at Davis Bay Elementary is an example of one of our schools that is working with the new curriculum and piloting the e-portfolio, Fresh Grade, to communicate student learning.
The 2015-2019 SD46 Strategic Plan supports professional learning and lends itself nicely to successful implementation of the new curriculum to superbly prepare students for their futures.