Science teacher Stacey Joyce unpacks new beakers for her science class at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary.

Science teacher Stacey Joyce unpacks new beakers for her science class at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary.

New curriculum for Surrey students

Surrey optimistic about new changes and new opportunities for students

An emphasis on environmental learning and aboriginal perspectives will be important components of the new school curriculum that is scheduled to be fully implemented this September from Kindergarten to Grade 9 across the province.

As students learn to interact and engage with each other and the world around them, the provincial government has created the new school curriculum to allow students to keep pace in this rapidly changing world of instant information, according to the Ministry of Education website.

This new curriculum, which was gradually phased in last year for elementary students, will encourage more ‘hands on’ learning and increased flexibility for both teachers and students.

Secondary school changes will be optional for teachers this school year but will be fully implemented in 2017-18.

Numerous Surrey teachers were actively involved in creating the new curriculum, said Surrey Teachers Association President Gioia Breda.

“September is the starting point, but it will take time to phase in,” said Breda. “Teachers will be looking for ways to implement the new curriculum and looking for opportunities for time and resources to help that implementation in the future.”

According to the B.C. government, the new curriculum must be student-oriented and flexible and allow students time to develop their skills and explore their passion while still focussing on sound foundations of literacy and math.

The core changes will be: greater focus on communication and creative/critical thinking, flexibility for teachers to tailor learning for each students needs and passions, and an increased emphasis on core foundation skills and higher level conceptual thinking.

The five current secondary school provincial exams will also be reduced to two provincial exams that focus on literacy and math skills. Grade 10 Science, Language Arts, Math and Grade 11 Social Studies provincial exams will be replaced by classroom assessments.

The Surrey School District is also optimistic about the new curriculum and the opportunities for Surrey students.

“This is a curriculum that is good for kids,” said Kathy Puharich, Director of Instruction with the Surrey School District. “It continues to have a foundation base in reading and writing and it allows our students to explore their passions and pursue their areas of interest.”

Students entering Grade 10 in 2017-18 will be the first secondary students following the new curriculum entirely.

With more than 1,000 new students expected in the district this fall, Surrey is the largest district in B.C. with more than 71,000 students attending 101 elementary schools, 19 secondary schools, five student learning centres, three adult learning centres along with on-line learning programs and inter-agency programs serving a variety of student needs.

For more detailed information about the new curriculum changes go to https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum-info

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