Students and teachers get creative

Starting this year, students and teachers in Nechako Lakes’ schools will have more choice and flexibility in their learning and teaching.

September means back to school again.

Starting this year, students and teachers in Nechako Lakes’ schools will have more choice and flexibility in their learning and teaching, says the B.C. government.

Earlier this month, the province’s Ministry of Education announced a new curriculum for B.C. schools, with a three-year transition period, to better prepare them for today’s changing world of technology and innovation.

“The word transformation is now linked to education, especially in this economy,” said Manu Madhok, School District 91’s director of Instruction.

Teachers for students from Kindergarten to Gr.9 have the option to trial run the new curriculum this school year, before a full implementation in the fall of 2016 and phasing into the senior grades in 2017.

Madhok explained that the new main themes of the curriculum are thinking, communication, and personal and social responsibility, so students can become educated citizens to contribute in the society.

By transforming assessment, the new guidelines might be stressful for parents used to the letter grade system, but will encourage conversation between parents, teachers, and students.

“We aim to have students be able to say how they are doing,” Madhok said.

He added that the development of the new curriculum involved active teachers, whose guiding principles include reducing prescriptive learning and emphasizing creativity for both teachers and students.

“Parents, teachers, educators all share the same goal – student success,” said Mike Bernier, Minister of Education. “The new curriculum will help ensure students have the skills they need to turn their dreams into reality in our constantly changing world.”

The new curriculum will also include more emphasis on environment, aboriginal perspectives, residential schools’ history and legacy, as well as the historical experiences of East and South Asian immigrants.

More detailed information on the curriculum can be found on https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/.

Also new this year is the B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant, which is a one-time $1,200 grant to help parents plan and save for their child’s education after high school. More information can be found on gov.bc.ca/BCTESG.

The provincial scholarship program is revised as well. For any scholars in the family or in the future, the updated program recognizes great students in the classroom, on the field, on the stage and in the community. Families can plan with more information on bced.gov.bc.ca/awards.