Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Year two

Well we have been granted a second year of the innovation project grant from the BC government.  This is an amazing honor for us at Pender Harbour Secondary.  This will allow us as a staff to work with other schools that are part of the BC network of flexible schools.  Myself and Chris Lekakis are working with 12 different schools across BC that are using varying flexible timetables.  

So how is year two going..... Students are buying in to the ability to gain accreditation in multiple courses.  Most students are sitting at a 1.5 to 2.0 FTE for grade 10 and up.  Our younger grades are starting to work on better cross curricular projects and are realizing this means less repetitive work.  It is also having us a teachers, looking to the future and how we can help our students achieve even greater opportunities.   We are thinking AP courses... Ace it programs.  University courses....  Where shall we go in the future in Pender....

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Second innovation grant at Sunshine Coast Schools

Student and teachers at Elphinestone Secondary, Langdale elementary, West Sechelt Elementary, Roberts Creek Elementary and Kinnikinnick Elementary will benefit from innovative learning concepts being put into action thanks to 15 new K-12 Innovation Partnership projects announced today.
These schools will investigate ways to shift student assessment so it aligns with personalized and experiential learning of the new curriculum. Using Freshgrade, a digital e-portfolio, teachers will be able to open a virtual door to student learning.  This will allow students and parents to view learning as an ongoing process and enhance the opportunities for interaction between stakeholders.
          So our first year of innovation is well underway.  Changing the timetable to be more flexible and converting our teaching styles to fit the inquiry based model.  It has been a good and bad situation.  Change is always hard....
         The students have adapted to the new style of two classes a week and 2 seminar classes to work on their course material.  Scheduling your day has been the greatest growth for students.  Our planners are becoming a great necessity and a benefit for the students.  Yes time is wasted.. but we all do that everyday in our lives too.
        The teachers are finding it challenging to learn how to fit their course teaching into two classes a week.  It is requiring us to look more closely at the curriculum.  We are also reanalyzing how we use class time. 
         This new style of teaching has helped me personally in changing my use of the class.  We now watch videos outside of class and discuss the content in lessons.  We have a week long period for students to book a time to do science labs outside of class.
         This has also changed our student teacher interactions.  This has become more meaningful and positive.  Yes we still have issue but there are less and students are starting to monitor each other.

The great successes so far.....
    Students don't have to choose options.  They can take all courses in the timetable as we have no conflicts.
   Our student body is 75 but our FTE is 85.  More than full loads can be taken.
   Students are supported by peers and teachers to take the difficult courses.
   Our distance learning courses went down to just 2; german and equine studies.
   Our band program can have 35 students in it.
   Our x block (passion blocks) are becoming more student led.  Great ideas are coming forth for next year.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Exploration Blocks this year.  A great way to let students get introduced to different things for life long learning.

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4
cake decorating martial arts Coding / lego wars woods
golf ceramics drawing photo yo
rugby abnormal psych international foods dragons den
photo yo woods metals Textiles
welding guitar weight training Soccer
dance languages hiking Golf
  musical theatre    

Directions for the Future
Areas for support from the Innovation Partnership:
Further Networking activities: “Ignition 2015: School Re-Launched” a two-day learning event at Thomas Haney Secondary with Jan Unwin and Thomas Haney staff. A combined staff and student committee plan to attend this event.
Continued School Visits: Plans to visit other schools continue to be part of the school development plan. The Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry is one of the next schools on our list.
Staff Professional Development and In-Service: Integrating Project-Based Learning, Student Inquiry and the new Ministry of Education curriculum and Core Competencies will require direct support for all staff to varying degrees. Staff Meetings are currently used for reflecting on the development of our new school programs and the implementation of the new curriculum and assessment practices. We are actively seeking support from school district personnel as well as personnel from other districts and the Ministry. Support from Post-Secondary researchers would be welcome.
Conference Presentation: Principal Paul Bishop will be facilitating a break-out session at the October 2015 BCPVPA “Connecting Leaders” conference. The topic will be the two- year process undertaken by staff and students leading to the implementation of the Personalized Learning Program. 

Pender Harbour Secondary serves approximately 75 students from Grades 7 to 12. Our catchment area extends from Halfmoon Bay, Madeira Park to Egmont. Our small size allows for greater one to one support from staff and creates a real "family feel" within the building. We provide a full academic program including Fine and Performing Arts, a full shop program and technology integration in the classroom. In addition, a focus on Personalized Learning allows students greater self-direction over their school program in a supported environment.