Gray’s Educational Philosophy
At Gray Elementary, we strive to create a safe, respectful environment that fosters the joy of learning, a commitment to personal excellence, and an acceptance of our social responsibility.
Gray’s Framework For Enhancing Student Learning
As the field of education moves towards a more inquiry-based approach, at Gray Elementary we have worked hard to blend current educational trends and the new BC curriculum. To develop a deeper understanding of our current plan and educational goals, please see the attached framework.
Gray’s Grade Rationale:
Moving Towards More Descriptive Reports And Away From Letter Grades
As a staff we have reviewed the current research and reflected upon the new curriculum, our teaching philosophies and practice. Although we understand that parents are familiar with, and understand, a traditional letter grade reporting system, and that this may be a difficult transition, we will be removing the letter grades from the Communicating Student Learning document and instead utilizing a performance standard scale.
The current grading system in use in schools was developed for an industrial model of education. Grades have been used primarily as a sorting mechanism for educational programs; they do not exist in the real world for which we are preparing students. Grades have led to a “cover the curriculum” approach to teaching rather than a focus on deep learning of skills and competencies that will apply in multiple contexts.
Our imperative is to prepare students to be productive, healthy citizens who are able to contribute in a rapidly changing world. For this they must be creative, critical thinkers and problem solvers; skills upon which the re-designed curriculum is built. To support our learners in reaching these goals, we must use the best and most current research. The factory model of sorting students no longer works for learners’ optimal achievement and success in life. If we are to be a learning system then we must communicate in a way that supports and describes learning.
Throughout the learning, we collect data in various forms through interviews, self and peer assessments, tests, observations, pieces of work, and other sources. Some of this data is in the form of numbers, however, much of it comes in other forms. When assessing our students, we consult various performance standards and benchmark documents to determine students’ level of achievement. However, the factor that makes the most difference to the learning is the quality feedback that students are given about their work. More than anything else, that is what moves the learning forward.