2017 Annual Report
Elementary Curriculum Services
The core focus of the Elementary Curriculum Services Department is to support learning and innovation to maximize the success and well-being of all. Because student learning is at the heart of everything we do, our work centres around what will likely provide the best possible learning opportunities. Teachers have always been the key to great learning experiences; it’s what happens between the teachers and students that determine whether learning opportunities are engaging, rigorous, relevant, meaningful, and lasting. Thus, the Curriculum Team provides teachers and principals with a high level of support – so they can continually teach better and improve students’ learning experiences. Our key initiatives include:
- Early Years Education; growing the play and inquiry conversation beyond K – Gr. 1, and introducing the Kindergarten Communication of Learning
- Math; knowing our students and increasing teacher content knowledge
- Literacy, knowing our students and collaboratively owning assessment and programming
- Health and Physical Education, developing knowledge, understanding, and practices of physical and health literacy
- the Arts, it’s building content knowledge with the creative process, building teacher confidence, and integrating the arts with other curriculum.
- and French as a Second Language; on using the Common European Framework (CEFR) to enable our students to use language functionally.
Spotlight – Enhanced Math and Literacy Profiles for Teaching
Enhancing the Arts in Our Schools
Learning about and through the arts develops the essential knowledge, skills, and creative capacities all students need to succeed in school, work, and life. Mounting research evidence confirms that arts-rich learning environments positively impact student attendance, persistence, and engagement; enhance teacher effectiveness; and strengthen parent and community involvement. As of 2017, TLDSB has one Arts Consultant and two Music Consultants to support our teams to create, learn, and achieve. Collaboration and co-teaching is the most effective way to help teachers incorporate arts into learning. TLDSB arts consultants visit classrooms working with teachers and student to help in using arts to enhance and integrate into the curriculum.
TLDSB’s renewed vision for arts in elementary schools started with preliminary meetings in the last school year which has led to all of the work being done in schools today. The impact arts education has had on teachers is evident, with a focus on arts as curriculum, arts to enhance curriculum, and arts integrated into the curriculum. Collaboration and co-teaching has proven to be effective ways that help to build teacher growth mindset and efficacy. There is an arts representative at each school who helps teachers to understand the value of incorporating arts into learning. Arts education provokes thinking; and builds empathy, collaborative skills, and community; opens students to trying new things; develops cultural awareness; promotes questioning and critical thinking; and develops problem-solving skills. Our Elementary Arts Consultant visits classrooms, works with teachers in co-planning and co-teaching collaborative projects, attends provincial meetings to network with colleagues from across the province, and develops partnerships with arts organizations throughout the district.
Linking Schools and Communities
Community engagement is a vital part of success in education. Wherever possible, we take the time to celebrate and learn from it. TLDSB continuously seeks out opportunities to partner with our local organizations to promote student success and well-being. This includes:
- Build Our Kids Success (BOKS) – Four schools use this program to support academic achievement and engagement through increased physical activity
- Kawartha Conservation & Community Living Muskoka – We provided snowshoes to support physical activity and outdoor learning for early years students
- Kawartha Lakes Sport and Recreational Council – Working in partnership on grant applications for learning and resources for teachers
- Snow Sport – Opportunities for schools and families to ski at area resorts at a reduced cost
- Jump Start – As a community partner, schools can access funds to enrich and support healthy active living programs
- Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health unit – We work in partnership on health supports for schools
Summer Learning Program
French as a Second Language
Our focus over the past year included using French instruction to engage students in FSL using the CEFR model. CEFR is a proven framework and tool as part of the European French language instruction. It is the anchor to building confidence in students. One of the characteristics of CEFR, contrary to traditional teaching methods, is the recognition that interactions matter, not just the grammatical aspect of language. CEFR encourages a natural development of language and is based on student voice, student interest, and authentic learning. It is positive and asset-based. In TLDSB, 48 students wrote the Diplôme d’Études en Langue Française (DELF) exam – and 100% of them were successful!