2022-23 - Focus Statement
For years, Gilmore Elementary School has been a place known for having a good "feel' in the building. This has stemmed from the caring and thoughtful relationships built over time between staff, students, families and the surrounding community. This continued to be evident throughout the pandemic, however it looked and felt different. Coming out of COVID, through scanning and conversations with staff, students, and families, our focus is to recreate a "sense of belonging" for all that enter the building while keeping in mind the world's new and ever changing landscape. We will continue to build, strengthen and deepen relationships through shared community building experiences. This will help us all to gain a deeper understanding of each other's stories and help us to ensure that all are feeling safe, comfortable, and welcome at Gilmore. As we continue to ensure a sense of belonging for all, we will focus our observations around our inquiry question below.
How will a sense of belonging for all help students to feel more successful with their learning?
1. We will create school wide language about expectations at school
2. We will create opportunities for school wide shared experiences to help us understand our school wide language
3. We will re-envisioning some of our spaces to allow for activities that help students feel that their style of learning is celebrated and valued
We will know that our work with learners is making a difference when students are able to articulate their ideas and thoughts about:
- Our School Wide Language
- Why Gilmore School is important to them
- When they are the most happy at school
As we returned from school closure in the spring, it was clear that we needed to reassess our focus. At the forefront of our concern was welcoming staff and students back to the building after such a long time and making sure that they felt safe and connected to the school community and each other. We also were aware that the previous focus on communicating learning was likely still to be a need and so wanted to keep that in our learning intentions.
Based on action posts (HERE & HERE) and evidence post (HERE), we are growing our understanding of how our school story continues to evolve as we dive deeper into making our it meaningful for students and adults. It is for this reason that we will be continuing with our focused inquiry question of:
How does a focus on connections and the core competencies help us communicate our thinking and understand ourselves as learners?
1) We will focus on weaving in common language to support our learning journey.
2) We created collaborative platforms for us to share and curate ideas on 1 small action to be taken based on school wide and individual class scanning data: padlet as a living document, Pro-D Day, Staff meeting standing item, school story committee meeting
When we ask students about their learning, they are able to articulate their thinking and be able to talk about connections they have made, and are more aware of their strengths, stretches, and next steps in their learning.
Prior to COVID we began to delve into our transition from our previous focus on community and core competencies towards connection and thinking. Our data showed that our students were able to give brief explanations of what they are learning and why it was important and that their next steps were to deepen their capacity and articulation of their thinking
During this three year period, the school gathered information collected from interviews with students which informed a focus for learning. They worked closely with both the Critical Thinking and Personal Responsibility core competencies with an emphasis on student self-reflection. Over this time period, teachers supported students to help them solve problems in peaceful and inclusive ways. The parent community was invited to support us in this area. Each member of our community has an important role in strengthening our learning and helping our students to reach their full potential.
Please see the 'Our Focus' section to see where our inquiry has led our practice.