The Education Puzzle

Monday, June 06, 2016 - By: Cheryl Murtland

In a knowledge-rich world, there is a need for education to focus on thinking and solving problems to prepare students for what they may encounter in their future. To address this, the Ministry of Education in BC has been working on a new approach to curriculum with the first official phase of implementation to happen this coming September for Kindergarten to Grade 9, followed by a second stage in September of 2017 for Grades 10-12, the Graduation Years. In preparation for this, we have been receiving information in different ways and at different times. Most recently has been the announcement of Graduation Requirements.

An important piece in the education puzzle is knowing what courses students will be required to take to graduate. The greatest upcoming change will be the replacement, and in most cases, elimination, of Provincial Exams. Continuing to be required is an English Language assessment in a student’s Grade 12 year. What we are not sure of at this point is if the exam will account for a percentage of the English 12 Language course, or if it is a pass/fail system for graduation. Eliminated as of the end of June 2016, are the English 10, Math 10, Science 10 and Social Studies 11 Provincial Exams. All that will be required is for students to write and pass a math skills assessment before graduating. The earliest this assessment will be available is January of 2018 so there will be no provincial math assessment written during the next school year. At this point, we do not know what it will entail but we do know that it is not associated with a math course.

One thing this means is that course marks will be 100% based on what happens in the class at the school level. This is not unlike what happens in other provinces. It provides an opportunity for Brentwood teachers to take a look at a variety of assessment methods and to have professional dialogue about what and how we will assess knowledge, understanding, and competencies. We will continue to have a variety of assessment tools and to make learning a priority.

The Ministry of Education will be asking for parent input as it looks to develop reporting processes for the new curriculum. At the end of the summer they will be circulating a website to see what it is that parents want and need to hear about their child’s learning. We encourage you to participate in this process either through the website or by communicating directly with the Director of Academics at Brentwood.

The Ministry of Education website with more details is

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