Caledonia Secondary School student Diamond Louie, seen here visiting the neighbouring Skeena Middle School last spring, is heading into Grade 12 and is in the last cohert of students under the previous graduation requirements. Things will change for students Grade 11 and below. Photo by Jackie Lieuwen.

New curriculum now being adopted in high schools

Grades 10-12 students are now in a transition year with the redesigned B.C. curriculum

Schools in Terrace and across B.C. continue to roll out the new curriculum, and this year Grades 10-12 teachers are starting to adopt the new system.

The last two years it’s been Grades K-9 adopting the new curriculum. There was a transition year in 2015-2016, and last school year the elementary and middle school teachers were required to have the new curriculum fully implemented.

Now it’s time for high school.

It’s a transition year for Grades 10-12 teachers to begin adopting the new system, and complete adoption will be mandatory for all high school grades next year.

In terms of graduation requirements, provincial exams are being phased out.

Grade 12 students have already completed many of the prior provincial exams, and will continue under the old system by completing their Language Arts 12 exam prior to graduation.

The new requirements will be in place for all students in Grade 11 and below.

In the new system, there will be no more provincial exams in Math 10, Language Arts 10, Science 10, Social Studies 11 and Language Arts 12.

In their place, students will be required to take only two provincial tests, one for numeracy and the other literacy.

Science and social studies will be assessed only in the classroom.

This year’s Grade 11 students will be the first cohort under the new system. They will have the option of taking the new numeracy test this spring (January 2018) or next year.

For literacy, the test will not be available until the spring of their Grade 12 year, January 2019.

The Ministry of Education is still accepting feedback on the new high school curriculum this year.

The whole curriculum redesign started in 2011, prompted by complaints from teachers, industry and parents saying that students were not being properly equipped for 21st Century challenges.

Now the curriculum is simplified, with less specific learning outcomes and a greater emphasis on teaching students to think critically, be creative, communicate well, and develop a strong sense of personal identity and social responsibility.

Teachers will build their lessons around three key components: (1) know – teach the students key facts and information (2) do – give students project assignments to develop their thinking and core skills, (3) understand – tell students the reasons and the importance of what they’re learning.

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