We are very proud of our Quigley Community. Our students are resilient and come to school each day with a desire to learn and better themselves. We have a strong PAC who works hard to provide the 'extras' for students. This includes putting on family movie nights, subsidizing the cost of field trips, and supporting traditions such as our annual Christmas Pancake Breakfast. We are equally fortunate to have a very dedicated staff who are determined to provide a quality learning environment for students and reflect the joy in life-long learning by continually refining their own practice.
In 2012 our staff and parents went through a process which resulted in identifying literacy as our school goal. Over the next few years, we grew in refining our practice of teaching reading skills, which now includes using data to identify students who are struggling, allowing us to provide necessary support in a timely manner. In our professional learning, we brought Adrienne Gear in to work with our staff, model lessons and strategies, and create to common language. We are very proud of the growth students have shown in their reading development.
In 2015, after three years of focusing our learning and interventions on reading, we moved on to developing a writing continuum. A small group of teachers on staff worked collaboratively to create a linear 'writing timeline' which shows the various stages that children progress through as they learn to write. The idea of this project was to give students a clear visual understanding of where they are in their development and what skills they need to work on next. It allows students to self-assess their own writing and set goals accordingly.
In the spring of 2017 the staff began a scan of the school community and felt it was time to redirect our attention to numeracy and the attitude that children adapt when they delve into numeracy. It was determined that exploring the work of Dweck and Growth Mindset might be a great approach to learning, particularly with a focus on numeracy. Over the summer of 2017 there was a large staff turn-over at Quigley, so September 2018 began with revisiting this decision to focus on numeracy and an affirmation from the entire staff that this was the right direction for our school community. Subsequently, we created a Numeracy Growth Mindset team representing teachers across all grade levels to help guide us on our learning journey.
In the spring of 2018 the staff identified that with the shift around Growth Mindset we needed to revise our assessment practices. A team of teachers volunteered to inquire into assessment philosophies, tools and best practices for Communicating Student Learning (CSL). We agreed that our focus on CSL will be a three to five year journey and a direct consequence of our progress around incorporating a growth mindset into our teaching and learning practices.
In the spring of 2019 our staff identified that our students were struggling (like many students around the world) with Self-Regulation Skills. We wanted to maintain our learning and focus around numeracy growth mindset, as well as CSL, but we wanted to branch off our focus into finding a school-wide system for explicitly teaching self-regulation skills. We believe that the three areas are directly connected. We began working with a small group of teachers to explore some options and landed on exploring Play is the Way as a possible option.
The 2020-21 school year was definitely a challenging one as we continually adjusted and adapted to COVID protocols. Our priority became keeping everyone in our school community safe and healthy. Some of the protocols (learning groups, mask wearing, continual sanitizing, not sharing resources) made it difficult to truly collaborate and create hands-on learning opportunitites for our students. Despite these challenges, our staff did an amazing job of coming together and figuring out how to engage students in learning through a growth mindset, develop their self regulation skills, and communicate that learning effectively and efficiently. We did significant work around designing open rich learning tasks and then modeling those learning tasks for each other so that teachers could learn from, and with, each other. We revised our plan for communicating student learning and further explored FreshGrade, SeeSaw, and Google Classroom as digital portfolio platforms to showcase student learning around content and competencies. We moved away from long ancedotal report cards to more authentic and regular digital posts for parents/students to see which were linked to specific learning targets and detailed specific feedback. In the area of self-regulation, we created the ReBoot room as a place for all students to go to when they needed time to self-regulate. The room was used by some students as a 'soft start' location every day, others on a scheduled daily basis, and many for an as needed basis. Students checked into the ReBoot room using the Zones of Regulation language, practiced a breathing strategy, and then engaged in a self-regulating activity (colouring, lego building, cup stacking, riding an exercise bike, hiding in a tent, reading, etc), before reversing the pattern and returning to instruction. We continued with the Play is the Way instruction through our PE classes and integrated the teachings into our lunch time intramural activities. In the spring of 2021, our staff decided to continue our learning down the path of Numeracy Growth Mindset, Communicating Student Learning, and Self-Regulation Skills for our students. The embedded video speaks to the collaborative learning nature of our team.