How did we determine our focus?

Using the 4 main questions from the book, Spirals of Inquiry—staff asked students these questions, asking a variety of boys and girls, from each grade across the school.

The four key questions are:

  1. Can you name two adults in this setting who believe you will be a success in life?
  2. What are you learning and why is it important?
  3. How are you doing with your learning?
  4. What are your next steps?

We also used staff observations from their daily interactions with students.

Our Learning

What did we learn from listening to our students?

1) Can you name two adults in this setting who believe you will be a success in life?

Most students had difficulty naming two adults. Staff was surprised, because they felt they showed this on a daily basis.

2) What are you learning and why is it important?

Most students commented on math, because assessment in math continues to be more qualitative than other subjects. Students from all three groups were interested in practical skills that relate to job acquisition.  They also clearly understand the First Nations curriculum and its importance to their home.  A connection is being made between the ACT lessons and social skills.

3) How are you doing with your learning?

Most students paused to think about this question. Students are fair with themselves.  Every student used the word “good”.  Each student was also able to identify something they wished to learn, or needed to work on.

4)What are your next steps?

This question initially caused confusion due to its open-endedness.  Again, students paused, but were able to answer the question. With time, students furnished thoughtful responses to ‘next steps’, showing positive resilience and growth mindset (comfort in taking a risk or grappling with a questions they are unsure of.) This demonstrated students’ growth mindset; no student was without a plan. We have traditionally been strong academically; however, we wanted to utilize the Spirals of Inquiry to investigate how the students view themselves as learners.