B.C.'s new curriculum
The updated curriculum developed for K-12 education continues to be phased in at Surrey schools in the 2016-17 school year, with changes to assessment and provincial exams also taking hold beginning this year.
The curriculum was initially optional for teachers in kindergarten to Grade 9, but is the official curriculum in those grades as of September 2016.
The new Grade 10 to 12 curriculum will be optional for teachers in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years and full implementation is scheduled for the 2018-19 school year, as per a November 2016 announcement from the Ministry of Education.
Why a new curriculum?
As explained in a May 2016 letter to parents from the education minister, the world has become much different since the original curriculum was developed. New technologies enable access to a wealth of information on virtually any topic. Today's students need to learn skills to successfully locate, analyze and evaluate information, then apply it in a proper and useful way.
The emphasis now is more on understanding concepts and processes, as well as a personalized learning experience and flexibility to better match individual student strengths and needs, as described in B.C.'s Education Plan.
What has changed?
Changes to assessment and exams
Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, changes in curriculum, assessment and graduation requirements are being phased in for students in Grades 10 to 12.
The changes include discontinuing the five current secondary school provincial exams and replacing them with two provincial exams that focus on literacy and math skills – the key subjects post-secondary institutions look to for admissions.
Provincial exams for Science 10, Social Studies 11, Language Arts 10 and Math 10 will no longer be used and will be replaced by classroom assessments.
There will be overlap between the previous grad program and the new one, and therefore a transition period to account for students progressing toward graduation under different scenarios. Students entering Grade 10 in the 2017-18 school year will be the first group where the new requirements apply entirely.
In the 2016-17 year only, there will be no changes to the Language Arts/English 12 provincial exams. They will run as scheduled, aligned with the prior curriculum, not the new one.
In an October 2016 letter to parents, Supt. Dr. Jordan Tinney explains the exam changes and how they impact the school calendar for 2016-2017.
The provincial government has also provided this chart to help clarify requirements for students entering Grades 10 to 12 in the 2016-17 transition school year:
The Ministry of Education has a wealth of plain-language information about the new curriculum on its Building Student Success website. Some specific links parents may find helpful are: