Our School

The staff of West Dalhousie School extends a warm welcome to all students and parents. It is our goal to work with parents to provide the best educational experiences for our children. In partnership with parents we can share ideas, build respectful relationships, and work together to establish a firm educational foundation for children.

Today's children are society's future. As we continue to move into the new millennium, we will need citizens who are knowledgeable about their own and their collective potential. The ability to deal with technological change, to represent understanding in a variety of ways and to communicate with others will be essential.

Our Vision

We provide rich learning opportunities through a generative, inquiry-based approach to curriculum. Our learners take ownership by discovering and developing their potential, passions and gifts. As life-long learners and deep, critical thinkers, they are able to make significant contributions within a complex and changing world.

Our Beliefs

We believe that:

  • Children are capable of deep intellectual thought.
  • Learning requires engagement within significant contexts.
  • Strong positive relationships are critical to the learning process.
  • Knowledge is socially constructed within a climate of inquiry, dialogue and exploration.
  • Clear expectations and high standards are important to achieving our potential as learners.
  • Diversity is not only welcomed, but also sought, within a responsive environment.
  • We much respect the needs of the individual while at the same time supporting the needs and values of the community as a whole.
  • We must provide teachers and students with opportunities to expand and demonstrate their understanding of multiple literacies and multiple forms of representation.

School Motto 

Together We Make a Difference

School Philosophy — A Generative Approach to Curriculum

A Perspective, not a method

A generative stance towards curriculum is for us a particular perspective — a way of looking at teaching and learning — and a way of being in the world. We intentionally use the phrases "generative stance" or "generative approach" because we want to underscore that a generative curriculum is a way of thinking and not a method.

Best Practices

For us, a generative approach is a particular collection of "best" practices which reflect what we have learned as teachers and what current research emphasizes, and which borrows from several branches of philosophy. Generative curriculum is not new, nor is it experimental. Rather, it incorporates elements of best practice which teachers have long supported in many schools.

Generativity implies generosity in our view of children as learners, in the opportunities which we provide for them, and in the spirit with which we live peaceably together in this place. With respect for the individual backgrounds of the children before us, we know that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach which will meet their needs. We work instead to develop a broad repertoire of teaching strategies to enable children to approach their learning in different ways. We help them to recognize that there are multiple ways in which they may interpret the texts of their lives and with which they may represent their understanding.

We see teaching as a human act rather than a technical one, and remember the importance of the relationships we nurture at West Dalhousie. Believing that children need to feel safe and cared for, we cultivate a sense of community. Believing that we often do our best learning when we have someone who will talk it over with us, we support dialogue in our classrooms and engage children in thoughtful conversation. We know that children also need to have voice in decisions about their learning and choice in how they will take it up.

We organize our curriculum around deep, significant questions that have confronted human beings for centuries. Our current question has evolved from those that went before and is the result of many hours of reflection and discussion by all members of our school community. "How Are We Connected?" We enable children to explore a topic in depth, to return to earlier topics, and to make connections in their learning in our classrooms and in their lives beyond our walls. We encourage our students to critically question their world. Remembering that as teachers and parents we offer models of adulthood to children, we show them that we, too are lifelong learners who still have many questions to ask. We recognize and model the importance of wonder and imagination.

Innovation

Throughout its rich history, West Dalhousie School has had a tradition of curriculum innovation and we owe much to the colleagues who came before us. Today, teachers who come to our school join us because they want to pursue a generative approach to curriculum The result is a strongly cohesive pedagogy, which grounds our work and supports continuing critical inquiry.

The Legacy

A curriculum document is a cultural inheritance — a society's summary of that which it values as worthy of knowing. We believe that the curriculum we engender at West Dalhousie will offer children that legacy, and will enable them to shape a kinder, gentler, and more ecologically sustainable future.

Our School is Organized for Learning

We are organized in multi-aged groups of grade: K, 1/2, 3/4 and 5, 6. This structure provides for a workable range of instructional groups.

Instructional Groups

Within each grade group, students are placed in flexible groups for instruction according to the teachers' diagnosis of their needs. Instructional groups are flexible and may vary from one subject to another.

Team Teaching

At West Dalhousie School, we work within a strongly collaborative culture. In keeping with our belief that dialogue and shared experiences further our understanding, we meet weekly on Friday afternoons as a whole staff, as well as in Professional Learning Communities to develop our professional practice and share expertise.

Grade teams collaborate regularly to plan and implement instructional programs for their students. Through team teaching, both in grade teams and within classrooms, we capitalize on the expertise of individual teachers, create greater flexibility in the grouping of children according to needs, promote constructive decision-making, and develop professionalism throughout the staff by mutual sharing.


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Our School's Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

We are committed to acknowledging and supporting the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission 94 Calls to Action specific to education. In 2021, our school, along with all CBE schools made a TRC Commitment to Action. On June 21, 2022, we renewed our commitment, which can be found under Resources.​​

​​​School Development Plan

​Each year, our school prepares a development plan with input from teachers, school staff, students and parents. We review many sources of data, including report cards, provincial achievement test results and school surveys. Based on this information, we create our plan identifying targeted areas for growth. Our school development plan is not meant to represent all of the work that takes place in our school, but rather it focuses on specific areas for improvement.​​​

​​​​School Improvement Results Report

Our school also prepares a results plan, which looks at our previous school year. It shows our students’ achievement and progress in meeting the goals and outcomes as set out by the CBE and Alberta Education, outlines some of the highlights of our school development plan and gives an overview of our school. You can look on the CBE website for system-wide results​.
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CBE parents/guardians, watch your inbox for a letter from the Minister of Education regarding access to in-person learning. https://t.co/A2tKoYIlih #yycbe https://t.co/y5pO4p5G2h

There are no classes for CBE students on Friday, Nov. 25, because it’s a system-wide non-instructional day. Have a great long weekend! #WeAreCBE https://t.co/dZCQzZ4rJA

Students at @WillowParkCBE worked with artist and author Vivek Shraya to create a short promotional video in connection to Vivek's new book – Revenge of the Racoons. Check it out: https://t.co/Ei06Ulk5tW #WeAreCBE

CBE parents/guardians, watch your inbox for information from the Chief and Senior Medical Officers of Health in Alberta about influenza circulating in the province & measures individuals can take to reduce the spread/lessen the impact in schools https://t.co/hETIuEDknh #yycbe https://t.co/S5AxW9QgXP

RT @elboyacbe: Math and art…a beautiful combination! #wearecbe@yyCBEduhttps://t.co/Ekakdzn9l9

RT @UsihChristopher: So pleased to engage with this inspiring group of young leaders! The 2022-23 Chief Superintendent Student Advisory Council represents high school students across #WeAreCBE. Thanks to staff advisors, school leaders, teachers, and Diversity&Inclusion for empowering student voice! https://t.co/CpbDDbpOxS

RT @AlbertaEd: Participate in an virtual online engagement session to share your views on career education programming for grades 7-12. + Tue, Nov. 22 from 6-8 pm + Tue, Nov. 29 from 6-8 pm + Francophone: Tue, Nov. 29 from 6-8 pm Register at https://t.co/ZSh3XODSRk https://t.co/z16xTIJE2b

RT @YourAlberta: Alberta’s Career Education Task Force is seeking input on grades 7-12 career education programming to build better connections between students and employers. Take the survey or attend an online or in-person session: https://t.co/V2TNm3FZTJ #abed. https://t.co/14scB7YXJh

RT @kinggeorgecbe: Students are celebrating Métis week by engaging in story and art. One of these art pieces will be part of a whole school collective.. stay tuned! #WeAreCBE @Indigenous_cbe https://t.co/F5pbdbnrIP

RT @CDNBlindHockey: Today we had 30 youth who are blind & or partially sighted from the @yyCBEdu take part in our Learn to Skate & Try Blind Hockey Field Trip Day Program. Thank you to @ABBlindSports for partnering together on this program & introducing these new participants to #Blind #Hockey https://t.co/HCo2tdPzmu