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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​​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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Well shoot! With the Calgary Flames kicked out of the playoffs last night, it looks like our Board Chair @LauraHack34 will be donning Oilers’ blue at the June 14 board meeting. We'll be cheering for Alberta's other team now! @EPSBNews @TrishEstabrooks #CBEofRed https://t.co/bYA3HHRWDo

Check out this CBC story about students from Fairview School selling ribbons to raise money for local Asian mental health organizations for their Asian Heritage Month campaign. Way to go! #WeAreCBE https://t.co/1PbYrJ6yEJ

RT @NCKodiaks: 🛠🧰 A BIG thanks to Mr. Slusar and his amazing grade six construction students for repairing our Little Free Library. It looks incredible and we absolutely love having it in our community! #kodiakpride #nowacceptingdonations #WeAreCBE @yyCBEdu https://t.co/Kgg3bhNem8

RT @KiddleCBE: Sibylla Kiddle positively impacted her community through generous acts of service & kindness. Today, May 25, we celebrated her birthday by helping people in our #yyc community. Inspired by Sibylla Kiddle, we collected 1272 birthday party items for the @CalgaryFoodBank. #WeAreCBE https://t.co/zZi2dyDXYX

Spanish Bilingual students in Grades 6-9 went to Crescent Heights High School to spend an afternoon touring the school and participating in a series of engaging language and cultural activities prepared by Leadership 30 students. https://t.co/SGheH1PlmJ #WeAreCBE https://t.co/f97PJ19PJd

The Board of Trustees will hold a public meeting on Monday, May 30 at 7 pm to hear from parents, students and other persons on the proposed closure of Discovering Choices Westbrook Outreach site for the purpose of relocation. Learn more: https://t.co/Nm0kkpiaG7 #yycbe https://t.co/OcMmefWsZr

Trustees Approve 2022-2023 Budget and 2021-2024 Education Plan: https://t.co/veCKjywBYy #yycbe https://t.co/0Wg0Y2LfXi

RT @gale_school: This month’s front display is informative and stunning. #AsianHeritageMonth https://t.co/3x0QcPgKUt

Today’s Board of Trustees public meeting starts at noon at the Ed Centre. Join us in-person or stream the meeting online https://t.co/nvCl1fvF09 #yycbe https://t.co/qfp6IA9FGJ

Don’t forget, transportation registration is underway. All families considering using school bus transportation for the next school year must register by Wednesday, June 8 to be part of planning for next year's routes. https://t.co/ZaLR6wezXU #WeAreCBE https://t.co/Hc3XRzdhLZ