North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
Aug 04
Summer Learning - Preparing Students for a Brighter Future


North Vancouver School District's Summer Learning has evolved since its introduction to the district nearly 30 years ago. With the continued growth and development of summer programs, Summer Learning has become a popular avenue for a wide variety of students to achieve their academic goals and individual goals in an alternate setting.

With the rebranding of Summer School two years ago into Summer Learning, came positive new developments to the programs offered. Summer Learning teachers are integrating the new curriculum, focussing on innovative assessment, collaborating and co-teaching, and building community amongst staff and students. 

Over 900 students from the Lower Mainland attended this year's Summer Learning at Carson Graham Secondary for both Full Credit and Review and Completion programs. The core values integrated into both programs are:

√ Collaboration

√ Communication

√ Diversity

√ Innovation

√ Inquiry

Additionally, this year, building community was a key driver in planning for its first ever "Celebration of Learning" where each class worked towards a communal goal of connecting their curricular area to the broader theme of Canada 150. As a culmination of this inquiry project, students presented their learning to peers and teachers from around the school through various forms of media and then met on the field to form the shape of a maple leaf.


Full Credit courses are offered at the grade 10 - 12 level and are designed for students wanting or needing an alternate pathway to graduation – those who are taking courses in advance for the first time, or retrying a course in order to achieve success. 

These are fast-paced, academic courses designed for students who are focused and committed to their learning and who are engaged in the learning process. An entire year's content is covered within the five-week term and thus it is crucial for students to be self-motivated, open-minded, and dedicated. 

Teachers communicate student learning in full credit courses through an interim report, sent home with students mid-way through the course and with a final report card mailed home upon course completion.

This year, teachers in every subject area, Math, Sciences, English, and Social Studies, participated in the school wide Celebration of Learning. Teachers collaborated with colleagues to plan for how they would explore the overarching theme within their courses and students presented innovative inquiry projects connected to Canada 150 from multiple frameworks and through different lenses. 


Teachers in full credit implemented creative and innovative curriculum and instructional practices, promoting collaboration amongst students, using Indigenous material in classes, and exploring hands-on and experiential learning inside the classroom and in the community. Teachers used formative and summative assessment to support student learning and growth throughout the summer term.  

This year, the Social Studies department and the Science department worked together, asking students in their classes to form City Hall committee groups and debate local and global environmental issues, further adding to a sense of community across the curricular areas.  


Summer Learning's Review and Completion programs have seen the greatest evolution at Summer Learning over the past two years. Teachers in these courses work in collaboration and focus on building core academic skills, engagement, and confidence in their students.

Review and Completion course are offered to students who need to brush up on core academic, language, and executive functioning skills prior to enrolling in classes next fall.

English Language Learning (ELL) is a program offered to students at levels 1-3. Student learning was built upon the overarching theme of Canada 150+ where students embarked on an inquiry into what it means to be a Canadian and into developing an understanding that Canadian identity is fluid, ever-changing, and has been multicultural from the very start. 

As a classroom community, the teachers and students investigated what it means to be "from" a place, what "nationality" really means, and what makes a "citizen". A key theme explored was the power that landscape has to shape our identities as individuals.

Students from different parts of the world wrote sensory poems, validating their experience in Canada. For their presentation at the Celebration of Learning, each student selected a province of Canada and created a mosaic map using their poetry.


Grade 7/8 Transition is a course for students who will be entering grade 8 in the fall and are tentative about their transition to high school. Students in this course benefit from advanced and increased orientation into the high school setting and need to develop skills around the Core Competencies in order to support personal success in grade 8 and beyond. 

During the four-week program, students are taught and encouraged to be confident successful learners, to build executive functioning skills and to create a sense of community with peers and adults, prior to entering high school.

On the final day of their Summer Learning, students had the opportunity to collaborate on their final reflection and final evaluations in the course. Students worked on an inquiry project around the theme of Canada 150 during their time at Summer Learning. 


The Grade 7/8 International Baccalaureate (IB - MYP) Transition program is designed for students transitioning to an IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) school from their non-PYP elementary school. This course provides an opportunity to expose students to the key concepts in the MYP, such as the IB Learner Profile, Approaches to Learning, and criterion based assessment, in order to support greater success in grade 8 and beyond at Carson Graham. This year, the course focused on experiential learning: students worked in a variety of environments on various learning engagements to develop skills and gain confidence. Students were able to meet new peers with whom they will meet again in September and had time to build meaningful relationships with staff and students in order to support a more positive transition to high school. 


Literacy 8/9 and Numeracy 8/9 are designed for students who want to enhance their numeracy or literacy skills in order to prepare for greater success next year. In both courses, instructions are tailored to suit student levels and needs and teachers work to engage students, who may otherwise find difficulty in these core subjects.

The Numeracy 8/9 class was divided into three groups and students in each group moved through three different classes throughout the day, working with a different teacher in each class. Each teacher has a different style teaching, supporting multiple learning modalities and styles amongst the student groups. Teachers worked with students at various skill levels and tailored their lessons to allow for appropriate entry points for individual student learning, and focused on core numeracy skills to support successful entry back into Math courses in the regular school year. Both self-assessment and teacher evaluations were sent home each week in order to communicate and track student growth in the course.

In the Literacy 8/9 course, two teachers collaborated to create innovative and individualized lessons and were able to provide consistent, formative feedback to target and promote student success. The students had targeted learning in key reading and writing skills through various activities both in the classroom and in the broader community. Students were able to build confidence and ability in their time at Summer Learning, which will prepare them to have greater success when they return to their home schools in the fall. Teachers of the Literacy program commented that, there is "huge value in this course as there is a one-on-one student/teacher connection." 


To discover more about Summer Learning and see what this year's students accomplished, check out this fun video!


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