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John A. Hutton Elementary School – Healthy Schools Example

The Healthy Schools Network (HSN) is highlighting previous year-end stories to ignite creativity and share ideas about curriculum-based approaches that are aligned with the redesigned curriculum and foster student health and learning.

These stories are shared as examples to demonstrate the innovative ways in which BC educators have been fostering student competency development, creating flexible learning environments, and focusing on student-centred approaches to health and learning, all while undergoing their own professional learning. These examples primarily align with the Physical and Health Education curriculum and also highlight cross-curricular learning opportunities that integrate health education into other subject areas. These examples focus on the core competencies.

This month we are featuring a story from John A. Hutton Elementary School in Grand Forks and their inquiry about social and emotional well-being for the entire school community. Below is an example based on their story, The HAWKS Philosophy. Click here to read their story in its entirety.

Grade 4-7
Learning area: Physical and Health Education
Big ideas: Developing healthy relationships helps us feel connected, supported, and valued (Grade 4)
Curricular competencies: Describe and apply strategies for developing and maintaining positive relationships (Grade 4)
Curricular content: Practices that promote health and well-being (Grade 4)

Core Competencies

  • Communication:
    Connect and Engage with Others: This project demonstrates this facet as staff paired each intermediate student with a primary buddy with the purpose of students working together to develop criteria (together with teachers) for appropriate (HAWKS*) behaviours. In doing so, students were able to take into consideration different perspectives, and develop relationships and understandings through communication. This facet is also demonstrated through having the intermediate students meet with their primary buddies throughout the year to continue the conversation about respect, kindness, empathy and positive attitude.
  • Personal Awareness and Responsibility:
    Self-Regulation: This facet is demonstrated as students were able to regulate themselves based on criteria that were developed by the school as a whole. Students were able to clarify and modify their actions/emotions both individually and with their buddies through their follow-up meetings.
    Self-Determination: By utilizing the HAWKS system and recognizing students’ attitudes, behaviours, and interactions with others, the staff has provided the groundwork for students, as they develop more confidence in their successes, to continue to advocate for themselves and others.
  • Social Responsibility:
    Solving Problems in Peaceful Ways: Students are practising appropriate ways of dealing with each other in a variety of situations including situations of conflict and solution-based thinking.
    Building Relationships: This theme is the cornerstone of this project in that, ultimately, students are working towards improving their levels of connectedness through promotion of positive, respectful relationships.

Formative assessment strategies: Observations and anecdotal notes

*The school developed the “HAWKS” philosophy. (A hawk is the school mascot). HAWKS stands for:
H – Helpfulness rules
A – Attitude matters
W – We work hard
K – Kindness counts (and we)
S – Stay calm and carry on!

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