Nova Scotia students and teachers will see more positive changes in 2016, as part of government’s commitment to refocus, rebuild and renew the education system.
Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey provided the annual report on Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for Education today, Feb. 4.
Improvements in year one of the action plan include a streamlined grade Primary to 3 curriculum with a greater emphasis on math and literacy, the early introduction of coding to help today’s students become more career ready, a greater focus on financial literacy, homework standards and more support for young children.
Strategies in math, literacy and coding will provide a framework for a lifetime of learning.
“We are modernizing our education system and the actions taken in the first few months of the school year are providing benefits for our students,” said Ms. Casey.
“I have consistently said that every step in the action plan must be in the best interest of our students and if there is a good idea, we will consider it; if something is not working, we will change it.”
Teachers will receive the support, time and structure to allow them to focus on student learning and student achievement. Action is underway to address classroom complexities including smaller class sizes.
The department will also work with teachers, school boards and universities to develop for the first time, teaching standards to promote consistent high-quality teaching in classrooms across the province.
Led by classroom teachers, the entire curriculum is being reviewed. Grades Primary to 3 have been completed and the focus is now on grades 4 to 6. The remaining grades will be streamlined over the next few years.
As part of building a modern education system, there is also a greater emphasis on helping students to be career ready. The new strategies will involve a series of targeted initiatives to help students succeed.
The following initiatives will be introduced in 2016:
— a new career education framework that will include all students from grades 4 to 12
— a Business Education Council
— workplace training for graduating students
— more class caps to reduce class sizes
— more Reading Recovery Support
— new policies for student attendance and student assessment to support student success across the province.
“It is critical that the actions we are taking will help ensure our students are in a better state of readiness when they enter school and are better prepared to enter into post-secondary education or the workforce when they graduate,” said Ms. Casey.
A list of accomplished goals and action initiatives still in progress is available at http://ednet.ns.ca.
The Nova Scotia Action Plan for Education is based on the feedback of more than 19,000 Nova Scotians, including teachers, students, school support staff, school boards, universities and the business community. The plan focuses on fundamental changes to renew, refocus, and rebuild the education system for the first time in a generation.