Point Grey Secondary School has had a tradition for more than six years of holding an annual 'Drawdown' event. Drawdown is a school-community based chalk mural on the school's tennis courts that allows students to express their opinions, understandings and concerns regarding various social issues.
This year, Point Grey has taken steps to reinvigorate the school's code of conduct and make it a more integral part of the school culture. The school saw an opportunity to use the Drawdown as a way of having students engage in the improved code of conduct in a personal and meaningful way through the imagery they create for the mural.
BC's new school curriculum is focused on students achieving core competencies, sets of intellectual, personal, and social and emotional proficiencies that all students need to develop in order to engage in deep learning and life-long learning. Point Grey combined these core competencies, self-assessment for the students, and art in this year's Drawdown.
"As we began discussing how we would implement the core competency reflections for the grade 8s and 9s, we saw a connection in the social and personal responsibility aspects to the work that we were doing with the code of conduct and the Drawdown," said Dean Long, head of PG's Visual Arts, Tech Ed and Business Ed department. "We decided that by combining the three of them, we could maximize the potential for all aspects."
Students in grade 8 and 9 were given worksheets that led them through an analysis of each attribute implicit in Point Grey's code of conduct. Using the school's mascot, the hounds, as a word model, the code of conduct focused on Honour, Ownership, Unity. Nice, Determined, Safe (HOUNDS). Students were asked to connect these with the ideas of social and personal responsibility in the core competencies.
On Friday, May 19, classes of grade 8s and 9s came together on the tennis court to draw their contributions to the school's mural. The mural had the teens working in the six letters of HOUNDS, and the result is a very colourful representation of what the code of conduct means to the students.
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