Located in an established Brampton suburb experiencing new development, St. Edmund Campion embraces the diversity of its multicultural community. The school’s motto, “Named, Called and Chosen,” is reflected in the compassionate and welcoming school community, fostered by faith-filled, differentiated programming and extensive co-curricular opportunities. This environment has allowed the school to respond effectively to its changing demographics (e.g., increased poverty, mental health and social/emotional concerns) and address diverse learning needs.
Over time, math teachers at St. Edmund Campion observed that students were underachieving on EQAO’s Grade 9 math assessment. Collectively they analyzed EQAO results and classroom data to identify strengths and specific areas for improvement in each math strand and in students’ attitudes toward math, to set goals for the upcoming semester and inform their instructional practices. Among the past three cohorts (2012-2014), consistently high proportions of students in the applied mathematics course rose to meet the standard in math between Grade 6 and Grade 9.
Five years ago, the Grade 9 math teachers recognized that they needed to have a better understanding of the learning students were bringing from elementary school. They worked collaboratively to understand the Grades 6–8 math expectations fully in order to develop and implement common review lessons at the beginning of the semester. This was followed by the administration of a diagnostic assessment, which allowed each teacher to identify gaps in his or her students’ learning and respond to their needs through differentiated programming.
In the past, teachers observed that students came to class disliking math and not fully understanding what was expected in their work. Staff decided to use samples of student work from EQAO’s Web site to show students what to include in answers and how to communicate their thinking effectively. As a result, the students have developed greater confidence in their ability to solve difficult problems and increased enthusiasm for learning math, and they are reaching their learning goals.
Administration, parents and students attribute the success of students in Grade 9 math to their caring, supportive teachers and the safe environment they create that enables students to take risks. Using a whole-school approach, teachers work hard to get to know students and their needs, to establish relationships and to encourage students and recognize their accomplishments, willingly giving their own time to provide extra support.
"Five years ago, we were all doing different things. Now we know that effective teaching trumps everything."
—Duncan Kosziwka, Acting Math Department Head
"The teachers here at Campion always strive to push us to our full potential. They show a sense of caring towards all students, and I believe that has played a major factor in our overall success"
—Grade 11 Math Student
Infographic—Improvement Planning: Three Questions Schools Can Ask When Analyzing Their 2015 Data
School Profile and Results
Dr. Bette M. Stephenson Recognition of Achievement, 2015 School Recipient.