At Catherine Nichols Gunn school we are actively applying the CBE Indigenous Education Strategy (Three Year Education Plan, 2016-19) and have it come alive in our school. In particular, we have looked carefully at how we engage with families and communities to support student learning. Our work began with reimagining the ways in which we cultivate a balanced and respectful relationship between our students’ home and our school, which honour the work we do as partners in learning. We needed to know our families, so we began talking with and learning from them. We heard their stories and the ways in which we could support and engage their children. From here, we found the way we approached things in the past could and should look different. We worked to be responsive to our families’ stories and therefore began to develop new ways of knowing and new ways of communicating. For example, seeking ways to support our students in developing a deeper understanding of their culture, creating opportunities for families to celebrate our school and their child’s education, and taking an empathetic approach in supporting our families and students to succeed with their learning.
Jennifer Owens, Aboriginal Education Learning Leader, Catherine Nichols Gunn School
Michelle Chastko, Assistant Principal, Catherine Nichols Gunn School