PLP Recognized as Apple Distinguished Program

On Tuesday, December 6th, 2016, Apple officially named the Performance Learning Program (PLP) an Apple Distinguished Program.

This honour is presented to programs demonstrating innovation, leadership and educational excellence.

Students, parents, and PLP teachers, both current and alumni, attended the presentation of the honour, joining MLA Jane Thornthwaite, Superintendent Mark Pearmain, Assistant Superintendents Pius Ryan and Chris Atkinson, as well as members of the school board in the celebration. 

PLP is the first secondary program designated with this honour in British Columbia, with fewer than a handful of school or programs designated as Apple Distinguished in Canada.

Our teachers are proud of the work that our students have done and accept this recognition on all their behalf.

Read more about the event on the school district’s site.

PLP featured in the North Shore News

PLP 8 students practise coding using iPads.
PLP 8 students Maggie Whitmore (left) and Jessie Bullen practise computer coding using iPads. Photo credit: Paul McGrath

PLP was recently featured in a North Shore News story on our coding efforts using Swift Playground.

PLP 8 student Daniel Wickstone is quoted in the article: “You can choose your character and there are different levels so it feels like a game, so it’s a win-win-win scenario: the teacher is teaching and we are learning and having fun at the same time.”

Click here to read the story.


PLP Takes on Destination Imagination!

This year we started a new program in our Maker Time class: Destination Imagination. This program provides fun and engaging challenges as part of a system of learning to teach creativity, the creative process, and interpersonal and management skills to help students reach their highest potential. We were excited to launch it in our school!

Apex Practicing an Instant Challenge
Apex Practicing an Instant Challenge
Navig8 Practicing an Instant Challenge
Navig8 Practicing an Instant Challenge

Destination Imagination has two parts: an instant challenge and a team challenge. Both of these are key components that teams compete in at regional and provincial tournaments. Then, the top teams are invited to compete at the global tournament held in Knoxville, Tennessee.

We began with having Joan Vyner, Director of Destination Imagination BC, come in to the Maker classes and lead an Instant Challenge, as well as give an overview of the challenges.

Students then picked a challenge to work on and teams got to work! Every Maker Time class, we pushed teams to compete in instant challenges, and complete plans for their team challenge.

The hard work paid off as students entered the regional competition in Burnaby on February 27, 2016. Competing at the Middle level was our four teams from Navig8, and at the Secondary level our four teams from Apex competed.

We were very pleased with the students’ performances at the regional competition. Five teams finished in the top three of their competition categories and three teams placed first overall in the Instant Challenge category.

Navig8 student, Quinn Helgason, of Seycove 7 gets ready to present at Provincials!
Navig8 student, Quinn Helgason, of Seycove 7 gets ready to present at Provincials!

Of special note was the Seycove 7 middle level team: Sofia Bergman, Mimi Zanker, Quinn Helgason, Spencer Laube, Lucas Ospino, Calum Owen, and James Seed who won the prestigious DaVinci Award at the tournament for outstanding creativity in their challenge solution.

Also the Camo Flock: Anatolia Floe, Michael Fourie, Nolan Carey, Mike Crema, Gabrielle Rossignol, and Jacob Goodman, took first place in the scientific category at the secondary level AND won their Instant Challenge category.

Seycove 7 shows off their Provincial Tournament winnings!
Seycove 7 shows off their Provincial Tournament winnings!

Both Seycove 7 and Camo Flock went forward and competed at the provincial tournaments with Seycove 7 coming in second in their category and Camo Flock coming in first in the province for their category.

We could not be more proud of ALL the PLP students who worked so hard on their challenge solutions. Well done!

Apex Heads to Seattle!

Apex students had a great field study in Seattle from September 18 to 19, 2015. You can see some more of the photos below.

Apex student Zak Rook interviews one of the creators of Titanboa for his podcast.

This field study’s goals were twofold: get some practice at podcasting (our skill for Apex) and check out the Seattle Mini Maker Faire to get some inspiration!

Along the way, we also got to check out the Star Wars costume exhibit at the EMP and take in the new movie, “Everest” (students read the book Into Thin Air last year in FLIGHT).

Apex students, Gabi Rossignol, Anatolia Floe, and Marley Harman try a Mini Maker Faire challenge!


Of course, we also had some good food and great singing on the bus! Looking forward to taking this group to Victoria next month!


PLP Presents at ISTE

Last week, Petra Willemse shared our project “Rise of the Frankenstuffies” at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in Philadelphia.Frankenstuffie poster session

As a prize winning submission in Project ReimaginEd, the project was part of a poster session in the morning and a panel presentation in the afternoon. If you were kind enough to stop by the poster session or the panel, Petra gave you a card with a link to this site for more information.

The entire project can be found for free in iTunes U. The course contains all the content we teach in the unit and some exemplars of the students’ work.

You can also see an interview Tony Vincent did with Petra at the event here.

We love hearing what you are doing in your classroom and sharing ideas. Please email us at any time for more information or to share your thoughts.

Have a fantastic summer everyone!

PLP Recognized With International Award

The Performance Learning Program has once again been recognized for teaching excellence as the recipient of a 2015 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Project ReimaginEd award.

One of our favourite grade 9 FLIGHT projects was chosen by ISTE as an exemplar of innovative instructional design. Earlier this year, ISTE invited educators to submit lesson plans to Project ReimaginED that focused on redesigning classroom activities to create rich, tech-infused lessons. Our PLP teachers seized this opportunity and submitted one of our favourite projects: ‘Rise of the Frankenstuffies: the Industrial Revolution’.

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During this project, students create a Frankenstein-like creature that combines different stuffed animals to investigate the Industrial Revolution. By integrating science, language arts, math, and social studies, the assignment also covers literature, creative writing and presentation skills while challenging students to communicate research findings in nontraditional ways, all while answering the essential question: how does industry innovation drive change?

Petra Willemse will be representing the PLP teaching team by presenting the project at both a poster session and panel presentation at the ISTE conference in Philadelphia this summer. The ISTE conference attracts over 25,000 international educators and PLP is honoured to be a part of it!

This is the second year in a row that the Performance Learning Program has been recognized by ISTE. Last year, Bryan Hughes and Petra Willemse received the SIGLIB (ISTE’s special interest group for librarians) Technology Innovation Award, honouring a school librarian and collaborating teacher who conduct an exemplary program extending beyond the library. Their award winning project can be downloaded and viewed in ebook format for free!

You can read the ISTE press releases on the Project ReimaginEd award here and find more information on the other winning projects here.

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“Rise of the Frankenstuffies: The Industrial Revolution” is also available as free course in iTunes U. Click here to access on your iOS device.

ISTE is the premier nonprofit organization serving educators and education leaders committed to empowering connected learners in a connected world. ISTE serves more than 100,000 education stakeholders throughout the world. Find out more by visiting

Welcome back!

Welcome to a new school year! 

The FLIGHT team has been working throughout the summer on a developing an exciting, engaging, and rigorous learning experience for this school year.

We are excited to build on last year’s successes: FLIGHT students finished the year strong with provincial exam marks in Science 10 and English 10 that exceeded both the school and provincial averages. 

FLIGHT team for 2013/2014

The new school year has brought some changes to the teaching team for FLIGHT. Jaimie Ireland, Alena Irvine, and Stephanie Strandt have left Seycove, but we are excited to welcome Esther Clark to the FLIGHT faculty.

Esther taught at Seycove and Cove Cliff last year and was part of the school district delegation that attended the Project-based Learning Institute last fall at High Tech High in San Diego, California. 

Esther brings experience and enthusiasm to her new instructional role, and will work alongside Petra Willemse to lead instruction for FLIGHT 9 and 10. 

Also new for this school year is FLIGHT 11. We are excited about the opportunities presented for project-based learning with the rich curriculum content afforded by English and Social Studies 11 and our new course, Inquiry 11. Petra Willemse and Bryan Hughes will lead instruction for FLIGHT 11.

iPad requirement 

FLIGHT is a technology infused program that leverages the power of connected learning offered by one student-one device. The iPad is a required item for every FLIGHT student and is used to receive course materials (we don’t use conventional textbooks), but more importantly is used by students to create and publish learning objects and as a tool for personal expression.

All students are required to have a personal iPad and are expected to bring it to school fully charged on FLIGHT instruction days. We are recommending an iPad (third generation or newer) or an iPad mini with a minimum 32 GB capacity as the best option for students. 

Purchasing apps     

This year the school is able to purchase apps in volume quantities and receive special education discounts from developers. We are working on a plan to pass this savings on to you, so please don’t buy any required apps at this time. We will follow up with more information very soon as it becomes available. 

Calgary Science School Professional Development

On May 24 to 26, the FLIGHT teachers had the opportunity for more professional development. Bryan Hughes, Petra Willemse, Nancy Roberts and Greg Hockley attended the ConnectEd Conference at the Calgary Science School.

ConnectEd is a different type of conference. Its focus is on creating connections and conversations on things happening in the world of education.  People from around Canada joined in on these conversations, and continued to build connections long after the conference.  It was also an opportunity to check out the classrooms of a very innovative school and bring ideas back to our own classrooms.

The FLIGHT team also hosted a session on our own program, so people could learn about running a project-based learning program within a public school.

As is always the case with these events, we learned a lot and have taken a lot away to think about. Thank you so much to Dr. David Overgaard for supporting our visit.



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