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Pear Tree School:
The Our Kids Report > Academics
Grades K TO Gr. 8 — Vancouver, BC (Map)

Pear Tree School:


Curriculum Progressive

[Show definition of Curriculum]

Central to your child's school experience is the underlying curriculum taught in the classroom. "Curriculum" refers to both what is taught and how it's taught. When considering the different curricula outlined in the next few pages, keep in mind that few schools fall neatly into one category or another. Most schools' curricula comprise a blend of best practices drawn from multiple curriculum types. Having said that, most schools do have a general overall curriculum type. These are identified for each school on

Curriculum approach at Pear Tree School: Progressive

Pear Tree School has a Progressive approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Traditional, Liberal Arts, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf approach).

[Show: About Progressive?]

Our Kids definition: Progressive (sometimes called "in- quiry-based") curricula attempt to place children's interests and ideas at the heart of the learning experience. Instead of lessons being driven by predetermined pathways, progressive curricula are often "emergent", with learning activities shaped by students' questions about the world. Instead of starting with academic concepts and then tying it to everyday experience, progressive methods begin with everyday experience and work back to an academic lesson. Teachers provide materials, experiences, tools and resources to help students investigate a topic or issue. Students are encouraged to explore, reflect on their findings, and discuss answers or solutions.

Compare Pear Tree School's Curriculum with other schools on
  Progressive - 34%
  Traditional - 40%
  Liberal arts - 13%
  Montessori - 11%
  Reggio Emilia - 1%
  Waldorf - 1%

What Pear Tree School says about their overall curriculum and approach:

Pear Tree School’s progressive model emphasizes hands-on, student-centered, theme and project-based learning. It includes a balanced mix of academics, integrated subjects, physical skills, socioemotional development and seamless integration of technology. Taking a whole child approach means Pear Tree School nurtures academic, social-emotional, and physical development. Integral to this is Pear Tree's healthy hot lunch program, cooking and food education, as well as its rigorous physical education program, which includes martial arts, swimming, yoga and ice skating. We believe in and apply: + Integrated subjects (through theme-based learning and project-based learning) + Hands-on learning + Student-centered learning + Collaboration + Creativity + Technology + Real-life application / Entrepreneurship The methodologies delivered by Pear Tree's outstanding masters-qualified teachers offer an engaging approach to the B.C. curriculum that develops well-rounded children who can be happy and successful in all aspects of life.



Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics

    Equal Balance

    Mathematics approach at Pear Tree School: Equal Balance

    Pear Tree School has an Equal Balance approach to Mathematics (as opposed to Traditional Math, Discovery Math approach).

    [Show: About Equal Balance?]

    Our Kids definition: These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.

    Compare Pear Tree School's Mathematics with other schools on
      Equal balance - 70%
      Traditional math - 25%
      Discovery math - 5%

    What Pear Tree School says:

    Math is a skills-based subject (in contrast to science and social studies, which are more knowledge-based). Math skills are to be used, not simply memorized. As such, at Pear Tree School, math skills embedded within themes; they are tied to social studies (quantities, statistics), science (weights, speeds, measurements), and business (financial literacy). As such, students at Pear Tree learn math in context. Math at our school is connected to real life and is truly meaningful. At the same time, working with real-life numbers means that it is challenging! Consequently, math at Pear Tree is more engaging and more challenging than traditional math classes.

    Textbooks and supplementary materials:

    We don't use textbooks. As we teach through themes, all of our math is taught in context. This means that it is more realistic and more challenging than traditional math classes.

    Calculator policy:

    We balance the use of calculators. It is important for students to have a conceptual understanding of math in order to know whether the data output from a calculator is logical, as well as to know what information to input.

  • Early Reading

    Balanced Literacy

    Early Reading approach at Pear Tree School: Balanced Literacy

    Pear Tree School has a Balanced Literacy approach to Early Reading (as opposed to Phonics-intensive, Whole Language approach).

    [Show: About Balanced Literacy?]

    Our Kids definition: Balanced reading programs are typically Whole Language programs with supplementary phonics training. This training might be incidental, or it might take the form of mini-lessons.

    Compare Pear Tree School's Early Reading with other schools on
      Balanced literacy - 54%
      Phonics-intensive - 44%
      Whole language - 2%

    What Pear Tree School says:

    Like math, language arts is a skills-based subject. Traditional approaches to reading and writing involve practicing such skills with no real purpose beyond mastering those skills. Reading and writing are skills to be applied, and that’s exactly what we do at Pear Tree School! At Pear Tree, reading and writing skills are interwoven into every part of our themes. We don’t use textbooks. Instead, students constantly read both fiction and non-fiction books related to the themes. From these books, their range of vocabulary goes beyond high-frequency words to include very technical language specific to the themes. Pear Tree students quickly develop truly amazing reading and writing skills for their ages from becoming familiar with these words over a semester and having constant opportunities to practice!

    DIBELS Testing: This school periodically uses DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    What Pear Tree School says:

    We do formal reading and writing assessments at the beginning of every term.

  • Writing

    Equal balance

    Writing approach at Pear Tree School: Equal balance

    Pear Tree School has an Equal balance approach to Writing (as opposed to Systematic approach, Process approach approach).

    [Show: About Equal balance?]

    Our Kids definition: Programs that balance systematic and process approaches equally likely have an emphasis on giving young students ample opportunities to write, while providing supplementary class-wide instruction in grammar, parts of sentences, and various writing strategies.

    Compare Pear Tree School's Writing with other schools on
      Equal balance - 79%
      Systematic approach - 9%
      Process approach - 12%

    What Pear Tree School says:

    Like math, language arts is a skills-based subject. Traditional approaches to reading and writing involve practicing such skills with no real purpose beyond mastering those skills. Reading and writing are skills to be applied, and that’s exactly what we do at Pear Tree Elementary! At Pear Tree, reading and writing skills are interwoven into every part of our themes. We don’t use textbooks. Instead, students constantly read both fiction and non-fiction books related to the themes. From these books, their range of vocabulary goes beyond high-frequency words to include very technical language specific to the themes. Pear Tree students quickly develop truly amazing reading and writing skills for their ages from becoming familiar with these words over a semester and having constant opportunities to practice!

  • Science


    Science approach at Pear Tree School: Inquiry

    Pear Tree School has an Inquiry approach to Science (as opposed to Expository, Equal Balance approach).

    [Show: About Inquiry?]

    Our Kids definition: Inquiry-based science emphasizes teaching science as a way of thinking or practice, and therefore tries to get students “doing” science as much as possible -- and not just “learning” it. Students still learn foundational scientific ideas and content (and build on this knowledge progressively); however, relative to expository science instruction, inquiry-based programs have students spend more time developing and executing their own experiments (empirical and theoretical). Students are frequently challenged to develop critical and scientific-thinking skills by developing their own well-reasoned hypothesis and finding ways to test those hypotheses. Projects and experiments are emphasized over textbook learning. Skills are emphasized over breadth of knowledge.

    Compare Pear Tree School's Science with other schools on
      Inquiry - 26%
      Expository - 5%
      Equal balance - 69%

    Teaching approach:

    Like anything, you only learn something by actually doing it. Pear Tree School is very creative in finding ways for its students to learn about science in a safe, engaging, hands-on approach. One way that we do this is through cooking and cooking science. At the higher grades, students will even be introduced to molecular gastronomy. At least half of our themes are inspired by science topics.

    Treatment of evolution:

    Evolution as consensus theory
    Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
    Evolution is not taught

    Topics covered in curriculum:

  • Literature

    Social Justice

    Literature approach at Pear Tree School: Social Justice

    Pear Tree School has a Social Justice approach to Literature (as opposed to Traditional, Equal Balance approach).

    [Show: About Social Justice?]

    Our Kids definition: In social justice- inspired programs, literature is not viewed as something to be merely decoded and “appreciated”: rather, it is viewed as a catalyst to social action. Choice of texts tends to favour contemporary works. If a classical text is used, it’s often in the context of social deconstruction: students are asked to critically examine possible prejudices and historical narratives inherent in the work. Like in traditional literature programs, students are often asked to engage in class discussion and critical essay writing, but more time might also be devoted to cooperative group projects and personal reflections. The goal is to teach students to think critically about what they read, while becoming intellectually and physically engaged in the social issues pertaining to their wider community.

    Compare Pear Tree School's Literature with other schools on
      Social justice - 3%
      Traditional - 21%
      Equal balance - 76%

    What Pear Tree School says:

    At Pear Tree School, we are constantly training our students to use critical thinking and critical literacy skills. As such, it is important for us to use a variety of texts that require such skills. We use a mixture of texts, such as picture books, graphic novels, poetry, short stories, and novels. These texts will also be chosen because of their relevance to the theme that were are studying.

    Program covers:

    Canadian lit
    American lit
    European (continental) lit
    World (non-Western) lit
    English lit
    Ancient lit
  • Social Studies

    Expanding Communities

    Social Studies approach at Pear Tree School: Expanding Communities

    Pear Tree School has an Expanding Communities approach to Social Studies (as opposed to Core Knowledge, Thematic approach).

    [Show: About Expanding Communities?]

    Our Kids definition: The Expanding Communities approach organizes the curriculum around students’ present, everyday experience. In the younger grades, students might learn about themselves, for example. As they move through the grades, the focus gradually broadens in scope: to the family, neighbourhood, city, province, country, and globe. The curriculum tends to have less focus on history than Core Knowledge programs.

    Compare Pear Tree School's Social Studies with other schools on
      Expanding communities - 30%
      Core knowledge - 38%
      Thematic - 32%

    What Pear Tree School says:

    We use an integrated skills, theme-based approach to our programs. As such, we don't study social studies in isolation. At the same time, our themes are much more meaningful that such topics as 'food'. Overall, we follow a similar pattern to the B.C. curriculum in focusing on the individual student and their immediate environment, and then expanding to large communities as the students get older. This is a more meaningful and empowering way to learn about the world.

  • Humanities and Social Sciences


    Humanities and Social Sciences approach at Pear Tree School: Pragmatism

    Pear Tree School has a Pragmatism approach to Humanities and Social Sciences (as opposed to Perennialism, Equal Balance approach).

    [Show: About Pragmatism?]

    Our Kids definition: Pragmatism in the humanities and social sciences emphasizes making learning relevant to students’ present-day experience. Assignments tend to centre around projects and tasks rather than argumentative essays; these projects will often have a “real-world” application or relevance. There might be more of a social justice component to a pragmatic program, though that isn’t always the case. Subjects like history and philosophy are still covered/offered, but they play a less prominent role in the overall program than in the case of perennialism. The social sciences (contemporary geography, sociology, psychology, etc), meanwhile, might play a more prominent role in pragmatic programs. The key goals are to make learning progressive and relevant, while teaching students real-life skills and critical thinking.

    Compare Pear Tree School's Humanities and Social Sciences with other schools on
      Pragmatism - 10%
      Perennialism - 7%
      Equal balance - 83%

    What Pear Tree School says:

    We use an integrated skills, theme-based approach to our programs. As such, we don't study social studies / the humanities in isolation. At the same time, our themes are much more meaningful that such topics as 'food'. Overall, we follow a similar pattern to the B.C. curriculum in focusing on the individual student and their immediate environment, and then expanding to large communities as the students get older. This is a more meaningful and empowering way to learn about the world.

  • Foreign Languages


    Foreign Languages approach at Pear Tree School: Communicative

    Pear Tree School has a Communicative approach to Foreign Languages (as opposed to Audio-Lingual, Equal Balance approach).

    [Show: About Communicative?]

    Our Kids definition: The communicative method of language acquisition emphasizes the use of the target language in authentic contexts. The approach commonly features interactive group work, games, authentic texts, and opportunities to learn about the cultural background of the language. Drills and quizzes may still be used, but less frequently than with the audio-lingual method.

    Compare Pear Tree School's Foreign Languages with other schools on
      Communicative - 33%
      Audio-lingual - 2%
      Equal balance - 65%

    What Pear Tree School says:

    Pear Tree School introduces French studies from Grade 2 onwards. Our approach is to recognise that language and culture are one and the same thing. Language isn't a grammatical construct; it is a cultural construct. As such, we always study languages in cultural context. This helps our students to understand authentic language use, French-speaking cultures, and common body language.

    Language instruction offered in:

  • Fine Arts


    Fine Arts approach at Pear Tree School: Creative

    Pear Tree School has a Creative approach to Fine Arts (as opposed to Receptive, Equal Balance approach).

    [Show: About Creative?]

    Our Kids definition: Creative arts programs are studio-driven. While historical works and movements may still be taught to add context to the program, students mainly engage in making art (visual, musical, theatrical, etc). The goal is use the actual practice of art to help educate students’ emotions, cognition, and ethos.

    Compare Pear Tree School's Fine Arts with other schools on
      Creative - 34%
      Receptive - 2%
      Equal balance - 64%

    Program offers:

    Graphic Design
    Visual Arts

    Visual studio philosophy:


    What Pear Tree School says:

    Fine arts are integrated into every aspect of our program. Therefore, Pear Tree School students are continually learning about and using fine arts. We often work with external professionals who are able to support our classroom teachers with specialised art skills. At the same time, our classroom teachers ensure that any art learned is done so in context to make it meaningful and useful!

  • Computers and Technology

    Medium integration

    Computers and Technology approach at Pear Tree School: Medium integration

    Pear Tree School has a Medium integration approach to Computers and Technology (as opposed to Light integration, Heavy integration approach).

    [Show: About Medium integration?]

    Our Kids definition: Effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy through the curriculum. However, this is not a dominant focus.

    Compare Pear Tree School's Computers and Technology with other schools on
      Medium integration - 52%
      Light integration - 18%
      Heavy integration - 30%

    What Pear Tree School says:

    Technology is seamlessly integrated into all of our programs. We want our students to become adept at using technology in meaningful ways, i.e. for creativity and productivity. The use of technology increases as students reach higher grades. Obviously, in the younger grades, there is much less use, as there are other development priorities.

    Program covers:

    Computer science
    Web design
  • Physical Education

    What Pear Tree School says:

    At Pear Tree School, our daily Physical Education Program is directly tied to our whole-child education approach. Through our Physical Education Program we develop your child's academic, social-emotional and physical performance every school day. Physical + Improved physical fitness + Skill and motor skills development Socio-Emotional + Teaches self discipline + Facilitates development of student responsibility for health and fitness + Influence moral development, leadership, cooperate with others + Stress reduction – an outlet for releasing tension and anxiety + Strengthened peer relationships + Improve self-confidence and self-esteem + Respect - for your body, classmates and teammates + Experience in setting goals Academic + Subject integration (science, math, social studies) + Through sports, we study about physiology, psychology, nutrition, problem solving, and strategy + Exercise helps to strengthen and stimulate your brain. Increased fitness = improved academics

  • Sex and health education

    British Columbia curriculum

    Sex and health education approach at Pear Tree School: British Columbia curriculum

    Pear Tree School has a British Columbia curriculum approach to Sex and health education (as opposed to Does not follow prrovincialcurriculum approach).

    [Show: About British Columbia curriculum?]

    Our Kids definition: The structure, pacing, focus, and tone of the sex education curriculum reflects that of the provincial one, taught in public schools.

    Compare Pear Tree School's Sex and health education with other schools on
      Follows provincial curriculum - 59%
      Does not follow prrovincial curriculum - 41%

    Approach to sex and health education: Mostly value-neutral

    Pear Tree School has a approach Mostly value-neutral (as opposed to Fairly value-based approach).
    [Show: About Mostly value-neutral?]

    Our Kids definition: By and large, students are taught about sex free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. The school doesn't impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on students when teaching sex and related issues.

    What Pear Tree School says:

    Child safety, welfare, and self-empowerment are our key reasons for teaching sex education from kindergarten. While the content of sex ed classes changes as students get older, they will learn about the human body, about tolerance, about STDs, about myths, about (in)appropriate body contact, and about responsible decision making.

Preschool/K Curriculum Academic

[Show definition of Preschool/K Curriculum]

Preschools and kindergartens tend to have a particular curriculum or curricular approach. This refers to what is taught and how it's taught. Most preschools have a curriculum that comprises a blend of best practices drawn from multiple curriculum types. A preschool's curriculum may or may not, though, reflect its higher-level curriculum (if it's part of a school with elementary or secondary programs)

Preschool/K Curriculum approach at Pear Tree School: Academic

Pear Tree School has an Academic approach to Preschool/K Curriculum (as opposed to Play-based, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia approach).

[Show: About Academic?]

Our Kids definition: Academic-based preschools and Kindergartens are the most structured of the different types, and have a strong emphasis on math and reading readiness skills. These programs aim to expose children to what early-elementary school is like. While time is still allotted to free play, much of the day is built around explicit lessons guided by the teacher. Classrooms often resemble play-based ones (with different stations set up around the room), but at an Academic program the teacher leads students through the stations directly, and ties these activities to a whole-class lesson or theme.

Compare Pear Tree School's Preschool/K Curriculum with other schools on
  Academic - 41%
  Play-based - 24%
  Montessori - 26%
  Waldorf - 2%
  Reggio emilia - 7%

What Pear Tree School says about their preschool/K curriculum approach:

Pear Tree School’s Early Years Program sets the foundations for your child’s education and the rest of their life. Our (M.Ed-educated) teachers are here to offer your child a warm welcome to grade school through creative, hands-on learning that centres students’ social, emotional, physical and academic well-being and nurtures their unique interests and abilities. Your child will shine, as their confidence, curiosity and love of learning grow with us in a small, intimate classroom setting.

Language English

Learn about Pear Tree School's languages of instruction and enrolment.

Pear Tree School offers English as the primary language of instruction.

Language of enrolment include: English

Curriculum Pace Student-paced

[Show definition of Curriculum Pace]

This refers to the rate at which students move through the curriculum (e.g., topics, textbook material, skills, etc.). Curriculum pace is often defined in comparison to provincial standards.

Curriculum Pace approach at Pear Tree School: Student-paced

Pear Tree School has a Student-paced approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Standard-enriched, Accelerated approach).

[Show: About Student-paced?]

Our Kids definition: The main curriculum pace is non-standardized and is HIGHLY responsive to the pacing of individual students, (via differentiated instruction, differentiated assessment, etc). In theory, some students outpace the default/normalized curriculum, while others spend periods "behind schedule" if they need the extra time.

Compare Pear Tree School's Curriculum Pace with other schools on
  Student-paced - 26%
  Standard-enriched - 56%
  Accelerated - 18%

What Pear Tree School says about their curriculum pace:

Pear Tree School's themes connect education to real life at all times. While we follow the BC curriculum, we go beyond it. We differentiate learning and use individualized goal-setting to ensure that all students are constantly progressing.

Flexible pacing style

Type Offered
Subject-streaming (tracking)
Multi-age classrooms as standard
Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
Regular guided independent study opportunities
Differentiated assessment

What Pear Tree School says about their flexible pacing:

Pear Tree School's combined-grade approach means that our students have access to a greater range of academic potential and influence.

Academic Culture Supportive

[Show definition of Academic Culture]

Through the collective mindset of teachers, administrators, students, and parents, each school develops and maintains its own academic culture. This generally relates to the norms and expectations created around academic performance. Many parents look to private schools because they want a specific type of culture. Some want a rigorous environment that will elevate their child to new heights. Others want a nurturing environment that will help their child develop a passion for learning.

Academic Culture approach at Pear Tree School: Supportive

Pear Tree School has a Supportive approach to Academic Culture (as opposed to Rigorous approach).

[Show: About Supportive?]

Our Kids definition: A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.

Compare Pear Tree School's Academic Culture with other schools on
  Supportive - 51%
  Rigorous - 49%

What Pear Tree School says about their academic culture:

We strive for our students to become exceptional, well-rounded individuals. This means that we work with our students on both their strengths and weaknesses. With the support of our masters-qualified teachers, we expect our students to continually try to do better, to become the best that they are capable of, and to take pride in the quality of the work that they create.

Developmental priorities Balanced

[Show definition of Developmental priorities]

Schools have specific goals regarding how they want their educate and develop their students. This is part of a school's overall philosophy or vision, which is contained in its mission statement. While they tend have several developmental aims, schools tend to priortize certain aims, such as intellectual, social, spiritual, emotional, or physical development.

Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced

Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation.

Secondary Developmental Priority: Intellectual

The goal is to cultivate "academically strong, creative and critical thinkers, capable of exercising rationality, apprehending truth, and making aesthetic distinctions."

What Pear Tree School says about their developmental priorities:

Pear Tree School creates well-rounded individuals. We don't view one attribute as more important than another. Through our unique education method, we continuously develop our students academic, socio-emotional, and physical skills.

Special needs support No support

[Show definition of Special needs support]

Schools offer a wide range of approaches and services to support students with special needs. This may include individualized learning, one-on-one support, small classes, resource rooms, and learning aids. These supports may be provided in a number of different environments such as a dedicated special needs school or class, an integrated class, a withdrawal class, or a regular class with resource support or in-class adaptations.

Pear Tree School offers No support

Pear Tree School offers no/limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.

What Pear Tree School says about their special need support:

Pear Tree School prides itself on being an inclusive environment. We attract a tremendous range of families and demographics who all share our common goal for a progressive, whole-child education. Pear Tree does not receive any government funding, including special needs funding. This means that any specialized or intensive in-class support must be paid for by the family. Some aspects of our learning methodologies and requirements may be unrealistically challenging for students with certain levels of needs. This can include the need for strong literacy skills, executive functioning skills, collaborative skills, and critical thinking skills.

A - Forms of Support
B - Environments
Indirect Support:
Resource Assistance:
Withdrawal Assistance:
Partial Integration:
Full-Time Class:

Special NeedNeed
Forms of SupportA
  • Learning disabilities
    Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
    This is a learning disability that can limit a child's ability to read and learn. It can have a variety of traits. A few of the main ones are impaired phonological awareness and decoding, problems with orthographic coding, and auditory short-term memory impairment.
    Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
    This is a sound differentiation disorder involving problems with reading, comprehension, and language.
    This is a kind of specific learning disability in math. Kids with this math disorder have problems with calculation. They may also have problems with math-related concepts such as time and money.
    This is a kind of specific learning disability in writing. It involves problems with handwriting, spelling, and organizing ideas.
    Language Processing Disorder
    This is characterized by having extreme difficulty understanding what is heard and expressing what one wants to say. These disorders affect the area of the brain that controls language processing.
    Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
    These involve difficulties interpreting non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language. They're usually characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial, and social skills.
    Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
    A characteristic seen in people with learning disabilities such as Dysgraphia or Non-verbal LD. It can result in missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters, losing place frequently, struggles with cutting, holding pencil too tightly, or poor eye/hand coordination.
  • Developmental
    Refers to a range of conditions that involve challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and speech and nonverbal communication. They also involve unique strengths and differences. For instance, there are persons with both low- and high-functioning autism (some claim the latter is identical to Asperger's syndrome).
    Asperger's Syndrome
    On the autism spectrum, Asperger's is considered quite mild in terms of symptoms. While traits can vary widely, many kids with Asperger's struggle with social skills. They also sometimes fixate on certain subjects and engage in repetitive behaviour.
    Down syndrome
    his is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.
    Intellectual disability
    This is a condition characterized by significant limitations in intellectual functioning (e.g., reasoning, learning, and problem solving). Intellectual disabilities are also known as general learning disabilities (and used to be referred to as a kind of mental retardation).
    Williams syndrome
    This is a rare genetic disorder present at birth. It is characterized by intellectual disabilities or learning problems, unique facial features, and cardiovascular problems.
    Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
    Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. These may include growth deficits, facial anomalies, and damage to the central nervous system, which can lead to cognitive, behavioural, and other problems.
  • Behavioral and Emotional
    Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
    roubled teens tend to have problems that are intense, persistent, and can lead to quite unpredictable behaviour. This can lead to behavioural and emotional issues, such as drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behaviour, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
    Clinical Depression
    This is a mental health disorder also called "major depression." It involves persistent feelings of sadness, loss, and anger. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in daily activities, such as school, work, or one's social life.
    Clinical anxiety
    This is a mood disorder involving intense, relentless feelings of distress and fear. They can also have excessive and persistent worry about everyday situations, and repeated episodes of intense anxiety or terror.
    Suicidal thoughts
    This involves persistent thoughts about ending one's life.
    Drug and alcohol abuse
    This involves the excessive use of drug and/or alcohol, which interferes with daily functioning.
    Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
    This is a disruptive behavioural disorder which normally involves angry outbursts, often directed at people of authority. This behaviour must last continuously for six months or more and significantly interfere with daily functioning.
  • Physical
    Multiple sclerosis
    This is a condition of the central nervous system. It affects the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. Symptoms can include fatigue, loss of motor control, memory loss, depression, and cognitive difficulties.
    Cerebral palsy
    his refers to a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. CP is caused by abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance, and posture.
    Muscular dystrophy
    Muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.
    Spina Bifida
    This is a condition present at birth due to the incomplete formation of the spine and spinal cord. It can lead to a number of physical challenges, including paralysis or weakness in the legs, bowel and bladder incontinence, hydrocephalus (too much fluid in the brain), and deformities of the spine.
    Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
    This is a Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Also known as "sensory integration disorder," it affects fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. It may also affect speech.
    Visual impairment is a decreased ability or inability to see that can't be fixed in usual ways, such as with glasses. Some people are completely blind, while others have what's called "legal blindness."
    Hearing impairment, also known as "hearing loss," is a partial or total inability to hear. The degree of hearing impairment varies between people. It can range from complete hearing loss (or deafness) to partial hearing loss (meaning the ears can pick up some sounds).
    Cystic Fibrosis
    Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.
    Multiple physical
    Accommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.

Read our guide to special needs schools and special education

Academic support

Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties

Mild but clinically diagnosed learning disabilities

Extra support

What Pear Tree School says:

At Pear Tree School, we avoid the use of labels (e.g. 'gifted', 'ADHD', 'ESL', etc). We find that labels generally have a negative, long-term impact on students. Our learning method engages all forms of learners, while also challenging them to try other approaches. Our teachers are not specialised or trained in special needs or 'giftedness', nor do we qualify for funding for this.

Additional support

Social skills programs
Occupational therapy
Speech-language therapy

Gifted learner support In-class adaptations

[Show definition of Gifted learner support]

Schools support students with gifted or advanced learning abilities in a several ways. Whether they offer a full-time gifted program or part-time support, they normally provide some form of accelerated learning (delivering content at a faster pace) or enrichment (covering content more broadly or deeply). Many schools also offer a wide range of in-class adaptations to support advanced learners, such as guided independent studies, project-based learning, and career exploration.

Curriculum Delivery: Acceleration and enrichment

There is an equal emphasis on acceleration and enrichment.

Class structure

Program Offered
Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)
Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)

In-class adaptations

Program Offered
Custom subject enrichment (special arrangement)
Custom curriculum compacting (special arrangement)
Guided independent study (custom gifted arrangement)
Cyber-learning opportunities (custom gifted arrangement)
Formalized peer coaching opportunities (specifically for gifted learners to coach others)
Custom subject acceleration (special arrangement)
Career exploration (custom gifted arrangement)
Project-based learning (custom gifted arrangement)
Mentorships (custom gifted arrangement)

What Pear Tree School says about their gifted learner support:

Pear Tree School provides a whole-child approach. As such, we do not focus exclusively on a child’s current strengths or their current weaknesses. We aim for all of our students to be well-rounded, so that no matter what path they choose in life, they will be happy and successful.

Homework Policy

[Show definition of Homework Policy]

Homework is work that's assigned to students for completion outside of regular class time. There's a long-standing debate over homework. Should homework be assigned to school-age children? If so, in what grades? And how much homework should be assigned? In selecting the right school for your child, it's important to look closely at a school's homework policy.

Nightly homework

In grade Gr. 8, Pear Tree School students perform an average of 1 hour of homework per night.

Pear Tree School15 mins15 mins30 mins30 mins45 mins45 mins60 mins60 mins60 mins
Site Average5 mins15 mins18 mins24 mins30 mins36 mins42 mins54 mins58 mins

What Pear Tree School says about their flipped classroom policy:

This information is not currently available.

Report Card Policy

[Show definition of Report Card Policy]

While all schools measure individual progress and achievement in students, they have different ways of doing this. For instance, many traditional schools gauge progress through report cards, which give students lettered or numbered grades. Other schools, meanwhile, measure progress in other ways, either in addition to or instead of giving grades. For instance, they may offer prose-based feedback (i.e, comments), academic achievement reporting, habits and behaviour reporting, and parent-teacher meetings. In choosing the right school for your child, take a close look at its policy for measuring the individual progress of students.

How assessments are delivered across the grades

Prose (narrative)-based feedbackK to Gr. 8
Academic achievement reportingK to Gr. 8
Habits and behaviour reportingK to Gr. 8
Parent-teacher meetingsK to Gr. 8

Extracurricular Activities

While academics remain the priority for most private schools, many also place a strong focus on a well-rounded education and encourage participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, arts, or clubs. Involvement in extracurriculars helps stimulate students in their studies, makes them more motivated to learn, and can make school more enjoyable and fulfilling. Extracurricular activities can also provide students with a much-needed break from the stresses of academics, while helping them to develop skills and allowing them to take part in valuable social situations.

Sports offered

Pear Tree School offers 1 competitive sports and 17 recreational sports.

  Competitive offered          Recreational offered
all sports]
  • Archery
  • Curling
  • Ultimate
  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Cricket
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Cycling
  • Downhill skiing
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing
  • Field Hockey
  • Figure Skating
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Ice Hockey
  • Ice Skating
  • Lacrosse
  • Martial Arts
  • Mountain biking
  • Racquet Ball
  • Rowing
  • Rugby
  • Running
  • Sailing
  • Skateboarding
  • Snowboarding
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball
  • Weightlifting
  • Wrestling

Clubs offered

Pear Tree School offers 14 clubs and extracurricular programs.

  Clubs offered           Clubs not offered
all clubs and programs]
  Foreign Language Club
  Habitat for Humanity
  Jazz Ensemble
  Math Club
  Musical theatre/Opera
  Ballet and Classical Ballet
  Online Magazine
  Outdoor Club
  Outdoor Education
  Poetry/Literature club
  Radio club
  Robotics club
  Round Square
  School newspaper
  Science Club
  Student Council
  Art Club
  Astronomy Club
  Audiovisual Club
  Chess Club
  Community Service
  Computer Club
  Dance Club
  Debate Club
  Drama Club
  Environmental Club

What Pear Tree School says about their extracurricular activities:

  • What other schools call 'extracurricular', Pear Tree School embeds into its daily program. However, we offer a range of after-school clubs for different age groups each semester. Contact us for more details.


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