by Jason Ableson

The Transition from Pear Tree to High School

by Jason Ableson

One of the most common questions we are asked is how Pear Tree students will manage in high school.

While we are opening our own middle/high school this coming September, many of our previous students have had to transition to schools with more traditional learning approaches, namely subject-based, teacher-centred lessons.

Previous families have wondered how their children would fare in that kind of environment and how they would perform on the B.C. Provincial Exams.

Pear Tree students continue to be successful as they progress through their academic career throughout high school. With a strong foundation, often learning advanced academic and social skills at an early age, our students use their critical thinking and problem-solving skills to adapt to the new learning environment.

One potential concern is that Pear Tree students may get bored in a traditional high school, learning each subject individually, and learning in a more traditional sense, with the teacher explaining new concepts through a lecture-type class. Admittedly, coming from a hands-on, theme-based approach, students do find sitting at a desk and learning independently to be pretty dull and uninspiring.

This is neither the fault of Pear Tree nor its students, but rather the fault of high schools and high school teachers for failing to adapt to the modern world.

To add to this, with the recent changes in the B.C. Provincial Exams, Pear Tree’s theme-based approach is truly the perfect choice for Vancouver students!

The new assessments require students to apply their skills in realistic contexts, something Pear Tree students already do in kindergarten.

Instead of separating the provincial exams into individual subjects, the literacy and numeracy exams are interdisciplinary and test students’ abilities to apply their knowledge and analyze, reason, and communicate effectively as they examine, interpret, and solve problems.

All of these, along with collaboration, are skills that Pear Tree students develop from an early age. 

With the recent change in the Provincial Exams, it is an encouraging stamp of approval that Pear Tree Elementary’s learning methods are strongly valued by universities and will continue to benefit students well into their professional careers. In fact, Pear Tree has been selected by the Ministry of Education to take part in a Literacy and Numeracy Proficiencies Project, in part, to help other schools teach math and literacy skills in context so that the students in those schools are better prepared for the new provincial exams.