Elementary School Program

Why do our students love to learn?

Pine Street’s elementary curriculum reflects encourages the love of learning through its emphasis on, and purposeful use of:

We value students as a whole. This is exemplified by our emphasis on, and purposeful use of:

  • Social/Emotional Learning
  • The Learner Profile
  • Developing student identity (IDEA concepts)
  • Embedded opportunities for personal growth, development and expression (ACT - Activity Choice Time)

Our Elementary program, provides:

  • A holistic program that balances the development of concepts, skills and character
  • State-of-the-art technology embedded in trandisciplinary learning
  • Guided inquiry, collaboration, and communication to foster the development of problem-solving and critical thinking
  • Core subjects (English, Math, Science, Social Studies) presented under transdisciplinary themes as outlined below
  • PE, Music, and Visual Arts taught by specialists to form a comprehensive, varied, and rich experience

A Closer Look at the PYP

As part of the Primary Years Programme, students work under the umbrella of 6 Transdisciplinary Themes. These six week Units of Inquiry provide invitations and opportunities to explore current events, global issues and to make both significant and personal cultural connections.

Transdisciplinary Themes

  • Who We Are
  • How the World Works
  • How We Express Ourselves
  • Where We Are in Place and Time
  • Sharing the Planet
  • How We Organize Ourselves

Together, the six transdisciplinary themes provide coverage of all subjects and skills, in a way that helps students see how concepts are connected, interrelated and applied in real life. The learning is relevant, engaging, and allows students to build on prior knowledge and understanding.

Inquiry-Driven and Constructivist

Our teachers impart knowledge by guiding and structuring open-ended inquiry in which students have agency (voice and choice). Students ask questions, making sense of the world around them. They explore their own thinking and that of other students and community members, being presented with differing perspectives and experiences. Students learn to negotiate, compromise with others and problem solve.


Students are encouraged to take action in all aspects of their learning. This can come in the form of doing, thinking, and/or feeling in different and expanding ways. This philosophy of taking action, continues to grow as students move through the program and culminates in 5th grade with their Exhibition journey.


At PSS, reflection is an integral part of the inquiry cycle. Students are encouraged to reflect about their organizational skills, social skills, communication skills, research skills and thinking skills. We use a variety of tools including rubrics, checklists and student portfolio journals.

Our teachers also reflect and continually think about how to improve and optimize the curriculum to meet each individual student’s needs.

Elementary Assessment

The IB assessment model is built around the philosophy of inviting students to participate in thinking about their own growth as learners. This approach begins training elementary students to take ownership of their individual assessments so that they are uniquely adept at doing so before they enter Middle School.

Students engage in daily reflection on their work, review their Student Portfolios, and discuss their progress with their teachers. They actively participate in the four annual conferences: parent-teacher, parent-teacher-student, and student-led. Students build confidence as they share what they have learned as they discuss the challenges and growth they are experiencing. All of this information is reflected in the student report cards.

Assessments may take the form of:

  • Summative presentations at the end of each transdisciplinary theme
  • Formative assessments such as ongoing teacher observations
  • Student rubrics, checklists, student generated portfolios
  • Benchmark Assessments such as; Math and Reading Running Records, NWEA (MAP) Assessments, AAPPL (Target Language)
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