At Pinewood, we encourage our learners to be curious thinkers, creative thinkers and caring thinkers. We are building our curricula based on a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) model, which promotes critical thinking and problem solving, preparing children for their future. Teaching and learning is enhanced by the use of a learning management system (Brightspace) wherein blended learning – a combination of online digital media and traditional classroom methods – is increasingly embedded into the program.
Grades one through three provide a secure and stimulating environment where children are encouraged to develop as curious individuals. From grade four through grade five, students continue to refine basic problem-solving skills. Emphasis is on independent study with frequent use of available resources for learning and regular long-term projects and presentations.
The Elementary School calendar is divided into three trimesters. The first trimester runs from September to the end of November, the second from December to early March and the third from mid-March to mid-June. Report cards are issued at the end of each trimester.
At the Elementary level, each classroom teacher (Grades 1-5) sends home a weekly message with valuable curricular, classroom and school information. Each Pinewood family is also provided with a Calendar of Events listing major activities, events and field trips for the school year.
Core courses offered in the Elementary School are Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. Information technology informs all areas of the core curriculum through specific weekly classes and an integrated learning approach whereby skills and concepts of computer literacy are embedded in the disciplines taught in the classroom.
The Elementary Bell Schedule
Teaching block 1 8:30-9:55
Teaching block 2 10:20-11:50
Teaching block 3 12:50-15:00
* Scheduling of content will vary depending on the teacher and the enrichment schedule.
In addition to the core curriculum, Pinewood Elementary students have regular classes in several additional areas taught by specialist teachers (below).
All students in Grades 1-5 are given weekly instruction in the visual arts by a qualified art teacher in the school’s art studio. This program introduces students to a wide variety of media in the form of exposure, instruction and practice. Through the program, each child can find an individual level of personal artistic expression and appreciation.
All students in Grades 1-5 take part in the Pinewood Host Country Studies Program through field trips and the exploration of Greek history and culture via weekly classes, talks and presentations at school. A related program of field trips takes students to archaeological sites, museums and other places of interest, both in the city of Thessaloniki and in the surrounding areas.
All students in Grades 1-5 study Modern Greek in leveled groups of native and international speakers. The program introduces students to the Modern Greek language through a variety of methods and local resources. The general aim of the program is to generate an enthusiasm for the Greek language and culture and to help students develop the Greek language skills necessary to function better in the life of the host community.
All students in Grades 1-5 participate in a Music program designed to encourage the active participation of all students in singing, rhythmic exercises and the playing of musical instruments, as well as an awareness of various types of music from around the world. These classes, which meet once per week, are taught by a qualified music teacher in the school’s music studio.
All students in Grades 1-5 participate in Physical Education classes two times per week. Emphasis is placed on the development of physical skills appropriate to each age group and on sportsmanship, teamwork and the full participation of all students in all activities.
All students in Grades 1-5 visit the library with their teachers regularly. During this time, they learn to become effective and efficient users of ideas and information. Students are also encouraged to become enthusiastic readers by engaging them with literature through read-alouds, genre studies, book talks and many other exciting literature-based activities.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Students are encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet on assigned days to promote the use of technology in the classroom.
Genius Hour: Genius hour allows students to explore their own passions and encourages curiosity and creativity in the classroom. It provides students with choices in what they learn during the one-hour per week time dedicated to this engaging mode of learning.
Pinewood offers an ELL program to students who have limited proficiency in English. Students who speak English as a second or additional language are evaluated upon entry to Pinewood and placed on an English Language Proficiency scale of 1-5 (Level 1 students do not speak English at all; Level 5 are fully proficient). Students are evaluated with The Maculaitis Test of English Language Proficiency.
Elementary school students with low English language proficiency levels are placed in an ELL class with a certified ELL teacher. The program is designed to develop English communication by focusing on the skills of listening, speaking, reading, writing, and interactions. Exiting the ELL program at the elementary level (Grades 1-5) occurs when students have met testing standards while achieving success in the regular classroom. The student’s classroom participation is invaluable in determining success.
An in-house placement test is administered each May to current Pinewood ELL students in Grade 5 in order to transition from the elementary ELL program to the secondary ELL program. Performance on this test determines the student’s ELL placement for Grade 6.
Homework is designed to be meaningful extensions of the learning that takes place in the classroom. It is often in the form of projects and practice from the daily lessons. It provides reinforcement and enrichment for the children. Students in the Elementary grades are also encouraged to pursue outside interests and spend time exploring these interests after school. Thus, not all homework is generated directly from the school curriculum.
Textbooks & Supplies
All textbooks and workbooks needed for all academic subjects are provided by the school. Textbooks must be returned in good condition at the end of the school year. All other supplies that students need for their school work will be supplied by the parents or guardians. A complete list of necessary supplies is provided during the first days of the school year. This information can also be found on the school’s website.
Report Cards & Parent – Teacher Conferences
Elementary report cards are issued three times a year, at the end of each trimester and include grades and teacher comments. Individual parent-teacher conferences are also scheduled for parents twice yearly, at which time student progress is thoroughly discussed. These channels of communication are essential in providing collaboration between parents and teachers, ensuring student achievement and establishing proper goals and objectives. Parents are also welcome to schedule an appointment with teachers at any time of the year.
The MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) is an internationally recognized standardized test is given twice annually to students in the Elementary school (Grades 2-5). Test scores and results are uploaded to the learning management system, which is available to both students and parents. These results are used to evaluate our curriculum and to gather more information on individual student progress over time.
The last Friday of each month, a different elementary class will host an assembly. The assemblies are primarily organized by the students around curricular content and also provide a forum for discussing issues of general interest to the Elementary school students. Parents are always invited to attend these assemblies.
Pinewood recognizes that proper behavior is essential to the development of responsible, self-disciplined citizens and to the operation of an effective school. Student expectations are based on three principles: respect for oneself, respect for the worth and dignity of others and respect for one’s own and others’ property. Appropriate decorum is not only a matter of observing Pinewood standards, but also a matter of care, sensitivity and involvement in the school as a community.