To meet the enrichment and academic needs of Pinetree students, Pinetree Secondary offers a challenging and academically rigorous 9 – 12 program of studies for the gifted, talented and highly motivated.


Student Choice

In the academic subjects, qualified students in grades 9 & 10 may register in Honours courses designed to provide a challenging, enriched learning experience in an environment of similar ability peers. At the senior level students may choose Advanced Placement courses in English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, European History (new 2011/2012), Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The Math department offers Calculus 12H as the top level for talented math students. In addition, new for 2011/2102, the Language department will be offering an IDS course in Japanese. The Art department will be offering honour classes for Art 9, 11 and 12.


Senior students may take as many AP courses as they wish; however, students may decide to select only the subjects in which they are especially interested and talented. These options allow maximum flexibility for students to choose courses suitable for their academic needs and strengths without having to give up valuable elective courses serving their creative, technical and artistic interests.



Students entering the AP/Honours Program from middle school should expect to be challenged by the course work, and will need a strong commitment to their studies in order to succeed. Teachers of Honours and AP courses will ensure that course marks accurately reflect the ability of students and will adjust the marks to reflect what the student would have achieved at the regular level. At any point in a student’s progress through the grades, he or she has the option of moving out of the Honours stream in a particular academic subject and into regular classes. Alternatively, a student who has not taken Honours courses in the junior grades may still opt to take the AP level with teacher and counsellor recommendation.


Honours Program Pathway Options


Humanities (English/Social Studies)


Math 9 Honours

Humanities 9 Honours

Science 9 Honours


Grade 10 Year


Math 10 Honours (Fall)

Math 11 Honours (Spring

Socials 10H

English 10H

Science 10 Honours


Grade 11 Year


Math 12 Honours (Fall)

Calculus 12 Honours (Spring)



Grade 12 Year


Independent Directed Studies


Socials 11H (Fall) /

History 12 (Spring) / AP European History

Grade 11 Year


English 11H (Fall) /

AP English Language 12(Spring)


Bio 11H



Bio 12/




Ch 11H



Ch 12/



Ph    11H



Ph 12/




Grade 12 Year


English 12 /

Literature 12 /

AP English Literature 12

Independent Directed Studies

Note:  All AP Designated Courses are College Board Authorized and can be viewed online at https://apcourseaudit.epiconline.org/ledger/


In addition, the following AP Exams are offered at Pinetree  

Calculus AB, BC                 Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism

Macroeconomics                                Physics C: Mechanics

Microeconomics                 Psychology


Grade Nine Honours Entrance

Students who are living in the Pinetree Secondary attendance area may apply to the Honours program through their middle school. Students must complete an application form, which includes parent consent. Students can apply for a space in the Science, Math or Humanities Honours Program or a combination of the three classes. Applicants for the Humanities program will complete an in-class essay as well as a reading comprehension exercise. Science and Math applicants are expected to sit a Math test and a Science question that will examine their critical thinking skills. Since these tests assess higher order thinking skills there is no way to prepare for the exams. Pinetree Secondary staff will administer all testing.  Space in each of the courses is limited.


Grade Ten/Eleven Honours Entrance

Students who are currently attending Pinetree Secondary and not currently enrolled in the Honours 9 program may select Math, Science, English and/or Social Studies Honours classes. Each department will review the applications for their program to determine which students may join the Honours class. Placement in the program is dependent upon available space and department recommendation.


Advanced Placement Entrance

Students may select as many AP course options as they wish. Placement in the course(s) is based on available space and teacher recommendation. Students are not required to have been enrolled in the grade 9 and 10 Honours classes, although it is recommended.


Sample Course Overviews:

New for 2011/2012!


Art 9 Honours is intended for students who are interested in exploring with more rigor the technical and creative aspects of two and three dimensional art and the creative process. This course will be well suited for students who may have an interest in pursuing further art training and experience.


English 10 Honours is intended for students who have demonstrated exceptional skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. The course emphasizes the development of students’ skills in academic writing and requires students to read widely. Students will have the opportunity to develop background knowledge from the Western tradition in literature, which will be benecial for the senior level AP/Honours English courses.



The core course material is based on Principles of Mathematics 12 and a portion of the Calculus 12 course. In addition, there will be extensive discussion regarding theory, proofs, and derivations for each of the topics covered. Homework continues to be a daily event. There will be an intensive evaluation process, including a midterm and nal examination.


New for 2011/2012!


Japanese IDS is designed for self-motivated learners who have completed Japanese 12 and wish to take their knowledge of the language to the highest level possible at Pinetree. This course is highly recommended for those students wishing to take the Japanese AP Test or the JLPT. Students will meet weekly to facilitate the oral component. In addition students have the option to gain further experience working as a teaching assistant within the Japanese program.


New for 2011/2012!


Students taking this course will have the opportunity to receive credit for SS11 Honours, History 12 and AP European History. The goals of the AP European History course are to develop: a broad knowledge base of the factual history of Europe from 1450 to the present; an understanding of the key themes in modern European history; analytical ability when working with historical evidence; and, the ability to effectively demonstrate that knowledge in written and spoken format.


Other Course Previews can be viewed in our program planning booklet



Advanced Placements and Grades:

Five Point Scale

·         5 – Extremely Well Qualified

·         4 – Well Qualified

·         3 – Qualified

·         2 – Possibly Qualified

·         1 – No Recommendation


Regardless of the grade students receive on an AP course or an AP exam, neither could work against them for the following reasons:

  • The marking scheme in each AP course within the school is adjusted to compensate for the increased level of difficulty.
  • University admission officials know very well that all courses are not equal.  Their evaluation of students' grades focus as much on the quality of courses as on the grades received.
  • The AP exams occur in the middle of May well before the Provincial Exams in June.
  • The AP exam is not a requirement for the course; however, it is recommended.


Advantages of the Advanced Placement Program:

In addition to the financial savings and increased range of educational choices mentioned above, some other advantages of taking AP courses include:

  • Students may select a single course or a combination of courses, gaining
  • Enrichment and challenge in areas of academic strength and interest.
  • A gradual acclimatization to collegiate work load and pace.
  • Enrichment without sacrifice of extracurricular activities.
  • Laboratory activities offered in Advanced Placement Science courses parallel those required in first year lab units.  Students are able to decrease their time spent in the lab by as much as two thirds due to their confidence and experienced gained in their AP classes.
  • Excellent preparation for both provincial as well as many external scholarship exams.


Advanced Placement at North American Universities


Some B.C. Institutions that recognize the AP program:


Simon Fraser University

University of British Columbia

University of Victoria

Trinity Western University

University of Northern B.C.

University of the Fraser Valley


Many Institutions outside of B.C. recognize the AP program:


University of Alberta                          Dalhousie

University of Manitoba                       Carleton

McGill University                               Queens

University of Toronto

University of Waterloo


And Most U.S. Colleges


As more high school graduates continue to apply for a limited number of places for first year students, post secondary institutions are embracing the Advanced Placement alternative more than ever before.  In North America more than 11,000 high schools participate in AP and 2900 colleges grant credit to over 46,000 students.


Student's comments on their Advanced Placement experiences


•"The AP Examinations were valuable experiences, and the college placement and credit I received as a result of AP."


•"One the greatest benefits from AP experience was the preparation it provided for college."


•"Even if I hadn't received credit for the AP exams, taking AP courses still would have been worth the extra effort they required."


"I am writing this letter to you in appreciation for all the teachings that I now value greatly in UBC Science. I just had my Chemistry midterm today which covered Thermodynamics, Chemical Equilibrium, Electrochemistry, and Acid & Base; all of which I had previously experienced in your AP class."