Fine Arts and Physical Education
Education in fine arts and physical education is offered according to the age and development of the child.
Pre-Primary (Ages 3-6)
Activities and materials for art and music are part of the child's day-to-day classroom work. Children express themselves artistically with a variety of media, such as crayons, chalk, pencils, paint, clay, textiles, dyes, and various papers. Musical experiences include singing, dancing, moving to rhythms, and even songwriting. Music and art are also explored culturally as they connect to historical periods and geographical places. Drawing a flag, dancing a folk dance, or listening to a work by a great composer can be part of an exploration of a country. Small- motor activities are guided in the classroom both in group and individual settings. Children have a daily outdoor play time (weather permitting), where they engage in free play and large-motor activities, as well as outdoor games offered under the teacher's guidance.
Beginning in kindergarten, students have a weekly physical education class taught by our phys. ed. specialist. A weekly music/movement class is also offered to kindergartners. The teacher is both a musician and a dancer, and these disciplines are thoroughly integrated in the weekly music/movement class.
Elementary (ages 6-12)
In addition to the integration of art, music, and movement into the regular curriculum, elementary students are offered weekly classes taught by specialists in art, music, and physical education.
Art classes explore a variety of media, and often integrate with areas of study from the classroom curriculum.
Music classes utilize work with Orff and rhythm instruments, singing , notation, listening, and study of music history.
Physical education classes focus on fitness, a variety of motor skills, and games and sportsmanship.
Middle School (ages 12-14)
Middle school students enjoy a year-long class in visual arts. Taught by an art specialist, the students extend their exploration of various visual arts media that they began in the elementary program. Students also have semester-long classes in physical education and music.
In addition to these classes, a weekly "Self-Expression" time is built into the schedule. Maria Montessori described this component of the adolescent program as follows:
The Opportunities for Self-Expression For this purpose there would be all kinds of artistic occupations open to free choice both as to the time and the nature of the work. Some must b e for the individual and some would require the cooperation of a group. They would involve artistic and linguistic ability and imagination, including: Music: Auditions where the children learn to recognize the composition, its composer, and the period, as is done in literary studies. Choral singing. Practice in playing instruments, both solo and in orchestras. Language: Diction, elocution. Acting of stories or poems. Practice in making speeches and in logically presenting ideas, debates, and discussions. Practice in public speaking so as to be audible and hold the attention of the audience. Open discussions where they can present their own ideas. Art: Drawing. Modeling (in plasticine, etc.) either for: ornamental design, reproduction of nature, creative work of the imagination. This work is not to be considered as a proper training in art, but a means of giving expression to individual aesthetic feeling with special reference to handwork and to the learning of modern techniques.
The middle school teachers and the art specialist all guide the students in their work in self-expression.