Art Curriculum Overview
Kindergarten to Second Grade
Throughout the early years at St. William’s, students will begin to explore the basics of art-making as well as build their knowledge of artistic materials. Students will learn about and become familiar with materials that may be new to them. They will practice fine motor skills through use of skillful cutting, gluing, drawing and painting. These skills will be developed throughout their time in art class. The students will be introduced to the more basic elements of art, the core of all art making, through several different projects. The elements of art that students will explore in depth are line, shape, color and texture. All lessons or activities are targeted toward the use of each element to create a work of art. Through art-making, students will also be able to express feelings, relay emotions and share ideas. They will learn how art can tell a story and inspire!
Third to Fifth Grades
As the students move up, they will continue their exploration of the elements of art. The use of these elements to create art will become more and more complex as the student progresses through each grade level. Students will be challenged to find new and inventive ways to use the elements and materials in the classroom. At this level, students will begin to explore the more difficult elements like form, value and space. These concepts will be explored through the observation of line, shape, color, texture, value, form, and space in famous works of art. Students learn to identify these elements and combine them to create their own original work, while employing a variety of mediums to achieve an aesthetic or express meaning in their work. They will begin to observe works by famous artists to examine artistic intent. Students will examine these works, as well as their own works to compare and contrast elements and techniques used. Students in fourth and fifth grade will begin to form the skills to conduct an artist’s critique that will be further utilized in the upper grades.
Sixth to Eighth Grades
In the upper grades, student exploration of art and art-making becomes increasingly multifaceted as the students have acquired and developed the skills to create more complex works. In sixth grade, the students are introduced to shading with pencil to create the appearance of three-dimensional form. More detailed, finessed work with pencil and other mediums allow the students to master the elements of art while technical art-making skills are applied to achieve a desired aesthetic. These skills are continuously developed. The students will also be introduced to the Principles of Design to utilize in their art. Class work and projects will be geared towards the students putting these elements into practice. Students will develop the ability to plan and demonstrate craftsmanship in their work. Students will gain greater knowledge of art vocabulary to use when describing their work and the work of others. At this stage, the visual arts give way to building and utilizing critical thinking skills.
Music Curriculum Overview
Grades K and 1
The students in grades K and 1 are immersed in a variety of musical experiences. Classes consist of children exploring their vocal ranges by differentiating between speaking and singing as a class and alone, high and low, loud and quiet, fast and slow, and measured sound and silence. They respond with voice, using pitched (xylophones) and non-pitched (tambourines, tone blocks etc.) instruments, and movement to poems and stories. These experiences will lead the way to begin reading simple rhythms and vocal patterns about half way through first grade.
Grade 2 students will continue to experience a variety of musical experiences with the addition of reading simple quarter note/rest and eighth note rhythms and so/mi/la vocal patterns and improvising and composing with these patterns using pitched and non-pitched instruments. They also participate in simple folk dance while learning cultural connections to these dances. Towards the end of 2nd grade the students will listen to a story to learn the notes of a treble clef staff.
Grade 3 students formally begin to read notes on a treble clef staff. As they prepare for singing at Mass and Christmas, they are learning simple part singing. They are learning how to listen critically to their own singing as well as other music. In January they will begin to play the recorder, which blends visual, aural, and tactical skills.
Grade 4 students learn to sing in two part harmony. Recorders are played as solo, and as enhancements to other music sung and played in class. As they learn more notes to play on their recorders, they will also compose melodies on the iPads to play on the recorder. The class begins to identify through listening and visual the instrumental families of the orchestra.
Grade 5 students continue in the same vein with recorder playing and composition. American composers and their music is listened to and sung. These studies use connections to American history. Singing continues to be two and three part using rounds and partner songs. Instruments, pitched and non-pitched, are used with folk songs to enhance differentiating between melody and harmony, and feeling steady beat with rhythmic ostinati.
Grade 6 students begin a more formal study of melody and rhythm. They compose and transpose melodies using a pentatonic scale, and as proficiency on the lower notes of the recorder is achieved, composition on a major scale. They will perform more complicated rhythms through speaking, body percussion, instrumental percussion, and recorder using a variety of quarter, eighth, sixteenth, and mixed eighth and sixteenth note rhythms.
Students in grades K-6 have had a wide variety of musical experiences. The Grade 7 curriculum begins a more formal study of the elements of music: melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre, and form. Students differentiate through listening skills monophonic, homophonic and polyphonic melodies and harmonies, identify and conduct duple, triple, and unusual meter patterns and understand the math of time signatures. They will identify through listening different vocal timbres of soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, and bass, and the families and instruments of the orchestra: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. They will hear and identify simple song forms of ABA and classical forms of Rondo, and Theme and Variations.
Grade 8 will use all skills previously learned to study music business in terms of plagiarism and parody, understanding popular music through American history and composition of blues using the correct chord structure notes of the blues scale. They piggyback on ELA by reading, listening, and writing reviews of current and past popular music.
Physical Education Curriculum Overview
The grades K-8 SWS Physical Education Curriculum is a cohesive set of units that support instruction from one grade level to the next. The units have been developed as building blocks of skills and concepts that will move instruction from one unit to the next. All units are made up of a blended set of standards and cumulative progress indicators that fully encapsulate the major ideas and themes behind the unit. The incorporation of different standards through major, supporting and additional concepts provide a greater opportunity for comprehensive Physical Education instruction in each unit. The units will progress from basic movement education to developing and applying manipulative skills in various isolated and applied situations, such as physical fitness and activity, individual skill development, and cooperative/team activities.
Grades K-5 Curriculum Overview
The K-5 physical education's primary goal is to develop students' fundamental movement skills within a variety of developmentally appropriate game, rhythm/dance, and gymnastic activities. The program will also enhance students' personal fitness and provides them with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in a variety of physical activities. Personal and social responsibility, self-directed learning, and problem solving skills are also reinforced throughout the K-5 physical education curriculum.
Unit 1- Movement Education/ Rhythm & Dance
Unit 2- Manipulative Skills
Unit 3- Movement/ Locomotor/Non-locomotor Skills
Unit 4- Team Games & Activities
Unit 5- Lifetime/Cooperative Activities
Unit 6- Personal Wellness & Fitness
Grades 6-8 Curriculum Overview
The middle school (Grades 6-8) physical education program strives to develop students' personal fitness and skill-related abilities. The program reinforces students' understanding and application of fitness concepts and motor skills through a variety of movement forms. The program also aims to develop students' personal and social responsibility, self-management skills, and ability to make informed choices. The overall goal of this program is to enhance students' attitude toward leading a physically active lifestyle.
Unit 1- Lifetime/Cooperative Activities
Unit 2- Personal Wellness & Fitness
Unit 3- Team Games & Activities
Technology Instruction Overview
Kindergarten through Grade 8
Technology instruction at St. William’s School is quite unique. Working collaboratively, classroom and technology teachers coordinate and instruct computer-based lessons using current technologies. Introduction and reinforcement of technology skills are seamlessly integrated into the student’s curriculum where they learn to express themselves and be creative with Microsoft Office Suite, Pixie, cartoon creators, Buncee, Google Drive, iPads, 3-D printing, and other various applications. Technology instruction at St. William's is a tool that supports and enhances academic instruction. Our technology instruction facilitates student learning as they seek to acquire and apply knowledge. Our vision states, "we are committed to providing a learning community of technologically literate, lifelong learners.”