Children are, by nature, curious, creative beings and our arts program gives them time — and ample dedicated space — to explore creative expression
Take a walk through the halls of Lower School and you’ll see and hear how much we value the arts in Lower School. The walls are adorned with projects made in the art rooms and voices of children singing or practicing a play can be heard in the hallways. We are especially proud of works made by our students in collaboration with visiting artists. Check out the lobby of Lower School – it’s also an art gallery.
Each grade has an opportunity to practice and engage with public speaking, age-appropriate plays, and/or public performances of units explored in class. Some projects in the past few years have included, presentations on The Rainforest, Spanish play of Los Mariachis, La Sombrilla, a poetry slam, living history museums, Aesops’s fables, and many others.
In Lower School, we believe that all children are innately musical and experience music in different ways. Primary Circle engages in musical play and explores simple musical descriptors for tempo and dynamics. First and second grade focus on creative movement, rhythmic pattern recognition, and the movement application of familiar patterns. Third through fifth grade engage in active music making on the recorder, small percussion ensembles, and the ukulele. Fourth and fifth grade may participate in the instrumental program by taking weekly group lessons and playing in an ensemble.
Students in Lower School engage in creativity, improvisation, singing, moving, and playing at all stages of their development. We possess a wide array of Orff, percussion, and classroom instruments. Although our program emphasizes process, it is important to share our work with our community, Students have opportunities to perform in small, familiar settings for their peers, and first through fifth graders perform in a culminating Lower School concert for a larger audience each spring.
The art program in LS invites children to create meaning through inquiry, creative exploration, collaboration, and reflection. In our studios, iLab, and outdoor spaces, we consider and explore what it means to think and act as artists and designers. We cultivate creative problem-solving and growth mindsets. Time and resources are intentionally planned to explore a wide range of media across all grades–starting with open-ended investigations, where students can activate their innate curiosity.
These guided challenges, rich in cultural connections, modeling of techniques and best practices Guided challenges, cultural connections, and the modeling of techniques and best practices initiate students through new experiences and stretch their skills and understanding. Collaborative ventures invite us to do what is most energizing and meaningful; to work in partnership, to contribute our efforts to something larger than ourselves, to foster respect for diverse approaches, and to build friendships.
Our approaches are fundamentally informed by the Quaker tenets of diversity, inclusivity, social justice, and continuing revelation. The Lower School Art program incorporates a range of contemporary approaches to teaching and learning, most notably Project Zero’s Studio Habits of Mind, Reggio Emilio’s overarching constructivist philosophies and principles, and Design Thinking’s foundation of inquiry, empathy, iteration, and impact.