Elementary Co-Curricular Programs
As part of Serendipity School’s educational experience of a balanced education, the school offers many Co-Curricular Programs. These Programs include:
- Enhanced Art
- Structured Physical Education
- Life Skills
Serendipity School’s Art Program is based on creative problem solving, art appreciation, and the creation of artwork in a supportive environment that encourages experimentation, self-expression, risk-taking, and creativity. As artists in the program progress throughout the year they will learn and explore fundamental art skills and concepts that include:
- Integration of the emotional and intellectual learning process
- Development of an awareness and sensitivity to works of art
- Practice with the elements and principles of art
- Familiarity with various artists and their works of art
- Experience with materials and techniques
- Encouragement of individual interpretations and applications
- Strengthening of concentration, drawing, and listening skills
- Enhancement of fine motor control and hand-eye coordination
- Building self-esteem through lessons which encourage the strengths and
imaginations of students
All lessons stress the process of creation as compared to the product, which further deepens the thought process and supports creative problem-solving. Serendipity artists work on short activities designed to strengthen their realistic drawing skills, as well as longer projects that incorporate art history, criticism, and aesthetics to support the studio experience.
Serendipity School’s Music Education Program incorporates creativity and musical exploration, and it exposes students to the value and versatility of music in our world. Our approach is characterized by active involvement in music-making through the body, voice, and through the use of various instruments. It recognizes the many doors through which a child can enter the musical world and provides opportunities for auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners to feel successful in music.
Kindergarten through 2nd Grade students are exposed to rhythm, rhythm memory, and rhythm patterns through echo exercises and diverse songs and dances. Students learn music vocabulary, notes and symbols, and study various classical composers. Rhythm and movement are emphasized through the exposure to and playing of various percussion instruments. It is in these early years that we begin to look at music in relation to its components and emotional intent.
3rd through 5th Grade students are exposed to music theory and explore melodies and harmonies of various complex songs. Classical composers are discussed and cultural music from around the world is explored. International instruments are studied and students learn about their application in song.
The recorder is introduced in 3rd Grade, and 4th and 5th grade students practice ensemble work through duets and advanced recorder playing.
All music classes make connections between music and other areas of study. Students begin to understand that there are direct correlations between music and art, poetry, history, language, and technology.
Serendipity School’s Drama Program is a wonderful exposure to the world of dramatic arts. Each child is met at his or her comfort and skill levels and is gently encouraged to pursue greater and more challenging feats. Serendipity students become proficient public speakers and communicators. Confidence and self-esteem play major roles in the Drama Program and develop considerably and grow over time. All classes practice and perform small plays and musicals on subjects relevant to the curriculum. Students also prepare for school-wide performances and events.
Our Drama Program provides students with confidence, theatrical creativity, and positive self-worth. Through creative expression, school performances, and exciting drama activities, students expand their artistic horizons and develop into confident and prepared individuals.
Serendipity School’s Physical Education Program focuses on physical literacy, and establishes an atmosphere where students can experience success, acceptance, security, understanding, and self-respect while having a great time. Students experience many movement activities, utilize movements in a variety of situations, and learn that physical activity provides an opportunity for enjoyment, challenge, personal well-being, and self-expression.
Students demonstrate responsible personal and social behavior as well as understand the importance of respect for others Students in the Physical Education Program participate in various traditional sports including basketball, football, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, baseball/softball, and track and field. They also engage in alternative sports and non-traditional games. These activities include team-building games, frisbee games, dance, badminton, and tumbling. Students begin each school year with Training Camp where they learn the rules and participate in several challenges designed to enhance communication and team building skills. Physical Education also includes Awesome Anataomy: a program which ties the study of the muscles, bones, and systems of the body to physical literacy.
Serendipity School Physical Education students know, “If you had fun, you won!” The joy and freedom of movement, the feeling of being an important part of a team, and the process of just plain having fun are central to any day in P.E. Imagination and fantasy also play a major role in our Physical Education Program. Young students are given frequent opportunities to use their imaginations during games and play; this allows children to learn physical skills in an engaging and exciting way.
Our Physical Education Program provides students with a basic understanding of all the fitness and health principles that accompany physical activity/performance, as well as a lifetime love of physical activity, health, and wellness.
Serendipity’s Mandarin Program exposes students to the Mandarin language and culture in an enjoyable and educational manner. The students learn to read, write, and speak Mandarin. They also have frequent opportunities to sing, cook, dance, play games, create beautiful art, and participate in many other enjoyable activities that enhance their understanding and appreciation of the Mandarin language.
The global awareness gained from learning a world language will last a lifetime. Therefor, cultural studies are an important part of the study of Mandarin at Serendipity. Students explore the many cultures and customs of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other Chinese-speaking countries. Students also compare and contrast these cultures to other world cultures, including American culture. Students begin to understand, through this process, that there are many similarities and differences between the myriad cultures of our world. Students also gain awareness and an appreciation of cultural differences, and are given tools to become well-rounded world citizens of the future.
Serendipity’s Spanish program allows students to acquire skills in the Spanish language and to study world cultures in an fun and dynamic way. Students develop vocabulary and an understanding of the mechanics of the language, gain fluency, and communicate in the target language using the four basic language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students learn through a variety of methodologies such as visual, auditory, and TPR (Totally Physical Response), which is how they learn and remember ACTION words — they will act the words out.The students read, sing, cook, dance, play games, write, and participate in many other exciting activities.
Through learning Spanish and exploring various Latin-American and Spanish-speaking cultures and customs, students begin to understand that our wide and varied world is home to incredible human diversity–which is a great strength. Students identify and examine similarities and differences amidst various world cultures and begin to understand that every person is an important part of the one world in which we all live.
Serendipity School’s Technology Program incorporates progressive technology curriculum, research and tech-based skills, digital citizenship, and cross-curricular learning. Our wireless Apple MacBook computers and iPads are used in all grades, and the technology curriculum supplements our core educational programs. Our enriched technology lessons range from the basic handling and usage of each device to building keyboarding skills, navigating applications, creating multimedia presentations, designing, coding, and exploring robotics. A true strength of our Technology Program is that our Core Curriculum is integrated into our technology lessons. For example,students may recreate a moment from history using Apple’s iMovie and add a piece of music they create in GarageBand to underscore it. We strongly believe in personal interaction with regard to education; however, we understand the value and importance of technology and feel that the exposure is essential. Serendipity School’s Technology Program is not just instruction — it’s integration and innovation.
Serendipity School’s Life Skills Program teaches character education and promotes character-building skills that the children will be able to take with them and use throughout life. Life Skills nurtures the whole child socially and emotionally, and helps the students to adopt qualities that will enable them to become better human beings. The activities and discussions will help to build a sense of community in the classroom and in school, and they will reinforce the importance of positive values for school and everyday life.
Our Life Skills Program is extremely important and is a key ingredient of the development of the whole child. This Program provides our students with important tools that they will use now and in the future.
Serendipity’s Library supports children’s independent reading, classroom learning, and student research. Our goal is to prepare students to become lifelong learners who are confident users of information and who love reading for pleasure.
The Serendipity Library introduces students to a wide array of fiction and non-fiction selections. Our collection includes Newberry and Caldecott award winners, reference materials, picture books and easy readers, and classic and contemporary series.
Minds and imaginations are inspired in our school Library and students develop into passionate and enthusiastic readers.