Our dynamic Pre-K classes are a warm, nurturing place for your child to grow as a learner. Our balanced curriculum meets the social, emotional, and academic needs of each child. On a daily basis, students are engaged in literacy and math activities. They play, build, and interact with their peers in learning centers designed to promote higher-order thinking skills, interpersonal skills, creativity, and imagination. As part of the Saddle River Day School community, Pre-K students are matched with Reading Buddies, participate in the Rebel Leaders program, and enjoy all-school events like Pep Rallys, our Diwali Celebration, Trunk or Treat, and music and theater productions. Pre-K students enjoy all of the opportunities that make Saddle River Day School a unique place to grow and learn.
The Kindergarten program at Saddle River Day School provides students with many opportunities to receive individualized attention. The focus is to build independence, respect for others, and develop a sense of responsibility within each child. Our curriculum strives to build skills in all academic and social areas, and students are encouraged to apply knowledge through activities that are connected to their interests and lives. Open communication between students, teachers, and parents is key to a supportive environment where students are known and encouraged to take intellectual risks.
The first-grade program continues building basic skills in all curricular areas. Students begin connecting their own interests to the subject matter. We encourage further learning outside the classroom and maintain open communication between students, teachers, and parents. With science two times per week in our state-of-the-art Lower School science lab, Spanish twice per week and a robust Dimensions program rooted in visual learning, our first-grade curriculum provides a strong foundation for academic success.
The second-grade program takes the next step in building a solid foundation across all disciplines. Our students receive the individual attention they need to remain engaged, motivated, and excited by the learning taking place.
Students enjoy a deep exposure to U.S. history, government, and geography and read several biographies about key figures in the American landscape. In second-grade science, which is two times per week, an emphasis is placed on inquiry-based learning and exploration, and students learn how to design and write a basic lab report.
As a transitional year for students, grade three offers the opportunity for students to work independently and develop a higher regard for their own work. We focus on organizational skills, responsibility, independence, and the ability to follow directions—both oral and written.
Reading and writing skills are emphasized through a variety of literary genres and research exercises. Our third graders learn how to conduct research and assess the authenticity of information. Various writing techniques are taught and explored throughout the year in our Writing Workshop.
Students work on organizational skills as well as effective time management and a greater emphasis on higher-level critical thinking skills. We assign written assessments including quizzes and tests with letter grades for the first time.
Fourth-grade students continue to enjoy the benefits of a robust writing curriculum, including an exploration of narrative, informational, and opinion writing. Math competencies are expanded to develop skills and confidence in solving multistep problems, working with fractions and decimals, symmetry, and congruence. Our fourth graders continue their growth as scientists in our lab four times per week.
The Lower School language arts program is based on a balanced literacy approach which incorporates both phonics and whole language instruction. This is accomplished through the use of Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop and Word Study.
In Reading Workshop, children are taught reading and comprehension strategies, how to make connections with the text, how to check for understanding, how to predict and infer, and how to choose books that are at their independent reading levels. Students are given the opportunity to explore quality literature and practice reading strategies in small groups, whole groups, and individual settings. Students are assessed throughout the school year and guided reading instruction is differentiated to meet the needs of each child.
In Writing Workshop, writing is taught by exploring mentor texts and authors’ writing styles. Teachers model how to choose meaningful writing topics and mini-lessons provide students with writing strategies they can incorporate in their writing. Mini-lessons focus on concepts such as capitalization, punctuation, grammar, expanding ideas, mechanics, revising, and editing.
Students maintain a Writing Notebook to gather ideas and create writing pieces such as poems, narratives, and information books, which they take through the writing process. Children work in a whole group setting, small group setting, independently, and one on one with the teacher which allows for differentiated instruction.
In Phonics, Kindergarten uses a combination of two programs. For phonemic awareness, Kindergarten uses Heggerty. This program allows students to recognize and work with the sounds of language through language play activities For systematic phonics instruction, Kindergarten is using Guided Phonics and Beyond. This program provides hands on explicit instruction following the Science of Reading scope and sequence. Kindergarteners work in both whole and small groups on differentiated lessons containing phonemic awareness, letter sounds, diagraph, blends, word building and decodable reading. Students also work on high frequency words (decodable and irregular), multisyllabic words and reading fluency.
In first through fourth grades, the Lower School uses the Zaner Bloser Spelling Connections program in which instruction is based on spelling principles and patterns, as well as phonics. Students work in differentiated groups, independently, and one-on-one with the teacher to dive deeper into spelling-meaning connection, vocabulary expansion, writing, and test practice. The program also highlights how to correctly use a dictionary and thesaurus.
A love of literature and storytelling is fostered with daily exposure to poems, nursery rhymes and books across many genres. Children learn the concepts of print as they enjoy reading and discussing stories with their classmates. To develop phonological awareness, our PreK programs are using Heggerty. This program allows students to recognize and work with the sounds of language while participating in language play activities. Daily lessons focus on phonological awareness skills such as rhyme, onset fluency, phoneme isolation, blending, and segmenting. As students develop and strengthen their phonological awareness, we begin systematic phonics instruction in PK4. This program provides hands-on explicit instruction following the Science of Reading scope and sequence. PreK4 students work in both whole and small groups on differentiated lessons which incorporate phonemic awareness, letter names, letter sounds, and step-by-step instruction on correct letter formation.
The Kindergarten reading curriculum is taught throughout the day. During whole group reading lessons, students focus on becoming well-rounded readers. The students are taught a variety of reading strategies and begin to develop an understanding and appreciation of different genres. In Kindergarten, we model and practice the process shared by good readers including fluency, stamina, and independence. Individualized reading lessons are taught daily during reading groups and one-on-one lessons. Developmental reading assessments are used to measure individual student progress, and reading lessons are created around each individual's needs. Reading outside of class time is highly encouraged. In Phonics, Kindergarten uses a combination of two programs. For phonemic awareness, Kindergarten uses Heggerty. This program allows students to recognize and work with the sounds of language through language play activities For systematic phonics instruction, Kindergarten is using Guided Phonics and Beyond. This program provides hands-on explicit instruction following the Science of Reading scope and sequence. Kindergarteners work in both whole and small groups on differentiated lessons containing phonemic awareness, letter sounds, diagraph, blends, word building, and decodable reading. Students also work on high-frequency words (decodable and irregular), multisyllabic words, and reading fluency.
The Kindergarten writing curriculum is also taught in whole group, small group, and individualized one-on-one lessons. Kindergarten is an important beginning for developing lifelong writing skills. Our whole-group lessons center on introducing and modeling new writing skills and then giving students time to practice these skills independently. We establish guidelines to follow during Writing Workshop to help increase writing independence. During small group and one-on-one writing conferences, the goal is to challenge students as writers while keeping in mind their developmental needs. Students are engaged in writing throughout the day as they are taught the process of writing, editing, and publishing a piece. By the conclusion of the year, each student has compiled a variety of writing pieces that include journal entries, daily writing pieces, non-fiction books, fictional stories, and poems.
In first grade, the reading and language arts curriculum combines phonetic instruction and various comprehensive literary activities that sustain their literacy growth and success. Strategies that develop both literal and inferential comprehension are stressed, as well as decoding skills and fluency. Through Reading Workshop, students learn story elements, how to retell a story using sequential events and how to understand the difference between genres: fiction and nonfiction.
Through our Writing Workshop method, students create their own books and examine the story elements (setting, characters, problem, events, and resolution) of a book. Students also explore several other forms of writing such as nonfiction writing, journal prompts, reading responses, and book reviews to give them a solid understanding of writing for many purposes. Incorporating Reading and Writing Workshop into our curriculum promotes higher learning through the use of modeling, conferring, engaging, and actively exploring. Verbal and written expression are important life skills. Therefore, much emphasis is given to the writing process.
We continue to combine differentiated phonetic instruction, literary activities, and vocabulary development in our second graders. They gain listening skills by hearing stories read aloud and reading out loud themselves. Shared readings and guided reading groups are also used as comprehension, and higher-level thinking begins to take shape and phrasing and fluency increase.
Students write by choosing topics related to moments and experiences in their lives and personal interests. We also introduce the concept of research and writing with a specific purpose. In addition, students learn to infuse writing strategies similar to those of authors whom we study during the year. During the workshop, they will also learn a variety of writing techniques or mechanics that will be introduced in a mini-lesson. Students also have independent writing time, where they either have conferencing with a teacher or peer editing. The relationship between reading and writing is also explored. Keyboarding and word-processing skills are introduced through Chromebooks, and students explore various computer software programs and apps that help reinforce what is being taught in the classroom.
Students practice reading with increasing independence, accuracy, and depth, while comprehension and higher-level thinking begin to take shape as phrasing and fluency increase. Students expand their repertoire by reading a wide variety of literary genres. SRDS third graders predict outcomes, make inferences, identify main ideas, recognize setting, plot, and themes, and notice the author's perspective and intent. Children read nonfiction for research, using multiple sources and learning how to assess the authenticity of information.
In our Writing Workshop program, students explore more deeply the stages of the writing process and gain the capacity to work diligently on every phase of creating a finely written piece. Through mini-lessons, students are taught writing techniques and focus on different writing genres. Students work collaboratively, independently and in small groups as well as conferencing daily with the teacher. The writing process encourages students to express their thoughts and ideas in an engaging and convincing manner. We also introduce the Zaner-Bloser Handwriting program for learning how to write in cursive with a focus on strong penmanship. Continued keyboarding and word-processing skills are taught using Chromebooks, and students explore various computer software programs that help in the writing process.
The fourth grade reading and language arts curriculum builds on the objectives and topics introduced in previous years. The curriculum continues to focus on literary activities including fiction, nonfiction and poetry works and reading with increasing independence, accuracy, and depth with emphasis on comprehension and higher-level thinking. Detailed and broader discussion questions involving inferential thinking give students greater opportunities to expand their comprehension and vocabulary. Readers learn to express ideas about writing in their "Reader's Notebook," supporting their ideas with textual evidence.
Fourth grade writing includes narrative writing, informational writing, and opinion writing. Units of study include a personal narrative, Author studies, nonfiction, feature articles, biographies, and poetry. Students continue advancing their cursive and keyboarding skills as they work on various writing pieces. The Writing Workshop model allows the teacher to meet the different interests and abilities of each student.
Students in Pre-K through fourth grades use Dimensions Math which focuses on moving from procedural math to conceptual problem solving and number sense. Interactive lessons and differentiated instructional resources, ensure that all students are successful. Students make connections through visualization, variation and questioning for a deeper understanding.
Students are engaged in exploration, are encouraged to explain their thinking while learning to solve problems multiple ways, and emphasis is placed on the process. and As children most often learn best by discovery, math instruction uses a variety of manipulatives allowing students to learn things for themselves. At age appropriate levels, children receive instruction in topics which include: basic arithmetic operations, measurement; data collection and analysis; probability, logic and problem solving. Through continuous review, the math curriculum is designed to meet the ever changing challenges of new times.
Students in Pre-K use Dimensions Math which focuses on moving from procedural math to conceptual problem solving and number sense. Interactive lessons and differentiated instructional resources ensure that all students are successful. Students make connections through visualization, variation and questioning for a deeper understanding. All work is hands-on with the use of manipulatives. Pre-K topics include:
Students in Kindergarten use the Dimensions Math program which focuses on moving from procedural math to conceptual problem solving and number sense. Interactive lessons and differentiated instructional resources ensure that all students are successful. Students make connections through visualization, variation, and questioning for a deeper understanding. Kindergarten topics include:
The Dimensions program is also used for math instruction in grade one. We begin to build problem-solving into the curriculum and teach students how to understand and manipulate numbers while thinking abstractly. Topics covered include:
Using the Dimensions program as a guide, second graders continue to focus on problem-solving skills and strategies and understanding concepts rather than memorizing procedures. We also teach mental math strategies for fast fact fluency. Topics covered include:
Place Value through 1,000
Addition and subtraction with and without regrouping
Concepts are investigated through exploration and guided inquiry. Ongoing assessment of understanding and skills form the basis for flexible groupings that shift accordingly throughout the year. Students are expected to clearly articulate their understanding orally and in a variety of written contexts. Topics covered include:
By encouraging students to solve problems in a variety of ways, this program promotes an understanding of the way mathematical processes work, which enables students to encounter math in a meaningful way and translate mathematical skills from the concrete to the abstract. It is important that students learn to reason through word problems and solve them logically rather than relying on step-by-step procedures.
Supported by their previous training, students in grade four demonstrate automaticity with the basic facts of mathematics. The students apply their understanding of place value to develop and use graphs.
Numbers to One Million
Addition and Subtraction of five-digit numbers
Investigate Factors and Multiples
Multiplication (four-digit number by a one-digit number up to a three-digit number by a two-digit number)
Adding and Subtracting Fractions
Multiplying a Fraction and a Whole Number
Line Graphs and Line Plots
Area and Perimeter
Addition and Subtraction of Decimals
Multiplication and Division of Decimals
Lines and Shapes
The Lower School science program is a unique aspect of this elementary curriculum. Using a curriculum developed by the National Academies and the Smithsonian Institute, our youngest learners are doing real science. In a lab dedicated to the needs and talents of children, the students learn and explore life, earth, and physical sciences. Elementary students build complete understandings of concepts while learning the basic skills of science. The curriculum design allows students to work independently as well as cooperatively to do investigations; ask questions; make and test predictions; record, reflect on and share their findings; and apply the skills and knowledge they have gained to new situations.
During classroom lessons and weekly visits to the science lab, students actively explore the world around them through inquiry-based learning and experimentation. They learn new concepts using tools such as magnets and magnifying glasses. They survey plant and animal life and make observational drawings, investigate animals and their homes, and explore their surroundings using their five senses. Nature walks and conducting simple experiments further enhance their development as scientists.
The science curriculum is based on the Science and Technology Concepts Elementary Program, developed by the National Science Resources Center and the Smithsonian Institute. Our curriculum comprises units that explore physical science, earth and life science, and chemistry, with a focus on hands-on, inquiry-based learning. Units in Kindergarten include magnetism, floating and sinking, solids, liquids and gasses, organisms and habitats, the skeletal system, and the butterfly life cycle. Students learn how to make scientific observations and drawings using magnifying glasses and rulers and how to write their own discoveries.
First-grade students meet twice per week in our fully equipped, state-of-the-art science labs. The science curriculum is based on the Science and Technology Concepts Elementary program, developed by the National Science Resources Center and the Smithsonian Institution. Our curriculum comprises units that explore physical science, earth and life science, and chemistry, with a focus on hands-on, inquiry-based learning. Units in first grade include working like a scientist, changes in matter, measuring weather, chemical mixtures, and life cycles of plants and animals. Science skills include learning how to measure with thermometers, meter sticks and rain gauges.
Second grade students meet two times per week in our science lab. With a focus on hands-on, inquiry-based learning, students explore soil science, chemical tests, animal studies, and force and motion. Students build on previous science skills and learn to write simple lab reports after experiments, including writing an hypothesis, recording results, and writing their own conclusions.
While meeting three times per week in our state-of-the-art science laboratory, students gain more exposure to physical science, earth and life science, and chemistry, with a focus on hands-on, inquiry-based learning. We integrate science with the reading and mathematics curriculum to help students develop a complete understanding of natural phenomena while learning the basic science skills.
Students continue to build their science skills as they explore rocks and minerals, experiment with forces, study plants, and explore electricity, including the Build Your Own Flashlight Design challenge.
Our science lab hosts lessons for fourth grade students four times per week. With a focus on hands-on, inquiry-based learning, students explore food chemistry, microorganisms and microscopes, the fungi kingdom, and land and water. Fourth graders learn how to write a complete lab report, analyze results and draw their own conclusions, graph results, use a microscope and make their own slides, and use a stream table.
The Lower School Social studies program aligns with the SRDS mission which, in part, states that we inspire each child to become a caring and ethical contributor to society.
Our Social Studies program provides students with a framework through which they can begin to understand themselves and others. They will learn about the history of the past, participate in the present and contemplate the future.
By studying and using map skills the students will build a knowledge of directional terms and a further understanding of spatial relationships. Learning about the globe will enhance their concept of the world. They will begin to realize the influence geography has on human behavior and habits. Students will acquire knowledge about diversity and various ethnic groups and recognize the relevance of contributions from different cultures.
The younger grades will learn about democracy and the value of good citizenship, partly through creating rules and understanding their impact and importance. Who makes the rules? How are they enforced? What happens when a rule is broken? Can a rule change once it is made? As their knowledge and experiences broaden they will expand their ever widening circles to encompass their local communities, the states, the nation and the continents. Upper elementary grades focus on geography by studying landforms, water, climate, and the ways people interact with the environment. The children explore the first Americans and how the environment, and location, impacted the lives of these early people. They will do an in depth study of the five regions of the United States and begin to discuss prominent events in American history that helped shape the country we are today. An emphasis is placed on reading and understanding facts through various sources of information. Research skills are taught as students learn how to apply and share their knowledge.
The Pre-K social studies curriculum addresses the unique social and emotional development of children for this age. Through poems, books, and creative activities, students are introduced to national holidays throughout the year. They learn the Pledge of Allegiance, the national anthem, and other patriotic songs. Basic map skills are introduced at the end of the year by asking students to draw maps of their backyard, complete with symbols and a map key. Pre-K participation in school-wide programs, develops the overall sense of community at SRDS and strengthens the relationships among students across grades.
Kindergarten begins the year by discussing “Rules and Laws” and how they help people live safe and responsible lives. We continue to build on this idea with our study of "Neighborhood Helpers." In this unit, the children will explore how a community works and how the members of the community can join together to make it a more enjoyable place to live. Next, the children explore "Maps and Globes" and how we can use them to find the location of specific places. This unit leads perfectly into our study of "Where People Live." We will explore neighborhoods, communities, and the world. The class will discuss how a person's location can affect how they live their lives. The year continues with the discussion of “United States Symbols” and how the country began, followed by a look at "National Holidays," why we celebrate the holidays and what each holiday honors. Then, in “Yesterday and Today," students compare and contrast how people lived long ago with how we live today. This unit is the perfect transition into our unit on the American People" and the many different cultures that make up our country. We will discuss families, their cultures, traditions, and folktales they pass down from generation to generation. Our last unit in Kindergarten is “Goods and Services." The children will discuss how people work and earn money as well as how people spend money. Kindergarten social studies is a wonderful introduction to learning about our world, country, and community.
In first grade, the students begin to understand community as it relates to their family, their school, and the neighborhoods in which they live. They explore how community leaders are chosen and the importance of working together to make neighborhoods nice places to live. Students begin to discover the similarities between rules and laws, the rights and responsibilities of a community's citizens, and the role of government. In order for the students to appreciate their community today, they also become aware of how aspects of life change over time, while some things stay the same. This helps children to understand what customs, traditions, and history Americans have in common and what makes the country's population diverse. Additionally, students will learn how to use maps and globes to find and compare locations in their community, state, country, and around the world.
The overriding theme for second grade is Neighborhoods and Community. Each Kids Discover magazine covers one broad social studies topic and includes features, vocabulary activities, and opportunities to interact with other students on projects. This series has print and digital options to foster students' curiosity. The following topics will be covered in our curriculum:
Leaders and Government - Students will explore what it means to be a citizen in our country.
Location - Students will learn how to describe their location using a variety of maps.
North America - Students will explore the geographic features, climate and plant life of North America.
Communities and Resources - Children will learn about natural resources and their roles in the economic system.
Family Histories - Students will trace the history of several families and compare and contrast families today and in the past.
America's Beginnings - Students will study the people and events that helped shape the United States.
Heroes - Students will discuss the importance of the accomplishments of many heroic historical figures.
A World of Culture - Students will discover how people around the world celebrate and share their culture and values.
The Social Studies curriculum in grade three centers around communities near and far. Lessons reflect upon the vital importance of understanding citizenship, how we affect the environment around us and how to effectively participate in a democracy. Our studies take students through investigation and discovery as we analyze maps of the world, reflect upon the meaning of culture and ancient civilization, and dive deep into the United States geography Specific Topics:
Topics in the fourth grade social studies curriculum focus on How Communities Adapt to Their Environment and Colonial America. “Our goal is to teach students how to build enduring understandings about these themes through reading a variety of texts, discussing them from multiple stances, and writing from various sources. We teach students not to memorize disconnected facts but to sort through information, think about it, and analyze their own and others’ perspectives - in other words, to deeply comprehend and synthesize the key information.”
The primary goal of the World Language program in the Lower School is to establish a comfortable level of verbal and written usage of the Spanish language, which will provide a foundation for the continued study of languages in the Middle and Upper Schools. There is a firm focus on communication, cultural appreciation, and connection to various aspects of the school curriculum, such as reading and writing.
The program strives to instill a natural enjoyment for the use of the target language in order to express such things as greetings, family, clothing, animals, food, numbers, and classroom objects. Throughout their language acquisition, students will engage in simulations, games, and activities that will place them in real-life situations while reinforcing the subject matter. At each grade level the topics are expanded upon in terms of incremental vocabulary and idiomatic expressions.
Students gain an understanding and confidence in the use of the Spanish language through songs, games, and other multi-sensory activities. They learn the Spanish representation of several classic children's stories and portray the characters in order to develop their conversational skills in the language. Students also begin to explore cultural traditions.
In Kindergarten, Spanish instruction is given two times a week. The general goals of this course are to develop elementary speaking and listening skills and generate student responses to simple commands, greetings, and questions. Throughout the year, students engage in songs, storybooks, games, and activities with specific props that reinforce the subject matter. The use of technology is present in the classroom to support vocabulary acquisition.
In first grade, Spanish instruction is given two times a week. The general goals of this course are to strengthen listening and speaking skills. Songs are used regularly to support and develop fluency and accurate pronunciation. Throughout the year, students engage in storybooks, games and activities that place them in real-life situations and reinforce the subject matter. The use of technology is present in the classroom to support vocabulary acquisition.
Provided twice per week, Spanish instruction in grade two continues to strengthen the basic listening, and speaking skills acquired in Kindergarten and grade one. In order to develop their listening comprehension skills in the language, students are introduced to an Instituto Cervantes online program titled Mi Mundo en Palabras. Spanish customs and culture are further explored through the integration of literature, music, and hands-on activities.
In grade three, Spanish instruction is given three times a week. We use the program Descubre el español con Santillana - Level D, in which students meet engaging characters who travel to eight Spanish-speaking countries to learn about the culture. Topics discussed include famous landmarks in Argentina, popular pastimes in Honduras, and traditional foods in the Dominican Republic. Students also engage in reader's theater, games, projects, and activities that reinforce the subject matter. The general goals of this course are to strengthen the students' use of conversational Spanish, introduce writing skills in the language, and support vocabulary acquisition.
In grade four, Spanish instruction continues three times a week with the program Descubre el español con Santillana - Level E. Topics discussed include shopping in Paraguay, farm animals in Costa Rica, and weather patterns in Chile. As they visit each country, students learn new Spanish vocabulary and grammar, presented in common expressions and appropriate context. The general goals of this course are to accelerate the students' use of conversational Spanish and augment their writing skills in the language. The course also focuses on communication, cultural appreciation, and connections to various aspects of the school curriculum. Written quizzes are introduced, and grades are given for the first time at this level.
Innovation, Design, Engineering, Arts, and Science
The IDEAS Lab curriculum builds on a constructive ideology, as introduced by Jean Piaget and developed by Seymour Papert, to form an experiential approach to education. They both recognized that playing, tinkering, and experimentation are all essential to a child’s cognitive development.
The primary goal of constructionism is to have learners create their own knowledge by creating and interacting with physical objects. It has clear connections to media literacy, as well as to self-directed learning. Innovative researchers and those who wish to see schools develop 21st-century learners - with the skills to work in today’s multidimensional career settings - know constructionism is a necessary tool. (Roffey, 2015)
In the IDEAS Lab, we often see students using a combination of the scientific method and their own creative process when working through a challenge. They have the opportunity to work out problems individually or in cooperative groups and have lots of practice with problem-solving, critical thinking, sequencing, estimation, logic, and ethical reasoning. When they complete a project, they present their work, gather feedback from peers, have time to reflect on the process and think about what they might do differently. Our students are expanding vocabulary, gaining independence in the new space, and developing a growth mindset that encourages them to believe they can learn to do anything.
The PreK - Grade 4 curriculum evolves every year but often involves coding, design thinking, 3D design/printing, robotics, problem-solving, critical thinking, strategizing, sequencing, cooperation, creative thinking, digital media creation, ethics, digital citizenship, writing, science, math, art, and engineering.
The Lower School music program is designed to bring the joy of music to each student and to provide the students with the fundamental musical understanding and skills that will prepare them for more advanced study in the Middle School. Music classes consist of singing, movement, learning to play Orff instruments and in the fourth grade, learning to play the recorder. The students are taught how to listen to music, proper vocal technique, how to read musical notation, how to use movement to understand rhythm, and improvisation is taught via the Orff instruments. In addition to Music Class, the students attend choir practice once a week, during which the students prepare pieces for concerts that take place in December and June.
The visual arts are a means to gain personal satisfaction through individual accomplishment in the creation of images and forms. The students are taught the basic elements and principles of art throughout their years in the Lower School Art program. Their projects involve the child in imagining, exploring, reasoning, inventing, and selecting; so that the experience will not only be rich in itself, but lead to personal creative growth, assimilation of information, and development of art skills. Students will enjoy creating both two and three-dimensional art pieces using a variety of techniques and materials. The students learn about a number of artists, styles and cultures throughout their art experiences. In addition to traditional studio art, fourth grade students begin the study of Graphic Design in classes where they learn what defines a graphic composition aimed at conveying a clear message in a powerful way. All students exhibit their artwork in the SRDS art show at the end of the year.
The goal of physical education is to teach students how to control and use their bodies to perform skills at the mastery level. In the earlier stages of lower school, we aim to enhance a child's throwing and catching ability, balance, and their spatial awareness. As students grow and mature through the lower school years, the program seeks to improve sport-specific skills, coordination, agility, and sport knowledge.
Activities and Service Organizations
Lower School clubs meet through the Coaching Academy and are conducted by SRDS faculty and staff as well as outside experts and professionals. Activities depend on interest and availability and are offered by the athletic season (Fall, Winter and Spring). The Lower School works with various service organizations each year based on local, national, and international needs as well as grade level skills, objectives, and interests. Organizations that the Lower School has worked with include The Seeing Eye Institute, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, Unicef for Ukraine, American Red Cross California Wildfires, etc.