At the Holland Hall Primary School, art is a time for communicating through creativity and imagination. By giving the student a broad selection of tools, their confidence is strengthened, so that they can express themselves through the use of many mediums. For the younger student, this begins with learning basic elements of art such as line, color and shape and helps them to begin building simple to gradually more complex patterns with a variety of lines and color. With the ability to identify basic shapes and apply that to what they view in the world, a foundation for drawing what they see is enhanced. Adding understanding of texture, form, value and space as the learner progresses through the older age groups, they continue to build confidence in individual expression in a fun and experimental atmosphere. Many two and three-dimensional processes are part of the program. A variety of projects, including drawing, painting, ceramics, weaving, and collage make for many approaches to creative outcomes. The student leaves the program with an abundance of art experiences and the freedom to make their ideas a reality.
The Primary School library is a warm and inviting environment that celebrates literacy with a wide range of fiction and nonfiction selections, books on tape, periodicals, video recordings, music CDs, etc.–as well as numerous age-appropriate online databases. Our full time librarian coordinates with teachers to develop a student-centered curriculum that is developmentally appropriate for each grade level’s student-learning needs. This encourages our students to develop a full range of information-literacy skills and also positive attitudes about information-based learning. The librarian and teaching assistant provide opportunities for classes to participate in regularly scheduled literature experiences such a Readers Theater, use our mobile laptop lab to learn how to navigate online sources for individual research projects, or visit informally to select a new book for personal reading or for the family to enjoy as a nightly read-aloud. In addition, our yearly visiting illustrator or author provides all Primary School students with the opportunity to learn from nationally known professionals who share their own personal journey into to literary profession and teach our students a bit about their artistry as an illustrator or author.
Since we are a preschool through twelfth grade school, our music department has created general goals that are adapted to the developmental level of our preschool – 3rd grade students. Music classes provide a natural vehicle for individual creative expression and personal growth. The Primary School music program aims to develop each student’s musicianship by becoming an active, creative participant. Students will experience music through movement, songs, speech, and instrument playing which prepares them for music reading and writing. This is based on the creative teaching approach developed by Carl Orff. Our curriculum provides students with age-appropriate skills and a beginning understanding of composing, performing, reading and writing music, and music analysis. The first, second, and third graders perform a Music Sharing program each spring.
Our physical education program is a daily component of our kindergarten through third grader’s educational experience. We are committed to developing each child’s fitness habits by enhancing their movement competencies and motor skills. High priority is placed on the comprehension of the basic principles of wellness with the goal that each child be able to make meaningful decisions that will positively impact their health and allow them to maintain a personalized active lifestyle. Therefore, instructional activities are wide-ranging from individual activities such as dancing, tumbling, tennis, and golf to the introduction of more team oriented basketball, soccer, and football skills.
Holland Hall Primary School Spanish Program is content-related and integrates Spanish into other learning areas.
Our Spanish program is based on the processes of first language acquisition. By learning that hola is an informal greeting, instead of “the Spanish for hello”, children will achieve greater retention and a greater ability to create new and meaningful messages. Our students are learning Spanish through activities that target all of the multiple intelligences. We sing, dance, draw, color, play games, listen and repeat, repeat, repeat a lot!
During the first two years of the integrated Spanish program, children become aware of other people and languages as they are exposed to Spanish through songs, storybooks and play. The two and three-day programs have Spanish once a week. Five-day children have Spanish twice a week. The children learn by listening, seeing and imitating. They associate the spoken word with a picture and gesture. Each class has a Vocabulary Card Book containing all of the key words used during the year.
Kindergarten, first, second and third grade students have Spanish twice a week during Specials. The Spanish lessons in music and art rooms are generally related to the current grade-level theme/unit of study. In physical education students will listen to commands, and they will practice action verbs, numbers, counting, vocabulary, songs and dances.