ENRICHMENT CLASSES

In addition to our excellent academic curriculum, St. Patrick’s offers a robust and well-rounded schedule of specialty classes to enhance a child’s learning. Each week, students attend classes in art, physical education, music, computer and Spanish. 

The St. Patrick’s art program develops the students’ art skills, vocabulary, knowledge, and appreciation of art history while reinforcing the elements of art and principles of design. Creative thinking and problem solving are emphasized as the children work in both two and three-dimensional media such as clay, paint, printmaking, pen and ink, and a variety of sculptural materials. Cross-curricular lessons are created with the homeroom to teachers to reinforce classroom studies and content. 

The K-4 music program at St. Patrick’s aims to develop and nurture a lifelong love and appreciation for music.  Students are exposed to various styles of music through listening, singing, and playing instruments.  In Kindergarten, students are introduced to the basic elements of music through movement, imitation, games, and singing simple songs.  First and second graders expand their musical vocabulary, learn to match and identify pitch through the use of solfege, and learn to identify the rhythmic elements of music.  Listening to various styles and famous compositions, they start to explore the history of music and learn about the symphony orchestra.

In third and fourth grades, students go into greater depth in their study of different types and periods of music (Baroque through Modern.)  Through a study of music theory, they are able to identify and describe various musical elements and eventually focus on translating their aural skills into dictation and creating their own original compositions.  Third graders also learn how to play the recorder and fourth graders learn to play glockenspiels and hand bells.

Fifth and sixth graders continue their study of music theory while learning how to play an instrument.  Fifth graders receive instruction on the ukulele while the sixth graders master the guitar.

All of the grades come together to present a Christmas and spring concert, which is a wonderful opportunity to showcase all the students have learned while sharing their music making with family and friends.

The focus of the St. Patrick’s physical education program is three-fold.  First and foremost, we want our students to be physically fit, active, and engage in a healthy lifestyle.  Second, whether one is a participant or a spectator when one grows up, it is important to know and understand the rules of various popular games such as basketball, soccer, baseball, and football.  Third, getting outdoors and having fun with classmates is a healthy and positive way to practice social/emotional goals.

Physical Education classes dedicate part of each lesson on the development of proper motor skills, exercise, fitness, and setting personal goals.  Each class also introduces and reinforces skills and rules of games that enable students to participate.  In addition, the development of proper social skills are woven into every lesson and include an emphasis on teamwork, communication, honesty, etiquette, and good sportsmanship. 

The St. Patrick’s Spanish program introduces children from grades K-6 to the Spanish language and its cultural origins. By using developmentally appropriate methods in each grade level, students are taught everything from basic conversational phrases to how to conjugate verbs.  We utilize multiple creative methods, such as the use of songs, puppetry, games, videos, storytime, written work, art, and projects, often integrating lessons children are studying in their homerooms. 

Our Spanish program also includes cultural lessons and takes the children on “virtual trips” around the world where they learn about the food, traditions, and holidays that make up the Latino world.  The goal of our program is to create life long enthusiastic language learners that are excited to continue their language journey into middle school, high school and beyond. 

The St. Patrick’s School is committed to preparing our students for an information driven, technology-rich world.  We believe that technology is more than a device.  It is a powerful tool that can enhance learning when integrated appropriately into all disciplines.  Our teachers use technology to supplement and enrich their teaching while K-6 students learn application skills that support curricular goals and reinforce the content of grade-level coursework.  Common goals at each grade level include fostering a climate of exploration and discovery, as well as expanding the students’ scope of learning beyond the classroom walls.

All students use Apple computers in our state-of-the-art Computer Lab.  iPads and age appropriate learning applications are in homeroom classrooms, with a one-to- one iPad program in our sixth grade.  

Students learn digital tools, keyboarding, research skills, coding and create original works using Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel each week.  Lessons are tied to grade level curriculum.  In addition, our digital citizenship curriculum at each grade level addresses ethical and responsibility issues with respect to the use of technology.

St. Patrick’s is always looking ahead to emerging technologies and where appropriate, harnessing the power of technology with thoughtful integration into our program.  Our goal is to create inspiring, motivating, and compelling learning experiences in both the core technology curriculum and in extracurricular STEM and Makerspace classes that include block and text coding, robotics, and animation.

Each class meets once a month with the Children’s Chaplain to discuss topics related to character, decision-making, ethics, and spirituality.  Through role-playing, writing, art, projects, and discussions, students have an opportunity to develop personal values that are align with the Judeo-Christian teachings.  Fundamental ethical concepts such as empathy, compassion, kindness, self-discipline, and service are emphasized while focusing on aspects of decision-making such as “What are the consequences of this action?” Are there actions that are intrinsically right or wrong? And what kind of person should I strive to be?   The topics covered in Values lessons are connected to weekly chapels, service projects, and other themes and activities taking place on campus throughout the year.