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The ARS Everyday Ethics program promotes spaces and opportunities to nurture values and morals in each of our students. The program empowers them to create a world of greater justice, peace and dignity, while working both as individuals and collectively.
The aim of the program is to help our students build on their individual characteristics, while appreciating the diversity around them, understand and respect people from other cultures and beliefs, to think critically and understand how to create non-violent alternatives in order to live peacefully together.
The curriculum is built on learning opportunities and practices that allow ethical reflections which foster interconnectedness, the development of imagination, critical consciousness, and self-driven learning through social-emotional and self-management skills, global contemplative practices, reflections and studies, community service both at home and abroad, environmental studies, human rights and civics.
The Alexander Robertson School Art program focuses on developing students’ own innate creative gifts. Engagement in the visual arts permits students to become active initiators rather than passive receivers of information and fosters creative self-expression and aesthetic awareness. From the earliest grades they are provided an opportunity to discover, develop, and actualize their unique potential.ARS artists are able to work in a number of mediums and disciplines which include assemblage, collage, decoupage, screen printing, jewelry making, sculpture, drawing, painting (tempura, acrylic) and watercolor. Recycled, discarded and everyday materials are employed in many of the students’ work. Art history, museum visits and introduction to well-known, as well as, little known artists are included in the curriculum.
The emphasis of the program is on learning techniques and exploring unique materials to create art, while at the same time building confidence, problem solving, thinking out of the box, while developing creativity and self-expression. The art program assists our students in developing the many facets of multiple intelligences while providing meaningful learning opportunities for critical and creative thinking.
The ARS world language program which includes French, Spanish and Mandarin begins in Junior Kindergarten and continues through Fifth grade, providing the basic foundation necessary to achieve success in second language acquisition. The program fosters an environment that promotes openness, connection and curiosity setting up our students for opportunity, growth, and global cultural understanding, by providing a ‘real’ connection with the world and better understanding of their own language.
Students are asked to demonstrate all four components of language: listening, speaking, reading, and writing in order to be able to communicate in an effective manner. The use of videos, pictures, songs, dance, acting, role plays, flash cards, cultural activities and projects help students internalize and communicate in the language. Each year builds upon the year before, expanding previous knowledge through review and differentiated learning.
The ARS community participates in an annual student led Spring Language Festival. Costumes, student performances, artwork and music are all part of the year-end celebration of our global language culture. The program uses the world language standards created by The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL).
At ARS, students have music for 40 minutes twice a week. Music is centered on the concepts of community, creativity/self-expression and connection. ARS students sing together throughout the school year in music, at assemblies and for special events. When students sing together, it brings a sense of oneness and helps them to identify themselves as an important member of the ARS community. In music class, students express their thoughts and feelings through the exploration and development of musical elements through singing, games, instrument playing and movement. Music students learn songs and games that relate to history/class studies, the celebration of holidays, and American and world culture to help them better understand and put in context the world around them.
All of this starts in JK, where students begin singing, chanting, playing games, moving, and playing various small percussion instruments. As students move on in grade level, students accompany themselves on pitched percussion, such as the xylophone and glockenspiel. From third to fifth grades, students play recorder and learn note reading.
Students have several singing opportunities throughout the year, including at the Kirking, the winter program and graduation. There is an after school singing group (ARS Singers) as well as music lessons in violin, cello, guitar and piano.
Physical Education ~ Younger Grades
Physical Education for Junior-K and K will develop knowledge and understanding of physical activity. It is important that all children are active and learn to play cooperatively. Fundamental Movement skills include underhand throwing, galloping, hopping, jumping, running, skipping and about the importance of having a healthy lifestyle.
Physical Education ~ Older Grades
For grades 1-5 engages all students in a wide spectrum of physical activities that they can participate in and enjoy(i.e.: soccer, basketball, baseball, floor hockey, volleyball. tennis, and track and field events). The goals of the curriculum is to develop student’s sports skills in a way that builds self confidence and self esteem by reinforcing success and making achievement demonstrable. Another goal is to familiarize students with the rules and strategies of a variety of sports and to emphasize the importance of teamwork and good sportsmanship that game playing requires. The curriculum also emphasizes the importance of physical activity in staying fit and leading a healthy life. Finally, students will have lots of fun.
At ARS, the Library provides students with a quiet place to read and reflect. Students visit the library for 40 minutes each week. Every grade will be read aloud to, reading aloud builds many important foundational skills, introduces vocabulary and helps children recognize what reading for pleasure is all about. The books will be a mix of grade appropriate classics and more modern, diverse stories. At the beginning of library class each week, one student will have the job of giving their class a short recap of the story from the previous week, thus keeping everyone up to date and engaged. All Students will then have the opportunity to choose one or two books to check out and enjoy! Older students will be encouraged to write book reviews for their peers, these reviews will then be displayed in the library. The library will have a “Genre of the Month” to inspire students to explore a genre that they may not necessarily gravitate towards. In the end, the main goal of the ARS library is to foster a life-long love of reading in every student.