Co-Curriculars in the Lower School
In addition to the core subjects, Wakefield offers students exposure to a variety of co-curricular classes, in line with a classical education.
Co-curriculars complement what our students are learning in the classroom, and in many cases mirror or connect to the curriculum. Wakefield's Lower School co-curriculars include Art, World Languages, Music/Theatre, Physical Education, and Technology.
Lower School Art emphasizes individual creative exploration and expression. Subject matter grows out of students’ life experiences, their personal concerns, their rich imagination, and academic subject areas. Art helps children understand their world.
The Lower School art specialist works in close conjunction with homeroom teachers to create interdisciplinary lessons that reinforce major subject areas. The curriculum offers opportunities in the four primary media: drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture/construction.
Through a vibrant, student-centered program, all Wakefield students in Lower School are taught both French and Spanish in all grades. The students' classroom experience at this young age develops their basic language skills, promotes logical and creative thinking, and expands their knowledge of the different cultures of French- and Spanish-speaking countries.
Classroom lessons focus on repetition and use in context to help students get a sense of the language — and public speaking of the language is essential. By the time they complete the program, students are taught how to speak and write simple sentences in a foreign language and have developed a solid vocabulary. Their introductory years in World Language help students develop an appreciation for and provide them with a foundation from which to select further world language study.
The primary focus of the Lower School Music program is to provide students with basic concepts - rhythm, harmony, and pitch - as well as develop in them an appreciation for how music makes them feel. In addition, each grade performs at least once a year for parents and/or other students.
In first and second grades, in addition to learning how to sing a variety of songs, students are taught how to use different instruments. The highlight of our third grade music program is our annual Third Grade Play. This is a musical extravaganza complete with costumes, scenery, and roles for all.
In fourth and fifth grades, the students focus on learning to read music and to perform. There are several major performances during the year such as Grandparents’ Day, Immigration Day, and the Closing Ceremony in which these older students participate.
The goal of Wakefield’s Lower School Physical Education is to explore movement concepts in the younger years while building skills in an age-appropriate setting through praise, structured activities, and skill-based games. Good sportsmanship, teamwork, and cooperation are a large part of the lessons.
In grades four and five, instructors teach the basic skills and strategies associated with team and individual sports, along with an even greater emphasis on sportsmanship, teamwork, and cooperation.
Instruction using technology in our lower school focuses on basic digital literacy and an introduction to cloud based computing. In our First through Third grade classes, iPads are used to reinforce classroom curriculum in order to create an authentic learning experience. Fourth and Fifth graders are provided with their own 1:1 Chromebooks and use them to learn how to effectively use Google Apps for Education within the context of their existing course curriculum.
In addition to iPads and Chromebooks, our Lower School classrooms are equipped with interactive boards and other appropriate technology and students have access to additional school computer labs as needed.