Beyond Core Academics
Beyond the core academic subjects, students at All Saints enjoy a wide variety of classes that expand their thinking, communication skills and cultural competencies. Additionally, students and teachers in all grades receive the support of a Technology Integration Teacher.
The wide range of Field Trips ~ at least 6 per year ~ that our students enjoy connect closely with their curricular content so that they have the benefit of learning both inside and outside the classroom. For example, Grade 3 students visit the United Nations in conjunction with their global studies; and Grade 8 students visit Snug Harbor to look at the Fibonacci sequence in nature and learn how it relates to their study of mathematics. Students in Pre-K3, Pre-K4 participate in walking field trips to explore their community. Students in Pre-K end their year with their first school bus trip to a literature-based performance. Students in Grades K-8 participate in a combination of local walking trips as well as trips throughout New York and New Jersey. Overnight trips begin in Grade 5. And, our Grade 8 students’ senior year culminates in an international trip. This year’s seniors are visiting Scotland for 10 days to study renewable sources that are unique to that part of the world.
ASSEMBLIES AND PERFORMANCES
Our annual Fall Drama and Spring Musical give students the opportunity to participate in professionally-produced stage performances. In addition, students perform at the Holiday program, the Hat Show & Tea Party, and our Arts Celebration. These performances showcase All Saints’ Music, World Language, Dance, and Visual Arts programs. Students in Pre-K3, Pre-K4, and Kindergarten also have an opportunity to share what they are learning in dance and music through open classes. Outside assemblies vary year-to-year, providing students with enriching opportunities and exposure to other cultures and traditions.
The goal of our World Language program is for students to build their conversational proficiency while also gaining the grammatical skills to be successful in high school language courses. Our World Language program begins in Pre-K3 where students have a weekly Spanish class. Students can continue to take Spanish through Grade 8, or they can elect to begin studying French at the start of Middle School, in Grade 5. Latin is required of all students in Grades 7 and 8. Students in all grades have exposure to American Sign Language during weekly Spirituality gatherings. ASL is taught at various grade levels throughout Elementary and Middle School. Our afternoon program for Pre-K3, Pre-K4 has an additional World Language class in French.
The school’s visual arts program allows students to explore materials ranging from papier-mâché to pottery while developing an aptitude to appreciate and critique art. Beginning in Kindergarten, students have a weekly art class in our Art Studio. Each year, art projects are integrated into the classroom curriculum, building transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary connections that make the experience even more meaningful. Our Middle School students also have the opportunity to participate in the National Junior Art Honor Society, an organization that focuses on service while amplifying the presence of the visual arts in the community.
Our Music and Dance programs expand a child’s ability to use their voice from a Pre-K3 student learning the school song to a Middle School student performing multi-layered ensemble pieces and writing their own compositions. Students have a weekly dance class in Pre-K3-Grade 2 and a trimester-long Dance elective in Grades 3-5. During these classes, students focus on creatively expressing themselves through movement, ultimately choreographing performance pieces. The music program is a weekly class for all students in Pre-K3-Grade 8 focused on vocal and instrumental development. Students learn to sing, read, and write music, while also being exposed to Orff instruments, unpitched percussive instruments, bucket and djembe drums, ukulele, and piano. In Middle School, students are also encouraged to bring in and share their talents on additional instruments that they study outside of school to enhance ensemble performances.
HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Our Wellness classes cover a range of topics from safety, making healthy choices, developing healthy habits, and maintaining positive relationships and setting boundaries. Our Physical Education curriculum supports the development of fitness practices and involves vigorous exercise, lessons in flexibility and agility, sports skills and, above all, team building and camaraderie. The Physical Education program begins in Kindergarten and continues through Grade 8. All students enjoy Field Day, which is a school-wide tradition. Students enjoy the All Saints Olympics leading up to Field Day and this provides them with the opportunity to be part of cross-grade teams.
DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY
As a 1:1 iPad school, students begin using technology from a young age. Our Pre-K3 students are introduced to squishy and paper circuits, and exposure to robotics and coding with Dash and Dot begins in our Pre-K classes. Over the years, students are explicitly taught responsible digital citizenship as they use Google Apps for Education and other app and web-based educational programs. Students make wonderful use of our Media Commons, particularly the Green Screen, as they film commercials for their Milestone Projects and, in some cases, the projects themselves. The Grade 3 Bard Bash is a wonderful example of students using technology to enhance a project, as they creatively add relevant backgrounds to their Shakespearean monologues. Students use components of the design cycle beginning in Grade 1, and have a trimester-long Design elective in Grades 3-5, where they study coding, explore robotics, and generate solutions to global issues. For example, to expand their scientific study of extreme weather, Grade 4 students designed an invention that will assist with a particular type of extreme weather. As part of the International Baccalaureate Programme, students in Grades 6-8 take a dedicated Design course, focusing on how they can use the design cycle to identify, research and plan a solution, build a solution, and reflect on the process. Some projects include writing a children’s book for a younger student, creating a utopian society in conjunction with their study of The Giver, designing a Tiny House with specific environmental features, and producing a public service announcement about a community issue.
COMMUNITY & SOCIAL AWARENESS
Throughout a student’s time at All Saints, they engage in thoughtful discussions about community, social awareness, ethics, and justice. Classes in these areas support their social and emotional development, connection to the broader community, and curricular understanding. In Kindergarten-Grade 4, students take a year-long course called Community Time that focuses on the different aspects of living in community. For example, students in Grade 1 explore their family and personal traditions in ways that help them see commonalities and differences, while students in Grade 4 look at sacred spaces in different religious traditions. In Middle School, these courses continue as more in-depth examinations of specific topics, such as Comparative Religions and Ethics, culminating in a reflection on their years at All Saints in the Grade 8 Rites of Passage course. Students in Grade 8 also complete a Community Project as their final requirement of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme at All Saints. Students work independently or in small groups to identify a community issue that they feel passionate about and complete a year-long service project to address that issue in some way. Examples of projects include a helmet campaign for bike safety, the development of a student-led coding club, and a proposal to place first aid kits in all local parks.