Special area teachers work in conjunction with classroom teachers and the school administration on activities that relate to classroom academics as well as special events at the school.
Music classes for pre-K to second grade include activities that reinforce language and physical development. Beyond that, brain research indicates that music can help with children's mathematical abilities. Introduction to the world of sound begins with the discovery of the child’s natural singing and speaking voice, and helps to spark the creativity of the child from within. Music classes at the Elementary level are focused on the structure and use of music in everyday life. Students learn about instruments and their sounds, musical forms, and musical styles. Students learn to play simple instruments, construct simple melodic passages, and perform folk dances. They continue to develop their singing voices and learn how to sing simple harmonies. Music classes in fifth grade and beyond help students to develop a more advanced knowledge of the world of music, its structures, and its composers.
The Art program at Lourdes academy teaches children about the elements and principals of art and how to use them in their artwork. Special techniques are combined with many types of media to work on craftsmanship and problem solving through art. The creative process, creative expression, culture and heritage, artists and art history are touched upon at various times during each project. Art expression is encouraged in all subjects and all classrooms, where artistic projects may relate to current themes. Concepts of Art are taught by the Art teacher in Kindergarten through second grade and by the classroom teacher in Pre-K. Projects allow for creativity and uniqueness while developing already growing fine motor skills. At the Elementary and Upper School levels, more advanced projects allow students to explore their artistic abilities.
Our Physical Education and Health curriculum focuses on the overall well-being of our students. P.E. classes are structured to include a variety of basic exercises and fun games to work specific areas of skill (eye/hand, eye/foot coordination, under/over hand throwing, spatial awareness, body positioning). Teamwork is promoted and students are encouraged to develop qualities of good sportsmanship and leadership in an atmosphere of respect. Coordination and teamwork are the focus of Early Childhood P.E. At the first and second grade levels, students participate in the President's Physical Fitness Challenge. Health instruction focuses on personal wellness, nutrition and safety. The Elementary Physical Education curriculum focuses on our students being fit in mind, body, and soul. Again, students go through the President’s Physical Fitness Challenge test. Good sportsmanship, teamwork, respect, and leadership, teach students the benefits of a fitness lifestyle. At the Upper School level, the Physical Education teacher works to promote the students’ understanding of proper body mechanics, health, sportsmanship, and overall wellness. Health curriculum is coordinated with Life Science curriculum, each reinforcing the other. Many Upper School students enjoy a varied extracurricular sports program that promotes team concepts and sportsmanship.
Computer skills are taught in the computer lab starting at age 4. Students at the Early Childhood level are instructed in the proper terminology and use of the computer, and then use programs to practice keyboarding, language, and math skills. In Elementary and Upper School, the emphasis is placed on improving keyboarding skills and researching in preparation for presentations. Students often use the computers during recess for research and to type and publish their work.
Beginning in January, 2013, Lourdes Academy will partner with the Florida Virtual School to provide French 1 to highly qualified eighth grade students. Mr. O'Dell, a former French teacher, will assist the children while core instruction will be provided by a certified French teacher who works for the Florida Virtual School. The coursework is all done online. We also have a sixth grade student piloting Algebra 1 through the Florida Virtual School. We hope to continue these programs, along with other opportunities for acceleration, in the future.