Arts are woven throughout the curriculum at Greenwood. We use art to light up the brain in every subject. For the teachers beauty is door to open the student’s hearts and minds to the material. As art is integrated into all the students sees and does, it stimulates the visual and tactile senses and reaches all types of learners.
Music is a central component of Greenwood School’s curriculum and is integrated in every classroom at every grade level.
Singing and playing musical instruments provide healthy avenues for self-expression. Singing begins as a natural part of the child’s day in kindergarten. In the grades, songs from around the world are chosen in relationship to the academic themes enlivening the children’s experience throughout the curriculum. Choral singing is integrated into grades six, seven and eight.
Introduction to a wide range of musical instruments begins with simple flutes in the first grade. Students learn to play the recorder beginning in third grade and continue through eighth grade. String instruments — violin, viola, or cello — are introduced in the second half of third grade. Fourth grade children begin orchestra classes and weekly private lessons on their chosen instrument. A child may choose to switch from a string instrument to a wind instrument such as a flute or clarinet in sixth grade.
A joy and enthusiasm for language is central to our school culture and is explored through poetry and creative writing. Students’ work has been honored in the River of Words national poetry competition and the Coastal Arts and Poetry contest.
Drama or theatre gives children an opportunity to enter directly into story, literature and history. Teachers use drama in a variety of ways to bring their lessons alive. Each year, students perform a class play that reflects a theme from their curriculum.
Drawing, painting and modeling are not "extras", but are woven into everything we do. The arts are used as a tool to express what the students learn which boosts not only academic achievement, but creativity and self-confidence. For example, in first grade the children not only write about the rich stories they hear, but illustrate or paint them as well. Fourth graders create topographic clay models of California. By seventh grade, the students learn to draw in perspective which supports both their Renaissance history and geometry lessons.
Students in kindergarten through eighth grade are trained in a progression of handwork by skilled and inspiring teachers. Children develop focus and mastery, along with a deep sense of accomplishment in creating beautiful and useful objects. The handwork curriculum grows from simple activities to more complex ones, and includes two-needle knitting, crochet, embroidery, cross-stitch, hand sewing, leather work, and machine sewing.
Beginning in sixth grade, children learn about the qualities of wood and how to use woodworking tools. Students begin making simple objects, such as an egg, a spoon, or a bowl, and graduate to more complex projects. Woodworking helps develop creativity, perseverance, and skillfulness of eye and hand.