Animal & Nature Studies
In addition to using our technology lab, our students learn to use technology as a fully integrated learning tool. Students use iPads, laptops, desktops, Kindles and interactive projectors. Plus, we have a 3D Printing, Engineering and CAD program that is part of the elementary curriculum.
A recent study from the MacArthur foundation found that, by their estimates, 65% of the jobs current elementary students will do when they grow up have not yet been invented. Whatever technology our current third graders will be into when they graduate high school probably won’t be invented for another 7 years. The speed of change in our world is electrifying, and we are preparing students for a world that does not yet exist and we cannot imagine.
The study points out specific skills students will need to thrive in this future world. Our students need to COMMUNICATE, be CREATIVE,COLLABORATE and think CRITICALLY. Our curriculum emphasizes building these four skills through Project Based Learning, and technology is integrated throughout the subjects.
The foreign language program helps students gain an appreciation of the world around them as well as preparing them with the skills they will need to live in this ever globalized and changing world. Using a thematic approach, students are introduced to commonly used words and phrases needed to attain basic conversational fluency and understanding, as well as an awareness and appreciation of worldwide cultural celebrations and customs.
The topics studied in our foreign language program are:
|Animals||Parts of the Body|
|Articles of Clothing||Transportation|
|Ocean Life||The Community|
Learning basic conversational Spanish, while also exploring the rich heritage of our Central and South American neighbors through songs, games, food, and hand-on activities, serves to further enhance the appreciation and understanding of the world in which we live.
Mandarin (free after-school program*)
Our Mandarin language program is offered after school and is optional with no additional cost to WHPS students.
*Materials fee may apply.
Children visit the school library and reading room frequently. After a story time with the librarian, the children check out books, find materials for their research projects and take part in a library skills program.
The goals of the physical education (P.E.) curriculum include physical activity, physical fitness and wellness, movement skill and knowledge, social development and interaction, positive self-image, self-esteem and self-realization, and individual excellence. Emphasis is placed on the value of exercise and physical well-being throughout our lives. Students are instructed in the proper ways to exercise and play sports, including warm-up and cool down activities during each P.E. session. Intrinsic to this program are the Character Counts values with an emphasis placed on fairness and good sportsmanship. Additionally, the P.E. program integrates and enhances many of the subject areas taught within the regular classroom curriculum, especially in the areas of math and science as well as the application of analytical and problem solving skills.
The P.E. program consists of five things:
- Motor Skills - Developing fundamental perceptual motor skills, motor efficiency, control and basic movements are essential to the growth and development of all individuals.
- Physical Abilities - Participation in and demonstration of proficiency in activities for balance, endurance, strength, flexibility, agility, and conceptual assimilation.
- Skilled Movement - Developing skilled movements through creative games, traditional games, rhythms, dance, and expression.
- Social Skills - Developing responsibility, fellowship, leadership, self-acceptance and positive self-image and a tolerance for others. Students progress from partner to small group to team efforts.
- Recreational Skills - Developing the skills needed for recreational involvement in physical activity as well as learning to choose worthwhile leisure time activities.
- Sports - Each month the P.E. program focuses on a different sport. The students are taught the basic rules of the games, the types of skills needed for proficiency in that sport, as well as how to work together as a team.
Visual & Performing Arts
The visual and performing arts component of the program is integrated into all areas of the core curriculum. Creativity and self-expression is evidenced in the student’s writing assignments, in the documenting and solving of mathematical equations, the role playing of historical events and situations, and in the dramatization of literature.
With its unique expressiveness, students gain an understanding of rhythm, harmony, tempo, timbre, production of sound, the social, cultural, and historical contributions of music, and the appreciation of the skills needed to create and perform musical pieces. Second and third grade students learn how to play the recorder while our fourth and fifth graders have keyboard instruction. They also study the many genres of music from some of the great classical composers and musicians up through modern rock and roll.
Through the visual arts curriculum, the students are given opportunities for self-discovery and creative expression. They learn to recognize and utilize design elements of color, form, and texture, study the various forms of visual arts, and investigate cultural and historical art influences. They study the great masters as well as contemporary artists and art forms. The students’ projects reflect their exploration and use of different materials and textures. They are also helped to see that art is not just paintings on a canvas but that art is all around us; in nature and in every part of our world.
The performing arts program helps students develop a strong sense of self-confidence. There are regular opportunities for public speaking and presentations both in the classroom and to the school at large. Each of the classes presents programs at our assemblies at least twice a year. They also all perform at the annual school Winter Show and at our Spring Performing Arts program in March.