In the Lower School at TFS, we refer to PE, Spanish, Art and Music as "Specials." They provide the same depth and breadth of learning opportunities and instruction that is evident in whole of our program. Specials are a very important part of our curriculum, as they enable us to reach and inspire the whole child as they develop connections and grow their passions over time.
PE: Physical Education
Our Physical Education program stresses fitness, skill development, and sportsmanship. Our Lower School students are taught that PE is about having fun, being a good sport, fostering wellness, and leading a healthy and active life. They attend PE class every day -- movement is good! Physical activities, games, and dances can also be directly connected to the academic classroom curriculum as part of special integrated units.
Our foreign language program for the Lower Schoolers begins in preschool and emphasizes communication and culture, which are taught primarily through the aural/oral method. The younger children are taught using the TPR (Total Physical Response) method. Students begin the process of learning a foreign language by listening, imitation, and repetition. This parallels first-language acquisition, in which listening and speaking precede reading and writing. More traditional academic skills are introduced and developed gradually, as students progress through the grades. The program also teaches grammar, verb conjugation, and a plethora of vocabulary themes and words. At every level, students explore cultural and historic topics.
Our Art program emphasizes activities in which the child expresses individuality, creativity, and originality. Each child develops skills and respect for his/her work and the work of others. The program challenges and educates the child through activities in two- and three-dimensional areas based on the elements (color, texture, line, shape, form, space, value) and principals (balance, contrast, emphasis, composition) of art. The curriculum includes hands-on activities, art and cultural appreciation, and art that relates to the classroom curriculum. In Lower School beginning in Kindergarten, students will attend Art class twice a week.
Our music program, like PE and Art, engages our students on multiple levels. We teach children not only how to listen to music but how to create it, analyze it, and truly appreciate it in its different forms from around the world. As evidence of this holistic approach, every TFS student graduates knowing how to perform music in front of an audience.