Dawson Lower School students spend nearly two hours a week each in music, art, Spanish, PE, and library/technology classes, all of which are closely integrated with their classroom curriculum.
Art classes spring from the joy of students expressing themselves through projects, suitable to each grade with focus on experimental use of media. Often, student work is based on homeroom studies. The study of lines, patterns, shapes, values, colors, contrast, texture, and three-dimensional elements guide project work.
Library/technology work provides literature studies and appreciation, information skills, and academic support. The library and technology curricula are closely intertwined with research and information skills. The Media Center’s open-door policy encourages students, faculty, and families to use the library’s facilities from early morning to after school.
Music exposes children to a wide range of styles, skills, and opportunities to be inspired by music. When children leave the Lower School, they can read and compose music, follow a written score, and play various musical instruments. Music literacy is emphasized throughout the music curriculum, using the Kodaly and Orff-Schulwerk approaches.
Physical education is a combination of fitness, skill and concept development, and sportsmanship. Teachers work with students to set goals, while developing and maintaining individual levels of fitness. The development, enhancement, and understanding of movement competency are critical for each student. Responsible and respectful personal and social behaviors in a physically active setting are essential.
By introducing world language in the early years, students gain exposure to practices that will aid them as they continue in language studies. In ways appropriate to age and level of competency, students use the target language of Spanish to practice the four essential linguistic components of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. World Cultures is taught in kindergarten, with Spanish taught in first through fourth grades.