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Essentials

Essential Courses, or “Essentials,” are fundamental classes that contribute to the development of the whole child. At Espiritu Santo Catholic School, Essential courses include Art, Drama, Media, Music, Spanish and Technology.

Art
The Espiritu Santo Art Studio is a place where every student has the opportunity to let their creativity shine. The goal of the Art curriculum is to experiment with painting, drawing, sculpture and other forms of art as a means of creative exploration and fine motor skill development. Art classes meet on a weekly basis, and in addition to creating works of art during class, students are introduced to famous artists, their styles and techniques.

Student art is displayed throughout the school building, giving ESCS students a chance to shine and be recognized for their artistic talent. Our year culminates with Discovery Night each spring, where the artistic and musical talents of Espiritu Santo students are showcased for all to enjoy.

Through the arts, students explore their gifts and interests. They also discover that art is all around them and begin to appreciate the beauty of art in the world.

Drama
Students who participate in the drama and theater program at ESCS receive an elevated introduction to the fine arts. Drama and the performing arts have many benefits including allowing improvement to a child’s oral communication skills, building confidence when talking in front of a group, developing acting, singing, and dance skills as well as many other positives. Plus, it’s fun! This is a great way to make friends and build life-long memories.

Students are offered two opportunities to audition for performances during the school year. The first half of the year, students are focused on a Christmas Musical (staged in December). For the months of January – March, students rehearse and produce a spring musical. Some of our prior Christmas and spring musicals include: The Music Man Jr., The King is Coming to Town, Alice in Wonderland Jr., Chris-myth Busters, The Wizard of Oz, The Little Mermaid Jr. and many more.

Media
Espiritu Santo Catholic School is proud to have such a beautiful, inspiring space as a home for our Media Center. We feel that a love of literacy is essential when educating young minds, and our program is designed to both foster love of the written word and build the skills necessary to navigate and utilize various genres of books and research materials. Lessons incorporate skills from the FL ELA Common Core Standards. Students also have time for book selection and to check out books.

Media lessons are designed to accomplish the specific goals for each grade level. For example, lesson plans for the PK3 and VPK classes focus on book care, as well as reading and discussing literature related to classroom themes, while lesson plans for Grade Three introduce beginning library skills such as: arrangement of fiction and non-fiction, introduction to the Dewey Decimal System, introduction to genres, introduction to the school on-line card catalog and the study of the Caldecott books, and familiarization with Sunshine State Award nominees. By the time an ESCS student reaches Middle School, he or she is utilizing the Media Center as research tool to support classroom assignments.

Parents are encouraged to volunteer their time to assist in the Media Center during classes for the younger students; sometimes, selecting just the right book can take some assistance! Parents and students both are able to access the ESCS library collection, reserve, and renew titles at any time through the Online Media System.

Music
Music is an essential and integral part of the ESCS curriculum. Its value is not only in the pleasure it can bring to daily life but, as a child grows, it reinforces the study of mathematics, history, language, and science as well as physical, social, and spiritual development.

Music in the primary years helps develop large and small motor skills through action songs, puppetry, movement and brightly colored scarves, and playing small percussion instruments. Singing, acting out nursery songs, stories from the Bible, and dancing together with a partner or small group contributes to cooperation, spiritual growth, and listening to directions.

The elementary child begins to understand the mechanics of music through a more hands-on approach by playing keyboards, strings, band, and Orff instruments, and a wide variety of percussion. Breaking down note values and rhythms, sounds itself and the physical act of singing, studying great composers and the historical significance of their music reinforce core subjects instruction in the classroom.

The importance of music in middle school is for students to understand the timeline of musical development from Gregorian chant to today’s contemporary works. They must gain confidence in their ability to sing and play instruments so they participate in weekly school liturgy, as well as become the choir and instrumentalists in their future schools and churches. Middle school students should learn how quality music is constructed and accept the opportunity and challenge to create original music. Of great importance is a unit on “Careers in Music” that reveals numerous opportunities to work in a music-related environment in adulthood.

Spanish

Students in VPK to third grade are introduced to Spanish using a curriculum focused on communication, culture, Catholic identity, community and comparison.  They learn the basic words and concepts of the language through visual presentations, written practice exercises, textbooks and workbooks, stories, puppets, hands on props and games. Emphasis is given on correct pronunciation and punctuation.  They interact with each other through short dialogs, role playing and oral text reading and presentations.  Every year as they transition from grade to grade, they acquire more information and additional vocabulary which continues building on what they have already learned and reinforces consistency and repetition.  The Spanish lessons are coordinated with the themes of the individual grade levels to provide dual curriculum continuity.

In grades four through eight, the purpose of this course is to enhance proficiency in Spanish through a linguistic, communicative, and cultural approach to language learning. There is continued emphasis on the development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills and on acquisition of the fundamentals of applied grammar. Cross-cultural understanding is fostered and real-life applications are emphasized throughout the course.

Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to use Spanish to:

  • Describe people and locations; plan a party, talk about chores and responsibilities, and tell someone what to do
  • Talk about sports, talk about whom they know and what they know, state what they did
  • Talk about technology, talk on the phone and extend invitations
  • Talk about a typical day and daily routines, talk about vacation activities
  • Engage in conversation, understand language and present information
  • Gain knowledge and understanding of Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Argentina and Costa Rica
  • Connect with other disciplines and acquire information
  • Gain insight into the nature of language and culture.
Technology
Students as early as Kindergarten are introduced to computer basics through weekly Technology class. In today’s world, technology is playing an ever more important role in how instruction is delivered in classrooms, and as a means of self-study. The goal of Technology class is to give Espiritu Santo students the tools to use computers, educational software and the internet efficiently and safely.

Technology curriculum for the younger grades include:

  • Motor skills
  • Basic key functions
  • Healthy computer habits
  • Internet navigation
  • Familiarization with educational websites and Microsoft Office software
  • Typing training.

Curriculum for the upper grades focuses on the following:

  • Advanced typing skills
  • Internet safety
  • Advanced skills within the Microsoft Office suite of products (Power Point, Excel, Publisher) to support presentation requirements for classroom projects.

By Middle School, students at Espiritu Santo are expected to use the skills gained through our Technology curriculum to independently:

  • create written reports for Language Arts, Science and Social Studies (Word)
  • utilize appropriate internet sources for research and cite those sources correctly in written reports/projects
  • create a resume for their eighth grade interview (Word)
  • use software to create graphs and tables as supporting documentation for science projects and other classroom projects (Power Point, Publisher)
  • create presentations for individual or collaborative projects (Power Point, Publisher)
Espiritu Santo Catholic School