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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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)
For more information about Espiritu Santo’s overall policies on the use of Technology (hardware and software) and connectivity within our school, please visit our Technology Page Coming Soon.