Special Area Subjects
The Art program at Ward School is an integral part of each student’s education. Lessons are carefully planned to be developmentally appropriate and relate to various aspects of the students’ school and life experiences. Through a variety of media (tempera, water color, ink, crayon, clay, yarn, paper, and plaster) and processes (painting, drawing, etching, printmaking, collage,weaving, and ceramics) the students learn about the vocabulary, elements, and principles of art.
Introducing the work and lives of artists, both present and past, reinforces our belief that the young artists at Ward can continue to make art part of their whole lives. The students’ artwork is matted and displayed throughout the school as well as in several sites in Newton. Their art enriches our community. Each spring Ward celebrates with an ART SHOW that includes every one of our students.
Library Media Center
The John Ward School Library Media Center, located on the main floor, contains approximately 10,000 books, periodicals and other materials selected for children in grades K-5. In addition to print resources, Apple computers equipped with reference software are available to allow children to learn and practice automated searching skills, communicate with other schools, and access resources on the internet. Our goals are to encourage a love of reading and to provide tools for lifelong learning. Toward these ends, students visit the Library Media Center with their classes on a regular schedule. During these periods, they are introduced to a range of literature through reading aloud, book discussion, book talks, etc. They become familiar with the various resources of the library and learn skills in conjunction with classroom curricula. Students may also visit the library in small groups or individually for special projects and book selection. Children may borrow books to bring home on a one-week basis with renewals available. There is opportunity for selection during the classroom visit or at other designated times during the day. Late books are not subject to fines; however, should a book be lost or damaged, the student or parent should notify the library so that borrowing privileges can continue and so the book can be replaced. Volunteers play a vital role in the daily functioning of the library in a variety of ways, and we are grateful for their help.
Music education at Ward is a multi-faceted area of instruction which encompasses: general music classes for grades K-5, choral music groups for grades 4 and 5, recorder instruction for grade 3, optional instrumental music lessons for grade 4, instrumental performing groups for grades 4 and 5, musical theater for grades 5, and classroom music that is interactive with other curriculum areas when viable. Activities emphasized in the music classroom include: singing, listening, movement, instrument playing, reading simple musical notation, composition, and improvisation.
All fourth grade students are given the opportunity to learn how to play a band instrument. This is an optional program where students are given lessons in groups, during the school day on their chosen instrument. The family is responsible for acquiring the instrument.
Fifth grade students who continue with their instrument form the Ward School Band. The ensemble rehearses one period per week during the school day. The band performs in school concerts in the winter and spring. Membership in the group is open to students in other grades with at least one year’s prior experience on an instrument. Any student who has played a string instrument at least one year is able to join the Ward String Ensemble. This group performs in the same venues as the band.
Physical education is one part of the educational process that deals with the total development of the individual. Programs within this curriculum area are developed and implemented to provide opportunities for growth through selected human movement experiences while recognizing the needs, abilities, and interests of each individual. A developmental and sequential approach to human movement allows each child to strive toward fulfilling his/her potential. The unique accumulation of related experiences in psychomotor, cognitive, and affective behaviors that a student acquires in the physical education program from early childhood through late adolescence provide a necessary and healthy foundation for effective functioning throughout life.
Thursday Afternoon Program
Each Thursday afternoon from 1:00 to 3:00, with the exception of early release days, students at one grade level (grades 1 – 5) work with our specialists – the art, music, library and physical education teachers. The specialists provide an afternoon of special activities that extend curriculum of the classroom teacher or specialist.