The arts and sports play a vital role in the education of our students. The arts are a wonderful vehicle for self-expression and creativity. Sports teach vital team building skills outside of the classroom. Both the arts and sports foster self-awareness, self-esteem, and healthy mind-body awareness.
Kindergarten through fourth-grade students receives art instruction once a week. Students learn about Art History as they are introduced to both Jewish and non-Jewish artists from a variety of eras. Through the inspiration of these artists, students learn about the elements of art, the principles of design, and different painting and sketching techniques. They experiment with a variety of materials, including pencils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, colored pencils, clay, mosaics, and recycled materials.
Students in first through fourth grade have music class once a week. Kindergarten students have two shorter music classes during the week. At the primary level, students learn music theory and history as they enjoy a variety of secular and Jewish music. They start learning basic rhythm and beat placement, and build upon this more and more every year through body movement and various general music instruments. Starting in second grade, the students begin learning how to recognize rhythmic values and patterns on a treble clef staff and are sight reading by third and fourth grade as they learn to play the recorder. With a curriculum based heavily on music theory, the students can apply what they learn in music with any music instrument. Appreciation for music is developed through singing and playing a variety of rhythm instruments.
Kindergarten students through grade four have two class periods of Physical Education each week. In Middle School, students continue with one period each week. Physical Education is an integral part of the educational program at Pardes. It offers a unique contribution to the development of knowledge, understanding, and positive attitudes concerning movement as well as physical fitness. The degree of success is geared towards the student experiences in work and play. Students are influenced by his/her ability to execute movement patterns effectively and efficiently. Students are exposed to many opportunities to participate in well conceived and well-taught learning experiences in a safe and constructive environment. Through movement, impressions of self-confidence and identity are formed. Creating this understanding of sports, sportsmanship and teamwork will lead to the development of a lifelong passion for physical fitness.
Technology at Pardes is used to engage and enhance the teaching and learning process. Technology is integrated into the curriculum both as a tool for teaching and learning. Center time in kindergarten and first grade comes alive as students play math and language arts games, write stories, illustrations, and watch videos on a variety of topics on mini iPads. Formal technology classes using laptops take place each week in second, third and fourth grade with an emphasis on keyboarding skills, internet research skills, learning how to create, edit, and modify documents, slides, sites, email, movie clips, and images. The students also learn how to use a variety of web-based software to create and design course assignments. Beginning in fourth grade each student develops an electronic portfolio in which they input their work and write reflections about each piece.