Art classes at Concord Hill provide an ideal opportunity for children to explore personal expression and meaning through the visual arts. As they experiment with materials, they develop their problem-solving abilities, make connections to various areas of learning, gain self-confidence in their creativity, and learn to trust their own decisions. In early childhood art education, the major emphasis is on process rather than product.
Children are at various stages of developing their fine motor skills and their ability to "see" art and the world around them. Exposure to a variety of art materials, processes, and projects is used to learn about basic elements of art and design: line, shape, color, form, texture, and space. Our art experiences and projects are inspired by many sources including our school-wide collaborative projects, classroom curriculum, artist studies, children's literature, and the children's interests as they evolve.
Our entire school worked together with a ceramic artist to create mosaic borders around several windows in our school.
Run by Concord Hill Art Teacher Jan Bennett, MOREART classes offer students the opportunity to explore a variety of materials and techniques in an open studio environment. Students can work at their own pace and on projects that interest them personally. They are encouraged to imagine, create, express themselves and have fun! Fall, Winter, & Spring sessions!
The mission of the Concord Hill School Library is to serve the literary needs and interests of the students, support the curricular needs of the faculty, and to serve as a learning commons for the school community. More than a depository of information and story-time sessions, the library is a center of inquiry and project-based learning. Library programs instill in students a love of literature and reading, as well as an age-appropriate degree of information literacy.
The Library curriculum has three main components: literature appreciation, informational literacy, and maker education. Read-aloud sessions and library research lessons are designed to support the Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning, published by the American Library Association and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology.
Each grade has a regularly scheduled weekly period in the Library. Students in all classes enjoy stories or other media selected for curriculum relevance and check-out books. Second and Third Graders also learn how to access information using the online catalog and reference sources.
For a more detailed description of the library programs and activities, please visit the CHS Librarian’s blog at www.chsbookster.com.
The music room at Concord Hill is a place for musical exploration and creativity. Students meet twice weekly at each grade level to sing, dance, listen, and create. Rhythm, beat, tempo, pitch, melody, and more are taught through active music-making and play. Guided by the Orff Schulwerk pedagogy emphasizing pentatonic exploration, folk music, and dance, students learn to play and improvise using pitched and unpitched percussion instruments in Concord Hill’s own Orff Instrumentarium. Dalcroze-based movement activities teach tempo, beat, musical expression, and phrasing supporting gross and locomotor skills, while mallet and small percussion techniques influence students’ fine motor development. Kodaly solfege signs and syllables support vocal development and pitch awareness, and are often combined with directional movement to reinforce the concept of pitch.
Each year of musical study expands on skills and concepts previously taught, culminating in weekly recorder lessons and note-reading and writing proficiency in Third Grade. Periodical performances showcase the students’ hard work and musical development and build confidence with public speaking and stage performance. Our Friday Morning Meeting culminates each week and includes joyous community singing.
Physical Education is a very important part of a child’s day at Concord Hill School. Each class has a 30-minute PE class multiple times a week. The major goal of the program is for the students to develop competency in different motor skills and movement patterns through an exposure to a wide variety of games and sports. We believe it is important in the early years for children to recognize the value of physical activity and hope that PE fosters an interest, enjoyment, and participation later in life. A continual focus of PE at Concord Hill School is to demonstrate good sportsmanship.
The PE program is developmentally appropriate and builds on the skills developed from year to year. Field Day is a culmination of the Physical Education school year, and is always greatly anticipated by all participants in Kindergarten through Third Grade. The students work on goal setting for Field Day with emphasis on self-improvement over peer competition.
As natural scientists, young children practice observing, questioning, and describing the world around them. They begin to grasp the many ways in which science relates to their everyday experiences. Science exploration begins informally for Preprimary and Primary students with teacher-guided inquiry and observation. Science classes begin for students in Kindergarten and continue through Third Grade. Collaboration, communication, and being a member of a scientific community are emphasized.
Focus is on the scientific method, which begins with a question and formulation of a hypothesis, followed by observations that are recorded. By Third Grade, students are encouraged to create their own inquiries, help design experiments, and analyze and communicate their results.
Science activities are hands-on, offering real-world applications and solutions. Units of study cover many aspects of scientific inquiry and are informed by the Next Generation Science Standards.
At all levels there is an emphasis on environmental education. We pride ourselves on teaching our students to be stewards of the environment. In 2014, Concord Hill School became a certified Maryland Green School.
In 2011 and 2012, the Concord Hill Greenies were awarded first prize for their project “Zero Miles Per Gallon” in the Siemens “We Can Change the World” Challenge for Kindergarten through second grade. Read more, here
Spanish at Concord Hill School is outsourced through Language Stars, a nationally recognized language program with an office in Bethesda,Maryland. The program is developed by a team of linguists and educators, aligned with national ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) standards. Designed to be flexible and fun, the program is play-based. Students are immersed during instruction time, engaged in songs, games, activities, and hands-on projects.
Preprimary has Spanish during one Lunch Bunch per week and Spanish instruction begins in Primary and continues twice per week through Third Grade. Classes meet for half-hour sessions. Age-appropriate themes create a fun backdrop for engagement and learning.