At Oakwood we treat each child as an individual and nurture the talents and interests of every student, while fostering the whole child's development.
Our students enjoy a well-rounded, balanced educational experience.
In addition to the basic subjects of language arts, mathematics and social studies, all grades take science, Spanish, art, physical education, coding/keyboarding, music and drama, all taught by specialist teachers.
Even at this young age, your child is ready to delve deeper—and at Oakwood, our teachers can lead curiosity as far as it can go. Going to different classrooms, studying with expert teachers who all deeply love their subjects—not only can our students handle it, they thrive on it.
At Oakwood, the Art curriculum is based on a goal to give every student a foundation of knowledge and skills in order to grow as an artist and inspire a love for art. Students learn to create art using the elements and principles of design: the understanding and use of line, shape, color, texture, space and also balance, rhythm, movement, pattern, contrast, emphasis, and unity. Students apply these concepts to creative hands-on experiences and projects while they explore a variety of media, such as drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and fiber art. Students learn to observe the world around them, and express their observations creatively. Students are also frequently exposed to art history, as well as contemporary artists' work, in order for them to build awareness and appreciation for art. Many projects also include a multi-cultural component, allowing students to make connections between other cultures through art.
Many of these concepts and skills weave throughout the elementary years and are introduced in the first grade. For example, in the first grade a student will study color theory, and create fun popsicle paintings to demonstrate the recipes for mixing the secondary colors. A fourth grade student will also study color theory, and create a kaleidoscope design to demonstrate correct color mixtures of secondary and intermediate colors. Third grade students create a Greek mosaic tile, while they are studying Ancient Greece in their classrooms. While second graders learn about artist, Georgia O'Keeffe, and create a poppy field landscape, fifth grade students are learning about artist, Frank Stella, and integrating math by using protractors to create minimalist designs.
The goal of the Art program is for each student to believe they are an artist, taking pride in their creations and feeling confident in their skills.
Oakwood developed its drama program with the conviction that a well-rounded education includes a foundation in the arts. In addition to being just plain fun, studies show that participation in the arts, theatre included, contributes to a child’s overall academic success, as well as personal growth in a number of important ways.
Students in first through fifth grade perform once a year in an age-appropriate musical. Over a multi-week period, students learn the fundamentals of performance, culminating in a final production for students, family, and friends. In the process, students are also introduced to the behind the scenes aspects of play production such as set-building, costume management, and sound and lighting, and emerge from the experience with a greater understanding and appreciation of their own skills, each other, and what it takes to bring a play from first rehearsal to final presentation.
Children who participate in drama sharpen their cognitive skills while memorizing a part, interpreting a role, following stage directions, and thinking quickly on their feet to cover when a cue is missed. Students strengthen physical and kinesthetic skills through choreographed stage blocking and dance movements, and develop social and intrapersonal skills while collaborating with the director and fellow cast members, overcoming obstacles, and bringing the playwright’s vision to life. Responsibility and time management come into play as students learn lines by set deadlines, and actors depend upon each other to be prepared. Self-discipline and the ability to accept constructive feedback and adjust accordingly are skills that serve children well throughout their school years and beyond.
Whether a child is the star of the production or the back row third spear carrier from the left, being part of a theatrical production gives every child the experience of being an integral part of a greater whole, while bolstering self-confidence and fostering public speaking skills.
Each week, Oakwood students in preschool through fifth grade visit the school library. This is a time during which they can indulge their love of books, whether their favorites be about animals, adventure, machines or fairies. During their visits, they learn about different types of literature and authors, perform research to assist in classroom projects, check out books for their enjoyment and relax while listening to books chosen especially for their class by the librarian. At Oakwood, we believe this time in the library helps students develop a love for books and an understanding of the importance of reading.
The main goal of the Oakwood music program is to bring music to children in a positive, exciting, and fun way. The study of music contributes to the quality of every student’s life and academic foundation. Studies have indicated that musical training early in a child’s life dramatically enhances a child’s abstract thinking skills and spatial-temporal ability. To that end, Oakwood’s curriculum is based upon the Orff Schulwerk concept, where children learn to love music through singing, dancing, and experimenting with instruments.
As students attend twice-weekly music classes, they sing and dance to a wide variety of music, including curriculum-related songs, holiday songs, American folk songs and dances, rounds and partner songs, and songs from a variety of cultures, countries and languages. The older grades also learn simple part singing.
Students also learn the basics of music theory, including the study of composers, instrument families, music vocabulary words, and events in music history. They learn to read rhythms and play the rhythms on drums, tambourines, rhythm sticks, and boomwhackers. The children learn to read notes and discover the relationship of notes on the scale and how they can create melodies. As the children progress through the grades, they build upon their previous music knowledge and add to it year by year. They become increasingly proficient at recognizing rhythms, reading notes, identifying composers, and distinguishing instrument family sounds.
In 4th grade the students begin learning to play the recorder and play songs with increasing difficulty throughout the year. In 5th grade, they improve their recorder playing skills by collaborating together to create classroom performances that include recorders, drums, bells, metallophones, and other rhythm instruments. All elementary children rehearse and perform in an elementary music concert every spring.
Oakwood’s Lower School Physical Education Program is a robust combination of fitness building, gross motor development, team sports training, team-building exercises and character development. P.E. is a favorite part of the day for most children; and a critical outlet for many. Innovative games that keep children in motion - while exercising critical thinking skills and strategy development, foster a life-long appreciation of physical activity.
- Cardiovascular health
- Aerobic and anaerobic fitness
- Muscular endurance
- Spatial awareness
- Locomotor skills
- Whole body coordination
- Movement patterns to music
- Hand/Eye & Foot/Eye coordination
Lead-up Games to Team Sports
Modified multiple ball & equipment games, which promote a high level of repetitions to develop fundamental skills of the following team sports:
- Track and field
- Innovative games
- Playground games
Oakwood Fitness Challenge
Oakwood students participate in the Oakwood Fitness Challenge. It is a health-related, criterion-based assessment, which minimizes comparisons between children and instead supports students as they pursue personal fitness goals for lifelong health. The assessment measures health-related fitness through a variety of ways designed to assess aerobic capacity, muscle strength, muscular endurance and flexibility. Each score is evaluated using the healthy fitness zone standards.
Children in Oakwood’s Physical Education Program learn the power of teamwork in a safe risk-taking environment. They learn the skill of goal setting, adjusting and goal meeting. Self-confidence grows through positive recognition and communication and organizational skills are improved.
Technology readiness is a beginning computer and keyboarding class for Oakwood first through third grade students. This class covers basic computer and keyboarding skills. Emphasis is on computer usage, home key typing, correct techniques, and development of typing speed and accuracy. Upon completion, students will have developing fluency with a computer and be able to type for research and report writing.
Oakwood students in Grades 4 - 5 are introduced to the basics of Computer Science via coding class that meets twice a month. The goal is to introduce our students to programming concepts using a variety of hands on and programming activities. Students learn the importance of Internet safety. Students are introduced to sequences, loops, conditionals, algorithms, binary code and debugging (fixing errors in their program). They also learn about the societal impacts of computing.
In addition, students participate in some activities that don't require a computer called unplugged activities. Unplugged activities make up about 30% of the course material. Typically these are worksheets and games that students will work on in pairs and individually that will help with a subsequent computer lab. Some of our popular unplugged activities include Relay Programming, making Binary Bracelets and building towers using marshmallows and toothpicks.
The courses are designed to reinforce concepts and skills taught in other subject areas by integrating national Math, Language Arts and Science standards. Students create programs to solve problems and develop interactive games or stories they can share. They also participate in special Hour of Code activities during the month of December.
It's like living in a musical. It's like they just break out into song.
At Oakwood, students find that there’s joy in every subject, and in being good—really good—at the passions you choose to pursue.
Our teachers can lead your student’s curiosity as far as it can go—because they’re all experts in their chosen fields. They teach what they love, and only what they love.
Learn more about our expert Lower School faculty.