Art in Action
Why Art? There are so many reasons, but a good one is because Art teaches critical thinking rather than getting the right answer.
Through Art in Action, a curriculum designed to align with California and National Visual Arts Standards, NDE students study the works of great artists, learn an impressive array of terms and practice art technique. They then express themselves by creating their own unique masterpieces. The NDE program is taught by volunteer parent docents who receive training through the Art in Action program.
Student artwork is celebrated every day in the classrooms and hallways of Notre Dame Elementary. There is a display case by the school’s entrance dedicated to exhibiting student art throughout the grades. As well, there is an annual Art Show showcasing students' creativity and accomplishments.
Music is a major part of a child’s education – promoting self-discipline, collaboration, self-confidence, and striving for excellence. This class promotes a goal toward unity and allows students to discover the importance and relevance of music in their daily lives.
Preschool: Musical games, songs, activities that develop student's motor skills and coordination.
Kindergarten - 2nd grades: Music theory (singing solfege and hand signs and playing rhythms), learning about different kinds of instruments and using percussion instruments such as Xylophones.
3rd - 5th grades: Music theory (reading notes and rhythms), playing recorders and singing.
6th - 8th grades: Music theory (reading chords and rhythms), playing ukulele, music history and appreciation.
The CYO Athletics Physical Education and Cooking Curriculum meet the Catholic School, California State, and National standards for physical education for grades K–8. Students are exposed to a variety of traditional sports and are introduced to new activities with a curriculum ranging from football to yoga to dance. In addition, the physical education classes teach about healthy lifestyles and how the body’s muscles work. The program also includes a monthly cooking class focused on USDA nutritional guidelines with a chef that introduces children to the joy and social dimensions of food preparation, dining, and education for living a healthy and productive life. The curriculum is catered to the individual grades and focuses on teaching age and development appropriate skills.
The kindergarten through 2nd grade curriculum is focused on developing the children’s motor skills, spatial awareness, balance, and overall coordination. In addition to developing these skills, classes and activities are focused on introducing the concepts of teamwork, cooperation, and problem solving. All games and activities for these grades are focused on positivity and inclusion while having fun and continuing to develop the skills mentioned above.
Third through fifth grade curriculum is focused on continuing to develop both the fine and gross motor skills of the children while introducing team sports and working on the fundamental skills associated with these sports. Students will become acquainted with the rules and strategies for the specific sports while working together with their teammates and classmates to have a positive experience playing the respective sport. The games and drills played with third through fifth grade are non-competitive and concentrated on keeping students active and moving for the entire class.
Sixth through eighth grade curriculum is focused on developing some of the finer points for the different sports played during class and learning some of the more complex motor functions associated with each sports. Students are challenged to continue to develop their skills during class and set goals for themselves to reach. The games and drills are non-competitive and concentrate on keeping students active and teaching them games and activities they can do outside of PE class to stay active.
Notre Dame Elementary students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade participate in Spanish class. Classes begins with prayers, greetings, the weather, all while being spoken in Spanish!
Warm up activities include a review of the alphabet, body parts, numbers, weather and much more! Studying a foreign language completes and improves a student's education while providing the foundation for further personal enrichment, scholastic achievement, and economic opportunities. The need for California's students to learn and understand a foreign language is more evident today than in the past.
Lower School K-5
K-4th - Initial Exposure to Spanish
In kindergarten through fourth grades, the curriculum's main focus is vocabulary. Student's learn vocabulary words for common place items, normal greetings, and ways to describe the weather. This initial exposure to Spanish ensures that students are ready to move on to the next level of Spanish language mastery: writing and conversational skills!
5th - Confidence
In fifth grade students begin studying grammar and begin to read and comprehend in Spanish all while continuing to improve conversation skills. Using visual/written responses activities, students demonstrate skills and understanding of the language.
Upper School 6-8
6th - (Realidades A) In the 6th Grade, students focus on:
Using short sentences, learning words and phrases, and simple questions and commands when speaking or writing.
Understanding some ideas and familiar details presented in clear, uncomplicated speech when listening.
Understanding short texts enhanced by visual clues when reading.
Communicating effectively with some hesitation and errors, which do not hinder comprehension.
Understanding different types of cultures.
7th - (Realidades A) In the 7th Grade, students focus on:
Using and understanding learned expressions, sentences, questions, and polite commands when speaking and writing.
Creating simple paragraphs when writing.
Understanding important ideas when reading an authentic text.
Demonstrating fluency and control of vocabulary.
Using and understanding expressions indicating emotion.
Understanding oral and written discourse.
Demonstrating culturally appropriate behavior functions.
8th - (Realidades B) In the 8th grade, students focus on:
Using strings or related sentences when speaking.
Understanding most spoken language.
Creating simple paragraphs when writing.
Acquiring knowledge and new knowledge from comprehensive authentic texts when reading.
Choosing appropriate vocabulary for familiar topics.
Learning all Spanish Speaking countries and their culture behind each country.
Advance Spanish is offered for Quarter 2 (Mandatory Placement Test).
Spanish Club is offered after school and focuses on Spanish Culture.
NDE provides K-8th grades makerspace a DIY space for exploration where students can gather to create, invent and learn. The class takes place once a week with NDE's accredited science teacher. Makerspaces foster innovation through hands-on experimentation. Participants have the opportunity to be creative and apply personalized learning strategies to make changes to existing concepts or develop their own ideas, methods or products.