At Brooksfield, we believe that the process itself and the results are invaluable expressions of discovery, imagination, individuality, creativity and collaboration. We are devoted to developing the artist within the child and encouraging students to explore, express, problem solve and create in a variety of media. Classes are available weekly in music, foreign language, movement, drama, art and physical education.
- Art (Kindergarten and Upper School)
- Art (Lower School)
- Anthropology Express (Upper School) year.
- Movement (Lower School)
- SpanishPhysical Education (Kindergarten and Upper School)
- Drama: The Brooksfield Players (Upper School)
Art (Kindergarten and Upper School)
Art class will be filled with great opportunities for students to foster a love of art history, artful dialogue, and creating art. Children are encouraged to explore, draw, paint, touch, see and use their imaginations in each class. Students always begin an art adventure with an investigation, and the newly acquired knowledge and fired-up imagination goes into making an individual artistic masterpiece.
Art is a learning adventure. In class, student projects will focus on creative approaches to problem solving and freeing the imagination. The children will discover the world of texture, line, shape and color as they create original artworks. Art classes provide opportunities for younger children to become familiar with the various art materials, medias and techniques. All of the students' works are uniquely expressive, as art stimulates all of the senses and helps children to express individuality.
Art (Lower School)
Imaginations abound as Brooksfield's Lower School art program encourages self-expression and creativity in a noncompetitive, positive, joy-filled environment. Children learn (and teach) skills, explore art forms from different times and cultures, experience the art of both well-known and obscure artists and become artists in their own right.
Brooksfield artists will learn the safe and proper use of scissors, techniques in watercolor, pencil drawings, oil pastels, acrylics, paper-maché, weaving, clay sculpture and the use of nature and common items in artistic ways. Mostly, the students will find their expressive voice in the world of visual and creative arts.
Young artists have the opportunity to learn about and participate in the mechanics of preparing for an art show as their works of art are displayed during a celebration of creativity — an elegant evening for their parents and grandparents, teachers and friends to see and appreciate their artistic endeavors.
Music is art through which children can learn elements of history, geography, math, language arts and science that are woven into songs and music lessons. In keeping with Montessori, we incorporate musical traditions from around the world. The students explore rhythm and instruments while experiencing a wide variety of music. Our music classes have three core elements. They use recordings from a variety of cultures with a wide array of instruments to stimulate auditory learning and promote a greater awareness of other cultures' musical traditions. They construct percussive and wind instruments to encourage an understanding of the physical properties of musical instruments and to utilize kinesthetic and tactile learning. Lastly they create songs and dances that emphasize the American traditions of folk music, which involves linguistic, musical and kinesthetic learning.
Anthropology Express (Upper School) year.
The Anthropology Express curriculum fosters exploration of core stories and belief systems of other cultures through creative expression. Cultural traditions, belief systems, relationships to the ecosystem and contemporary issues are brought to life in small groups through brainstorming, dramatic play, movement, culturally specific music and use of traditional instruments. Peoples of Tibet, native North America and ancient Greece/Minoan Crete comprise our three-year cycle. The curriculum makes consistent, meaningful connections with literature, history, social studies, visual arts and music and offers students an in-depth understanding of performing arts. The Anthropological Express in-depth program of study culminates in an original production presented for parents and students at the end of the year.
Movement (Lower School)
In movement class, Lower School students focus on motor skill development, rhythm, musicality, story structure and composition. The motor skill development studied in movement class establishes confidence and promotes abdominal strength, articulation and power in the limbs. Locomotive skills in many forms are explored. The exploration of these basic skills helps to enhance strength, coordination and stamina. Fundamental poses, movement and breath work inspired by yoga systems are also practiced. Rhythm and musicality are at the heart of movement class. The use of recorded music of cultures and traditions from around the world exposes young dancers to a wide range of sounds. They are given opportunities to play "Around the World," in which each student has a turn to choose a musical tradition to which the class will all dance. Authentic handheld instruments are available for dancers who want to explore making their own music. Story structures encourage physical expression and collaborative movement. By expressing the beauty and power of the natural world, these story structures provide a framework for ensemble work while encouraging each student to find satisfying ways of enacting the images.
Kindergarten students also spend time working on composing dance pieces. Composition trains dancers to make art. Understanding the building blocks of choreography empowers young dancers to develop their own voices as artists, and also enables them to analyze and articulate what they see in the work of their peers and other artists. They learn about issues of tempo, shape, design, spatial pattern, dynamics, focus, intent, entrance and exit, solo and group expression, choice of music and titling their work. They are encouraged to build "dance sentences" by stringing several movements together. As audience members for each other, they offer feedback in the form of observation, praise and interpretation. The "culture" of theatrical performance is addressed, with attention to audience behavior and appreciation and performer responses.
The Spanish program at Brooksfield is fun and engaging. With a hands-on approach, children will experience Spanish through music, songs, games, visuals and finger plays. Through the introduction of cultural, geographical and historical elements the child learns to appreciate the world around them.
Lower School students develop a basic vocabulary including counting, animal names, colors, adjectives and verbs. Conversational skills are also introduced. Children learn how to greet and ask questions in Spanish as well as become familiar with singular/plural and masculine/feminine words.
In addition to broadening their vocabulary, Upper School students learn about money, months of the year, emotions, parts of the body and how to tell time in Spanish. Students practice using their grammar skills in conversations, and learn to read and write in Spanish as they participate in a pen-pal program with Spanish children in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Students correspond with their pen-pals by sending letters to Mexico and exchanging pictures, allowing them learn about the history and everyday life of children in Mexico as well as fostering an appreciation for the language and its culture.
Physical Education (Kindergarten and Upper School)
The goal of the Physical Education (P.E.) program at Brooksfield is to provide physical activity in a positive environment. Children will be concentrating on developing their large muscle skills, but also will be using their small muscle skills which have been developed even more. They will be exposed to numerous physical activities as well as multicultural movement games and individual fitness challenges.
Beyond providing physical fitness, physical education introduces many skills which directly correlate with skills needed for success in the classroom and the community. Specifically, students learn to lead, take directions, listen and encourage each other. They are directed to cooperate and communicate with each other as they participate in P.E. activities. A strong sense of camaraderie and team spirit is encouraged while working in a cooperative unit towards a common goal.
Drama: The Brooksfield Players (Upper School)
This after-school program offers a dynamic, experiential introduction to the world of theatre. Within the context of developing and performing an original play, students explore acting skills such as responding to stimuli, characterization, vocal strength, concentration and commitment to objectives. The craft of dramatic expression empowers students to enact stories, making real their ideas and visions. The program culminates in an all-school assembly performance.