From our youngest classrooms through our Fifth grade, the school-day is enhanced when children leave their homerooms to attend special subject classes.
Caedmon prides itself on the extraordinary variety of these specials, which range anywhere from yoga for our youngest students, to Latin for our older students. These classes are taught by a variety of teachers who are dedicated to and experts in their special subject matter. Please find below a full list of specials offered at The Caedmon School.
Caedmon’s art program is based in the Montessori theory of process over product. Teachers strive to instill their art students with the idea that what they consider a mistake, is actually a possibility to make changes, improvements, and transformations. “Mistakes are proof you are trying,” and, “Accept failure as part of the process,” are mottos of our art studio. The students are given the opportunity to work with many materials, learn new techniques, and view a wide range of art, including modern through contemporary artists from which to draw inspiration.
The students are encouraged to create art in a non-linear, non-literal manner; to learn how art, science, and math unite, overlap, and compliment each other. Teaching to the individual, hands-on lessons, and thoughtful self-critiques are the norm. The foundation is built with projects beginning in Early Program, and continuing through Upper Level, in color theory, line creation, and composition.
Each student keeps a sketchbook and portfolio of his or her artwork, which goes home at the end of the year. A time is provided during each art class for drawing in a sketchbook. The students are encouraged to revisit sketches over time to look at them with fresh eyes, and possibly add to or change the sketches. True art materials are provided, with lessons on the proper care and usage. The students are given an artistic vocabulary to use when both discussing their artwork, and the art they view.
Caedmon’s Latin program, which begins in the Third grade, is designed primarily to expand English vocabulary through the study of Latin and Greek roots. Students learn to identify the roots in English words, and they develop the analytical ability to perceive many words of English as comprising a root and one or more affixes, all of which provide clues to the meaning of the words they compose. Although the Latin language itself is not taught, students do learn the Latin words from which the roots originate, and there is an extensive cultural component to the course as well, with topics including the fall of the Roman Republic, the Roman Empire, Roman writers, and Greco-Roman mythology. In addition to its goal of increasing vocabulary, the course also strives to familiarize children with the ancient world and to excite their interest in Latin.
Caedmon’s music curriculum nourishes the innate musical ability of every child. Through Orff and Kodály educational methods, children develop musicianship and literacy by reading, writing, singing, moving, and playing instruments. Caedmon’s faculty includes many trained, active musicians in addition to the music specialists, so that for Caedmon students, music becomes a regular and integral part of their lives: a language in which to become fluent, a tool for creative expression, and a world of sounds to be enjoyed for a lifetime.
Caedmon students in Kindergarten through Third grade participate in the school’s violin program. In addition to creating an awareness and appreciation of music through hands-on study of the violin, the lessons assist children developmentally as they hone their fine motor and listening skills, left-to-right eye movement, and organization. The school provides each student with a violin for use during the class, free of charge. The curriculum teaches the fundamentals of music theory and ear training. As skills advance, so does the repertoire and level of performance. Violin students improve their ability to focus and gain a great sense of accomplishment and self-confidence as a result of their progress.
The Caedmon School library is perfect for encouraging careful book selection, quiet reading and learning time, and the exchange of ideas. Children from Kindergarten through Upper Level relish the opportunity to come together in a circle and talk about whole-group read-alouds or the stories they are reading themselves.
The Elementary Library Program prepares children to utilize and enjoy both the resources and inspiration that are offered by the library. What the younger children initially perceive as a wonderland of stories, facts, and imagination, gradually becomes a resource for self-directed research, without ever losing its capacity for wonderment and surprise.
From Kindergarten to Lower Level, each class goes to the library twice per cycle. During the first class, they learn age-appropriate skills such as alphabetizing, researching, the Dewey Decimal System, and the definitions of various literary genres.The second class per cycle is for literary exploration. The librarian chooses a story to read aloud and discuss, using the opportunity to expand the children’s awareness of different literary genres and styles. At book selection time, the children have the opportunity to share their impressions of the book they have just finished, before practicing the discriminating art of choosing new reading material.
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Young Beginners, Beginners and Early Program students participate in movement and yoga classes filled with imaginative games and musical routines designed to provide young children an early foundation to structured physical play. Elementary children continue to develop both fine and gross motor skills, along with balance, agility, stamina, coordination, and strength in a disciplined, non-competitive physical education environment. In addition to class in the Caedmon gymnasium, upper elementary students also travel off campus to Asphalt Green. At this facility, the children enjoy full-length soccer and baseball fields, basketball/hockey courts, and a running track in a secure and instructive environment. All students utilize Caedmon’s private, outdoor playground on a daily basis.
Caedmon’s physical education program develops in children a desire to attain their personal best, whether in sports-related skill sets, calisthenic stamina, or group dynamics. Through creative games and exercises, gym classes give the students the experience and conscious awareness of health and fitness. The children celebrate each other’s unique talents, styles, and abilities without the premature presence of a win-or-lose mentality. Middle and Upper Level students practice and then participate in the Presidential Fitness Challenge, a set of exercises that assess speed, endurance, upper body, and abdominal strength. All children receive certificates and emblems in recognition of their commitment to fitness.
The Caedmon science program is founded on the idea that all children are actively engaging in the scientific process from birth. By asking questions, observing and exploring the world around them, making deductions and then asking more questions, scientific exploration is an inherent part of the human experience.
Our role at Caedmon is to foster and channel this natural love of science into success in academic science settings. We do this through the use of traditional lab equipment, such as balances, graduated cylinders, test tubes and pipettes; modern technology, such as iPads, digital microscopes, and robots; Montessori methods and materials; model organisms in the classroom; field explorations; written reflections, including scientific drawings and lab reports; and hands-on experiments and activities that often use basic materials, thus allowing students to easily reproduce these activities at home.
Caedmon uses the Amplify Science curriculum in our Elementary program. Amplify Science is a highly engaging, phenomena-based program for grades K–8 that integrates the latest practices in science teaching and learning, as well as interactive digital tools and hands-on activities, to teach students how to think, read, write, and argue like real scientists and engineers. Graduating students leave Caedmon with their natural love of science intact and with the skills necessary for academic success in sciences.
The Spanish Language Program utilizes a multifaceted approach to learning Spanish. Vocabulary, pronunciation skills, and confidence in speaking are gradually acquired in the course of interactive, playful lessons, which provide meaningful cultural experiences as well.
The lessons reinforce the general goals of the elementary school program. By exercising such skills as listening, memory, oration, and creative writing, the children become confident communicators. Creative activities incorporate movement and dramatic role-playing, and children learn Spanish while stretching their imaginations.In earlier levels, students are introduced to the Spanish language in their classrooms through use of games, activities, songs, and simple vocabulary. By exploring a new culture through the medium of language, all students gain an awareness of diversity, an appreciation for the beauty and richness of the world around them, and, ultimately, empathy toward others.
The technology program at Caedmon familiarizes children with the computer, teaching them to utilize it as a tool for research, writing, communication, problem solving, creativity, and presentation. Teachers come to the classrooms using iPads, Chromebooks, and SmartBoards, offering instruction that is integrated to the classroom curriculum.
In keeping with our goal to take into account the developmental needs of the children at each stage, children in the Young Beginners, Beginners, and Early Program do not have access to computers. In Kindergarten, the children are introduced to computers through instructional classes.
When children reach the Lower Level, they start to integrate graphics and writing, and often develop classroom projects. By Middle and Upper Levels, computers become an important part of their daily work. They are used regularly for research and final drafts of written work, as well as for graphics and presentations. The children are introduced to keyboarding skills in Middle Level and spend a portion of the year learning to touch type, improving on their speed and accuracy. As part of their instruction, children are learning responsibility and how to use technology both inside and outside of the classroom.
The practice of Yoga introduces the mental and physical discipline required to bring about the union of body, mind, and spirit. The goal for each child is to find his or her personal space and equilibrium, while calming and quieting the body and mind. Yoga is also useful in teaching the children to find the self-control and inner-confidence they will need at other times during their academic day. The stretching and breathing exercises that students master during yoga often complement the activities and games played during physical education class.
All children at Caedmon, from Young Beginners through Upper Level, engage in forty-minutes of outdoor time in our beautifully renovated courtyard on a daily basis (weather permitting). The play area includes a jungle gym, slide, climbing wall, and basketball hoops. This time at play has numerous benefits for all students, including the development of social skills, improved focus, and the nourishment of the mind through natural light and physical activity.
To foster an environment of belonging and empathy, The Caedmon School utilizes the Responsive Classroom approach to educate socially and culturally aware citizens both within our school and the larger community. The Responsive Classroom approach benefits each child by incorporating emotional growth instruction with academic learning, stemming from the notion that children learn best through social interaction.
Responsive Classroom has been shown to increase academic achievement in elementary school students, decrease problem behaviors, improve social skills, and raise the quality of instruction. In addition, building a positive and inclusive climate in the classroom is integral to bullying prevention within our schools, and research suggests that low rates of bullying are correlated with strong teacher-student relationships, classrooms where all children work together equitably, and quick teacher responses.
As an elementary school, we take character development and inclusivity seriously, making sure that all faculty are trained in the Responsive Classroom methods and that they are carried out each day, whether through morning meetings, integrated classroom time, or through one-on-one discussions to mediate, teach, and inform.
416 E. 80th Street,
New York, NY 10075