First Presbyterian Day School

Special Subjects

Our Special Subject classes are taught during regular school hours, and each class typically has one Special Subject per day. In addition, grades K3 through sixth attend Physical Education once every day.

ART

(Kindergarten through Sixth grades)

Students’ artistic creativity and talents are cultivated through our Art program at FPDS. Students are exposed to calligraphy, portraits, landscapes, and more and are taught a variety of mediums such as chalk, watercolors, pencil drawings, and even detailed creations with markers.  Students are also taught the history of art.


DISCOVERY

(Kindergarten)

Kindergarten students are exposed to art, science, social studies, and community service through our unique and fun Discovery class. Each month features a different unit, including All About Me, Home & Town, Community Helpers, Insects & Bugs, Oceans & Fish, Rhyme Time: Mother Goose, and various seasons and holidays.


IDEA LAB

(First through Sixth grades)

The Idea Lab is an engaging classroom for students of all ages, that fosters creativity and collaboration with technology. This creative space is a breath of fresh air with newly-painted walls, a cozy couch, whiteboard tables/walls, wiggle chairs, and updated equipment. Students use a variety of tech tools including Chromebooks, iPads, Apple TVs, and playful robots that will provide a wide spectrum of skills on multiple devices.

Learning objectives focus on four key technology topics that are related to the National Technology Standards. The tech-on-target topics are computer basics, digital citizenship, computer coding, and research using the internet. These lessons teach students to use digital devices, to problem-solve with a computer program called Blockly, to practice ethical standards that are biblically based, and to locate and analyze valid information on search engines.


INTEGRITY TIME

(Kindergarten)

This class is a unique program designed to teach young children the foundational values of integrity. They will learn many lessons about the importance of choosing what is true, good and right through fun games, puppets, and songs.


LIBRARY

(Kindergarten through Sixth grades)

See Library page.


MUSIC

(Kindergarten through Fifth grades)

Kindergarten, first and second graders enjoy many different activities during Music, including learning how to parade with flags and playing handbells and xylophones. Third graders learn Orff instruments and how to sing rounds and partner songs. Kindergarten through fifth grades each present a play throughout the year, where every child has a speaking, dancing, or singing part.

Each year the individual grade levels will learn a featured hymn that supports their Bible class curriculum.


SCIENCE

The First Presbyterian Day School Science Lab is a state-of-the-art facility opened in the fall of 2010. With the help of Sheldon Labs, FPDS turned its outdoor picnic pavillion into a stimulating, age-appropriate laboratory that is hands-on and engaging. For over a year, Sheldon Labs consulted with Former Head of School Gary Herring and Science Instructor Patti Lewis to create the entire lab. The lab's functional, interactive design allows children to work independently or to collaborate in groups. Special features include: a climatarium for growing plants in various types of light, a vented animal study center, and a series of apparatus panels that includes every piece of equipment needed to conduct an experiment on one, easy-to-use, easy-to-store panel. Other features include axis infinity tables, a demonstration drop-down mirror, teacher demonstration desk, microscopes, and Vernier Probework. A 3-D printer was added in 2015. Beautiful art work is featured in the room, including the seven C's of the Bible - creation, corruption, catastrophe, confusion, Christ, cross and consummation. Our science lab is a constantly evolving place as technology changes and new products become available.



SPANISH

(Kindergarten through Sixth grades)

The primary curriculum used in Spanish classes is the BJU Press, Pasaporte al Espanol.  It is supplemented by the Sonrisas Spanish School Curriculum developed by Blue and Brooks Lindner, as well as materials from Carson-Dellosa Publishing including Teach Them Spanish.

A variety of teaching methods are used throughout the year with a majority of the instruction taking place in a whole-group setting.  Elements from the Totally Physical Response method, the Natural Approach, and the Waldorf Foreign Language Approach are used most often.  Some examples include learning within an oral context, using non-verbal expression and physical activity for communication and language acquisition, and allowing students to respond with gestures and to speak in Spanish when they feel ready.

Techniques from each of these methods can be found in the following instructional activities: saying and demonstrating action words, oral repetition of Bible verses and prayers, choral recitation of catechism questions and answers, using hand motions in a variety of contexts, counting, singing, and playing games that reinforce vocabulary, and creating artwork that provides a visual aid for remembering and using Spanish.