The arts serve as a catalyst for deeper engagement in learning, for sharing what students have learned, and as a form of creative expression. We want our students to retain their marvelous creativity and imagination throughout their lives. We value originality and inventiveness. We promote creative individual expression while teaching students how to use a variety of art media and techniques. At Heritage School, we view the arts as an essential element in the integration of subject matter. Many of our thematic studies provide inspiration for art projects at Heritage School, resulting in murals, paintings, sculpture, etc. We also provide opportunities for students to experience art as its own discipline, independent of thematic studies, which allows them to learn the language of art, the principles and elements of design, and to explore innovative territories in visual art.
Puppetry, skits, and drama frequently serve as vehicles for sharing what students have learned during individual and class studies. Every year students create and perform skits of folktales from the countries they study. Role plays in which students investigate history or current events allow them to discover fresh perspectives about those distant in time or differing in viewpoints. Students employ drama when giving oral presentations for their biography studies, portraying people like Harriet Tubman, Cesar Chavez, Mother Teresa, or Gandhi. Dramatization of science concepts enlivens lessons, like when students take on the role of water molecules undergoing evaporation and condensation. Also, our Halloween tradition of skits based on student costumes allows for dynamic play writing, comedic acting, and original song and dance enjoyed by all.
We want our students to experience a variety of styles of music. For example, we believe children should learn about music that broadens their knowledge of our global community (folk music from other lands and cultures); music that conveys a historical perspective (songs of the Old West, the Civil War, slavery); and music of the classical composers. Whether singing together in the classroom, performing during school programs for parents, folk dancing with guest callers to live music, or simply listening to recorded music during daily morning journal writing, our students gain an appreciation of the rich texture music provides in our lives.