In addition to traditional academic subjects, Abiqua provides professional instruction in Art, Music, Spanish and Physical Education. Students are exposed to art, rhythm and songs, the culture and language of Spanish-speaking countries, physical conditioning and skills. These enrichment courses increase our students’ awareness of the diversity and alternatives that exist in our world.
From pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, Abiqua provides experiences that prepare students to be active members of the global community. We know that the world of their future will be expansive and diverse; demanding empathetic and creative citizens who seek to problem solve through finding collaborative answers to challenging questions.
We believe that learning a language is more than grammar and vocabulary. The vision of Abiqua’s Spanish studies is to enable students to communicate in a language other than English; gain knowledge and understanding of another culture; connect with other disciplines and acquire new information; develop insight into the nature of language and culture; and participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world. Studying other cultures enables children to learn responsible citizenship by understanding that there are different approaches to life and perspectives on the world.
Middle School students participate in a high school-level Spanish curriculum in which they complete Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 over the course of four years. Students who complete these courses leave with the option to enter Spanish 3 as freshmen in high school. Additionally, students in Grade 6 through 8 participate in the National Spanish Exams, the most widely used tests of Spanish in the United States. These exams are online standardized assessment tools that measure proficiency and achievement of students who are studying Spanish as a second language. Abiqua students perform very well on this test, consistently earning top honors and high scores.
Abiqua provides a challenging yet comfortable atmosphere in which students can explore the possibilities that arise from communicating with and understanding the language and cultures of Spanish-speaking communities.
Abiqua’s art curriculum is designed to teach the techniques for creating artwork with strong craftsmanship, while encouraging students to use their critical thinking skills and their imagination to create work that is meaningful to them. In addition, projects are designed to link thematically to each homeroom class. By giving students another opportunity to connect with science, math, language arts and history in the art room, they gain a more enriched learning experience. In turn, students have more pride in their artwork because their knowledge of the subject matter is so fresh.
Not only do students gain experience in a variety of artistic styles and themes, they get hands-on experience using a myriad of art tools and media. Building upon itself each year, students develop their motor skills and techniques for using paper, pen and ink, pencils, paint, clay, fibers, found objects and an assortment of other media.
Students learn to recognize and understand the elements and principles of art by studying famous works of art, famous artists, influential time periods and cultures. They examined an artist’s place in history, who and what they were influenced by, as well as who they influenced. They consider if this artist was a world changer and consider where we as artists would be had they never existed. After investigating what other artists have done, students discover what they can do in their own artwork to make it successful.
It is the goal of the Abiqua faculty and staff is to develop, implement, and nurture a continuing music program for our PK-8 students. Music is a very meaningful and personal part of each and every one of us. As such, the primary considerations for classroom and curriculum materials will be aligned with student interests, skills, and talent. Abiqua strives to provide a diverse variety of experiences for every type of voice, interest, and multiple genres of music from pop, standards, jazz, to the masters. The goal of the program is that each student leaves Abiqua with a lifelong appreciation for music, and they continue to actively participate and patronize music and the arts into their adulthood.
The balanced music program includes: singing, rhythmic activities, listening, playing instruments, and creative movement. The human voice is the common denominator of all regardless of age, ethnicity, or background. Therefore, the initial steps in establishing our music program centers on the development and use of a student’s most important instrument…the voice. Children also have the opportunity to play several types of rhythm, mallet, and percussion instruments. By Third/fourth grade (Intermediates)play recorders to enhance their musical experience. Once in the middle school students also learn guitar and keyboard and have the opportunity to sing in the choir and play in the orchestra.
The Physical Education program exposes students to a variety of activities while giving them opportunities to develop skills. Physical Education focuses on improving fitness and agility, teaching sportsmanship and promoting the enjoyment of recreational sports and outdoor activities. Safety and awareness of self-space are emphasized in an environment where students have the opportunity to challenge themselves, express their creativity, and feel success at play.
The goals of the Physical Education program are that each student show competence in many movement skills and develop proficiency in a few. Students are able to apply movement, acquire the knowledge and skills to maintain an active, physically fit life, recognize and identify attributes of good nutrition, healthy habits, and regular activity for lifelong health. Students demonstrate understanding and respect for differences among people in physical activity settings and understand that physical activity provides opportunities for enjoyment, challenges, self-expression and social interaction.