Art (Grades 5 - 8)
Creativity through the arts is an essential component of the educational process. Students are imaginative by nature and create works of art through drawing and painting, constructing and manipulating, molding and building. The Chapin art program is designed to encourage, teach, support, and enhance the techniques and skills needed to foster life-long creativity and appreciation of the arts.
We emphasize process by building on the skills learned the preceding year. Printmaking, painting, drawing, pottery, collage, weaving and paper maché are explored at each grade level. Art vocabulary, techniques and skills are presented with each medium and we work closely with grade level and subject-matter teachers to extend and enrich their curriculum. Through these processes students learn to think creatively, employ critical thinking skills, express ideas and come to recognize and appreciate the aesthetic qualities inherent in art.
Choral and Instrumental Music (Grades 5 - 8)
Based on the understanding that all children are musical, and that music is a way of knowing and understanding one’s self and the world, the Chapin School music curriculum employs a sequential and developmentally appropriate curriculum, which nurtures in students the qualities of self expression through music, cooperation with others to create and perform music and a lifelong appreciation and enjoyment of music.
Central to the music curriculum are the fundamental music processes in which humans engage: performing, creating and responding to music. Through these activities, students learn to think creatively, employ critical thinking skills and come to recognize and appreciate the aesthetic qualities inherent in music. Emphasis is also placed on music literacy, providing students an important tool with which they can explore music independently and with others. Finally, because music is reflective of human culture, students are exposed to a diversity of musical styles; are led to understand music’s relationship to history, culture, and units of study in other academic disciplines; and are given the tools to make informed musical judgments throughout their lives.
Upper School Music Ensembles include:
- Fifth Grade Chorus—students learn healthy vocal technique, ensemble singing, music literacy, and performance of various musical styles; students participate in both Winter and Spring Concerts; students rehearse twice a week during the school day.
- Show Choir—open to students in grades 5 – 8; students prepare scenes and choreographed musical selections from a major musical; students participate in both Winter and Spring Concerts, as well as the Music in the Parks Festival; students rehearse Wednesdays after school.
- Chamber Choir—open to students in grades 6 – 8; students learn and perform more challenging choral literature, reflecting diverse musical styles; students participate in both Winter and Spring Concerts, as well as in the Music in the Parks Festival; students rehearse twice a week during the school day.
- Students in grades 6 – 8 may join the following instrumental ensembles:
Chamber Strings (meets during one period of Electives)
Wind Ensemble (meets during one period of Electives)
Jazz Band (by audition, time TBA)
Drama (Grades 6 - 8)
As stated in the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Visual and Performing Arts, "Experience with and knowledge of the arts is a vital part of a complete education.” At Chapin, we believe drama is an essential element of a comprehensive academic curriculum. The drama program allows students to transform, reflect and act upon the human condition. A collaborative art form driven by inquiry, drama actively engages students in the process of creation, and encourages students to implement their ideas while simultaneously responding critically to a variety of work.
Drama helps students understand how the arts shape the diverse cultures of both past and present societies. Students learn to take risks and express their thoughts and feelings. Drama develops the “whole child” through physical, emotional, intellectual and social interaction. Winifred Ward, a pioneer in the field of educational theatre, explains: “Its objectives are to give each child an avenue for self expression, guide his creative imagination, provide for a controlled emotional outlet, help him in the building of fine attitudes and appreciations and to give him opportunities to grow in social cooperation.” Through the process of ensemble rehearsal and performance, the ultimate goal is for students to learn how to give to the audience rather than just take from the play.
Electives (Grades 6 - 8)
The Upper School elective program provides students with opportunities to investigate and pursue additional areas of interest not usually covered in the academic program. Each trimester students in grades six through eight are presented with a variety of elective choices. Selections vary from trimester to trimester.
Recent electives have included: Beading, Bridge Building, French Cooking, Indian Culture, Origami, Rock Band, Tennis/Golf, Video Editing, and Whiffle Ball.
Leadership (Grade 7)
The goal of Leadership Class is to develop and nurture the habits of mind that will make students successful as students, individuals and future leaders. As these habits of mind are discussed, the class makes the natural connection to Chapin’s five virtues of good character.
The course is based on Sean Covey’s book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens with the focus on the first three habits.
Community Service (Grade 8)
Chapin School is deeply committed to providing a variety of meaningful community service opportunities for its students. Our commitment is based on the belief that we all have a responsibility to look beyond ourselves and to reach out to others. Community service links students to the wider community, exposes them to people and situations outside their previous experiences and helps prepare them to take a productive role in society.
Every eighth grade student is required to take a trimester course which focuses on service learning. Service learning is a teaching method that enriches learning by engaging students in meaningful service to their schools and communities. Students apply academic skills to solving real-world issues, linking established learning objectives with genuine needs. The intent of each activity is to change both the recipient and the provider of the service. This is accomplished by combining service tasks with structured opportunities that link the task to self-reflection, self-discovery and the acquisition and comprehension of values, skills and knowledge content.
Study Skills (Grade 5)
Study skills has been defined as “…learned abilities that one uses for the purpose of acquiring knowledge and competence.”* The purpose for the inclusion of study skills in the curriculum of Chapin School is for students to learn how to learn more proficiently by directly instructing them in techniques and processes which can be applied in any given situation. The ultimate goal, therefore, is the development of responsible, independent learners.
*Study Skills Program. National Association of Secondary School Principals, 1989.
Life Studies (Grades 6 – 8)
Healthy living requires a commitment to making healthy choices. The life studies program places a strong emphasis on the development of the student beyond academics. The purpose of the life studies program is to develop within students an in-depth awareness of the factors that contribute to physical, social and emotional well-being. Within a supportive and nurturing environment we aim to empower students with the tools necessary to make healthy decisions and communicate effectively. These life skills are essential for a student's successful participation at Chapin and constructive involvement in the greater community.
Physical Education (Grades 5 - 8)
The physical education program at Chapin revolves around the joys and benefits of movement. Beginning in Pre-Kindergarten and continuing through Eighth Grade the students participate in an exercise program designed to challenge each student to improve strength, flexibility, agility, speed and endurance.
Age appropriate activities, games, skills and sports are introduced to enhance the student's physical, social and emotional development. Good sportsmanship, fair play, doing one's best and respect for self and others are stressed and encouraged throughout the athletic program.
- Boys' Soccer
- Girls' Soccer
- Boys' Cross Country
- Girls' Cross Country
- Boys' Basketball
- Girls' Basketball
- Boys' Lacrosse
- Girls' Lacrosse
- Co-ed Softball
Technology (Grades 5 - 8)
The Technology Curriculum seeks to ensure student success by supporting the integration of curriculum and technology in a way that encourages conversation, innovation and developmentally appropriate educational practices. It challenges students and teachers to develop new strategies and skills in meaningful applications. Educators become facilitators in this process, which creates an atmosphere that values the individual, encourages critical thinking and supports the idea that by working together, students become productive members or our global community.