The importance of music as part of the whole child education is valued within the curriculum in each division at St. Andrew’s. From using movement to understand rhythm and melody at the Lower School to performing at the National Cathedral with the Select Choir at the Upper School, students have ample opportunity to explore and excel as musicians.
At every level, visual arts classes give students the opportunity to explore and learn in a different way through a variety of creative media. Our younger students discover our Artist pillar early on, learning the basics of art, art history, and technique. While being exposed to all kinds of new creative media, students in lower and middle school are frequently integrating interdisciplinary learning in their art classes. The Upper School visual arts program features multi-year course offerings in filmmaking, studio art, and yearbook, and there are myriad opportunities to build an education rich in artistic understanding and appreciation.
Starting in Kindergarten, St. Andrew's students attend Chapel every day. It is in this daily ritual where students are given the time and space to gently cultivate spiritual disciplines such as silence and gratitude. Students are given the opportunity to serve as acolytes, readers, and chapel musicians, and at the middle school, they are able to serve on leadership teams that help shape the chapel program.
Daily chapel is at the center of our shared life together. It is in this sacred time and space that members of the community gather to lift our hearts in prayer and praise to God. Upper School students, faculty and staff gather for Chapel every day where they may hear a homily from Upper School Chaplain, the Reverend Whitney Kirby, an offering from a member of the senior class, or a presentation from a guest speaker. The daily gathering is a cornerstone of the strong sense of community on the Upper School campus.
Research indicates that children learn best through play and discovery. The architectural design and features of our state of the art 5,000-square-foot Kindergarten Center and associated outdoor space have been purposefully constructed with this fact in mind. Located on our 31st St. campus, the Kindergarten space brings the outside in, opens up doors for exploration, kinesthetic learning, small group collaboration, makerspace, and builds a connection to the natural world. At any one time, several small groups of children can be working on a variety of activities: cooking, art work, literacy and math centers, music, or outdoor play. The open atrium allows for larger group gatherings including daily chapel service, morning meetings, and special performances.
The state of the art Dell Fine Arts Center is located on the Upper School campus. It is not only a backdrop for impressive dramatic and musical performances for the Upper School, but often a performance venue for our Middle School students.