The Upper School Fine Arts program strives to make students more visually aware, as well as give them an appreciation for the visual arts, through lessons in still life renderings, technical perspective, figure drawing, portraiture, ceramics, and sculpture. The goal of the program is for students to gain confidence in their own artistic ability and develop an understanding of the use of basic art concepts, terminology, and tools. Projects alternate between two-dimensional and three-dimensional design work. As students mature, greater focus is placed on reflective thought and personal expression. Project design often integrates with classroom studies. Individuals are supported in their strivings for aesthetic and expressive growth in our studio environment.
The goal of band is to strive for excellence in musical practice and performance. Emphasis will be placed on sound production, articulation, rhythm, ear training, and group performance. Studies have shown that playing an instrument helps students realize their full potential by improving memory, coordination, reasoning, motivation, critical thinking, and self-esteem. Students will also learn the importance of working together and being committed to a common goal. The band will perform concerts as well as provide music for the drama department and other smaller functions around the school. Our hope is that playing an instrument will encourage students to strive for excellence in other subjects and ultimately their desired career path.
The Mandarin Chinese class offers an introduction to the basic usage of the Chinese language. It builds students’ speaking and listening skills through simple everyday conversations. The students gain reading and writing skills by studying the Hanyu Pinyin system and the simplified Chinese characters. Chinese culture, current events, customs, and festivals are also incorporated into the curriculum.
The Ancient Languages program is designed to expose students to historical roots of language and prepare them for academic testing. Students learn Latin roots, idioms, and simple phrases. The curriculum focuses on the etymology and development of words. Latin and Greek roots, prefixes, and suffixes are studied as a means of understanding word usage in addition to developing vocabulary. Creative projects offer the students the opportunity to demonstrate and solidify their knowledge. The students learn greetings and vocabulary as it connects to their everyday life. Audio support through music and song introduces the students to proper pronunciation and speech patterns. As students develop their vocabulary knowledge, they begin associating the vocabulary with its usage in Ancient culture. Through this venue, students learn about ancient daily life, architecture, government, and significant historical events.
This once a week class for Upper School students allows students to practice and reinforce the concepts taught in math class. Many of the activities are hands-on, real-world investigations, and math challenges. These activities help students develop mental imagery of math concepts and problem-solving strategies. SSAT Prep in mathematics is part of the Enrichment Curriculum in the spring of grade 7 and the fall of grade 8.
Personal DevelopmentThe Personal Development program utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to support and communicate school-wide philosophies and personal living skills. The curriculum addresses four primary areas of instruction: Character Development, Health Literacy, Educational, and Life Skills, and Consumer Education, Strategies are developed to promote lifetime health, directing students to respect themselves and others, to avoid behaviors, which pose a health or safety threat, and to enable them to gain insight toward positive healthy decisions and practices. We also work on improving organization and study skills, offering help with ongoing assignments and test preparation.
Physical EducationThe NASPE (National Association for Sport and Physical Education) standards are integrated and emphasized through physical education unit curriculum. Our intramural and upper school sports team offerings groom our students for the high school team experience. Our upper school sports teams welcome the beginning player as well as the experienced. Our coaching staff provides a safe and caring environment for the middle school athlete. We do not cut students from a team. In class, our emphasis is on skill development and participation. We consistently emphasize, with all of our students, the importance of taking personal responsibility for making healthy lifestyle and activity choices that will positively influence their health and fitness. Physical Education units, intramural, and upper school team offerings are rotated each year. Upper school students also participate in the Presidential Youth Fitness Program.
SpanishStudents are introduced to Spanish at the Kindergarten level and continue yearly, building their mastery of this language. The Spanish program explores the Spanish language through different chapters that combine vocabulary, grammar and culture elements. Spiral learning and repetition are important elements when learning a language. Because of this, the program recycles and introduce new and old materials at the same time.
TechnologyThe use of technology at Hampstead Academy serves to further the facilitation of the school’s Technology Mission: Hampstead Academy will provide an environment that enables students to develop fluency in technology to become global innovators as it relates to real-world experiences and community responsiveness. The program is structured utilizing the ISTE NETS*S (National Educational Technology Standards for Students from the International Society for Technology in Education). Grades K-8 are involved in projects across their educational experience that incorporate technology and address standards for collaboration, innovation, research/media fluency, digital citizenship, technology operations, and problem-solving. Projects may involve international collaborations, programming concepts, internet use/safety, digital storytelling, keyboarding, word processing, and more.Additionally, students make use of the school Makerspace and experiment with ideas, tools, and materials to discover the variety of possibilities for solving problems. As students work with their hands, persevering through setbacks, and engaging with others in creative collaboration, the Makerspace activities allow for empowered, active learning. It is real interaction with real objects, real tools, and real people.
The Performing Arts program is designed to provide students with the opportunity to experience and gain an appreciation for the various aspects of theatre, music, and dance. The music curriculum has various areas of focus including music theory, notation, composition, vocal technique, ear training, general musicality, and appreciation. The theatre curriculum includes training in the areas of public speaking, projection, diction, character development, physical acting, vocal characterizations, improvisation, stage directions, scriptwriting, directing, and stagecraft. Students explore basic movement skills for the stage and beyond through musical theatre, tap and rhythmic dancing, and expression through movement. For students who are interested in exploring the process of full-scale theatrical productions, an after-school theater program is offered. Through our Performing Arts program, the students have the opportunity to explore their individual talents and the theatrical styles of different cultures while also fostering their creativity, self-confidence, and ability to work as a collaborative member of an ensemble.