PS1 Pluralistic School students attend classes with our specialist teachers throughout the week, often in half-class groups, to allow for more individualized instruction. Specialist teachers frequently plan with classroom teachers to integrate the learning, resulting in projects that span many different subject areas and modes of learning.
The arts are incorporated into every subject. Geometry is often demonstrated in architectural models, scientific observations can take the form of ink drawings or topographical clay maps, and writing is accompanied by illustrations. Students also learn in a unique art studio environment that provides the necessary art experiences, and artistic tools and techniques to facilitate the blossoming of young artists. We explore color, line, form and perspective in a variety of media including pen, paint, pastels, ceramics and tile mosaics. We study artists and art history, discuss and critique works of art, learn about artistic expression around the world, and incorporate the use of recycled materials in many of our projects.
Our music program integrates curricular themes through song and genre, and provides all students with regular hands-on experience with elements of pitch and rhythm. Students learn to read, write and perform from a wide range of cultures and historical periods using a variety of Orff, percussion, wind, and tonal instruments. The music program covers many musical elements each week, including singing, music theory, music appreciation, and basic instrument skills. Instrumental music is also taught before school through our partnership with the Santa Monica Youth Orchestra.
P.E. at PS1 takes a holistic approach to developing physical and social attributes of a confident and capable citizen. Teamwork, cooperation, and responsibility are inherent in the unique and challenging games and exercises. We offer a wide variety of sports and innovative activities including basketball, soccer, football, lacrosse, Frisbee, yoga, dance, circus arts, ropes courses, and team building. PS1 students love to play in P.E., often unaware of the valuable skills they have acquired.
Our Library is the literal heart of the school, open before, during and after the school day, for faculty, children and parents. The collection has been developed with a broad approach, including materials that not only support the curriculum, but the leisure reading and individual passions of children. Our school’s dedication to pluralism is evident in the depth and breadth of our collections, both fiction and non-fiction.
The Studio is an innovative, maker space for students to engage in hands-on and problem-based learning. Here, students learn to safely use technology, wood working tools, electronics, sewing machines with soft textiles, laser-cutting, and 3-D printing to bring their ideas and imagination to life. The Studio emphasizes the academic areas of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) as students ask, design, build, create, test, improve their ideas and share while learning the foundation of design thinking and the engineering process.
Technology is thoughtfully integrated within the context of our ongoing curriculum. Keyboarding, word processing, and use of the Internet for research are skills that students explore in their classrooms and in the school library. We have ipads for use at all grade levels as well as computers available in classrooms and retreat spaces.
Under the supervision of adults, students become adept and confident with technology as tools to stimulate and heighten their sense of imagination, discovery, presentation, and exploration.