Specialist Teaching Areas
The school’s art class extends beyond helping children to develop their drawing, painting and sculpture skills. Art aims to promote student interest, confidence, creativity, self-expression and innovation. When students recognize and appreciate the uniqueness in their creative decisions, a sense of self confidence is established. Our dedicated Art Room provides a cool and comfortable space in which students can do individual activities as well as group work which helps to cultivate their collaborative skills. Our curriculum is based on the national curriculum of Trinidad and Tobago and offers opportunities for cross-curricular work.
Our students are always keen to participate in art displays at the end of class as they are highly interested in viewing the work of others. In doing so, students embrace their creativity and innovation, and appreciate the work of their classmates while unlocking their imaginative potential. The children are not only developing their creative skills, but life skills that will help prepare them for their future — whether they become professional artists or not. Therefore, the art class does not only allow the students to have fun while they create, but it greatly contributes to their cognitive and all-round development.
The Musical Arts program at The University School offers students opportunities to explore and appreciate music in various ways. In addition to developing an understanding of basic music theory, our students enjoy many opportunities to sing and reflect on the lyrics of well-chosen compositions, many of which are of cultural or social importance. Our students are exposed to many aspects of culture and performance and our annual Christmas concert is a showcase of our students’ musical and performing talents. Our students experience success and enjoyment as they learn to play the national instrument, the steel pan, as well as the recorder, in our dedicated Music Room. Students can showcase their pan skills at our annual School Panorama competition. For many years, we have also entered the National Junior Panorama competition. Our on-site extra-curricular programme also offers tuition, at a supplementary cost, in a range of musical instruments, including piano and drum kit.
Here at The University School, we concur with the Ministry of Education’s statement that the role of Physical Education is not only to enhance children’s physical fitness, but to teach children a variety of motor skills, knowledge and competencies that will provide the foundation for development of an active lifestyle. Through learning and by accepting challenges in health-related and movement contexts, students reflect on the nature of well-being and how to promote it. As we develop all our students here at The University School, it is essential that we continue to reinforce the importance of being good human beings and we intertwine life lessons in all components of our instruction.
The structure of Physical Education is broken down into the following three strands: personal health & physical development, relationships with other people and movement concepts & motor skills.
Personal health & physical development relates to a student’s development and knowledge, understanding and attitudes that they need in order to maintain and enhance their personal health, wellbeing and physical development. The strand on relationships with other people involves a student’s development of attitudes to enhance their interactions with others through participation in activities that promote fair play, turn-taking and the willing observance of rules and protocols. Movement concepts & motor skills relates to a student’s development of motor skills, knowledge of movement and positive attitudes towards activity as their competencies increase. By learning in, through and about movement, students become aware that movement is fundamental to human expression.
Science is a dynamic subject in which we explore ourselves, the way we live, our environment, the things that share our world and even outer space! Our curriculum fosters creativity, an ongoing quest for knowledge and engages students in making informed decisions. By using an inquiry and hands-on approach students are encouraged to take an active role in their learning. Our dedicated Science Room offers a comfortable space in which we nurture our young scientists and innovators.
At The University School, we offer Spanish because we are committed to the learning of an additional language from early age in our Reception class all the way up to Junior 5. Our practices are aligned with the Ministry of Education policy to have the Spanish language introduced at the primary school level. Our native Spanish-speaking teacher uses a range of instructional methods involving the Total Physical Response (TPR) method, games, interactive instruction, cultural activities, music, videos, role-playing, flashcards and the use of technology. We know that students who learn the rudiments of a second language in their younger years have a chance at greater fluency and access to countless professional opportunities later on in life. We work with our students to develop early language skills, taking advantage of the critical time in early development when acquiring language skills comes naturally and easily. A child’s capacity to pronounce unfamiliar, foreign sounds and to absorb new grammar rules is highly enhanced prior to age six. We know that when children study Spanish, they will understand English better, as both English and Spanish share roots in Latin. Studying Spanish increases children’s understanding of the English language and how different languages evolve, which can also help with learning English vocabulary.
Bienvenidos a la clase de español!!!
Swimming is an important part of the curriculum here at The University School. It is a timetabled lesson with each class having two periods of swimming each week. Students must wear their school swim uniform, which bears their house colours. The uniforms are available for purchase from the retail outlet in the foyer of the UWI Bookshop. Students are accompanied by class teachers to the offsite swimming pool where they are taught by trained swimming instructors. The instruction is aligned with an established swimming programme and the competencies for the term are described on the class subject outline which is shared with parents and students at the start of each term. Students have an opportunity to showcase their learning at the annual Swim Gala which normally takes place in term 2 or 3. The University School has a long and commanding history of swimming prowess at swimming competitions. There are active, competitive school teams for both swimming and triathlon, all ably coordinated by the P.E. teacher and a group of committed parents.