All Westlake Wildcats, TK-5th grade, are fortunate to receive Visual Arts instruction by a credentialed art educator. Students develop artistic skills through 2D and 3D experiences with multi-media such as paint, clay, collage, fiber arts, sculpture, pencil and pen, and found objects.
National Core Arts Standards are imbedded in lessons and teach students how to create, present, respond to, and connect to the world through art. Students also develop the Studio Habits of Mind, finger dexterity, hand-eye coordination, personal expression, innovative thinking, empathy, problem solving, and collaboration during art-making. Plus, as creative beings, making art is FUN!
What a joy it is to experiment with materials and ideas, all while having a wonderful time in Art class.
TK-2 Music: Generously made possible by Westlake PTA Support
In Grades TK-2, students receive music education once a week for 14 weeks from an experienced music instructor. During their music classes, students sing, improvise, play instruments and dance. Students develop an understanding of the dimensions of music: expression, rhythm, form, melody, timbre, texture, and harmony while also enhancing their language and literacy. From this experience, musicians begin to cultivate a lifelong enjoyment of, curiosity about, and appreciation for music.
3-5 Grade General Music
3rd graders attend music class once every other week for 40 minutes while 4/5 graders attend every week for 50 minutes. In music class we sing, move, listen, compose, read and write music, and play a variety of instruments such as percussion, xylophones, boomwhackers, recorders, and ukuleles. In learning about songs from different cultures and time periods, we make connections with social studies and geography. Furthermore, research has shown when children study music, they also improve language and reading skills, self esteem, listening skills, creativity, math skills, and memory retention.
After School Band
Fourth and fifth graders can choose to join the school band once a week after school. Students can play flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, baritone, or percussion. The band performs several times during the year and is an integral part of the school.
Beginning band: Thursdays 3:15-4:15 p.m. (and 1 Wednesday a month)
Intermediate band: Fridays 3:00-4:00 p.m. (and 1 Wednesday a month)
All of our students experience a 14 week dance and movement class thanks to the support of the PTA.
The TK/ Kindergarten dance program is all about high energy movement and getting their wiggles out in a productive and creative way. Through creative movement, these dancers learn about classic dance concepts while also applying their academic knowledge of counting, color, and shapes.
1st Grade dancers build on classic dance concepts while learning about posture and movement, mindful stretching, and techniques of jumps, turns, and body awareness. Through creative movement the students also apply their academic knowledge of counting, colors, shapes and more.
2nd Grade dancers learn about classic dance concepts while learning about posture and movement, mindful stretching, and techniques of jumps, turns, and body awareness. Through creative movement the students also experience elements of storytelling, imagination, self choreography, and expression.
3rd Grade students experience Capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian dance form. Capoeira is a martial arts form that combines dance, music, and acrobatics. It teaches discipline, physical fitness, and promotes group collaboration and self-expression.
4th and 5th Grade students learn the dance style of Hip Hop. Through this modern dance form, students experience basic break dancing, body and spatial awareness, and moving through a pattern or rhythm. Students work together to understand the concepts of choreography while honing in on timing, memorization, and collaboration with their peers.
Westlake Life Lab is our hands-on educational garden located behind the multi-purpose room. The program and garden has expanded over the past few years into an important part of our school and helps to augment curriculum being taught in the classroom by focusing on Hands-On Science lessons.
This program allows students to gain a direct, kinetic relationship with life sciences & food systems. Please feel free to come wander our beautiful garden.
Westlake continues to partner with Campus Kids Connection to provide After School programming, with enrichments and activities designed to compliment the academic day and drive emotional and social development.
Housed right on the Westlake Campus, CKC allows students to extend their day on campus into the evening.
The school library provides students access to books and materials for their reading enjoyment and academic projects. Guided by a credentialed teacher librarian students learn how to find books, access databases, and become digital citizens.
Through lessons with the teacher librarian students enjoy age-appropriate read-alouds, author studies, and use of the online public database in order to search the collection and other resources. Students, teachers, and parents borrow books from the library and enjoy the wonderful space for gathering before, during and after the school day.
At the Santa Cruz County Outdoor Science School, fifth and sixth grade students experience a four- or five-day residential, hands-on science program. Students focus on investigating the rich coastal redwood forest ecosystem that surrounds our coastal community.
During field class, students study the forest, meadows, and streams with a qualified naturalist.
Through the use of science inquiry, games, and other activities, naturalists teach ecological concepts. Children see the interrelationships between plants and animals and learn about the effect they, as people, have on the environment. A richer understanding of their natural surroundings helps prepare them for the mature decisions they will make as adults.