Track & Field
Courses in this program explore topics, problems, or relationships that extend beyond the boundaries of a single discipline. In doing so, not only are the ideas of two or more disciplines considered and brought to bear, but also their methods and media. In the first year of this program, for instance, the program offered a course entitled Notions of Space, Time, and Dimension—which employed the multiple lenses of mathematics, philosophy, science, and literature to explore the evolution of these foundational concepts. Another example of an Interdisciplinary course is Hacking: The Collaborative Engineering of Complex Systems–which was co-taught by a Computer teacher and Biology teacher. This course—which defined the goal of hacking as the modification of a system to serve an identified purpose with elegance, efficiency, and versatility—both considered famous instances of hacking (such as Watson and Cricks’s hacking of the structure of DNA without any original research) and employed rigorous hands on components that took many forms (physical computing, 3-D printing, circuitry, manipulating and altering the biology of E.coli, fungal cells or plant systems). One should expect from the Interdisciplinary Program (in which the courses change each year) collaboration between different art-worlds, between art and science, between the historical and literary endeavors—always, though, with an eye towards coming to a fuller understanding of a specific topic. Not surprisingly, classes in this program are often, but not always, co-taught by faculty members from different departments.
Welcome to our Cheng Ho collection. Click on the button labeled Playlist in the top left to see the list of all available videos.
We are a community of readers at Saint Ann’s, and the goal of the library is to foster this reading community. In both the Lower School Library and the Annie Bosworth Library in the Bosworth Building, we work to connect readers to books they will love and to promote critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and intellectual curiosity. The two libraries at Saint Ann’s play an integral role in the curriculum and in the school community in general.
The Lower School Library
The Lower School Library, serving children from kindergarten through third grade, is situated on the first floor of The Farber Building. The collection contains more than 19,000 volumes, ranging from alphabet books to classics like The Hobbit. Every child in the Lower School participates in two library periods each week: one to check out books and the other to listen as a librarian reads aloud. Students call these periods “library pick-out” and “library story.”
During library pick-out, students are given the freedom to roam through the stacks to select books. Pick-out helps children develop not only their love of reading, but a real sense of independence in a library setting; they choose the books that interest them. Each child gets to take two books home every week. One of these books, called a “reading book,” matches the child’s independent reading level; the librarians help the children make appropriate choices. The other selection can be any book in the library, and is called the “anything book,” or, occasionally, “my everything book!” The children are encouraged to explore the many genres available in the library.
Library story, a former student reminisces, “is like listening to a play, because the librarians give voice to every character.” Librarians read to every class. In kindergarten and first grade, the children help decide what to read; kindergarteners choose books about animals and first graders choose books about countries. Second and third graders hear a variety of chapter books read aloud, in a range of genres from fantasy to nonfiction. When a book is finished, each group undertakes a related project—such as creating a book cover—the results of which are displayed near the library for parents and other children to admire. There’s always something fun going on in library story; as one second grader said, “I love when we finish a book, because then we get to do a project. But I love when we’re in the middle of a book, too.”
When children finish third grade and move on to the library in “the big building,” they have been exposed to thousands of books and have developed into a community of readers, ready to explore new horizons and challenges.
The Annie Bosworth Library
When students enter the Middle School in fourth grade, they graduate to the Annie Bosworth Library in the Bosworth Building. This library contains more than 27,000 print books and offers students and faculty access to an ever-growing digital library. It offers dozens of scholarly and popular periodicals in both print and digital form, and provides local and remote access to myriad research, news, and educational databases. Visit the library one day, and you may find serious scholars arguing fine points in the Aeneid while sitting alongside readers dissecting the plot twists and turns of the latest popular dystopian thriller. Another day, you may spot a middle schooler devouring the newest volume of a manga series or a newshound perusing the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal. What wild synergy might develop between these disparate library patrons? There’s no telling. The library is far more than the sum of its volumes.
Children come to the Annie Bosworth Library for regularly scheduled classes, to do research for class assignments, and to browse, study or check out a book for fun. The library maintains an open door policy; high school students are free to come in any time. Middle school students may use the library during lunch and study periods, as well as after school.
Once a week, all fourth graders have library class, in which they are read to by a librarian who also acquaints them with the library and helps them choose books for pleasure reading. Classes have a maximum of twelve students, ensuring that each child receives personal reading advice. In fifth grade a library elective is offered. In this class, students learn about the Dewey Decimal system, learn to use online databases, and perfect research strategies. Students are taught the importance of evaluating websites and other research material for currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose. The librarian also reads aloud to students; even these more mature kids love to sit and listen to a great book. A highlight of the fifth grade library classes is the ever-popular annual Harry Potter night.
To encourage pleasure reading over the summer, librarians compile suggested summer reading lists. The lists for the middle school and high school students are annotated and include links to copies in our digital library when available. The high school list is unique; it is made up of suggestions from faculty and staff and is distributed to adults in the community as well to as high school students.
The Annie Bosworth Library is available for all teachers to schedule classes for research projects. Librarians provide bibliographic instruction to large groups or on an individual basis, depending on the nature of the project. Beginning in the fourth grade, teachers in a variety of curriculum areas assign research projects that require students to use the library independently. There are also set projects in each grade. For example, all fifth graders spend a week in the library with their Language Structures class conducting intensive research for a paper, often on a New York City-related topic. Eighth graders complete a term paper with their humanities classes on a topic of their choice. In ninth grade, students write another term paper, this time focusing on a historical topic. The library plays an integral role in all of these research projects.
The library is for reading, research, browsing, and thinking. We want our students to be lifelong readers, thinkers and intellectual explorers. To that end, we engage students with our curriculum, collection, and programming. Since 2004 we have run a Middle School Author Series in conjunction with the English department; the goal is to have a writer come and speak to each grade. Guests have included Jason Reynolds (author of Long Way Down), Joan Bauer (Hope Was Here), and Adam Gidwitz (The Inquisitor’s Tale). Fourth through seventh graders are invited to participate in the Mock Newbery Committee each fall; some read more than twenty books as they try to pick the best of the year! High school students meet to discuss the merits and shortcomings of National Book Award finalists. The library also hosts a faculty and staff book group, regularly attended by people from a wide range of departments. The plethora of activities in the library furthers its mission: to encourage and celebrate books and knowledge.
Our seminars are love affairs. At the core of this program is the central Saint Ann’s value of learning for learning’s sake, and the commitment that students and faculty bring to these fully elective endeavors is a testament to the joy that such collaborations can bring. Seminars are held at odd hours, often at the end of the regular school day, because the busy schedules of the instructors and the students allow no other time. These courses are intensive 1.5-hour periods in which students undertake enormous amounts of study and/or creative work in fields that they might not otherwise encounter. These unique offerings are presented by teachers outside of the domain of their departments and in addition to their regular teaching load (and generally without additional pay).
Recent offerings have included: Fly Fishing, Poetry Writing Workshop, The Portrait of a Lady, Toy Design, The Art of Debate and Rhetoric, Philosophical Problems, Kite Making, The Financial Environment, Space Colonies, Internship at the Preschool, Fire Works, High School Literary Magazine, American Dissent, Bible Shenanigans, and New Narratives.
Health education is comprehensive in scope and covers a range of topics in a developmentally sensitive manner. In addition to the classroom experience, students may come to the health education center, which is open daily, to meet with the health teachers, or to make use of a variety of resources that are available to them.
Health begins with regular workshops in fifth grade. These look at growing up, personal body safety, and emotional health. In sixth grade, classes meet weekly and cover puberty, technology, and addressing social and emotional challenges. Seventh grade health focuses on identity, social pressure, stress management, and physical and emotional wellness. Eighth grade begins with an in-depth look at sexuality, consent, and healthy relationships, before addressing substances and technology. Eighth graders also meet monthly with our high school mentors.
In high school, students meet for one semester in ninth through eleventh grade. These classes are interdisciplinary in focus and weave in voices from around our school community in order to closely address issues of technology, sexual and reproductive health, mental health, eating disorders, substance use, and developing life skills. Twelfth graders attend workshops that cover the transition away from Saint Ann’s and the emergence of early adulthood.
Juniors and seniors are also invited to participate in our high school mentoring program where they work regularly with our 8th graders and lead conversations on everything from their memories of middle school to navigating social situations and friendships and dealing with social media.
The primary aim of the visual arts program is to elicit from students the most powerful and expressive work possible. This requires profound thought, an enlarging sensibility, and a broad understanding of experience. Our aim is to help students invent pictorial and plastic activity to carry this wealth of feeling and thought into comprehensible artistic representation.
In the Preschool and Lower School, the aim of the Art Department is to familiarize students with a wide range of materials, techniques and pictorial concepts. We consciously differentiate our studio program from the extensive visual work carried out within the individual classrooms. Along with thematic-based projects, students enter the ‘art studio’ to become fluent with the ‘language’ of image and object making, to understand the ‘instinctive’ nature of the artistic process and to become more aware of their own unique ‘vision.’
In the Middle School, more sophisticated concepts and techniques are introduced, with a continuing emphasis on drawing, painting and object making. Along with the continued reinforcement of pictorial and compositional fundamentals (texture, form, rhythm, color), contextual, poetic and conceptual notions are explored. Building skills are expanded through work in plaster, clay, cardboard, and wood. Ultimately, students find their own relationship to art through the viewing, discussing and making of art works.
Two art electives are offered to upper middle school students. A drawing elective includes students from both seventh and eighth grades. It concentrates on a study of light, perspective, volume and composition. Introduction to Digital Photography is open to eighth grade students who learn the basics of camera operation and the basics of software-based image manipulation techniques.
The teaching of the visual arts in the High School is a continuous process of shaping and reshaping vision, giving each individual student deeper aesthetic insight. The process occurs across a broad spectrum of disciplines: drawing, figure drawing, painting, still photography, digital photography, animation, ceramic sculpture, sculpture, printmaking, and architecture.
The drawing classes explore various techniques, conceptual approaches, and media. In figure drawing the emphasis is on a feeling for the volumetric structure of the body and the expressive potential of drawing from live models in a wide range of media. In the regular drawing course, students explore varied subject matter from both realistic and abstract perspectives, with the objective of learning to perceive form and to articulate those perceptions pictorially through a variety of drawing media.
3D Animation involves designing and constructing a set and the creation of articulated elements or characters from a variety of materials (clay, paper, cardboard). Students sequence individual scenes using a digital camera, and use computers to edit and add soundtracks to generate a fully realized film presentation.
Painting classes emphasize the study of light, color, and composition. Students paint from still life setups, nature, photo sources and from their imaginations. We also encourage students to explore abstract images and conceptual notions. Inks, water-based media (watercolor, tempera, acrylic), mixed media and water miscible oils are used.
Photography begins with an introductory course emphasizing skills (operation of a camera, exposure and development of film, and darkroom procedures) followed by more advanced courses in which the emphasis is on self-expression. Students continue to work on technical mastery, but with the understanding that the power of the image precedes all. In digital photography courses, students explore image making through an entirely digital format. Students move between the digital camera, the scanner and the computer to refine and manipulate images that are then printed through a digital printer. Traditional studio materials and processes are also integrated into the final digital presentation.
Printmaking explores intaglio techniques (engraving and etching), color printmaking, wood and linoleum cut prints, poster designs (including collaborative posters for theater productions), and screen printing.
Ceramic sculpture and mixed media sculpture are also offered. The former emphasizes slab and coil techniques as well as slip casting and mold making; the latter involves a broader range of materials (plaster, wood, wire, cardboard, papier mâché) exploring reductive, adative, and casting techniques. Both sculpture courses are concerned with producing three-dimensional abstract and representational work.
Introductory and advanced courses in architecture investigate the basic elements of design and structure as they relate to architectural practice and industrial design. Students learn to interpret the history and meaning of their physical surroundings, and the various roles that architecture has assumed throughout history. A variety of drawing techniques, projection systems, model-making approaches, and computer applications are explored.
Art history, offered in alternate years and sponsored by the History Department, is an important part of the art curriculum. A survey of global artistic styles–from the Parthenon as summation of the classical ideal, Chinese landscapes as the realization of an aesthetic tradition unrelated to western conventions and Ai Weiwei or Kara Walker as the epitome of artist-activists–the course is driven by the belief that to place a work in context is to see it more deeply. Students explore how changes in artistic styles reveal (or conceal) changes in political, economic, and social relationships and complete the course equipped with the knowledge and skills to analyze any work of art they encounter.