Lower School students will be successful members of the St. Mary’s Community by developing their social, emotional, and spiritual selves through our “Cast of Character” program. Cast, the scientific term for a group of falcons, provides our falcons with the opportunity to bond as a community to demonstrate character. The Cast of Falcon parents, students, and teachers will share in the responsibility to learn and practice the IB Attitudes and Learner Profile to develop positive character. Students will be provided with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to be successful with the use of the Responsive Classroom’s approach to building a positive community through the following learning opportunities:
- collaborate with others, build new relationships and strengthen existing relationships
- develop authentic self-worth and confidence, understanding how they individually contribute to their surrounding environment
- successfully address conflicts, understand consequences of their choices and create positive solutions
- appreciate others’ ideas, feelings and convictions while recognizing different opinions and perspectives
- identify and acknowledge their own emotions, thoughts and actions
The social, emotional and spiritual development of our students occurs in daily classroom instruction, throughout K-5 Chapel, Community and social skills instruction. In these formats, students will experience learning from individual opportunities to school-wide weekly themes across the following venues.
Chapels are a weekly time for St. Mary’s students, faculty and staff to come together to learn stories of the Bible and how they relate to the designated IB Attitude or Learner Profile. Chapel themes are formulated around an age-appropriate children’s story from the Bible. Christian Enrichment classroom time provides opportunities for developing learning and understanding of Chapel.
Parents, teachers, and students come together to learn about IB Attitudes and the Learner Profile through the introduction of a children’s storybook whose lesson provides the theme and learning for the week. Students have an active role with the themes through discussions, hosting classroom presentations, and demonstration of that character trait throughout the week.
Mindfulness and Social Skills Instruction
The school counselor facilitates mindfulness and social skills lessons in each lower school classroom. During these classes, students learn emotional literacy which includes empathy, self-awareness, self-regulation, and how behavior may be perceived by others. The school counselor integrates the themes from community into lessons in order to provide continuity with chapel, community, and classroom instruction.
Guided questions to develop the social, emotional, and spiritual growth of students will be woven into morning meetings and integrated into the curriculum. Parents are encouraged to visit the “Cast of Character Corner” section in the weekly classroom newsletter to continue and reinforce discussions from the classroom.