All St. James students participate in weekly music lessons with two teachers dedicated to grade specific music appreciation and practice. The students are exposed to music theory, music history, musical performance, and liturgical music. The curriculum is based on the National Standards of Music, the California Standards for the Arts, as well as the Diocesan Guidelines for music in Catholic schools. Children in Grades 4 and 5 are taught to play the recorder. Students in all grades play various rhythm instruments, as well as the handbells.
Twice a year, St. James Students perform in music recitals performing at a Christmas Concert and in a Spring Sing at St. James Catholic Church. Many performances include musical instrumentation and thematic performances by students in addition to a grade level chorus singing.
St. James School is proud to partner with the South Bay Hands on Art program in bringing a variety of art classes and art education to all students. Our Hands on Art program is docent lead and taught by SJS volunteer parents. Parents participate in art workshops learning projects and teaching our students monthly a new and exciting art project. In May, the volunteer art docents host an impressive art show in the O’Gorman Center displaying all the Hands on Art projects and in class art created by St. James Students. In addition to art, 4th grade students have their hand made models of California Missions on display as part of their studies in early California history.
Physical Education lessons and activities are sequential and based on the needs and interests of the students at various grade levels. Students have PE days according to the following schedule.
» K; 3 days / week
» 1-4: 2 days / week
» 5-8: 1 day / week
Student at all grade levels receive instruction in
» Cooperative games and relays
» Manipulative activities
» Rhythmic activities
Emphasis is given in the following areas at specific grade levels:
» K-2: Development of locomotor and non-locomotor skills; simple games, and rhythms
» 3-4: Development of simple sport skills; low organized games, and rhythms
» 5-6: Development of sport skills and lead-up games to team sports
» 7-8: Development of sport skills for team sports
All St. James Students are instructed in Spanish four days a week as a practical introduction to learning a foreign language. Two teachers tailor Spanish lessons between K-4th grades and 5th-8th grades using sequential building blocks that increase vocabulary and conversational confidence. The St. James School Spanish program has dual goal of establishing a baseline of skills needed to learn any foreign language and creating a path to Spanish fluency that will carry into high school language study requirements. Our Spanish teachers use a variety of medium to help students engage including multimedia, music, cultural activities and group projects that promote writing and speaking Spanish daily.
All St. James students participate in bi-weekly computer lab training. Computer literacy is established while students learn and grow with software based tools that enhance class academics in math, reading, writing and vocabulary. In addition, all students also learn a variety skills necessary and required in today’s STEAM focused job skill preparation. St. James Students learn touch typing, Microsoft Office, programming logic, and the basics of computer graphic design and image manipulation.
In 8th grade, computer literacy is further promoted at St. James School with each student having a MacBook for in class work and project collaboration with peers. This daily use prepares our graduating students for the digital and online learning environments they will encounter in high school and college.