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At Presidio Knolls, students learn to create art, appreciate art, and express themselves through art.

Although art is incorporated within the Units of Exploration where it makes sense, each grade also has dedicated weekly art classes. Projects explore a variety of materials and techniques including: drawing, painting, mixed media, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, and textiles. A range of 2D and 3D art strengthens student understanding of the elements and principles of design within any context and any medium. Projects are designed to stretch imaginations and help develop creative thinking, nudge students out of their comfort zones, build technical skills, and allow for individuality and personal expression.

Not only do students learn how to create art, they also study art from different time periods and different cultures to learn how others express themselves through art. Instruction encourages the discussion of design, content, context, technical skill, and aesthetics which builds visual literacy and encourages a deeper connection to what students see and create.

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Our child-centered music curriculum is structured around the Orff-Schulwerk philosophy of music education which builds musicianship through the integration of music, movement, speech, and drama with inspiration from celebrations, stories, visual arts, and more. Beyond being active music makers who sing, dance, and play many different instruments, are students also learn vocabulary, musical concepts, how to read music, and how to respond to musical works.

Our students showcase and celebrate their musical learning in a number of ways. As a larger community, we share songs and musical games at weekly assemblies and special events like our Winter Sing Along and Chinese New Year performances. Our students also attend concerts throughout San Francisco, and we invite guest speakers to come and share their musical knowledge on campus.

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Being physically active each day is important not only for a child’s spirit, but also for their intellectual growth. Under the guidance of our dedicated physical education instructors, PKS students learn to enjoy movement and sports while building important life skills like teamwork and coordination. Students are exposed to large and small- group games, partner activities, and individual practice sessions.

Through physical education we hope to give our students the tools to achieve overall wellness with the goal of teaching them how to live healthy, active lifestyles.

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STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) at Presidio Knolls focuses on growing our students ability to take an idea and move it through to completion using Design Thinking. For our youngest students, this starts with building the skills required to innovate. This includes learning how to use tools, building comfort with making, and learning how to represent their ideas. As our students grow older, they take those skills and utilize them to solve problems and innovate with design thinking.

Our STEAM Specialist works with teachers and students to authentically engage with problems embedded in the UoEs and help our students develop technical skills within the broader “maker” framework. We use STEAM to encourage creativity, a disciplined approach to problem solving, resilience, and a growth mindset.