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Curriculum Enrichment Activities

English: In 2012 we started having English within our daily routine. The English teacher participates in the several classes and moments of our school daily life. Results show that learning is improved through this informal situation, rather than only in structured classes. This relaxed time has its place in addition to the formal period of English classes.

Portuguese Sign Language: In 2011 we also introduced the teaching of the Portuguese sign language.

Physical Education: In Physical Education it is our aim that our children develop their gross motor skills, their body awareness and agility in a cheerful and playful way, while getting acquainted to some of the main sports. We hope they become healthy adults with exercising habits.

Yoga: Yoga nourishes the inner force and self-acceptance of a child. This nourishing atmosphere encourages children to relax and have fun while they develop their strength, coordination, flexibility and balance. In addition, their body awareness improves their focus and self-confidence.

Musical Expression: The aim of our Music education is to help children experience music in a playful way, through songs, rhythmic and melodic games, instruments and movement, developing their individual musical capacity and their love for music.

Art: Our Art classes mean to encourage creativity and individual thought, and the expression of ideas and feelings through art. These classes give preference to contact with the work of art and with the different artistic practices, such as painting, sculpture, illustration, scenography, and many others.

Drama: Drama classes move children as a whole (their cognitive, emotional, sensitive, motor and aesthetic dimensions), thus contributing to the global growth of their personality. Drama classes can take up many forms, including games, exercises, improvisations, mimics and role playing. These activities explore: movement and body expression; verbal and non-verbal communication; concentration and observation skills; awareness and control of space; liberation, trust; creativity and imagination; sensitivity and aesthetic taste. So, drama is an important work tool, in the way that it favors processes of experimentation which amplify the child’s cognitive potential, allowing children to be able to express, autonomously, a critical view of the world.

Philosophy: In Philosophy, the aim is to develop opinion and reasoning, as well as critical and creative thinking. Its main goal is to lead children to reflect upon the world that surrounds them.

Meditation: Meditation for children is done through exercises that address the inner life of the child, complemented with creativity exercises that open children to new realities and realizations. This allows children to increase their self-knowledge, helping them to create a mental dominion which supports the awareness of their thoughts and feelings. Scientific research has already confirmed that meditation is much more than a relaxation technique; the regular practice of meditation changes the neuronal structures of the brain, stimulating positive emotions and feelings and increasing the capacities of the mind. The benefits of meditation are felt in terms of self-esteem, self-discipline, self-assertion, inner peace, creativity, contact with the realm of fantasy, development of intuition, just to name a few.

Arts and Crafts: “Knowledge lives in the brain, but it comes in through our hands.” (Cláudia de Moura Castro) With arts and crafts, we encourage our children to develop their creativity, their reasoning and concentration, their motor skills, using a variety of techniques and materials, and stimulating several areas of their brain. These experiences will bring them a wider awareness of their abilities, reinforcing a positive response to learning, and also allowing them to build a positive self-image.

Vegetable garden & Cooking:In 2010-2011, the school Project was the implementation of an organic vegetable garden according to the principles of permaculture. For this project, we had the support of Chico-Esperto, the farmer of Horta do Zé. Currently, Luís Leite is helping the children to supervise the garden.

Home: Activities in the Home are framed according to our educational project, which works on the theme “For a better world”, where we do volunteer work in the Home for elderly people of our surrounding community. Here, we play with the elderly, we keep them company, and we grow together with games and activities, such as performances, movement, arts and crafts, mind games, or stories, among other activities that come up.

Music: The aim is to develop several projects, practising the skills achieved in Musical Expression classes. These projects range from the making of instruments for display at school to a group of drumming with recycled materials.

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