Studying the visual and performing arts gives Lower School students new ways of seeing and understanding their world and other cultures, expressing their vision, and finding their voice.
The visual and performing arts are core to our curriculum and celebrated throughout our community.
The Lower School is filled with maker spaces, from classrooms to the Art Room and Music Room to the Innovation Lab. Students perform in the Franklin Theater. Show their art in the Waynflete Gallery. Study creative movement in the Dance Studio, and work with a wide range of materials in the Art Studio.
The Waynflete Art Gallery is both a resource and a showcase for the entire Waynflete community. Lower School students show their work in multiple themed gallery exhibitions throughout the year and participate in hands-on activities and exploration around the work of other students and visiting artists.
The Joan Sayward Franklin ’46 Theater is one of the premier stages in Portland, Maine and an incredible venue for Lower School students to learn and share their creativity and their craft. From the catwalk to the costume shop to the green velvet curtain, our theater spaces build drama and sustains delight.
The Lower School Art Room is filled with space, light, and materials for drawing, painting, sculpting, collaging, printing, and much more. Whether they are recording their own observations or learning about other cultures or techniques, students are immersed in hands-on, materials-based learning while developing their own sense of aesthetics.
The Lower School Music Room is made for studying and making music. Floor cushions encourage movement. A wide assortment of instruments from around the world encourage exploration. And our music teachers introduce students to music history, rhythm, composition, and more.
Lower School students in Grades 4–5 are all members of the 4–5 Chorus and students may also join the Waynflete Intergenerational Chorus. For many students, this is their first experience as part of a musical ensemble. From practice to performance, they learn lifelong lessons about the joys of both musical craft and collaboration.
Space, shape, force and rhythm are the four main elements of Early Childhood Creative Movement. Giving rapidly growing bodies a sense of the many different ways they can move, our Creative Movement instructors promote a sense of accomplishment, discovery, and confidence.
Lower School Arts
The Lower School Visual Arts program is designed to help
students develop capabilities for creating, understanding,
and appreciating symbols and images. Students participate
in a wide range of activities to encourage and expand
creative expression, to broaden their understanding of the
arts in a historical and cultural context, and to develop
a personal sense of aesthetics. Sequential instruction in
drawing, painting, ceramics, and printmaking form the core
of materials-based learning. World cultures, historical and
contemporary artists, and stylistic movements are blended
into the curriculum.
In the Lower School music program, students develop
musical literacy through creative participation in individual
and group experiences; gain understanding of our rich
musical heritage and those of other cultures; and develop
an appreciation of the connections between music and other
forms of artistic expression. Incorporated into these guiding
principles are pertinent areas of study as defined by state
and national standards for arts education. These include
listening, creating/improvising, movement, rhythm, singing,
reading and writing notation, playing instruments, and
evaluating and understanding artistic culture.
The Lower School music program offers the necessary time
and space for exploratory play, and provides scaffolding to
guide students toward musical form and understanding.
Creative Movement classes in Early Childhood, Kindergarten,
and Grade 1 introduce the principles of dance movement and
the use of four elements: space, shape, force, and rhythm.
These basic elements of movement provide students with a
limitless vocabulary of movement possibilities, an awareness
of self and each other in individual and group sessions, and
a greater awareness of themselves in relation to the
Classes begin each year with an emphasis on the theme
of opposites. Through improvisational movement, students
explore the concept of antonyms (light/heavy, fast/slow,
soft/sharp, and enter/exit). An animal theme is also taught
in coordination with stories and fables read in the classroom
throughout the year. Literature comes to life through
movement and the creative retelling of traditional, popular,
and original stories. The program promotes a sense of
accomplishment, discovery, and confidence at a pace that is
both comfortable and challenging.
“I encourage you to visit us and spend some time in Lower School and experience the energy of children who are happy and engaged in learning, with one another, their teachers, the space, and the materials.”
Anne Scribner Hopkins
Waynflete Lower School Director