Specialist Classes

The power to take risks

A vital part of our educational philosophy is giving children the time to pursue talents and interests with teachers who are specialists in their fields. Since our founding, we have been committed to educating the whole child and we approach our diverse specialist programs with the same attention to detail as our classroom curriculum.

Our Specialist Teachers work closely with our Classroom Teachers to enrich the classroom experience.

Art

At Aurora, our art room motto is “Take Risks – Make Mistakes. Students study art and artists from around the world, flex their “mistake muscles” and let their creativity soar. The process of discovery and self-expression is emphasized over the final product.

  • Students in grades K-5
  • Once a week
  • All year

STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math)

In partnership with Project Lead The Way (PLTW), Aurora provides an innovative STEM curriculum for our students. PLTW modules bring learning to life. The program empowers students to adopt a design-thinking mindset and engage in hands-on activities in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science.

  • Students in grades 2-5
  • Once a week
  • Half a year

Library

Although Aurora is a small school, our library is one of the largest in East Bay independent schools with over 10,000 books for children to borrow every week. For many students, the love of books and the joy of reading is sparked with weekly library exploration.

  • Students in grades K-5
  • Once a week
  • All year

Music

The music program at Aurora School is based on the philosophy and practices of Orff Shulwerk. This approach is characterized by active involvement in music making through the body, voice, movement, and work on specially designed Orff instruments. Students learn how to read and write music.

  • Students in grades K-5
  • Once a week
  • All year

Physical Education

Physical Education is not only fun, but it is also an important piece of our social-emotional curriculum. Our program strikes a good balance between individual and group activities, as students learn the concepts of fair play, cooperation, sportspersonship and teamwork.

Students in grades 2-5:

  • Twice a week
  • All year

Students in grades K/1:

  • Once a week
  • All year

Spanish

Students are fully immersed in the language during class with many opportunities to hear, speak, create and move while using Spanish vocabulary. We focus on comprehension and speaking in the early years and build reading and writing abilities in later grades. Our Spanish teachers join us from ¡Viva el Español!

Students in grades K-1:

  • Once a week
  • All year

Students in grades 2-5:

  • Twice a week
  • All year

Woodshop

Students in all grades attend woodshop in small groups, where they build knowledge and confidence through woodworking projects. Students take the lead on projects that are process oriented and practice tool safety, using a vice, cutting with a handsaw, sanding and measuring.

Students in grades K-1:

  • Once a week
  • All year

Students in grades 2-5:

  • Once a week
  • Half a year

Yoga

With a healthy dose of imagination, stretching, and concentration, the weekly yoga sessions keep our kindergarten and first grade students’ minds and bodies flexible and help lay the foundation for our social-emotional focus.

  • Students in grades K-1
  • Once a week
  • All year