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Faith Studies

Faith Studies classes, an integral part of Trinity’s overall curriculum, ask our students to be reflective servants, thoughtful stewards, and critical thinkers.

All Lower School Faith Studies classes hear and discuss the stories of the Bible and students make connections to their own stories, as well as stories from other faith traditions. This complements and reflects our belief that all of life has a spiritual dimension. During Faith Studies there is also time for connections and reflections to service learning, as well as discussions of embracing diversity in our community and world.

Faith Studies Essential Questions:

1. What are the stories of our faith?  
2.  How do we integrate faith stories with our own stories?  
3. Who are our neighbors and what are we called to do?     
4. How do we process mystery and ambiguity?


• Grade-level chapels developmentally geared toward the specific group and are chaplain and student-led to allow time for prayer, song and worship.  Chapels follow the cherished rituals of the Episcopal Church including its tradition of reason, openness and acceptance
• Biblical stories from both the Hebrew and Greek scriptures
• Songs of faith
• Opportunities to make connections with other world religions
• Exploration of theological concepts
• Time for students to apply their understanding and experience of God to their own lives


• Knowledge of “the stories of God” as revealed by the scriptures
• Connection of biblical lessons to students’ own stories
• Thoughtful reflection on what it means to be a child of God

Grades K-2: Godly Play Stories

Children will hear and wonder about stories of our faith through Godly Play lessons and materials. Kindergarten students begin with stories of the Old Testament and Torah including Creation, Abraham, and Moses. Students will also hear stories of King David and Solomon, as well as stories of the prophets and Exile. Children will also hear and respond to the stories of Jesus. Stories that share a common theme from other faith traditions will also be shared. Seasons of the Christian Church year as well as holidays of other faith traditions will be lifted up during classes as well. Students will also have time to share and respond to the stories using the Godly Play materials independently during Faith Studies.

Grades 3-4: Exploring the Bible: Old and New Testament Stories

Third grade students begin with a review of the Old Testament, as they open up the Hebrew Scriptures and explore the biblical text. Students become comfortable with the text and enter into a conversation with the stories, especially focusing on the Kings and the Prophets. Third grade students also study the life of Jesus and make connections between the Old and New Testament stories. Students in fourth grade focus on the gospels of Jesus as they read and reflect on the stories of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Stories and holidays from other faith traditions are also shared and lifted up. Students keep a Faith Studies journal in 3rd and 4th grade where they are able to reflect on the text and make connections to their own stories.

Fifth Grade: World Religions

The goal of the class is for students to come to understand and appreciate religious expressions across faith traditions around the world. Students in fifth grade study the following World Religions respectively: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Students study these world religions as they connect to the faith traditions of our service learning partners. We also examine the seasons of the Christian church year and make connections with the holy days and seasons of these other faiths.


All students are introduced to Spanish as an enrichment class in grades K-5, with an emphasis on language and culture via the Descubre el espanol curriculum. Students learn Spanish through the five Cs from the National World Language

Standards: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. They explore not only the language, but the culture of 20 Spanish-speaking countries. The focus is on developing listening, comprehension, and beginning conversational skills through sounds, poems, songs, stories, total physical response, music, art, and games. For heritage speakers the program also provides the Anthologia which includes leveled literary and informational texts that develop reading comprehension, vocabulary, spelling and writing activities. Students in grades 4-5 access this program at school and at home using student books and an eLearning center.


• Exposure to another language and culture and comparison to the student’s own language and culture
• Oral language development with a focus on listening, speaking and conversational skills
• Introduction/incorporation of reading and writing skills as extensions of oral language skills
• Communication through basic words and expressions within a context


• Oral, written and aural language acquisition
• Awareness and understanding of cultures outside the student’s own
• Deeper understanding of the structure and meaning of student’s native language
• Knowledge of the formal grammar, sentence structure and vocabulary of the target language

Performing Arts and Music Education


• Access to a comprehensive, balanced and sequential program of music study
• Weekly music classes allowing students to focus on both instrumental and choral music
• Individual and group performing arts opportunities through weekly chapels, school and community events
• Opportunity to explore music composition
• Professional music and theatre experiences
• Annual school-wide arts festival


• Ability to read music through the use of rhythms and melodies
• Competency to bridge musical thought through multicultural music and culture
• Greater self-awareness and confidence with public performance
• Identification and recognition of form, harmony, expression and history in music
• Confidence and competence in critically reviewing performing arts

Trinity’s performing arts program reflects our commitment to a well-rounded liberal arts education with a focus on each student’s creative expression. All students take general music which emphasizes creativity, music appreciation, musical literacy and performance preparation. Each grade-level in Lower School features a dramatic or musical performance, such as Fairy Tale Plays in First grade and Shakespeare in Fifth grade.

K-4 students participate in general music classes. Beginning in Fifth Grade, students may choose from one of two ensembles: chorus or band. The music program provides many opportunities for individual growth and fosters every child’s innate love of music. Ensembles perform at chapels, commencement and various venues outside of school.

Visual Arts

Trinity’s art curriculum follows the pedagogy of Teaching Artistic Behaviors (TAB), a methodology that is student-focused, choice-based, and teacher-facilitated. The learning environment is designed to provide centers or mini art studios complete with instructional information, menus, resources, materials and tools. Students move independently between centers, utilizing materials, tools and resources as needed in their art making, such as painting, clay or printmaking.

Centers are arranged to provide students with independent learning opportunities. We value the process of art as children as well as students as artists. It is the responsibility of the art teacher to guide students through the art curriculum in an engaging and thought-provoking way.

Edmund Feldman states, “ is a universally human act,” so its importance is held in high regard. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the art room at Trinity Episcopal School where students are given the opportunity to learn while engaged in the process of creating something new. Although the product is usually fantastic the process-based learning is where the beauty is!


• Weekly studio art classes where students explore a wide variety of media from clay to wire to pastels, all presented in “mini art studios” throughout the space
• Open art studio where students can use materials and resources to work on classroom projects
• Intentional integration with core subject learning
• Safe and encouraging environment for students to problem solve while exploring their creativity, artistic voice and individual expression
• Exploration of technology, how it is used and how it has impacted visual art
• Visual arts elective choices allow students to explore specific artistic passions such as photography, painting, architecture, etc.
• Annual school-wide arts festival


• Awareness of different materials and processes to communicate different ideas
• Understanding of the basic elements of art and how they contribute to each work of art
• Readiness to dig deeper and elaborate on particular themes and current issues
• Ability to use art as an historic and cultural indicator
• Understanding that art is not created in a vacuum and work its way into other subjects
• Ability to “think” in a visual manner and to reflect on their work and the work of others

Physical Education and Wellness

We believe all students should have the opportunity to discover and enjoy lifelong activities and sports. The connection between healthy body, mind and soul is ever-present in the weekly programs which include cooperative games, skill development, sportsmanship and making healthy decisions. In the last trimester of fifth grade, students split into gender-based small groups for the RISE program to develop personal leadership skills that build confidence for the transition to Middle School.

Wellness classes teach subjects regarding how to keep our minds and bodies healthy and safe. This includes topics around emotional regulation, conflict resolution, self-esteem, nutrition, and personal boundaries.


• Assessment and skill development through tri-annual fitness tests
• Twice-weekly physical education classes, with separate wellness (lower school) classes led by the School Counselor.
• Introductory training sessions during physical education class highlighting five biomechanical skills (agility, speed, power, endurance, flexibility) necessary for athletic performance
• 10-week RISE program designed to support the fifth-grade transition into Middle School, with a focus on physical and social-emotional changes; culminating with an overnight camping trip
• Extensive warm-up sessions prior to all physical education classes, emphasizing dynamic stretching, full range of motion and proper progression (general to specific)


• Understanding of the impact of proper nutrition and developing healthy eating habits
• Development of proper biomechanics in all areas of fitness and improvement of motor skills
• Appreciation of the human body and understanding of body functions and care
• Character building through cooperative game play, self-awareness and problem solving
• Preparation and bolstering of skills necessary for athletics, both recreational and competitive


• Mental and Emotional Health: this unit includes lessons related to empathy, self-esteem, understanding how to identify and respond to feelings.

• Personal Health: this unit features lessons related to hygiene, personal space, and boundaries

• Interpersonal Communication and Relationships: the lessons for this unit feature skills and strategies when dealing with issues such as bullying, friendship conflict, gossip, and being a good friend

• Nutrition and Physical Activity: these lessons are focused on keeping our bodies healthy

• Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs:  appropriate use of household products and medicine is the focus of this unit.


• Mental and Emotional Health: this unit includes lessons related to identifying and responding to feelings, empathy, self-esteem and a general understanding of mental health

• Personal Health: the lessons from this unit focus on disease prevention and personal space and boundaries

• Interpersonal Communication and Relationships: skills and strategies related to issues of bullying, friendship conflict, diversity, and understanding different perspectives are the focus of this unit

• Nutrition and Physical Activity: this unit features  lessons related to understanding how to keep our bodies healthy regarding nutrition and physical activity

• Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs: this unit lessons related to rules for taking medicine at home and at school