Elementary School at AOSR
The Elementary School is known for its warm, caring family atmosphere and for the high quality and professionalism of its teachers. Since young children have great enthusiasm for learning, the primary goal of the Elementary School is to build on this natural curiosity so that students will develop to their fullest potential.
The elementary curriculum is based on contemporary U.S. methods and materials. In reading and mathematics, teachers strive for a balanced approach to instruction. In reading for example, there is a strong emphasis on phonics and word analysis skills, as well as whole language and literature. In mathematics students use manipulative materials and are taught all of the important concepts of mathematics; they also do drill and practice on basic facts.
In order to achieve these objectives, the Elementary School has established several critical practices to support student learning: At every stage of development, students are presented with learning experiences which are appropriate to their individual level; the purpose is to challenge children without frustrating them.
Teachers strive to challenge children according to their varying ability levels. For children experiencing difficulty in learning, students may receive extra help from a reading specialist, a resource room teacher or from an ELL teacher. Similarly, very able students are given assignments according to their reading and mathematics levels to ensure that they are challenged. Students are also given opportunities for enrichment through the Elementary School library.
The elementary curriculum includes art, music, technology, physical education and Italian (for native and non-native speakers) as a fundamental part of the program for students. Students work with full-time specialist teachers in these areas. Drama is integrated into the classroom as well.
A stable, tolerant classroom atmosphere is provided in which children feel free and safe to express themselves and ask questions; this atmosphere encourages the development of diligence, self-discipline, cooperation and mutual respect.
A partnership is forged between faculty and parents to encourage parent's active participaton in monitoring and supporting each child's development.
The faculty incorporates resources from Rome, from Italy and from the international communities present in their classrooms to enrich and widen their student's vision of the world.
The fine arts are an integral part of the curriculum; students perform plays, write stories, create drawings, ceramics and other art works to make their learning come alive. They also learn from specialist teachers in music and art.
The Elementary School maintains several special traditions, including the United Nations Day concert with a flag display by fifth grade students, the annual Halloween parade, Thanksgiving feasts and student and parent participation at the annual Mayfair event. These traditions provide a sense of continuity for U.S. students and create a community atmosphere for students from other countries.
Throughout the school year each class has celebrations to honor various festivities in different countries. There are field trips connected to the curriculum such as the second grade Experimental Archaeology trip to Blera, the third grade trip to Paestum and Velia, fourth grade trips to Ostia Antica and Cerveteri, fifth grade trips to a gladiator school in Rome and other local museums.