SJEDS is a school that integrates S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities into our daily curriculum at all grade levels, allowing all students to benefit from program enhancements that culminate in a truly unique learning experience.
The love of science at SJEDS is fueled by rich curriculum, vast resources and passionate faculty. In addition to two dedicated science labs on campus, all students have access to Lego robotics, 3-D models, ample equipment and integrated technology. Each year, families attend our Extreme Science Expo as part of the annual science fair. This highly popular event includes hands-on activities for children of all ages.
Lower school students take to classroom gardens and the playground for real-world science experiments and visit the Sunshine Science Lab for exciting hands-on lessons. Research projects begin in first grade with “bug reports.” Students learn how to search through reference books and online for scientific data. They present an insect model and research findings via PowerPoint using classroom SMART Boards.
Our upper school science lab is fully equipped with numerous engineering, designing and modeling tools and equipment. Students take part in live video conferences with real-world scientists and have daily “show and tell” sessions.
Our upper school students also benefit from our Inspire! series, in which S.T.E.A.M. professionals take to the classroom to engage and inspire students to think about real-world concepts. Through this series, our students are exposed to a variety of professions, including nephrology, beekeeping, information technology and architecture, just to name a few!
A student’s tenure at SJEDS culminates in the annual sixth grade ecology trip to Kanuga, North Carolina. During this week-long retreat immersed in nature, students come together in fellowship, explore the glory of God’s creation and bond in lifelong friendship.
Technology is integrated throughout daily life at SJEDS. Lower school students learn to use technology at an age-appropriate level through educational applications on portable devices, classroom lessons on SMART Boards and unlimited opportunities in TechConnect, our lower school S.T.E.A.M. lab. Upper school students use portable devices as a learning tool in the classroom for research, to write papers and to follow educational blogs and videos. Fifth and sixth grade students may elect to participate in our Bring Your Own Device program, where they use their personal tablet or laptop in the classroom or use one provided by the school.
In addition to the computer lab, the school owns a large inventory of portable devices such as iPads, Surface Pros, ChromeBooks and laptops for use by all. Classrooms feature Smart Boards, document cameras and laptop/computer stations.
Engineering begins at the youngest level, where our Pre-K students design, build and test solutions through play by constructing towers and building cities out of blocks. Students work with hands-on manipulatives to understand concepts of engineering and how it applies to our everyday lives. SJEDS has a large selection of these fun, engaging manipulatives including LEGO Education StoryStarter, LEGO StoryVisualizer, Osmos, multiple Keva Planks sets, Straws and Connectors, Block Builders Architecture and K’nex Transportation. Class projects increase in complexity at each grade level. Third graders, while studying the history of Jacksonville, build a model such as the Hart Bridge, then move on to models of historical forts in fourth grade as part of their curriculum on Florida’s history.
As a school that places special emphasis on the fine arts, we believe that study and participation in the fine arts is a key component of learning throughout all academic areas. There is strong evidence that sequential, skill building instruction in arts and music can greatly improve children’s performance in reading and math. Therefore we are committed to providing this valuable component of an exceptional education.
Instruction in the visual arts begins in Pre-K3, where students learn about the elements of art and principles of design. Each year, curriculum is built upon the previous year, allowing students to elevate in skill from one year to the next. Art history is also a focus, as well as a tie to literature. Students work with various mediums including clay, collage, chalk, oil pastels, tempera, watercolor and acrylic, and learn techniques for printing, weaving and perspective drawings.
One of the most beloved traditions at SJEDS is centered around clay. Beginning in first grade, students handcraft an individual piece of the nativity. By the time a student graduates from sixth grade, they have a complete, priceless set.
Music is core to the SJEDS experience, centered around our weekly chapel service. Students use their voice to worship, and through music education, learn to use it as an expressive tool. Beginning at three years old, students receive weekly instruction to improve motor skills and learn rhythm and pitch. Interactive instruction includes games, heritage materials and repetitive notation, as well integration with classroom themes. First and second graders perform a spring musical each year, and music is integrated into various special activities such as drama performances, Christmas programs, special chapel services, assemblies and Art Day.
SJEDS is home to a large selection of musical instruments and equipment including guitars and ukuleles, percussion instruments and a state-of-the-art sound system. Upper school students receive instruction on these instruments and can participate in extracurricular activities such as the SJEDS Honors Choir, which leads music in chapel.
Another component of fine arts at SJEDS is drama. In Kingdom Theatre, students act out the stories of the Bible, as well as learn the art of performing. All students attend Kingdom Theatre on a weekly basis, and enjoy lessons in movement, role playing and improvisation. In the Anglican school tradition, we believe it is important for our children to know the stories of God’s saving work, love and grace. The scriptures are our story book, and through the dramatic arts, we learn our own place in the great drama that gives life joy and meaning.
In addition to being a large part of our religious curriculum, drama has a large following in our afterschool program. Each year, students from kindergarten through sixth grade have the opportunity to participate in a large-scale drama performance. Complete with costumes, scenery and lighting, these showstopping productions showcase the talent and dedication of our young stars.
Our math curriculum incorporates proven methodology for instruction and infuses current trends, allowing our faculty to teach a variety of ways to approach problem solving and critical thinking. Students use manipulatives and models to develop a stronger number sense and mathematical reasoning. By providing a strong foundation of mathematical skills, our students are prepared to succeed at secondary schools that utilize a variety of math programs and curricula.
Our youngest students use manipulatives for counting, sorting and patterns, and develop fine motor skills while learning number sense with fun “toys” such as Tag Bags. As math concepts increase in complexity, LEGOs, fraction strips and candy bars help students understand fractions, while M&M’s demonstrate probability and statistics. In our upper school, calculators assist students with their pre-algebra skills, and students benefit from online manipulatives, 2-D, 3-D and digital models in addition to traditional hands-on materials. Students in grades 1-6 use Mathletics, a supplemental online program designed to help students improve math fact fluency and problem solving skills.