All our students study the academic areas of science, math, reading, writing, social studies/ humanities, Spanish, Visual and Performance Arts, and Physical Education. Throughout the different classes, we modify how and what is taught to meet the abilities of the students.
What follows is a brief description of major curricular areas of study. If you would like more detailed information about a particular subject, you may schedule an appointment with our Curriculum Coordinator to review our comprehensive curriculum manual.
The science program fosters exploratory and observational skills through problem-based and hands-on science labs. The scientific method is applied to student-directed research and projects. By the end of Middle School, our students should be comfortable with high school level physical science, biology, and chemistry. Our Middle School students routinely participate in the Denver Metro Science and Engineering Fair. Many of our students have received both local and state science fair awards.
History and Geography
Students receive a solid base in United States history, well as studies of other world cultures and nations that shape our lives. Art, music, drama, biographical studies, folklore, and mythology are integrated into historical studies. Students study geography as it relates to their historical studies.
We offer a balanced and challenging mathematics program in order to prepare students for the needs of the 21st century. Problem solving, mathematical reasoning, number sense, computation, mental math, and communication are emphasized throughout our math curriculum. Our students are expected to communicate orally and in writing their understanding of mathematical concepts. This is achieved through a process emphasizing the use of manipulatives and applying mathematics to real world problems. We understand the needs of the mathematically gifted child and strive to challenge and excite each child regarding math and its complex world.
Students work in small groups with other students who are at the same mathematical level. By working in small groups, students excel at their own speed and are able to experience different ways of thinking mathematically, problem solve, and start to see applicability of mathematical ideas to real life situations.
Reading and writing skills are the fundamental base of education. Children begin reading and writing at our school as soon as they are able. The overall goals for literacy include teaching children to be comfortable with different literary styles, ensuring students read with comprehension, and encouraging reading for pleasure.
Our writing program mirrors our reading goals. We want our students to see themselves writers. Children begin creative writing in the Early Childhood classroom. Writing projects are integrated with science, math, and history studies and can include journal entries, research papers, biographies, myths, proverbs, short stories, poetry, and essays. Children at Mackintosh have several opportunities to publish their work in school publications and many participate in local writing competitions.
World Language- Spanish
Our goal is give all students a positive and substantial exposure a second language. In the primary and elementary classes, we employ a program called Symtalk to teach Spanish. The Symtalk program mimics the verbal and visual memory techniques children experience when they first learned to speak. Symtalk has students speaking full sentences, using meaningful vocabulary, quickly. Our teaching methods incorporate music, physical movement, and playful activities to replicate the experience of learning one's native language. For our 6th graders and above, we use a traditional second language program which complements what they would receive in local high school language programs. Students graduating from Mackintosh after completing the foreign language program usually are able to enter 2nd year high school Spanish. Our Early Childhood and Primary 1 students take Spanish twice a week. Our Primary 2 and Middle School studies take Spanish three times a week.
Visual Arts is integrated with other curriculum studies. Children in younger grades work on fundamental elements of art (basic lines, shapes, and textures), while students in other classes are introduced to principles of design. Art projects are designed to reinforce the academic areas of study and teach ways of greater creative expression. The arts afford a powerful medium for the “exploration of the human condition, our society, and our world.” At Mackintosh, we believe the arts help solidify and magnify knowledge, and help to understand concepts from other perspectives. The activity of creation and study of art precipitates for better understanding of human expression and communication. Students work both cooperatively and individually to “research, identify and discuss issues; provide insights, opinions, solutions and resolutions; and to reflect on, appreciate and evaluate artwork.” The arts are an integral tool to bridge the different subjects together, the areas of interaction, and fundamental concepts.
We believe gifted children benefit greatly from theatrical work and music theory and appreciation. The discipline and teamwork required for theater and public speaking pay dividends in other areas of study. Accordingly, each class provides opportunities for students to perform. The Middle School plays in the last few years have featured classics from Shakespeare to Broadway Musicals. With work on stage productions, some of our sensitive students can find a voice that otherwise may remain hidden. The theater work is usually tied directly to inquiry studies pursued in each classroom. Public speaking skills are sharpened by class projects and assignments requiring research and preparation of oral reports. Music is an important part of any child's development. At Mackintosh, we extend our "cultural classroom" into the community where our students are exposed to professional music and dance performances. We also introduce them to music theory and works of famous composers.
We are committed to a well-rounded education. Physical Education is taught every day. Children learn skills, techniques, and strategies in many different athletic sports and experiences. Children participate in team sports, as well as individual challenges. Our individual physical education opportunities have included yoga, personal fitness, track and field events, archery, and rock climbing. Team sports have included soccer, softball, football, field hockey, baseball, racket sports, and basketball. When teaching these sports, we emphasize physical skills, teamwork, and sportsmanship.