Welcome to the Headmaster's Blog where you'll find updates, thoughts, and events regarding Saint David's School, the education of boys, and other items of interest. This is by no means meant to be a complete account of all that happens at Saint David's. Please refer to the school's website for more complete details -- it's more a Headmaster's musings.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Third Graders Share Research on Korean and Haitian Cultures

During the winter term, our third grade boys studied the cultures of Korea and Haiti. As a culminating activity for that unit the boys researched an aspect of those cultures, for example transportation, music, art, or education.

Today in Mrs. Kim's classroom, boys in pairs gave presentations on their research. Each boy discussed how the aspect of culture he researched differed in the Korean and Haitian cultures.  He also cited the primary source used for his study.

Today's presentations demonstrated the boys' increased understanding and use of primary source materials, and their comprehension of the ways in which cultures are different and, importantly, why they differ.

Boys will bring this knowledge and understanding to the next segment of their study by choosing a culture that they will independently research and ultimately share with their classmates and families. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Showtime for Sixth Graders at the Hayden Planetarium

Just prior to spring break, our sixth graders, in groups of two, presented their original space shows to their parents and teachers at the Hayden Planetarium of the American Museum of Natural History.

Topics the boys selected ranged from why Earth can sustain life while other planets can't, which planets might be able to sustain life in the future and how they might do so, the Big Bang, the Galilean satellites of Jupiter, and the trials and travails of Pluto.

The shows were narrated by the boys, who wrote the scripts and prepared the storyboards in English classes, and designed the presentations using the planetarium's Uniview software, which visualizes space data in real time to create 3-D tours of the universe.

In addition to working on their projects with their teachers at school, the boys made several trips to the planetarium for workshops with the Digital Universe Flight School of the AMNH.  This was the first time that the Digital Universe Flight School has partnered with a school for this program. The boys loved it.

When asked what impressed them most, boys' answers ranged from "using the software which gave me a better understanding of the distance among stars and planets" to "learning and seeing how surprisingly large the universe really is" to "it was fun to fly in the planetarium."

The final shows were exciting, imaginative adventures that were visually arresting and challenging to execute as the boys needed to maintain focus on two screens as well as the dome of the planetarium for the duration of their shows. The scripts were well composed and delivered with an impressive professionalism by the boys.

In truth, rather than witnessing a school project, the audience experience was that of a real space show. Great work by the DUFS, our boys, and their teachers Mrs. Sundar, Mr. Andrews, Mr. Fortney, and Mrs. Davis!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

San Marco, 8 Marzo

The San Marco Study Group instructs their peers on the architecture of San Marco, its history and its significant works, including Fra Angelico's famous Annunciation. 

Below are some shots of the boys sketching and taking notes on this beautiful Sunday morning. 

We'll be heading off to the 11 am mass next door after our visit. 

San Marco

My thoughts in a nutshell. 

Sketching in the cloister of San Marco. 

San Marco

Frescos by Fra Bartolomeo

San Marco Sketching

Masaccio, Giotto's Tower & Equestre di Ferdinando

9 Marzo S. Maria del Fiore

Inside examining Brunelleschi's dome and the brushwork of Vasari. 

Now from the outside. 

Ryan explains to the group the commissioning of the dome and its associated competition circa mid 1400s. 

S. Lorenzo

On the steps of San Lorenzo, the boys listen to presentations on the design and construction of this Medici church by Brunelleschi.

Inside S. Lorenzo


Sketching David at the Accademia.