Special and Enrichment Programs
The school calendar is highlighted each year by student participation in special programs and ceremonies.
Musical and dramatic programs: During the year involve the participation of every student. The two Christmas Programs, one for K-4 and one for 5-8, and the upper school Spring Musical, combine grade level presentations around a unifying theme.
Individual classes also prepare special programs that culminate their school work on a particular topic or skill. Kindergarten students prepare a Thanksgiving Feast in November and perform Friendship Plays each spring. First graders create a Community Helpers presentation to share with the entire school community. Second graders create a Rainforest Museum, Third graders enjoy a unit on Africa, and Fourth graders visit a California Mission site to explore authentic traditions.
Fine and Performing Arts: Instruction in music, drama, and art is considered an integral part of each child's education.
DEEP & STAR: St. Matthew’s offers students an opportunity to apply their learning in either of two integrated programs in the 3rd trimester of the 8th grade year.
(Diving Education Enrichment Program
): is a program where students are taught to scuba dive and apply this knowledge to a math and science based independent research project that culminates in the creation of a web-page and science-fair type exhibit where DEEP students present their experiences and findings to parents, teachers and fellow schoolmates.
(Shakespeare Theater Arts and the Renaissance
): offers students more interested in the humanities, art and theater an opportunity to delve into the Elizabethan era. They study either Romeo and Juliet or Macbeth in depth, learn to fence and do stage combat, recreate the Old Globe Theater in set design, and study acting as a rehearsal exercise class. The STAR course culminates with an outdoor, evening production of interpretive scenes from Romeo and Juliet or Macbeth.
Technology Program: Students learn and master a wide variety of technology skills through an integrated program utilizing the latest software, hardware, and web-based tools on Apple computers and laptops, iPads and in technology labs. In the fall of 2012, the school introduced a 1:1 iPad program for sixth - eighth grade students. Technology enhances the skills for research, connectivity, creation, calculation, and expression, thus making the learning experience interactive, multi-dimensional and engaging. Responsible, safe and appropriate use of technology is emphasized. Students engage in a variety of technology rich projects such as Lego robotics, web design, iBooks creation, video filming and editing, and music composition. Teachers take advantage of a wide variety of technology resources for teaching and evaluation purposes as well as communication tools between students and parents.
Class Retreats and Excursions: All students in 5th-8th grades are involved in the school's retreat program which take students and their teachers outdoors and off campus to engage in exciting team and spirit-building activities. Each class will have a special retreat program in the fall to help build both class unity and welcome new students, promote individual growth and character development. Developing skills in collaboration, negotiation, and leadership are further goals of all class retreats. Overnight trips include: Malibu Creek State Park, Catalina Island, Sequoia National Park, and New York/Washington D.C.
Class Buddies: Each upper school class teams up with an elementary class of younger students. Individual students are assigned a specific “buddy.” Periodically, class buddies sit with each other in chapel, jointly work on a service learning activity, and engage in fun activities during Spirit Week. In the eighth grade year, students establish a special relationship through a number of specific activities with their Kindergarten buddies, culminating in the eighth grade and Kindergartners singing together during the Closing Exercises ceremony.