Our Kindergarten through 3rd grade curriculum addresses the needs of the whole child. It is the goal of our primary teachers to build a strong foundation for students in order to be well equipped for the middle school years and beyond. Outside of the core classes, students participate in P.E. class twice a week and Spanish, Music and Art classes once a week. With a strong emphasis on social and emotional development, based on the Responsive Classroom Philosophy, teachers work to help every child reach their full potential.
English Language Arts
At the primary level, English Language Arts is based on the Little Minds at Work curriculum, however literacy is integrated throughout all parts of the curriculum. In reading, students progress from learning to read to reading to learn. They develop decoding skills, phonemic awareness, spelling patterns and sight words. They then expand their knowledge of comprehension strategies, fluency and vocabulary.
Students also develop skills for effective communication – handwriting, spelling, punctuation, capitalization and creativity. Using the Writer’s Workshop process they learn to write a variety of informative, narrative and opinion pieces. Our goal is to cultivate a love of reading and writing in all students.
In Science, students cover a variety of content and topics, including senses, life cycles, seasons, states of matter, habitats, space, technology, rocks and minerals. They learn techniques of experimentation and investigation through hands on inquiry based learning. Highlights of the primary school science program include chick hatching, an energy fair and planting and harvesting a community vegetable garden.
In Religion, students begin by learning different Bible stories in the Old and New Testament. We learn about God’s love for us and how God created everything for us. The students learn The Holy Trinity, the seven sacraments, special Church holidays, and prepare for First Holy Communion and First Reconciliation in second grade. We attend weekly Mass with the whole school and pray as a school each morning to help us grow closer to God.
In Mathematics we believe that instilling a strong foundation of number sense sets students up for success at the primary level, which they can build upon as they move to higher levels of thinking. Kindermath and Firstiemath programs are used in Kindergarten and First Grade, and the Envision mathematics program is used in Second and Third Grade. Students begin with counting and number recognition and continue to grow in the areas of geometry, measurement, algebraic thinking, and math fluency. Throughout grades K-3 there is a strong focus on problem solving and making sense of answers. Students use manipulatives and hands-on math experiences to allow them to gain an even greater understanding of math concepts and practices.
In Social Studies, students learn about both current and historical events. They learn to be responsible, effective citizens and appreciate the impact of culture, geography, history and government on the family, the neighborhood, the community, and the state/region. Through Around the World night students explore and learn about another country. Each classroom turns into a microcosm of the country they are studying and families are invited to come and tour the school.
Students in our primary grades participate in weekly Spanish, P.E., Art, Music and Technology classes. Instruction focuses on an early exposure to instrumental and vocal instruction, and an introduction to art history and a variety of visual techniques, styles and mediums.