Curriculum and Methods
CURRICULUM AND METHODS
The curriculum at St. Rose of Lima School provides a child - centered learning environment employing a balance of self-discovery and teacher planned activities. Our program encourages the spiritual, physical, emotional, and academic growth of each child in a supportive atmosphere, created by a caring, dedicated, administration and staff. Assessment at St. Rose is one that includes but is not limited to standardized tests and other traditional methods of assessment. Report cards are distributed three times a year and parent conferences are held twice during the year. In March the students take the Terra Nova Tests of Basic Skills. On these tests, in the areas of reading, language, mathematics, science, and social studies, the school's percentile is always in the high average range.
Preschool The objectives of the preschool are met through the children's study of God in the world around them, the use of arts and crafts, music, finger play, stories, learning center activities, group games, and outdoor play. The three year old program helps the children to become more independent and to develop good social skills, while the four year old program provides a readiness for kindergarten.
Kindergarten The kindergarten program affords each child an individual education. Teachers utilize a variety of teaching techniques.
Religion The students are taught prayer, Bible stories, and to model Christ-like actions in their daily lives. Special emphasis is placed on Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter.
The children develop skills for writing, listening, speaking, word recognition, vocabulary building, and reading readiness.
Mathematics The students are introduced to concrete and semi-concrete activities in problem solving, number operations, algebra, measurement, and geometry.
Social Studies /Science The pupils are taught the uniqueness of communities and the wonders of nature through hands-on activities.
Other Subjects The students attend Spanish, art, music, physical education, science lab, library and computer class on a weekly basis.
Primary Grades (1 - 3)
Religion In the first grade the children become aware of God as Creator and are introduced to the concept of the Trinity. Using the foundation established in kindergarten, the children continue to grow and deepen their understanding of the Bible and prayer. The second graders prepare to celebrate the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. The third grade learns about respect for creation, the teachings of Jesus, and the Ten Commandments.
Language Arts In the primary grades the students are taught pre-reading, reading, and post reading strategies which develop the reading process. As they build their vocabulary the children begin to write letters and are introduced to writing that describes, informs, entertains, and persuades. Through writing, the children continue to develop their knowledge of spelling, parts of speech, and punctuation.
Mathematics In first, second, and third grade the children develop an understanding of problem solving using the operations of addition, subtraction, and multiplication. The concepts of algebra, measurement and geometry are introduced.
Social Studies and Science In social studies the primary children study communities, resources, maps, globes, and directions. In science the children study animals, plants, weather, and the properties of matter. The third grade children further explore heat, light, sound, machines, and the solar system.
Other Subjects The primary curriculum is enhanced with opportunities for growth and self-expression through physical education, art, and computer technology. Music class, Spanish, science lab and an introduction to band through the use of recorders, along with library are held weekly.
Intermediate Grades (4-5)
Religion In fourth grade, while the students continue their study of Jesus and the Ten Commandments, they begin to study the Beatitudes. The fifth grade program, using the fourth grade knowledge as a foundation, includes the study of the Mass, the sacraments, and the value of prayer in daily life.
Language Arts The language arts program in fourth and fifth grade is literature based. The fifth grade, building on fourth grade skills, focuses on synthesizing information, drawing conclusions, making inferences, story mapping, grammar, and writing summaries. Process writing is further developed in fourth and fifth grades through the writing of compositions, book reports, and poetry. The concept of portfolios as an organizational tool is introduced in fifth grade.
Mathematics In mathematics, building on the primary skills, the intermediate pupils use and apply the four operations for whole numbers, decimals, fractions, and mixed numbers. While continuing the study of algebra and geometry, students incorporate the use of calculators in their daily work.
Social Studies While the fourth grade reviews map skills, globe skills, and geography, the emphasis is on New Jersey. The fifth grade further develops the five themes of geography and introduces the study of American history, Canada and Latin America.
Science The science program in fourth and fifth grade is a study of general, physical, and life science. The science lab provides an exciting hands-on experience for the children. A highlight of fifth grade science is the D.A.R.E. program. This program affords the children an opportunity to interact with a local police officer, who discusses self-esteem and peer pressure. The officer employs a "say no approach" to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.
Other Subjects In fourth and fifth grade ample opportunity for growth and self expression continues through the children's participation in music, physical education, art, computer technology, science lab, Spanish, and library. The intermediate children may participate in band (all instruments), and junior chorus.
Middle School (6 - 8)
Religion In sixth grade the students relate the Old Testament to the New Testament and begin preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation. The seventh grade continues preparation for Confirmation, and studies Jesus, his life and times. The eighth grade students study church history and culminate their study of Confirmation with the reception of the sacrament.
Language Arts The curriculum in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade, like the fourth and fifth, is literature based. The curriculum builds on the same skills while developing an even deeper understanding of comprehension, synthesizing, analyzing, drawing conclusions, and making inferences. The children study different genre: short story, novel, non-fiction, drama, and poetry. The portfolio system continues in grades six, seven, and eight. The portfolio continues to be an organizational tool where students keep track of their grades, set goals for reading and writing, self-assess, and focus on turning weaknesses in reading and writing into strengths. Parental involvement is noted through a parent response form.
The writing process is also continued in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. The focus in the seventh and eighth grades is the writing of a unified and coherent essay in different formats: persuasive, compare – contrast, and expository. The eighth graders conclude their study of writing with the production of a research paper.
Mathematics In sixth, seventh, and eighth grade, while the pupils continue to review basic functions, the program's emphasis is the study of pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry. Individual needs are met, either through classroom instruction or in an accelerated mathematics program.
Social Studies In sixth grade the students continue the study of the five themes of geography, examine the development and contributions of ancient civilizations and acquire an overall view of the history of the Eastern Hemisphere. The seventh grade studies American history from Colonization to the Civil War. The eighth grade continues studying American history, beginning with the period of Reconstruction and culminating with present day world events. Civics is introduced as a subject at this time.
Science The Middle School science curriculum encompasses concepts in life science, earth science, and physical science. The principles of the scientific method are employed as a means of investigating problems and testing hypotheses. Correct use of laboratory equipment (scales, microscopes, chemicals) is stressed while providing the opportunity for individual and group discovery through experimentation.
Other Subjects The enjoyment of art, music, physical education, computer technology and Spanish is a continuing experience for the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.
Homework is given in all grades to provide practice in certain skills and to provide the opportunity of working independently. Students are expected to complete the assigned homework daily. Students are expected to spend approximately the following amount of time on homework:
Grade 1 15 - 20 minutes
Grade 2 - 3 30 minutes
Grade 4 45 minutes
Grade 5 - 6 60 minutes of written work and study
Grade 7 - 8 45 minutes of written work and 45 minutes of study