Here at St. Thomas the Apostle School we pride ourselves on a challenging and rigorous curriculum. We want our students to learn while being engaged and focused on the tasks set before them. Currently St. Thomas the Apostle School offers Accelerated Courses in Mathematics in grades 6-8. We are in the process of making this a reality in other subjects such as Reading and Langauage Arts.
Curriculum Maps from the Archdiocese:
St. Thomas the Apostle School Curriculum
Our goal as Catholic School Educators is to allow our students to learn about their faith. The purpose of the religion program is to teach the doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Each child’s natural desire for God is nourished through daily prayer and liturgical celebrations including the Eucharist and Reconciliation. The children are encouraged to respond to God’s call by living and proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ through practicing the spirit of the Beatitudes and the Works of Mercy. The school attends mass once a month and does prayer services throughout the year which is regularly run by our 8th graders.
The reading curriculum focuses on developing comprehension and critical thinking skills across all subject areas. Grade levels K-2 concentrate on the development of phonological awareness and decoding skills to foster the ability to read independently. The development of critical thinking skills is nurtured via analyzing various types of texts. All levels focus on increasing the ability to determine main ideas, predict outcomes, and draw inferences from a variety of texts. All levels are able to use our state of the art Library if their courses call for it. The use of our resources only allows our students to exude excellence in their reading studies.
The language arts curriculum encompasses grammar, spelling, writing, and presentations. The development of written communication skills focuses on the successful integration of spelling, grammar, and the structural techniques of writing. Children employ daily journals using prompts to develop their writing skills in various genres. Reading and analyzing nonfiction and fiction texts is crucial in the composition of essays and writing assignments in the upper grades. Emphasis is placed on etymology as well. Children are instructed in word origins as well as how to identify prefixes/roots/suffixes. All levels are able to use our state of the art Library if their courses call for it. The use of our resources only allows our students to exude excellence in their reading studies.
The math curriculum in grades K-8 includes the use of problem-solving, logic, skill-based strategies, manipulatives, and technology via the use of calculators, computers, and Smart Boards. The students in grades 6-8 are currently able to take accelerated mathematics, which focuses on Algebra and Geometry.
The social studies program emphasizes the study of past human events and their impact on us today. The rights and responsibilities of government and good citizenship are also emphasized. Our democratic government is studied and compared to other governmental systems. Historical facts and concepts are used to illustrate the development of the human race. Geography/Map Skills is included in the curriculum. The social studies curriculum is coordinated across grade levels with other academic areas. Please refer to each individual grade to understand where the current class is on the Social Studies spectrum.
Physical, earth, and life sciences are explored through experiments, observation, research, videos, computers, guest speakers, and field trips. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are emphasized using the scientific method, discovery activities, technology, and traditional methods, relating science to everyday life. The science lab is available for use by all grades. The science program is coordinated with other academic areas. At all grade levels, the science curriculum challenges students to maintain high science literacy by expressing their discoveries in various ways. By middle school, students write research papers and formal laboratory reports. Small group, one-on-one instruction and differentiated learning center activities assist in addressing the needs and challenges of students.
The use of our science lab allows our students to have hands on experiences in the field. Having the accessibility of microscopes, beakers, test-tubes, etc. gives the full-on experience that every eager young scientist looks for. Teachers of all levels are welcome to utilize the lab when it is not in use.
Our Synergistics lab offers students in grades 7 & 8 the chance to excel in the fields of: Electricity, Robotics, Animation, Ideas and Innovations, Bridges, Audio Broadcasting, Physics, and Forensic Science.
All students in grades PK-8 receive art instruction once a week during the school year. Grades K-4 receive instruction in the fundamentals of art such as line, form, color, texture, and the incorporation of three-dimensional art forms. Students in grades 5-8 explore the diverse forms of art such as sculpture in various media.
Physical Education is available 2 times a week for grades Pre-K through 4 and once a week in grades 5-8. The program emphasizes fitness, wellness, and nutrition for all grade levels. It includes basic movements and muscle development skills, as well as warm-up and physical activities, lead up games, and traditional games of sport. Health and sport related fitness components are also incorporated in physical education classes. Fair play, good sportsmanship, respect, tolerance, and cooperation are emphasized throughout the program. The use of Vassar Field allows us to fully embrace the feeling of being able to spread our wings as hawks and enjoy every aspect of Physical Education.
Grades PK-8 meet once a week for computer science classes for varying lengths of time. Academic software, word processing, and keyboarding skills are emphasized in grades 1-4. Word processing, spreadsheets, database, keyboarding, presentation software, and Internet skills are the focus of grades 5-8. Internet access is available in the computer labs, grades K-8 classrooms, along with access to desktop and laptop computers. Computers are integrated in all subject areas and Smart Boards have been added for use across the curriculum. We currently have a 3-D Printer within the Technology Room which allows our students to bring their ideas to life!
All students in grades K-8 receive Spanish instruction. Grades K-4 learn Spanish through vocabulary-based activities such as games, songs, puzzles, flash cards, and bilingual storybooks. In grades 5-8, students advance their skills by using Spanish workbooks and software that focuses on grammar and vocabulary exercises.