Curriculum Overview

Please see below to learn the philosophy of each content area offered at the Academy.

English/Language Arts

The Goal of each ELA classroom from Kindergarten to 8th grade is to engage students in activities that will promote growth in each of the four components of ELA: reading, writing, grammar, and spelling and word study.  

In the Lower Form, Saint Edmond’s Academy uses the Comprehensive Reading Solutions program, also known as Bookworms. The program has four components: Shared Read Aloud, Interactive Read Aloud, Word Study, and Differentiated Instruction. During daily intensive reading blocks, the program incorporates authentic texts, critical reading, phonemic awareness, higher level vocabulary, and grammar instruction. In the Shared Reading block, students read grade level texts by echo, choral, and partner reading. Through these practices, students increase fluency, apply vocabulary, and develop comprehension strategies. Throughout Word Study, students study vowel sounds and letter patterns that allows them to read and spell words. During Interactive Read Aloud, students listen to above grade level texts to practice comprehension strategies, higher level vocabulary and grammar skills. Grades 2 and 3 have additional grammar instruction which is taught using Sadlier’s Grammar Workshop. In addition, the Differentiated Instruction block is tailored to meet each student’s reading needs.The Lower Form writing program follows two programs:  the Comprehensive Reading Solutions Connection to Writing and the Lucy Calkins Writer’s Workshop Model and curriculum guide. 

In the Middle Form, Grade 4 continues the Lower Form program using the Comprehensive Reading Solutions.  As students progress into grades five through eight, the program shifts to a novel and anthology based program.  Novel studies are designed to enhance cross curricular themes. Students are encouraged to further exercise critical thinking skills by developing analyses supported by text-based examples and proof. Writing instruction centers upon the independent application of the writing process in developing narrative, informative, and argumentative texts. Grammar and vocabulary instruction continue to be taught in conjunction with the writing process in order to foster independent writers, and Sadlier’s Grammar For Writing workbooks continue to be an integral part of grammar instruction. At the eighth grade level, students write a comprehensive research paper as part of a Capstone research essay project. Instruction on topic selection, research strategies, and source evaluation supplement this largely student-driven research and writing project.

Mathematics

Mathematics at the Academy is an accelerated program, starting as low as kindergarten.  By the time a student enters second grade, he is one year ahead in the math curriculum.  For example, students in third grade are working through a fourth grade curriculum and textbook.  As students progress through the years, each grade level remains one year ahead so that every 8th grader is taking Algebra I or higher.  Honors level programs begin in 4th grade with an Accelerated Program (a fast-paced program) to an above level program for grades 5-8.  The goal of the program is to combine a strong foundational program of basic facts and number sense with a critical thinking approach to mathematics.  With Mathematics classes meeting every day for 60 minutes, students are able to be successful in this rigorous program. 
 

Science

The Lower Form Science Program, for grades K through 3rd, embodies the overall philosophy for the Lower Form.  Teachers create differentiated lessons to meet the needs of every learner. At the same time, an emphasis is placed on working together and recognizing each child’s unique contribution to the class. Literacy and hands-on learning are also an important part of the lower form science curriculum. Lower form science focuses on hands-on discovery techniques to introduce important science concepts. The students make observations, interpret visual representations, record data, and relate cause and effect. Projects are also completed as part of science learning. Technology, in the form of iPads, is used for various activities. Our 25-acre campus provides an ideal opportunity for outdoor elementary nature studies.

Middle Form Science follows the Middle Form guidelines, for greades four through six, where students are supported in developing strong literacy and writing skills across the curriculum, as well as strong organizational and study skills. Students are encouraged to learn both critical science content as well as critical thinking and science process skills. This is done through an integrated approach which uses iPad technology, differentiated lessons, project based learning, and hands-on labs and activities to reinforce key concepts and reasoning skills. Design thinking is also an ongoing process which starts in the lower form and continues to develop in the middle and upper forms. Lab procedures and safety protocols are taught in the middle form. Microscopes are used in the study of cells and tissues. Students begin to learn about formal lab report writing, and work towards a deeper analysis and understanding of the data that they gather. In the 5th and 6th grades, the students have the opportunity to take overnight trips to study the environment at the Ashland Nature Center and at Camp Tockwogh. Teacher and Andre program support is always available to students who exhibit a need.

Upper Form Science, for grades seven and eight, holds fast to the Holy Cross goals of developing both the hearts and minds of our students.  Authentic learning, fueled by a strong integrated curriculum encouraging strong literacy, technology, and problem solving skills, is the benchmark of Upper form Science. Upper Form science at St. Edmond’s Academy involves developing effective lab skills, academic proficiency, and higher level critical thinking skills. Discussions of ethics help students to view science as an evolving process needing conscious awareness of its possible outcomes. An important component of this course is the development and mastery of science process skills which will be used in high school. The well-equipped science laboratory is an ideal setting for promoting these skills in cooperative lab groups. Students work in cooperative lab groups in order to design experiments, test hypotheses, document data, and analyze results. The students are involved with experimental design, project based learning, observation techniques, microscope use, collecting data and designing and interpreting graphs and tables. A focus on developing strong study skills, effective work habits, and positive organizational skills helps St. Edmond’s Upper Form Science students to become well-prepared for the demands of high school.

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