Language Arts Overview
- The focus of the language arts program is to develop the skills inherent in the areas of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. By graduation, students should be able to clearly communicate through verbal and written expressions and be independent readers. Strong communication skills prepare students to be successful in meeting the challenges of today’s diverse world.
- The language arts program is developed on a continuum, from the concrete to the analytical. By incorporating the arts, visual, auditory and written activities, through individual and group settings students’ varied learning styles are addressed.
- Students are regularly assessed on their individual progress through written and verbal evaluations, worksheets, visual aids and presentations.
Foreign Language Overview
- By graduation, the students will have been exposed to the Spanish language so that they are better prepared to succeed at a more in-depth study of foreign languages in high school. One aspect of the mission of the school is learning respect for others. The exposure to a foreign language helps students learn respect for other individuals as well as other cultures.
- Foreign language classes use aural, written, spoken, and reading elements to present material in several different ways for the different learning styles in the class. Activities include reading and repeating words and phrases, writing short answers to questions, and engaging in dialogues. Various games are used to reinforce foreign language skills.
- The foreign language program is currently offered in grades 6-8.
- The primary purpose of the mathematics program at St. Mary-Sacred Heart School is to help students utilize everyday mathematics applications. The program’s objectives are designed to encompass mathematics applications both in and out of the classroom setting. By engaging the students in developing basic skills, a strong sense of mathematics concepts, and higher order thinking, we strive to inspire students to use acceptable alternative approaches to solve real world mathematics problems.
- The mathematics program is designed to promote the acceptance of students’ varied learning styles and abilities which is in line with the mission statement. The incorporation of manipulatives, active learning experiences, visual modifications, skill drills, games, practice, and review is a sampling of our continued commitment to meet the needs of our students’ varied learning styles.
- The system for assessment of students’ individual needs includes, but is not limited to: observations, listening, quizzes, formal testing, math projects, writing assignments, worksheets, class participation, homework, journal writing, skill drills, manipulative activities, peer mentoring, and conferencing.
Social Studies Overview
- Beginning in kindergarten through grade 2 the social studies program develops an awareness of the physical world and its people with emphasis on the family and its connections to the church and town community. Students are introduced to culture, basic mapping skills, famous people, and events.
- In grades 3 and 4, students expand their knowledge of cultures, mapping skills, famous people, and events by focusing on the state of Massachusetts and local communities. The program further encompasses regions of the United States and the world. Government and effective citizenship is introduced.
- Grade 5 delves into the study of the United States and its neighbors. Grade 6 focuses on the various ancient civilizations of the Eastern Hemisphere and then expansion to the West.
- Grades 7 and 8 study American history and its relationship to current events.
- The primary purpose of the St. Mary-Sacred Heart School’s social studies program is to prepare our students to meet the challenges of today’s diverse world by emphasizing social responsibility and respect for others.
- The program’s objective is to challenge the students to examine, understand, and appreciate the experiences of all genders, races, cultures, and socio-economic classes in order to foster better life decisions in relation to themselves, their church and community. Teachers utilize the arts through the use of drama, art, music, poetry, and storytelling to introduce and reinforce concepts. Students create projects, book reports, maps, and give oral presentations. They engage in role-playing, cooperative learning activities, and debating teams. Social studies concepts are integrated throughout the curriculum in literature and art. Current events are discussed on a daily basis. Technology is utilized in the classroom through cable, television programs, videos, and computer resources. In addition to specific teaching time allotted, special presentations are given by invited guest speakers and field trips are arranged to historic places. Students also participate in various contests, one of which is the National Geography Bee.
- The system for assessment of students’ individual needs includes, but is not limited to: formal testing, written work, projects and presentations, observations, research reports, and homework. At the middle level (grades 7 & 8), students are also assessed through cumulative testing (i.e. mid-terms and finals).
- The purpose of the religion curriculum at St. Mary-Sacred Heart School is to educate and to provide for the development of the students as a whole person spiritually, academically, and socially with Jesus as our model. The objective of the religion program is to present the Catholic religion not only as a systemic set of beliefs, but also as a faith incorporated into our daily lives. According to the mission statement, emphasis is placed on social responsibility and respect for others as students are prepared to meet the challenges of today’s diverse world.
- Beliefs are rooted in Scripture, prayer and worship, tradition, and doctrine. All teachers nurture the development of a Catholic identity in students, already begun at home. As witnesses to our faith, students are challenged to actively live their faith. Teaching methodologies include using the arts and multiple intelligence strategies to present concepts. Teachers acknowledge that these methods help students reach their individual potential. Catholic Christian values are evident throughout the curriculum. Religion, as a curricula component, is given the same consideration as all other major subjects.
- Assessment is done through projects, unit tests and daily participation. Cooperative learning techniques are used in a variety of ways to illustrate that faith is a part of the students’ lives. Role-playing, drama, music, storytelling, art, poetry, and movement are used in presenting and assessing concepts taught. Christian concepts are integrated throughout the curriculum, allowing students to see that living our faith is a daily process.
- In grades K-1, the science program is a guided exploration into the world of science. Scientific concepts presented are connected to literature and expanded through observation, prediction and questioning, graphing and classifying.
- In grades 2-5, the program is divided into four major areas of study: Life Science, Physical Science, Earth Science, and the Human Body.
- In grades 6-8, the program is divided into three distinct areas. Grade 6 concentrates on Earth Science, grade 7 on Life Science, and grade 8 on Physical Science.
- Learning experiences aid students in everyday problem solving. Knowledge is gained through exploring phenomena in their environment. Through effective instruction and encouragement, students develop a working understanding and appreciation of the impact of science and technology on their society. Following our mission statement, developmental consideration, and our beliefs about teaching and learning are taken into account in our science program. The design of the program promotes the acceptance of individual student’s varied learning styles and abilities. The incorporation of simple experiments, games, active learning experiences, practice and review, are in line with our commitment to meet the needs of our students’ varied learning styles. The K-1 program taps into the students’ innate sense of curiosity in discovering the world around them. The grade 2-5 program engages all students with multiple levels of activities for exploring, investigating and experimenting. Connections are made with cross-overs in the areas of writing, math and art. Grades 6-8 take a focused, in-depth approach to each discipline.
- Assessment of students’ individual needs includes, but is not limited to: observations, listening, quizzes, formal testing, lab projects, writing assignments, worksheets, class participation, homework, journal writing, skill drills, manipulative activities, peer mentoring, and conferencing.
The Music Education program is one part of the total curriculum offered to our students in grades kindergarten through five. All students are expected to participate regardless of the level of their musical abilities. Class times include both formal instruction in note reading and counting utilizing the recorder, as well as other fun experiences with music using sing-a-longs, exposure to other instruments and even student demonstrations on their own instruments that they may be learning outside of the classroom.
Creative Arts Overview
All students in K through grade eight have a weekly Creative Arts class. All aspects of Art Education are incorporated in to these weekly classes and many different art materials, tools and techniques are introduced to the students. All students create works of art that are included in our Annual Creative Arts Fair, usually held in late-May or early-June.
- The overall purpose is to ensure that all students have access to the most recent and appropriate technology and that all students are able to use relevant applications in their academic work. By graduation, all students should be able to use and have a solid understanding of the value of a word processor, a database, and a spreadsheet. All students should demonstrate proficiency in the utilization of the Internet as a research tool.
- St. Mary-Sacred Heart School is committed to a mission, which provides the highest level of academic instruction to students in a nurturing and Catholic centered environment. As part of that mission, every effort is made to provide the best modern instruction while making sure that the students are protected and enriched by their education.
- Every effort is made to provide age appropriate software for the students. This is done after careful research and with input from experts, classroom teachers and parents as well as the students themselves. The material, which is used as part of the instructional component, is leveled by grade and skills to be mastered are also leveled accordingly. Applications that are used as the underlying skills have been acquired as part of a developmental curriculum.
- Assessment is done by observation and by determination of ease with one type of application before moving onto another. Student work and projects are also used as an assessment tool.
- Formal computer instruction is offered in a lab setting for grades 2 through 8 only.
Physical Education Overview
- Physical education is a vital part of the total educational process to help students achieve their educational goals. It contributes to the mental, social, physical and emotional growth and development of each child.
- The physical education program incorporates the philosophy of St. Mary-Sacred Heart School by promoting respect through fairness and good sportsmanship. Physical education classes are designed to meet individual levels. Students are free to excel in an atmosphere open to learning and free of ridicule. Students are encouraged to develop cooperative team skills that can be transferred into other life situations.
- The following criteria are considered when assessing individual progress: good sportsmanship, effort, participation, and cooperation.
Health Education Overview
We continue to institute the Diocese of Fall River Curriculum for Health Education. Through a combined effort of the K-8 teachers, Ms. Foley, and Mrs. Souza, the students will learn about various aspects of health such as disease prevention, nutrition, safety and injury prevention, public health, ecological health, family life, mental health, interpersonal relationships, sexuality and the dignity of the human person, growth and development, physical activity and fitness, and violence (bullying) prevention. Following the guidelines of the Diocese as designed for grade levels K-2, 3-5, and 6-8, the teachers will present some of the above topics during class time, while other subjects will be introduced by Mrs. Souza or Ms. Foley on a monthly basis during a segment of gym class. Speakers, class activities, handouts, and programs are being planned for the students.