Curriculum

Religion

Gospel values inform everything we do in our schools, and so we teach our children about the principles and practice of our Catholic faith through age-appropriate religious instruction.

In Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten, children encounter Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd, a loving caretaker and protector who wants to keep them safely by his side. Children hear simple versions of Bible stories and learn basic prayers of praise and thanksgiving. They learn the events in the life of Jesus.

In First Grade, children are introduced to God as the Creator of all things on earth and in heaven. They learn that God is all-loving, all-holy, all-powerful and all-knowing, and that humans respond to him with love and gratitude. Children are taught that each person is created in Godís image and has dignity and value. Students learn of their responsibility to respect life and care for themselves and other people and things God created.

Second Grade is the year that children prepare to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation (Penance) and First Eucharist (Holy Communion). They learn more about the life of Jesus and their parents are invited to develop a close relationship with Jesus through the sacraments. Children become familiar with the liturgical calendar. They understand the gifts of free will and forgiveness through the sacrament of Penance and learn that frequent participation in the Holy Eucharist strengthens the life-long bond with Christ that began at their Baptism. Parents also partner with the school to help their child realize the importance of living in close relationship with Jesus.

Building on their new relationship with Jesus through Reconciliation and Eucharist, children in Third Grade, learn about living as part of a faith community. They study the seven sacraments of the Church and how God instituted them to bring his people closer to him.

In Fourth Grade, children study basic morality. They learn the lessons and rules Jesus gave his people to help them to be happy and contribute to the well-being of others. Students explore the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes as well as practice the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

Acknowledging childrenís growing ability to enter into relationships with others, Fifth Grade students concentrate on deepening their personal relationship with Jesus. They study the Sacraments again, now from the perspective of people in a loving, respectful relationship with God.

In Sixth Grade, students encounter the mystery of God through his involvement with people in history. They study how God reveals himself through the Old and New Testaments. They learn about Jesus as the fulfillment of the promises of the Old Testament and the fulfillment of the longings of the human heart.

In Seventh and Eighth Grades, students explore the physical, sexual, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual growth they experience as adolescents. They address the challenges they face in developing and acting responsibly. They also prepare for and receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Specifically,

          In the Seventh Grade, the students look closely at the Gospels and study the Sacraments as expressions of their reciprocal relationship with Jesus. They learn about human sexuality as a gift from God.
   
  In the Eighth Grade, students explore how the choices they make affect relationships with one another and within communities. They study Church history and learn lessons of leadership and social responsibility. They also learn different ways to pray as part of the Catholic community and as individuals who give expression to their own hearts.

Throughout the curriculum, faith in action is stressed by giving children opportunities for service and social responsibility. Participation in Mass and prayer as a school community is an integral part of the common experience and reinforces both the religion curriculum and the faith life of the Church.

At the end of each grade from third to eighth, children take an Archdiocesan religion exam to measure their knowledge, understanding and lived experience of the expected learning.

Science

Science Our science program educates students to use inquiry as a tool to understand scientific concepts and master the skills to appreciate and embrace the ever-expanding body of scientific knowledge.

Consistent with the philosophy and requirements of the New York State Science standards, the Archdiocesan curriculum urges active learning in which students:

   describe objects and events

   ask questions

   acquire knowledge

   construct explanations of natural phenomena

   test those explanations in many different ways, and

   communicate their ideas to others

We believe there is a strong coherence between religion and science in grasping the mechanics of nature. We teach students that a strong Catholic faith does not exclude one from seeking scientific knowledge, and that science can help humans better understand and appreciate the wonder of Godís creation. We incorporate church teaching and doctrine into discussions of scientific ethics and moral decision-making as it relates to being good stewards of the earth.