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Curriculum And Methods
 
Grades One, Two, and Three

The primary grade curriculum is prefaced with establishing a comfort level of acceptance and learning style. Emphasis is given to the spiritual values practiced in the school through prayer, the study of scripture, and service learning projects. Good reading skills along with phonics are the foundations for learning to come. In addition, teachers strive to build a solid foundation of basic mathematics and writing skills that will serve the student well in later years. The strategies and methods utilized lay the foundation for the development of cognitive skills: sustained, selective and divided attention. In addition, in Grade 3, the children are prepared for the receptions of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. Each of these grades is self-contained.

Grades Four and Five

At the intermediate level, organization and study skills are a central focus in the Integrated language Arts and Social Studies programs. The spiritual growth of the student continues in religion with the study of the Liturgy and the Sacraments, with a specific focus on the Sacrament of Confirmation. Emphasis is placed on the enhancement of writing and speaking skills throughout the curriculum. Problem solving and analytical skills in mathematics and science are applied as the higher thinking processes continue to develop the child. Departmentalization begins at Grade 5.

Grade Six, Seven, and Eight

At the junior high level, the Old Testament, the person of Jesus and His Church, Sacraments, and morality are the highlights of the religion program. Nazareth focuses on teaching the children to find deeper meaning in the beliefs and practices of the faith. Effective communication skills along with a focus on creativity empower the students to utilize their talents fully as directed by teachers of English Language Arts. By concentrating on listening, speaking, reading and writing, students learn to make connections to other disciplines. Science, mathematics, and social studies programs emphasize note taking, critical and deductive thinking, study skills and independent reading. Classes are fully departmentalized in all areas of study.


Specialized Areas

Specialized programs are Honors Mathematics (Grades 4-8), Technology, Spanish, Art, Music, and Physical Education.

The Honors ELA program (Grades 6, 7, and 8) promotes the development, encouragement and enhancement of fluent readers, articulate writers and speakers, discerning listeners, and avid researchers. This is accomplished using an integrated approach with a strong focus on Grammar and Writing. The skills of reading, writing, speaking, listening and research are developed. The study of Latin in Grades 6, 7, and 8 enhances Vocabulary and Reading skills.

Students express themselves through speeches, multi-media presentations and projects. Increasingly difficult texts, both fiction and non-fiction are read. The students are exposed to a variety of learning techniques, including direct instruction, group work, and research to gain entry into and comprehensive of great works of literature. Students in the Honors ELA program must participate in the Reading Olympics program.
The Wax Museum and creative writing dramas are two examples of creative projects of the Eighth Grade.

The Honors Math program is designed to challenge students to work at an accelerated pace. The program follows the seven strands of mathematics set by the National Council of Mathematics. All Math classes follow Common Core Standards and all Eighth Grade students study Algebra.
 
Re: Honors Programs
Students are evaluated using varied assessments in a class setting, Terra Nova standardized testing, report cards, writing portfolios, and teacher recommendation.

Technology is a class filled with the thinkers, creators, and programmers of the future. The Technology curriculum begins in first grade with the basic computer skills including safely turning the computer on and off and logging into the school network with a user name and password. Students begin in the early grades to learn typing skills starting with the home row keys and continue to build and master these skills throughout their entire education at NAGS. Students learn appropriate and safe use of the Internet as well as how to create word documents, spread-sheets, and power point presentations utilizing a variety of Microsoft Office products.Before any child is permitted to use the Internet, both the student and his/her parents sign our Acceptable Use policy recommended by the Department of Education and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The Spanish program is designed to introduce each student to vocabulary, culture, and conversation while building skills and language mechanics. Translation and comprehension are developed; the program culminates in the reading of a Spanish novel. These four specialized areas are developed to prepare each student for a successful high school career.

The areas of Art, Music, and Physical Education complete the program of studies. Art awakens the child to an area of creativity yet to be discovered through varied art media. Art inspires the free spirit in every child.

Music presents its own language and its message is unique to each of us. In addition to class instruction, the music department promotes activities related to hand bells, choir chimes, choir, band, jazz band and the spring musical.

Physical Education gives the child the freedom and the discipline to develop an appreciation of a sound body through exercise, balance, health, sports, and coordination. Students in Grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 participate in the Presidential Youth Fitness Program for physical fitness. Field Day is an enjoyable fun-filled event for students to participate in organized games at the end of the school year.

The life skills provided by the art, music, and physical education classes complement the academic curriculum in developing each child.
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