Our Religion curriculum implements the Diocese of Wilmington’s Religious Education Outcome Based Curriculum Becoming Disciples. Becoming Disciples uses the six fundamental tasks of catechesis: Promoting Knowledge of the Faith, Liturgical Education, Moral Formation, Teaching to Pray, Education for Community Life and Missionary Initiation.
The curriculum stresses the need to incorporate a variety of methodologies in teaching and assessment with the goal of leading our students to become eager disciples who are ready and willing to spread the message of Christ because of their own deep relationship with him. The students also do charitable service, social action, and participate at Mass and community prayer.
The focus of the primary curriculum is an integrated Language Arts curriculum. This curriculum includes reading, phonics, spelling, grammar, writing, vocabulary and handwriting skills. Critical thinking skills, as well as comprehension skills are emphasized at this level.
Skills taught in the Primary level in Language Arts are reinforced and expanded in the Intermediate Level. The Language Arts Program at this level is integrated and incorporates phonics, spelling, grammar, creative writing and literature. Listening and speaking skills are also taught to help the students conduct critical discussions; explore oral interpretation, and fluency.
The Language Arts curriculum at this level is a literature-based reading program in which important reading skills are covered in the context of novels. Vocabulary, grammar, speaking, the writing process as well as comprehension skills are main components of the learning process at this level.
The mathematics curriculum is a continuous process which starts in Pre-Kindergarten and is developed through the Eighth Grade. The curriculum builds on the prior year of learning. The math program reflects the Diocese of Wilmington Curriculum and Evaluation Standards.
Mathematics is taught and reinforced through the use of manipulatives and cooperative learning groups in addition to classroom instruction. The Pre-Kindergarten curriculum presents: numbers 0-20, number quantity, cardinal number recognition, ordinal numbers, patterns, geometric shapes, sequencing, graphing, and spatial relationships.
The Kindergarten-Grade 2 curriculum covers the introduction to various skills. The students are taught numbers from 0-20, place value to the tens place, and writing numbers. Also included in the math curriculum is the introduction to addition and subtraction, fractions, measurement, time, money, and estimating.
The curriculum for Grades 3-5 carries the above concepts to a higher level. Students master their multiplication and division facts and expand that skill to multiplication and division of fractions and decimals. Geometry and metric and customary measurements are taught. Other areas explored are money, time, capacity, mass, and percents. A strong emphasis is placed on developing problem-solving skills.
Grades 6-8 use a pre-algebra based program. Focus is on the properties of operations, factors, improper and equivalent fractions, and percents. Students learn the square root, prime factorization, interpreting graphs, scientific notation, and ratio. Also included are geometry, volume, capacity and mass, negative numbers, and solving equations.
The Advanced Math program at St. Ann School begins in the Fifth Grade and continues through Eighth Grade. Students in Fifth Grade are taught using the Fifth grade curriculum at an accelerated pace. Sixth Grade are taught using a Seventh Grade curriculum, Seventh Graders are taught Pre-Algebra, and Eighth Graders are taught Algebra. The decision to place students in these sections is achieved through the evaluation of a student's performance in a placement test taken at the end of the school year, Standardized Test Scores, classroom achievement and teacher recommendations, and parental consent. Students will remain in the advanced math track as long as they achieve mastery of the material.
Science instruction at the Primary Level focuses on introducing concepts and building on these concepts from one grade to the next. Each grade incorporates the three sciences into their studies: Life Science, Earth Science and Physical Science. Topics in the area of Life Science include: the study of a variety of animals and their habitats and plant parts and growth. Earth Science instruction includes the various forms of land and water, other natural resources, weather, and space. Students are also introduced to Physical Science concepts such as: objects and matter around them, forces, energy, motion, and sound. At all primary grades Science instruction is reinforced and enriched with demonstrations, manipulatives and hands-on learning experiences.
Science instruction at the Intermediate Level continues to incorporate the three sciences in each grade as well; however, the curriculum takes what the students have been taught at the Primary Level and expands on it to include greater depth and detail in their learning. In Life Science, students explore the processes, structures, and classification of living things. From there, they learn about the interactions and cycles of nature and the importance of protecting and preserving our ecosystems. Studies in the Earth Sciences include Earth’s rocks and layers, earthquakes and volcanoes. They also study the Earth’s weather and the planet’s part in our larger solar system. The students learn more about matter and energy and are introduced to the concepts of atoms and the elements. Students are also introduced to scientific experimentation and the Scientific Method where they are given the opportunity to apply what they have learned.
At the Middle School Level, each grade focuses on the study of Earth, Life or Physical Science. This promotes a more thorough investigation into each area of Science. Students in every grade begin the year by reviewing the Scientific Method and continue its use throughout every experiment they conduct during the year. In Earth Science, students study minerals, rocks, and energy in the form of fossil fuels and other alternative resources. They also learn about plate tectonics and their influence on earthquakes and volcanoes; climate and weather patterns, and the solar system and stars and constellations within our galaxy. In Life Science, students explore the six major kingdoms and the life within those kingdoms. They learn about cellular processes, heredity, the body’s organization, structure and systems. Physical Science students learn about two major topics: chemistry and physics. As a result, their investigations focus on matter and energy. They learn about chemical and physical properties of matter as well as atoms and how they bond and react with each other. They also learn more about the elements and the periodic table. Students study the major forms of energy and their effects on matter. They learn about motion, forces and transfers of energy. Students become even more familiar with scientific experimentation through the use of labs, which allow their learning to be active and meaningful.
The Social Studies curriculum provides an introduction to map and globe skills, citizenship skills including the family as a basic unit, the value of cooperation, and understanding rules and laws. There is also an emphasis on conserving and protecting the environment and appreciating ethnic and cultural diversity.
The Social Studies curriculum develops the children’s awareness of different kinds of communities and appreciation of different cultures. American history, map skills, basic geography, time lines, charts and graphs are taught. Current events are covered on a weekly basis. The students are introduced to research projects
The Social Studies curriculum in Grades 3-5 emphasizes the study of history, government, geography, map skills, economic systems, appreciation of cultures, and current events. Grade 3 focuses on communities and American history. Grade 4 covers Delaware history and different regions of the United States and National Parks. Grade 5 concentrates on the Western Hemisphere. There is a variety of opportunities for students to learn outside the classroom through field trips to local historic sites, local and state governing bodies, in-depth research, oral presentations, group projects, and participation in mock elections.
Students begin by learning about early civilizations and ancient Europe. The Sixth Grade becomes more familiar with the world around them as they explore the cultures of Africa and Asia. Grades 7 and 8 study American History starting with the First Americans to the present. Students are taught to understand the importance of questioning, reading, learning, analyzing and interpreting historical information and events that have positively and negatively formed our nation’s history. The students are educated in the origins of and the price paid for our fundamental freedoms, and the efforts needed to ensure the future of these civil rights. Efforts are made to create awareness of the workings of our democratic process from our nation’s beginning to the present.