Saint Edward-Epiphany Catholic School follows the Diocese of Richmond Consensus Curriculum for each subject area. Diocesan directives for guidelines are broad based and independent and do not correspond with public school SOLs.

Daily resources include Media Arts, Physical Education, Art and Music.  Additionally, SEES offers an Advanced Enrichment Program for students meeting certain criteria in grades 3 – 8 and an Advanced Math Program for students in grades 4 – 8. Learning Disabilities Resource and Speech-Language are available for students who have been formally diagnosed with a Learning Disability or a speech / language deficit.

Pre-Kindergarten

In Pre-K, we strive to create a classroom environment rich with opportunities for multi-sensory and exploratory learning. Please join us as we take a virtual tour of our classroom!

Students begin each morning with free play- a time where the children are encouraged to explore learning activities throughout the classroom. Students may choose to visit the art area where they can strengthen their fine motor skills by coloring, using play-doh, or painting with water colors. Our dramatic play area encourages imaginative play by using real-world props that correlate with our studies. Construction allows students to sprawl out on the carpet and be creative as they work together to build railway systems, racetracks, sky scrapers, or forts. For those students wishing to start their day off on a quieter note, they may chose to visit our listening center or classroom library equipped with bean bags, audio stories, tubs of multi-disciplinary books, puppets, and thematic big books. The intent of free play is to engage students in learning opportunities that interest them. Equally important is the notion that this exploratory time allows students to build stronger social skills as they learn to communicate and work together with their peers.

We move from exploratory learning to teacher-directed instruction during Circle Time. The students gather on our carpet to learn our curriculum skills in math, literacy, science, and writing. During this time, students learn how to identify and write the letters of our alphabet; listen to thematic stories that build on our background knowledge and vocabulary; create patterns in math; and recite our calendar skills each morning.

Children then move to Centers where they apply the skills introduced in Circle. Our Centers are designed to be a hybrid of both structured learning activities and inquiry-based projects. They are multi-disciplinary and support our core curriculum benchmarks. For example, our Arctic Adventures unit correlates with our letter Pp studies. Thus, students visit the library center where they listen to audio books about Penguins and Polar Bears. In math, they create “polar patterns” using polar animal manipulatives. In art, the students build their fine motor skills by painting polar bears with “puffy paint”. In writing, the students practice writing our names, numerals, and thematic words using “snow” (shaving cream). Our activities are differentiated so that the instruction is tailored to meet the individual academic and motor needs of our students. We want each child to feel successful in his/her learning efforts.

In addition to our academics, our preschoolers participate in a class outreach project that demonstrates how small acts of kindness can make a big difference in the world. This year our students are helping earn money and supplies for our local SPCA. The children contribute by helping their parents with activities around the house to earn “Pennies for Pets.”

Our philosophy in Pre-K is to engage our students in a myriad of learning opportunities that promote kinesthetic, artistic, spiritual, and inquiry-based connections to our curriculum. Our goal is for our students to grow into confident, inquisitive learners who are both academically and socially prepared for kindergarten and beyond. We look forward to meeting your family!

Kindergarten

St. Edward-Epiphany Catholic School, as part of the Richmond Diocesan School System, uses the Consensus Curriculum developed by a Master Curriculum Council. Our curriculum is based on both state and national standards, and both the complete Consensus Curriculum and more information about how it was developed can be found at the following http://www2.richmonddiocese.org/ocs/school_curr/index.htm

The kindergarten curriculum serves as a bridge between the play-based preschool curriculum and the standards-driven first grade classroom by including time for both challenging learning activities and student-centered play choices within our day. We integrate language arts, mathematics, religion, science, and social studies along with fine arts, library skills, technology, and physical education in a developmentally appropriate program set up to meet the individual needs of our students in a safe, friendly, and positive environment.

When teaching Language Arts in kindergarten, we use a balanced approach to literacy by incorporating the best parts of two programs, Words Their Way and Harcourt Storytown. Ours is a success-oriented program that enables students in a heterogeneous class to develop a strong foundation in phonological awareness and other pre-reading skills so that they can become successful readers as they progress with the Language Arts curriculum in the other grades. We use research-based best practices to ensure success for those students who may need extra help, support, and encouragement as well as for those students who come into kindergarten already reading and ready for more complex comprehension, reading, and writing development.

1st Grade

Language Arts: Reading

  • Demonstrate competence in the general skills and strategies of the reading process
  • Develop decoding of words according through the systematic phonics rules
  • Recall the sequence of events in stories
  • Discuss story elements such as plot, character, events, and setting
  • Identify the main idea and details in a story
  • Develop comprehension skills and fluency

Writing/Spelling

  • Writing demonstrates competence in the general skills and strategies of the writing process
  • Writes with a command of the grammatical and mechanical conventions of composition
  • Correctly spell 130-150 words applying phonics rules and memorizing sight words

Listening and speaking

  • Demonstrates competence in speaking and listening as tools for learning

Language

  • Understand basic punctuation
  • Write in complete sentences

Literature

  • Demonstrates a familiarity with selected literary works of enduring quality
  • Develop an appreciation of good literature

Math

  • Describe and compare numbers, recognize number patterns
  • Develop addition and subtraction concepts, strategies, and word problems
  • Organize and use data
  • Develop addition and subtraction strategies
  • Identify time to the hour and half hour
  • Compare measurements
  • Identify and count coins
  • Identify geometric figures
  • Understand place value
  • Describe and identify fractional parts
  • Solve two-digit addition and subtraction problems

Science

  • Earth and Space Science
    Investigate the relationship between the sun and the earth, their properties and locations
  • Life Science
    Name the five senses and how we use them
    Observe and classify objects as living, non-living, plant or animal
    Identify parts of plants, their functions, and their life cycles
  • Physical Science
    Describe the physical properties of solids, liquids, and gasses
    Classify objects by observable properties
    Experiment with the force of magnets
    Discover that sound is produced by vibrating objects
  • Science as Inquiry
    Recognize that scientific investigation is a process
    Predict possible outcomes/results

Social Studies

  • Identify groups that make up a community and describe how individual and group needs are met
  • Develop an awareness of the human dignity of all people and their heritage
  • Identify one’s rights and responsibilities as a citizen
  • Identify national landmarks, patriotic symbols, and the beginning of the history of America
  • Identify and compare how life was different 150 years ago
  • Distinguish between wants and needs
  • Differentiate between good and services, buyers and sellers
  • Recognize map symbols and cardinal directions
  • Identify and locate our city, state, country, and continen
  • Identify the continents
  • Identify ways we can help our environment

Religion

  • Recognize that there are three persons in one God
  • Reverence the Bible as the revealed Word of God
  • Recognize Mary as Jesus’ mother and the Mother of our Church
  • Recognize that all people are part of God’s family and loved by God
  • Recognize the sacrament of Baptism as a sign of belonging to God’s family
  • Recognize prayer as talking and listening to God
  • Celebrate the seasons of the liturgical year

2nd Grade

Second Grade is an exciting time for learning. Our curriculum is designed to incorporate all subject areas while developing strong, independent learners.  Students will develop critical thinking skills, study skills as well as auditory and visual skills.  We provide a variety of learning activities to meet the individual needs of each student within each classroom.

Language Arts

  • Read and comprehend various types of writing samples
  • Grammar
  • Completion of well-organized paragraph
  • Words Their Way
  • Oral Communication

Math

  • Addition and Subtraction with regrouping up to 3 digits
  • Fractions (through 1/12)
  • Money/Time/Measurement
  • Geometry
  • Problem Solving Strategies

Religion

  • Prayers and Liturgy
  • Teaching of the Church and Faith
  • Church History and Traditions
  • Sacraments

Social Studies

  • First Americans
  • Civics
  • Economics
  • Ancient Civilizations

Science

  • Life Science (Living Things; Habitats)
  • Earth Science (Earth’s surface, Space, and Weather)
  • Physical Science (Matter and Energy in Motion

3rd Grade

The Third Grade bases its curriculum on the guidelines set by the Diocese of Richmond. Using texts, technology, and other resources in each curriculum area, the required skills are taught through a variety of methods and approaches to learning.

The math curriculum begins with a review of number sense skills such as place value, rounding, number order, and comparing numbers. We move into basic addition and subtraction skills of regrouping, estimating a sum or difference, Children learn counting change, making change, telling and using time. Multiplication skills and division are introduced and developed up to the 12 tables. Children learn to use standard and metric measurements in everyday situations. Plane and 3 dimensional figures are reviewed. We end the year with a review of fractions Throughout the children solve word problems, use graphs and charts, and logical thinking skills. Definition of terms is also presented. Use of manipulatives enhance the learning experiences.

Science starts with a study of animals and their habitats. Later children learn about what natural resources are, how we use them, and need to protect them. We explore weather, various forms of energy, and the solar system. Children also learn what simple machines are and how they work. Most science units include opportunities for hands-on exploration of the topics being discussed.

Our reading program covers a variety of genres including fantasy, historical fiction, realistic fiction, folktales, nonfiction, biographies, plays, and poems. We emphasis comprehension, vocabulary development, and making inferences. Students needs are met through the use of leveled activities and materials. Students read from the reading text as well as various trade books. Writing is incorporated throughout. Opportunities to do dramatic readings, produce original plays are provided.

Students grow in their understanding fo their faith community and develop a deeper understanding of their faith in God and Jesus. They are introduced to the various books of the bible through stories related to the life of Jesus, Mary and the early Jewish men and women of faith. Their knowledge of the mass, the sacraments and the Liturgical year as well as the basic truths about God are deepened. Growing in an understanding of the Catholic Social Teachings is integrated throughout the year.

Our social studies program is based on the Virginia state curriculum. The focus in third grade is learning about the ancient cultures of Greece, Rome, and Mali with an emphasis on their geography, early government, economics, and cultural activities. We move into the study of the European exploration of the new world and the establishment of colonies (especially Jamestown) in American leading to the American Revolution. Students learn about important national documents and the basic structure of the local, state, and federal governments.

English skills include an understanding of the basic grammar structure of the English language and how to use it to build well developed sentences, paragraphs and stories. Children practice these skills in the use of the writing process.

Spelling is taught in a leveled program that emphasizes the phonetic structure of words.

Cursive writing is strengthened through a review of and use of the cursive skills learned in second grade.

4th Grade

Fourth grade begins the Intermediate level with greater responsibilities, challenges, and expectations. Students improve their organizational skills through the use of student planners and binders. The children transition between two teachers who follow the Diocesan Consensus Curriculum. Core subjects include math, language arts, science, social studies, and religion as well as resource subjects of music, art, computer, library, drama, physical education, and Spanish.

Math, science, and social studies are taught by one teacher. Fourth grade math is viewed as a foundation year. It is the year to master basic multiplication and division facts. With this mastery, students will explore these operations using larger numbers. Students will also work with decimals, fractions, and geometry. An introduction to algebraic equations and expressions will be explored. Problem solving skills will be an ongoing thread throughout the year with many different types of word problems. Students will also be engaged in small group activities weekly. Students will be challenged to explore numbers and number relations through a variety of fun, small-group activities.

The fourth graders will spend the year exploring our great state of Virginia in social studies classes. Students will begin the year with a study of Virginia geography. Students will then journey through the history of our state. We will discuss the role of Virginia in our nation’s history from Jamestown through the Revolutionary War. We will examine the events that lead to the Civil War and Virginia’s role in the war. We will move through Reconstruction and on to the World Wars. Along the way we will learn about great Virginia men and women who made important contributions. We will conclude by looking at modern Virginia, our government, and our economy. Just for fun, we will also learn all 50 United States and their capitals.

The fourth graders will explore a wide variety of topics in science. Students will study the life sciences through a study of plants and animals. Students will have great fun with earth science. Students will learn about the layers of the earth, earthquakes, and volcanoes. We will examine weather concepts. We will also explore our solar system. The states of matter will be studied. Students are often amazed during our study of energy and magnets. Science labs are a weekly part of our class. Students will work in small groups to conduct labs as well as complete at-home experiments.

Reading, language arts, and religion are taught by the other fourth grade teacher. The children read from a basal reader, discuss new vocabulary, and master focus skills such as: character’s traits and motivation, narrative elements, main idea and details, and conflict and resolution. In addition to learning comprehension strategies before, during, and after they read, the children participate in two Book and Breakfasts. They also complete several book report activities for different genres. Our spelling series corresponds with our reader. The children are responsible to learn their basic twenty words plus the weekly reading and bonus words.

Throughout the year in English class, children focus on the proper usage of parts of speech and mechanics of grammar. The children use the “6 + 1” traits in their creative writing which is taught each month. They write a variety of paragraphs and most weeks children complete a daily review which focuses on editing sentences and keeping their skills fresh. In the second half of the year, the children learn how to write a five-paragraph research report. In the spring, the children participate in the Easter play which is performed for the student body and parents.

In religion class, children learn what Catholics believe about our relationship with God, how sacraments help us celebrate our good choices, rules that guide us in making decisions, and ways to pray. The children participate in a Saints Hall of Fame in which they research a saint, dress up as the saint, and are interviewed by others. Every other week the children learn twelve glossary words which enhance their understanding of their faith.

Our hope is that by the end of the fourth grade year children have developed good organizational skills, strong study habits, and confidence in their abilities. We hope we have fostered a love for learning and have encouraged each child to discover his or her God given gifts and talents.

5th Grade

The fifth grade curriculum is fun and challenging, and therefore always subject to change!

In Math, the year begins with the review of the place value system necessary to understand basic operations. This is followed by addition and subtraction of numbers and decimals. Math properties are fun when practiced using numbers and variables. Multiplication and division of whole numbers hope to begin the second marking period, with algebraic expressions. Third marking period centers on addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of fractions, trailed by the fourth period of the metric system and geometry.

The Science year begins with the exploration of cells and seven body systems. Activities, videos and guest speakers make this area come alive along with the classification of living things when a backbone is made! The solar system and planets follow as part of the second marking period when you will see planets “moving” in the room. Processes that change the Earth including weather and ecosystems invite the third period. The marble roller coaster and forms of energy, motion and forces are a tradition in the final weeks of the year in fifth grade.

Religion in fifth grade centers on the sacraments, beginning with Baptism and Confirmation. Pentecost, when the Church celebrates the beginning of her work, is followed by the study of liturgy and the Sacrament of Eucharist starting the second period. The Sacraments at the Service of Communion and the Sacraments of Healing are in the 3rd or 4th periods, determined by the Easter calendar.

The Reading, Writing, and Social Studies curricula are centered around one overall theme each quarter. Students read stories from a basal reader to begin the year and progress into reading novels. The themes for the year are “Adaptation,” Culture and the Unknown,” “Growth, Change, and Taking Risks,” and “Struggle and Success.” Students begin the year with an introduction to literary concepts such as setting, plot, theme, characters, and genre. Students also continue to develop their comprehension strategies such as making logical predictions, drawing conclusions, making inferences, and understanding cause/effect.

6th Grade

The Sixth Grade curriculum closely follows the diocesan consensus curriculum guidelines in all subjects.

The Math curriculum follows the rigorous standards set by the diocese,  Sixth grade math focuses on topics that support a strong Pre-Algebra curriculum.  Students take either 6th grade Math or Pre-Algebra 7.  6th grade math focuses on strengthening the building blocks learned in grades 4 and 5, as well as introducing topics necessary for a successful Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 experience.  All middle school students follow a curriculum that leads to completion of Algebra 1 or Algebra 1/Geometry 1, and receive high school credit for successful completion of these courses.

The major components of the English curriculum include reading, grammar, composition, vocabulary development, and communicative skills. The concepts and skills taught are cumulative. Students are assigned summer reading prior to the onset of the school year and are encouraged to explore reading through various genres. Conventional standards of grammar are emphasized in the instruction of the parts of speech, mechanics, and usage. Students are engaged in the writing process and craft their writing in accordance with the three-part thesis. The vocabulary workshop systematically promotes expansion of vocabulary and aids in the preparation of vocabulary assessment in standardized testing. Students practice speaking and listening skills to enhance both verbal and written communication.

In Social Studies, 6th grade students will concentrate on ancient world civilizations giving them understanding in the development of societies and the evolution of cultures, as we know them today. They will study the Stone Age, ancient Egypt, China, India, Greece, Rome, and the Middle Ages.  Map skills and geography skills will also be incorporated into the study of these ancient cultures.

Life Science is the focus in the sixth grade. There is a semester of investigation into the systems of the human body paying particular attention to the digestive, skeletal, muscular, circulatory and nervous systems. Students then continue their study of plant and animal cells and cellular processes. We also look at genetics and heredity. We finish up the year studying Ecosystems. All science classes perform hands-on activities and labs as part of every chapter of study.

In Religion, the 6th graders at SEES are beginning to delve more deeply into the “whys” of their faith.  They will explore the Old Testament foundations of many aspects of Catholicism, as well as the New Testament events that include our Gospel accounts and the Letters which instruct us in Christian living.  The Nicene Creed will be studied as well as memorized.  Prayer in its different forms and for various purposes is an everyday occurrence; students are encouraged to pray together using words from their hearts as well as memorized and familiar prayers.  Projects, discussion, and music are regular features of this class.

7th Grade

The Seventh Grade curriculum closely follows the diocesan consensus curriculum guidelines in all subjects.

The Math curriculum follows the rigorous standards set by the diocese.  Seventh grade students take either Pre-Algebra or Algebra I. Pre-Algebra is a prerequisite for Algebra I and focuses on the skills necessary to prepare for more advanced math topics.  Students taking Algebra 1 in 7th grade prepare to take a Geometry course in the 8th grade. In both classes students learn fundamental algebra skills needed to succeed in higher math classes.  All middle school students follow a curriculum that leads to completion of Algebra 1 or Algebra 1/Geometry 1, and receive high school credit for successful completion of these courses.

The major components of the English curriculum include reading, grammar, composition, vocabulary development, and communicative skills. The concepts and skills taught are cumulative. Students are assigned summer reading prior to the onset of the school year and are encouraged to explore reading through various genres. Conventional standards of grammar are emphasized in the instruction of the parts of speech, mechanics, and usage. Students are engaged in the writing process and craft their writing in accordance with the three-part thesis. The vocabulary workshop systematically promotes expansion of vocabulary and aids in the preparation of vocabulary assessment in standardized testing. Students practice speaking and listening skills to enhance both verbal and written communication.

Seventh grade students study American History from the post-Civil War era to the present day. Topics include: the development of the West including the Indian Wars; the inventions of the early 20th century and industrialization; the growth of cities at the turn of the century; America becoming a world power; the roaring 20s; the Great Depression; World Wars I and II; the Cold War including Korea and Vietnam; the end of the Cold War and the Soviet Union; modern military conflicts and changes to society today. Current events are covered throughout the year.

In seventh grade, Physical Science focuses on Chemistry and Physics. Students spend a semester examining matter and learning basic chemistry. There is in-depth examination of atoms and the periodic table of elements. We spend another semester investigating physics. Students are engaged in the study of the effects of Newton’s Laws and the use of simple machines to examine the specific laws in action. All science classes perform hands-on activities and labs as part of every chapter of study.

Seventh grade students study Jesus in the New Testament with emphasis on the four Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, letters of Paul, the Catholic letters and the book of Revelation. They learn about the seven sacraments and the importance they play in our lives. Additionally, they are instructed in the principles of Catholic morality which help teenagers make important life choices. Focus is placed on different forms of prayer, aspects of the liturgical year, and the seasons of the Church.

 

 

 

8th Grade

The Eighth Grade curriculum closely follows the diocesan consensus curriculum guidelines in all subjects.

The Math curriculum follows the rigorous standards set by the diocese. Eighth grade students study either Algebra I or Geometry (upon successful completion of Algebra 1 in seventh grade). These are high school equivalent courses which transfer as high school credits. Students are required to take a rigorous Diocesan Algebra Exam or Geometry Exam at the end of the school year. Each year many of our students are accepted into specialty centers as a result of their test scores.

The major components of the English curriculum include reading, grammar, composition, vocabulary development, and communicative skills. The concepts and skills taught are cumulative. Students are assigned summer reading prior to the onset of the school year and are encouraged to explore reading through various genres. Conventional standards of grammar are emphasized in the instruction of the parts of speech, mechanics, and usage. Students are engaged in the writing process and craft their writing in accordance with the three-part thesis. The vocabulary workshop systematically promotes expansion of vocabulary and aids in the preparation of vocabulary assessment in standardized testing. Students practice speaking and listening skills to enhance both verbal and written communication

Eighth grade students study Civics, Government, and Economics. Topics include: foundations of citizenship and the election process; how American government was created with focus on the establishment of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights; the federal government with emphasis placed on the three branches; foundations of Economics and our government’s role in our economy. Current events are covered throughout the year.

Science focuses on Earth Science in eighth grade. Students spend time learning about geology…looking at rocks and minerals and various geologic features. Students studies  then  move out into space. They learn about the beginnings of our Solar System, the planets and the Sun. Weather is also studied in detail. All science classes perform hands-on activities and labs as part of every chapter of study.

Students are required to take a Religion class each year. Students receive a strong basis and appreciation for Catholic tradition and beliefs. They study Church history and Church laws as well as practice their faith on a daily basis. They are involved in a special outreaches throughout the year. Religion and Christian values are definitely priorities.