Upper School Grades (6-8)
Faith, Knowledge, Service – the St. Catharine School motto is more than just words.
The adolescent learner is more capable of meaningful introspection and is ready for my detailed explanations instead of just yes or no answers. The Religion curriculum therefore, guides them to make sound moral judgments based on Christian principles. They are ready for and seek a more personal relationship with God and understand the Church as a community of believers. Small group projects, discussions, meditations and service projects are all ways the upper school student is prepared to live the faith.
Reading, analyzing and interpreting literature as well as informational text is one of the goals of the Upper School ILA program. The students continue to expand their horizons through the reading of time-tested classics as well as newer quality young adolescent literature. Students are also prepared to write multi paragraph informational pieces, persuasive pieces that include a clearly stated position and supporting statements. During the writing process, the students are constantly revising their work with an eye to logic, organization, and the conventions of the English Language.
The consistency and structured framework of the spiraling math curriculum creates a common language of math concepts and ideas that the students build on as they develop more sophisticated math skills. The students in grades 6-8 are building these skills through critical thinking and focusing directly on the math. They grow into better and more confident problem solvers as they advance through the lessons. In grade 8, Algebra I is offered to students who have tested into the program.
From the Ancient World to the New World, the Upper School students learn to make the connections from the past to the present and gain a greater understanding of the human story. Current events spearhead many discussions and projects as the students apply the lessons they have been taught. A keen awareness is developed of their role and responsibilities as citizens of this country as well as citizens of the world.
The students in grades 6-8 continue the scientific inquiry method by progressing through a process of questioning, data collection, analysis and interpretation. Findings and ideas are shared for review. Scientific literacy is also expanded to include the ability to search for and assess scientific information found in various print and electronic media. Physical, Life and Earth Sciences are all part of the Upper School Science Curriculum.
The 1 to 1 laptop initiative is a big part of the Upper School experience. The privilege of having a laptop for every student’s exclusive use every day allows the teachers to provide a 21st Century classroom experience in all subjects. Note taking, research, collaboration, the writing process, test taking are all enhanced through the use of the laptops. The quality of the students’ work demonstrates the benefit of this investment in our children and our future.