Instruction in art is provided for all grade levels as well as the history of Art. Through the use of visual means, students learn about the various forms of art. The students experience hands-on projects that help to identify their strengths and interest in the field of art. Many projects cross reference with other subject curricula.
The computer lab is continually upgraded with new hardware as well as software. Students take computer classes weekly and the curriculum is correlated through skills and projects that build upon those mastered in previous years. A school wide “Enrichment Program” is offered for one trimester to students in Grade 1 through 5. The Smart Board is used daily in all of the lessons. Students in Grades 6 to 8 have an extended technology class year round. The enrichment and added time involves the cooperative and collaborative efforts of the technology integrator and the classroom and subject teachers.
LANGUAGE ARTS : Grades 1 - 5
The appreciation of creative writing offers the students an opportunity to express their ideas. The students are encouraged to express these ideas both verbally as well as through writing.
LANGUAGE ARTS: Grades 6 - 8
Language Arts focuses on developing the use of proper grammar in the production of good written work. Knowing the parts of speech and how each functions in the construction of a sentence is reinforced and put into practice. Additional focus is placed on understanding the use of phrases and clauses in the structuring of well developed written expression. Students produce written work which is self and peer edited. A variety of lessons are incorporated to practice skills needed to produce quality work.
Our goal is to enrich the mind of each student through the study of mathematics, developing each student’s mathematical skills and understanding to the full potential of his or her abilities. With critical thinking at the core of all instruction, our mathematics offering includes the use of manipulatives, hands-on activities, visual representations, modeling, small group activities, integration of technology, connections to daily experiences and writing about mathematics.
The curriculum begins with number recognition, fact families, and continues to progress through the years until Pre-Algebra is offered to students in seventh grade and Algebra to the eighth graders.
Students are exposed to the world of Fine Arts as presented during their weekly music class. They acquire an appreciation for the world of music through lessons that introduce them to the various composers and styles. In addition to classroom instruction, the students participate in liturgical music.
As part of their physical development and growth, the students participate in physical education classes twice a week. They learn the motor skills that coincide with their stages of growth and in their academic advancement and success. Good sportsmanship and fair play are an important focus during instructional time. The students take part in health classes for one trimester.
Beginning in the Early Childhood and primary grades and continuing through the other grades, the students reading skills and their love for reading continues to grow through reading age appropriate and stimulating stories. Students are encouraged to use critical skills as they make predictions, discuss story theme, and write possible alternate conclusions to stories. A major focus in the curriculum is reading fluency encompassing accuracy, confidence and expression. Reading comprehension skills are strengthened through continual fluency assessments. With a strong focal point on writing instruction, the curriculum includes the teaching of the writing process, including spelling, grammar, and independent writing. The processes of reading and writing strategy skills are integrated across all curricula.
Our school, an integral part of Saint James the Apostle Roman Catholic parish, guides and educates children through the Gospel message. All students participate in religion instruction which is reinforced through daily prayer and morning scripture readings, service projects and liturgical celebrations. Gospel values are integrated with other subjects as a means to cultivate in all of the students a lifelong relationship with Jesus.
In an effort to improve critical thinking skills and proficiency with the scientific method, teachers strive to provide hands-on individual and group investigations. Other subjects are also utilized, including math for measurement and formulas, reading for logic, comprehension, religion for moral and ethical issues, and social studies for historical and geographic skills. Middle school students spend their class time in Science lab. Lower grades have the opportunity to utilize the Science lab when not in use. STEM is a schoolwide initiative. Saint James the Apostle School was one of 30 schools selected to participate in the Archdiocese of Newark's STEM EXPO in 2016-2017. Saint James students in Grades 6-8 will participate again in 2017-2018.
The students develop an understanding that Social Studies are a series of events that affects the lives of all people. By participating in discussions, through projects, research papers, and the use of technology and media, students are challenged to master age appropriate concepts.
SOCIAL STUDIES: Grades 6 - 8
Students regularly use a variety of materials and techniques to effectively articulate what they have studied. When available, primary sources are used to analyze bias, and bring history to life. They are taught that history is not a series of isolated events, and they begin to identify the cause and effect of these actions upon each other. Students learn to recognize the similarities and differences among people, compare and contrast cultures and the development of civilizations. The understanding of geography gives the students an appreciation for the role is has played throughout the course of history. Project based learning, student research and role play are used to create a hands on learning environment.
The students are introduced to the aspects of the Spanish culture and provide experiences to learn vocabulary as well as key phrases for conversational speaking from PreK to Eighth grade. In the upper grades, textbooks and other materials are used in presenting the language to the students.
Across all grade levels and subjects our teachers integrate the latest in technological resources into lesson plans and teaching methodologies. Our classrooms are all wired for the Internet. From animated videos of science concepts to interactive history and geography lessons, the Internet and technology and used in innovative ways on a daily basis.
SmartBoards, Chromebooks, Google Classroom, iPads and SmartTables are just a few of the technology tools used to deliver visually stimulating educational concepts in the classroom. Additionally, our computer lab is continually updated with new hardware and software. Our students attend classes in the computer lab on a weekly basis. The upper grade students use Chromebooks and use the computer lab even more frequently to complete research and prepare projects for other subjects.
The use of technology at Saint James is a fun and engaging way for students to become effective users of the latest in technological tools!