At Our Lady of Sorrows School, we take pride in offering a rigorous, challenging and varied academic program. Please see below for an overview of each subject area.
Kindergarten-Grade 2: At this stage in education, curiosity is an essential tool used for student growth. For this very reason, primary science education is centered on a surplus of scientific concepts. Students study basic principles and answer essential questions in order to gain a base in the three sub-divisions of general scientific study (Earth, Life, and Physical). Explored principles consist of, but are far from limited to, living/nonliving/once-living things, magnetism, forces, paleontology, weather, states of matter, keeping healthy and fit, the importance and power of water, fuels and energy sources, life cycles, basic plant and human biology as well as anatomy, and so many more! Students use the Discovery Works Science textbook series at this grade level as a supplement to their instruction.
Grades 3-5: At this level of study, students begin to focus on different aspects of previously learned concepts. By elaborating on these topics, students are able to gain mastery of core components of science such as life cycles, plate tectonics, energy sources, force and motion, astronomy, matter, and basic human biology. Students continue using the Discovery Works Science textbook series through these years. As 5th Grade progresses, however, they become more acclimated to the middle school Science program.
Grades 6-8: Once students enter the middle school, they focus on key components of their scientific studies. Through these years, students use the Prentice Hall Science Explorer modular textbook series to supplement their instruction. Students in 6th Grade focus on Earth sciences throughout the first part of the year. When approaching the final trimester they begin the basics of biological science with an in-depth study of cell theory and microbiology in order to prepare them for later years. In 7th Grade, students focus primarily on human and macro-biology. As with their previous year, the class begins a basic study of physical sciences to prepare for their final year in the third trimester. In 8th Grade, students spend the year focusing on all forms of physical science from Chemistry to Physics. Throughout the middle school, students have a readily accessible lab to perform classroom and after-school experiments. The middle school program is designed to prepare students for their freshman and sophomore years of high school Science.
Grades 3-5: Our curriculum incorporates higher ordered thinking, specifically an enthusiastic approach to problem-solving, into all aspects of our program. Our concentration continues on whole numbers, and numeration, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, as well as fractions and units of measurement.
Grades 6-8: Students continue their exploration of basic operations, whole numbers, fractions, decimals, integers, algebra and geometry. Mental math, number sense, probability and problem-solving are also stressed. Qualifying students in grades 6-8 are given the opportunity to participate in an advanced math program.
For continued math practice, all students in Grades K-8 utilize the IXL Math app.
Kindergarten: Reading readiness is emphasized and beginning math programs which complement classroom instruction are used to provide fun and engaging work for students. Students are also introduced to MS Word for Cut/Copy/Paste practice.
The importance of correct method of keyboarding (typing) is emphasized and practiced in all grades. Ten Best Keyboarding Tips
Grades 1-3: Topics include word processing, keyboarding, drawing and computer literacy. Students are also introduced to MS PowerPoint and Publisher programs. Students use several web-based programs which reinforce, enhance or extend lessons taught in their classrooms.
Students are introduced to the Internet as a research tool beginning in the 3rd grade. Students become familiar with Internet vocabulary, are introduced to various search engines and are assigned projects which require them to use the internet as a researching tool.
Grades 4-5: Students are taught more advanced skills on the Microsoft Office family of programs. Keyboarding skills continue to be taught. Various Web 2.0 programs are utilized to increase their proficiency with technology.
Grades 6-8: Keyboarding skills are continued. Students work with Microsoft PowerPoint to create slideshows including animation, sound and video clips. MS Excel is introduced and simple formulas and graphing elements are taught. MS Publisher is used to create reports, flyers and newsletters. Students also use Web 2.0 programs which reinforce, enhance or extend lessons taught in their classrooms.
Ethical use of Internet resources is emphasized in all grades. Students also receive lessons on cyberbullying, safety behavior for chat-rooms, and general internet safety.
Grades 1-2: Our curriculum begins a child’s personal relationship with Jesus. We study about Jesus’ life and His teachings. We also study the Sacraments of Baptism (first grade), Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist (second grade). The children learn about the Mass, the Holy Days and religious holidays throughout the year.
Grades 3-5: Our religion curriculum continues with an emphasis on Scripture, the 10 Commandments, the Beatitudes and on exploration of the Sacraments. Skits, Scripture reading, prayer experiences and the opportunity to be of service all enhance the curriculum.
Grades 6-8: The students study Old Testament, Christ, Scripture, Church History, Morality and Sexuality. Each class has various opportunities for Scripture reading, reflection, liturgy preparation, faith sharing, community service and class projects. Focus on the 8th Grade curriculum is preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Grades 1-2: Our Social Studies curriculum encompasses many topics. We learn about types of land and water formations. We study neighborhoods, communities, countries, and continents with a focus on the United States. Children also learn how their families are unique and special and they deepen their understanding of their place in these aforementioned groups. American History is studied through units on American holidays, symbols of America and Special Americans.
Grades 3-5: Our Social Studies curriculum comprises the study of communities, New Jersey history and geography, and American History, stressing the colonies, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and the Constitution. All lessons are reinforced through the use of performed plays, guest speakers, research projects, field trips and videos.
Grades 6-8: Our Grade 6 studies the history and culture of the Western Hemisphere. The focus of Grade 7-8 is on American History. Students become active participants in their learning as they engage in group projects and American history simulations. Students read, review, respond to, and present current events articles on a weekly basis.
Pre-K4 (January to June)
The focus of this course is to provide a new and exciting introduction of the Spanish language for preschoolers through various activities. This is achieved through singing songs, basic greetings and conversation learning colors, numbers, shapes, celebrating holidays, and crafts for cultural holidays, such as Cinco de Mayo.
Spanish instruction focuses on continued development of basic vocabulary, phrases and conversations that are taught through prayers, songs, poems, playing games, reading short stories, and worksheet exercises. Children learn about and celebrate cultural holidays through vocabulary and activities.
Spanish instruction focuses on basic grammar and vocabulary through the use of textbooks and workbooks which are used through eighth grade. The goal at this level is to begin perfecting the basic language skills of listening, writing, conversation and comprehension.
The goal of the middle school Spanish program is to make language acquisition a natural, enjoyable, and rewarding experience. The instruction is designed to help students attain a desired level of proficiency in the four basic skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. At each grade level, with the use of the textbook, a strong grammar base is built. Emphasis is also placed on oral communication through the use of conversation and dialogue. Students are also exposed to Spanish culture through songs, rhymes, and poems as well as the customs of Spanish-speaking countries. Instruction also includes Spanish prayers and the lives of Spanish saints.
For an additional fee, instrumental music, including guitar, drums, keyboard and flute, is taught once a week to those students who desire it.