In the upper grades of the school, we no longer divide the students in ability reading groups. Instead, class novels are presented with an emphasis on critical and analytical reading. This tracks well with the Bible curriculum (MaToK) which also requires close and critical reading of text, so this skill is being reinforced across the curricula and contributes to our students’ critical thinking skills.
The Writing Workshop program which encourages students to love writing continues and writing skills are honed more deeply. We see writing as an important communicative endeavor, and on all grade levels is based on four principles: students write about their own lives; they will use a consistent writing process; students will work in authentic ways; and ultimately they will develop independence as writers.
We have adopted the Singapore method of teaching math with is a highly conceptual approach to teaching math. Though it also teaches the ‘how’ of math, it emphasizes the ‘why’ of math, encouraging student to understand number sense, the ideas behind the operations of numbers and the problem solving in which they are engaged in the classroom and in their lives.
Groups are tracked, but are fluid as students are often moved as they indicate their ability in a given topic or their change in study skills and ability to understand concepts.
Time in science increases as learning becomes deeper and more hands-on. Because our curriculum is spiral, we teach each science every year: life, physical, chemical and earth science. And we have some repetition of topics, but each year, we go more deeply into a given topic and delve more abstractly and conceptually as is more developmentally appropriate.
Science Topics by Grade:
Classification of Animals:
Diversity and growth
The Human body:
Lights, optics and sound
Environmental Science: Real life interdependence
Meteorology: Weather systems
The Human Body: The circulatory system
Chemistry: Atoms and elements
Physical science: Forms of energy
Earth science: Pollution
Life Science I&II: Classification of organisms