The philosophy of the Preschool program is congruent with the philosophy, goals and objectives of Holy Family Cathedral School. Each child is recognized as a unique creation of God.
In cooperation with the parents, who are the primary educators, we work to discover and develop the potential God has given to each child. Here, at Holy Family School, children learn about God’s world through programs that stress Catholic values and promote self worth, respect, responsibility, independence and leadership. We believe education has as its goal development in six areas: spiritual, intellectual, physical, personal and social and aesthetic.
It is the purpose of our Preschool program to complement the family in providing the environment and means for social, emotional, intellectual, physical, creative and spiritual growth. The program will provide the child with a loving, Catholic atmosphere in which to grow and develop. A planned program of learning experiences is based on knowledge of the common characteristics and needs of the Preschool child. The curriculum is developed around the unique personality and learning style of each child.
In Kindergarten the students will encounter a rich academic curriculum. The curriculum will be based on the California State Standards for Kindergarten and the Holy Family Cathedral School SLE’s (Student Learning Expectations). Kindergarten students will be enriched and well prepared for first grade after encountering all of these aspects of the curriculum. The curriculum includes:
Religion: Our Religion Series "We Believe" teaches about the Catholic Faith. Students learn that God is our creator and they come to an understanding about the many gifts that He has given to us. Children also learn the importance of how to show and share God's love.
Open Court: We have recently adopted a new edition of the Open Court Reading Program. Students will be engaged in literature, phonics, decoding and word recognition, concepts of print, comprehension skills, writing and spelling.
Math: Our math program consists of developing skills in the following areas: sorting, classifying, patterns, matching, numbers, money, time, measurement, adding and subtracting.
Science & Social Science: These two areas are covered in our weekly themes and are consistent with the California State Standards.
Handwriting: Our Handwriting program by Zaner-Bloser consists of learning the proper continuous strokes of each letter in the alphabet. Children also practice writing words and sentences. Children also work on monthly journals.
Service Project: Children participate in recycling, food donations, clothing drives and they sing to the people at the local retirement center.
In Kindergarten, we take two field trips. The first will be to a pumpkin patch. We will be studying pumpkins in class and the students will be able to see the end result of the growing process as well as having fun picking out pumpkins. The second field trip will be visiting a retirement home. By going on this field trip, Kindergarten will be able to bring joy to others as well as grow in their development of being a global citizen. Kindergarten will also be working with their eighth grade buddies on special projects throughout the year. This allows the younger students to have a role model to look up to.
Kindergarten will work on many themes throughout the year. The themes will change weekly and will depend on the month and activities occurring during that time, such as colors, numbers, apples, Columbus Day, Martin Luther King Day, Christmas and Easter.
Kindergarten is extremely important in a student’s academic career. The student’s maturity level grows as well as their social and academic skills. As Kindergarten teachers we will do our best to instill the proper ways of doing their work, treating others and respecting themselves. We look forward to a fun and exciting school year with many memories to be made.
The first grade curriculum is filled with opportunities for our students to develop the necessary skills for academic and spiritual growth. We provide experiences that help develop Faithful Christians, Responsible Citizens, Effective Communicators, Life Long Learners, and Global Citizens.
The We Believe religion series by Sadlier explains and explores our Catholic faith by providing opportunities for prayer, scripture, liturgy and service. The content of faith is presented in ways that are age-appropriate, culturally sensitive and varied. Units on Advent, Lent, the rosary and the saints enhance our program. Each year we have an Epiphany party and students assemble baskets of baby items that help single mothers. We also help the Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center. Many students attend the after school rosary group each week.
We recently adopted a new edition of the Open Court reading program. This edition integrates reading, phonics, writing and spelling. Our goal is to help students develop a love for reading and writing. We introduce the five step writing process in first grade to help our students become better communicators. We use the Open Court Science and Social Studies component to enhance these areas of curriculum. Harcourt Math includes addition, subtraction, geometry, measurement, money, and time with an emphasis on problem solving skills and assessment options.
Field trips include a visit to the Tanaka Farms pumpkin patch in October, a tour of the Fullerton Arboretum in early spring and the opportunity to attend a play in the winter or spring.
Second Grade is an exciting year in which children embark on the challenges and love of Reading and Math, and gain personal independence and self confidence through personal achievements. Most important it’s a year of spiritual growth through the sacraments of Penance and First Holy Communion.
Our goal is for each child to be taught in a nurturing environment in which positive reinforcement fosters a love for learning in the classroom. The subject areas taught are:
Religion: Our Religion series “We Believe” teaches the importance of Jesus in the children’s lives and focuses on the Sacraments. The children learn loving compassion Jesus has for them as they prepare for Reconciliation and continue their spiritual journey as they prepare for the sacrament of First Holy Communion.
Open Court: The program creates a literature – rich environment that instills a passion for lifelong reading and a love of literature and the written word.
Write Away: This Language Series provides an effective writing program and learning activities which promote skilled writers.
Math: Our Math program employs a consistent method of standard based instruction for developing mathematical proficiency.
Science: Students will explore Life Cycles and Energy through observation, exploration, discussion, and hands on experiments.
Social Studies: The World Around Us Series invites students to step out into the world – to become informed, responsible citizens.
Service Project: The children participate in an ongoing service project called “Second Harvest Food Bank.” They go “Gleaning” and pick crops to help feed the underprivileged in Orange County. Money that is earned by the children is collected monthly to donate to the Second Harvest Food Bank, so that they can continue to help the hungry in Orange County throughout the school year.
Projects: Field Trips:
Saint report Gleaning at the San Joaquin Marsh
Dinosaur report and diorama Disneyland Band performance
Book report and diorama Travelling Scientist
Retreat at the Heart of Jesus Retreat Center
The third grade curriculum challenges the students to develop independent study skills. In language arts the students explore different reading strategies, including pre-reading, building background knowledge, using context clues, cause and effect, compare and contrast, predicting and building new vocabulary. In addition, fluency is stressed emphasizing accuracy, pacing and expression. Students also learn how to write more descriptive sentences and multi-paragraph stories. The students will also learn and practice cursive writing skills. The students will work toward developing paragraphs that contain a topic sentence, main idea, supporting details and closing sentences.
In Religion classes, students learn about Jesus as our model of faith. In addition, devotions to Mary and the saints are developed. The students study the parts of the Mass and the Sacraments.
In Math, students will study money, time, multiplication, division, problem solving, and even a little algebra. Throughout the year students will be working on different social studies and science units including: Flat Stanley, Native American History, The History of Orange County, Elections and Government, Matter and Energy, Habitats, and The Solar System (What to do about Pluto?).
Our school wide focus this year is on manners and dignity. We are working on being nicer, kinder people. The students are expected to always try their best and strive for quality work.
Religion: Living as a faithful Christian is at the center of our religion curriculum. The students study about the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, the Liturgical Year and Reconciliation. This assists students in developing an understanding of what it means to live as a Catholic Christian. Events during liturgical year are celebrated as well as the opportunity to plan and prepare one of the school liturgies.
Language Arts: Different themes are used through out the multicultural-based stories in the Houghton Mifflin reading program used in fourth grade. Students read the following novels: “By the Great Horned Spoon” and “Island of the Blue Dolphins” with tie in with the Social Studies program. Development of the writing process is incorporated into all subject areas. Language usage is developed with a strong emphasis on the parts of speech, along with reinforcement of spelling skills through weekly assessment.
Math: The focus of the fourth grade math program is to be able to multiply using one- and two-digit multipliers, and divide up to thousands by a one-digit divisor. Students are taught to solve one and two-step word problems. Fourth graders explore place value, fractions, equivalent fractions, simplest form, and addition and subtraction of fractions. Students are taught to use various intermediate geometric terms and shapes.
Science: The Scott Foresman science book enables the students to explore the universe with a detailed study of the physical characteristics of Earth. This includes the power of water, the changes in Earth's crust, the study of weather, and the diversity of life within an ecosystem. Fourth grade covers Electricity, Magnetism and Geology. These lessons in science reinforce responsible stewardship of Earth's resources.
Social Studies: Fourth graders begin to develop critical thinking skills while studying the history and geography of California. Beginning with the Native Americans, California's rich and colorful past is explored in detail through the influence of the Spanish, to the days of the gold rush, and on to the growth and development of modern California.
Special Events and Learning Opportunities
A play at a local performing arts center
Science Field Trips
Rockin’ Geology presented by the Traveling Naturalist
Mission San Juan Capistrano: A docent led tour of one of California's historic missions
California Adventures: A docent lead tour of the park with emphasis on California history.
Community Service Projects:
Prayer Partners: Students are paired with a Holy Family parishioner for the school year. Throughout the year they pray for each other’s prayful intentions. They also meet regularly after the 4th grade weekly Mass. This encourages involvement with our parish community.
Fifth grade is filled with new discoveries and challenges for the students at Holy Family Cathedral School. We believe that what happens in the classroom affects our students’ futures. In addition to academic achievement, we will be working on deepening our relationship with God and our faith, being responsible for ourselves, learning to work together as a team, and refining values such as citizenship, fairness, trustworthiness, responsibility, caring, and respect.
Religion: The students study the Sacraments, the Liturgical Year, and the Marks of the Church. They learn about Family Life, the various prayers used in the Catholic faith, and scripture through the use of the Bible.
English: The students learn various forms of writing: narrative, expository, persuasive, and responses to literature. Grammar skills are taught through the creative writing process. Spelling is integrated into the English class.
Reading: Students will use the anthology, Fast as the Wind. Students will read two novels during the course of the year. Students are involved in Accelerated Reader-a computer generated reading test program. Each book has a certain point value and they are assigned a new point goal each trimester.
Math: Students are assessed and placed into a math class that best suits their needs. We offer three levels of math: accelerated, standard pacing, and inclusion.
Social Studies: Fifth grade curriculum presents the story of the development of the nation, with emphasis on the period up to 1850. This course focuses on one of the most remarkable stories in history: the creation of a new nation.
Science: Students use knowledge of science to develop abilities in higher thinking (analyze, solve, decide, evaluate, classify, develop, create, predict, estimate, generalize), communications, goal setting and attainment and experience.
Field Trips include
a live performance of a play, the Aquarium of the Pacific, a fishing trip, and traveling scientist. Fifth grade is also involved in service projects that help create a sense of community while strengthening our Catholic faith.
Fifth grade students experience a team teacher’s model. Students have one teacher for Language Arts and one teacher for Science and Social Studies. All teachers at Holy Family Cathedral School teach Religion and Math to their homerooms.
You are invited to look and see how 6th grade is keeping busy in our faith-filled, academically charged classrooms. Wi th many exciting activities, projects, assignments and field trips, our students will be able to take their knowledge and apply it to the world around them.
The Religion curriculum follows the beginnings of our Catholic traditions. Starting with creation, the text follows the patriachs, prophets, and other religious leaders that carried out God's will to develop the church we have today. The students also develop their understanding of the symbols and meanings behind many of the biblical stories and teachings. Further faith development involves a religious vocations retreat sponsored by the Diocese of Orange at the retreat house of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart. As a class, a weekly mass is shared and monthly school liturgy is celebrated.
The Language Arts curriculum for 6th grade consists of three components: Grammar, Vocabulary, and Writing. At this level, grammar skills are reinforced and taught to serve as a foundation for other curricular areas. The eight parts of speech and the basic structure/parts of a sentence are the main focus. Vocabulary plays an important role, as well. Taking the place of the spelling units in the past, this compenent challenges the students to sharpen their language skills and practice usage of new words through weekly units. Lastly, the core of the Language Arts curriculum is writing. Building upon writing as a process, the students have the opportunity to learn how to develop a 5-paragraph essay, as well as journal, story and letter writing. Personal Narrative, Compare and Contrast, Persuasive, Expository and Research are some examples.
In the 6th grade, Literature plays a vital role in the students' development. The text is an anthology of various works from many renowned authors. Short stories, essay, poems and plays are read and discussed. The students look at works and discuss the multi-layered meanings intended by the authors. As a class, two novels are read following a literature unit, once in the fall and spring. Weekly reading logs and Accelerated Reader are also a part of this curriculum.
In the area of Math, the 6th grade students are exposed to Course 1 of the middle school Algebra textbook series. Beginning with decimals and fractions, the students review the solving of these with various operations. The core of the mathematics curriculum involves the foundations of Pre-algebra. This includes variables, solving multi-step equations, comparing and ordering numbers, measurement conversions, following the order of operations, comparing integers, using and applying formulas, finding outcomes through probability and problem solving verbal equations.
The Science curriculum for 6th grade is all about earth science. Students learn about how earthquakes, volcanoes, rivers, and oceans change the earth's surface and shape of the earth. They do various projects, writing assignments, workbook activities, tests and quizzes to meet these requirements. The big project in science is a research project involving the scientific method. This project helps students learn how to solve problems and examine how something works. In addition, the students get to use their earth science skills on an interactive 3 day field trip, also known as Outdoor Education.
In Social Studies, students learn about ancient civilizations such as Rome, Greece, India, Egypt, China and Japan. Students complete a country report, in which they research a certain country today, and compare it to what they learned about the ancient country. Students also complete various projects, writing assignments, workbook activities, tests and quizzes throughout the year.
Seventh grade is a year of firsts, discoveries, challenges and exciting adventures. It is the first year to be in Junior High with multiple teachers, dances, and science projects. Students discover through hands on experiments, projects and activities. They are challenged to be leaders and good examples within the school community. This year we add an exciting adventure with our five day trip to the Catalina Environmental Leadership Program.
Religion: The Religion curriculum in seventh grade covers the history of the church. We talk about why we study the history of the church and focus on beginnings and roots. As we progress, we discuss renewal and reform, the great schism, Lutheranism and the Counter Reformation. This leads us to the current church in the modern world. Family life is also incorporated into our religious lessons where we learn about God’s gifts. Each week we participate in mass where we share the opportunity to read, altar serve, and lead the prayers of the faithful.
Literature: In seventh grade we read and write based on different themes (Plot, character, setting, fiction, non-fiction, etc). Each story is discussed and analyzed to discover the various meaning and lessons within. Every story also includes grammar and spelling review. As a class, we read the novel "Where the Red Fern Grows" in the spring.
The language arts (English) curriculum is comprised of three components:grammar, writing, and vocabulary. Correctly identifying and defining all parts of speech reinforce grammar skills. Understanding sentence structure and paragraph formation is stressed while following the writing process. Formal and informal writing assignments are assessed according the six traits of writing. Vocabulary is developed to enrich written and oral language, as well as increasing reading comprehension.
I have competed well. ~ I have finished the race. ~ I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7