splash

LOWER SCHOOL

Intermediate Curriculum

Ursuline Academy’s Intermediate Program (Grades 4 – 5) in our Lower School fosters your child’s intellectual and social development in an academically challenging environment. We offer various educational and extracurricular opportunities for your child to identify strengths and interests. Because fourth grade serves as a transition between the primary self-contained classrooms and changing classrooms for different subjects, our Intermediate Teachers set clear expectations for our students, encouraging individual awareness of physical space and personal belongings, in addition to organization and time management. By engaging students in problem-solving tasks and teaching your child the importance of self-sufficiency, our teachers both nurture your child’s intellectual curiosity through open-ended exploration across content areas and instill personal responsibility, which is developmentally vital for students at this age. Our rigorous curriculum, paired with a community atmosphere of acceptance and love, provides your child a place to learn, grow, and laugh, which builds lifelong associations between hard work, satisfaction, and enjoyment.
 
Language Arts
Our Intermediate Language Arts Curriculum immerses our fourth graders in literature study, as they explore various cultural and historical time periods while cheering on main characters through struggle and triumph in literature circles and discussions with classmates. By using technology to create original movies and showcase them at a screening party, your child illustrates personal thoughts and narratives from the perspective of a character compiled throughout the year from written journal entries. Our fourth grade students also develop a deeper vocabulary by using context clues from literature and working with the Wordly Wise® language enrichment program, which helps them build a year-long writing portfolio, increasing their ability to master proper writing structure and express related components in sequence. In fifth grade, your child develops critical thinking skills and understanding in both verbal and written formats through reading anthologies and various novels. Written language assignments give your child the opportunity to express one’s voice, explore various writing genres, and apply grammar rules, while learning about the Six Traits of Writing. Our teachers weave reading, writing, and speaking lessons together to create a comprehensive view of Language Arts, which enhances a foundation of effective communication and leadership.

Math
Our fourth grade teachers develop a love of mathematical learning in our students by demonstrating both concrete and abstract concepts through real world examples and technology. By enhancing math lessons through games, puzzles, and interactive activities on the SMART Boards®, our teachers approach math classes in a way that helps your child master critical thinking and creative problem solving strategies while having fun, increasing interest in and aptitude for future success in math- and science- based fields. Our small class size also allows our teachers the opportunity to provide extra practice to one student while providing enrichment and challenge for another student when needed. Our fifth grade curriculum emphasizes operations/number sense, decimals, and fractions through the use of visuals and manipulatives utilizing SMART Boards®, geoboards, fraction bars, and geometric solids to help your child explore, visually conceptualize, and learn various mathematical concepts. During the course of the school year, your child computes equations, solves problems, and then applies that knowledge to understand the correlation between classroom practice and real life application.

Science
Our Intermediate Curriculum introduces our fourth graders to the scientific method through hands-on learning where they pose questions and hypotheses and run lab tests and investigations. Your child explores topics through WebQuest.org® to collaboratively research and create “a new species,” or new animals with unique adaptations, which fosters curiosity and makes your child aware of the endless possibilities in scientific fields. Learning jumps off the page for our students as they design and create circuits, explore insulators/conductors, and tromp through a salt marsh and seine in the bay to study ecosystems, bringing science to life. With a focus on Earth Science, your fifth grader learns about the rock cycle, fossils, the Earth and changes to its surface, the moon, renewable and non-renewable resources, weather and the water cycle, the Earth’s oceans, and more. The theme of hands-on learning continues with the study of digestive, circulatory, and respiratory body systems, which instill a personal awareness of physical processes and the importance of physical fitness. Students work in groups, pairs, and independently to explore concepts and share ideas in formal and informal settings through writing and oral presentations, which increases self-confidence and encourages poise in public speaking.

Social Studies
Our Intermediate Social Studies Curriculum uses a variety of primary and secondary sources to explore Delaware history, including the traditions and culture of the early Indian tribes and navigational patterns and culture of the early European settlers in the First State. Your fourth grader engages with history by creating Anasazi pottery, participating in a Lenni Lenape naming ceremony, and using a map to trace the paths of our earliest settlers. Our teachers also highlight geography study throughout the year, which culminates in our school’s Annual Geography Bee, giving your child the opportunity to show off enhanced public speaking and memory skills in front of an audience. As a fifth grade student, our teachers immerse your child in the rich history of the United States from our nation’s birth through the Civil War, incorporating the content in creative and interactive ways. Your child learns the material by engaging with important early American historical figures and reading firsthand accounts of significant events from the perspective of our nation’s leaders. Interacting with history instills a greater appreciation for and interest in civic awareness and the political process.

Religion
Our Intermediate Religion Curriculum focuses on Catholic traditions and rituals and creating a deeper spiritual bond with God and the Ursuline Community. Your child will explore the Catholic Mass ritual in a more meaningful way. Our teachers emphasize study of the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist and demonstrate the deep significance behind each segment of the Mass.  As our students gain deeper knowledge of the Sacraments and appreciate sacred meaning in the Catholic Church, they plan and participate in the Bible Ceremony, an Ursuline tradition for more than 30 years, in which they receive their own inscribed copies of the Bible.