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LOWER SCHOOL

Primary Curriculum

Ursuline Academy’s Primary Program (Grades 1 – 3) in our Lower School expands the educational foundation set in early childhood and guides your child to become an independent learner through our nurturing and personalized co-educational classroom environment and world-class curriculum. By fostering innate leadership skills and identifying academic strengths, our teachers work one-on-one with your child to ensure successful comprehension and mastery of class offerings that combine the best of language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and religion with our global curriculum focusing on world languages, cultural and fine arts enrichment, and social awareness. Our primary program produces young intellectuals who solve problems using innovation and higher level thinking and approach learning with enthusiasm and enjoyment. At Ursuline, we educate children who not only set standards for academic excellence but exceed them in an environment of love and laughter.

Language Arts
Our first grade students engage in lessons focused on enhancing reading and vocabulary skills by building letter sound relationships, increasing their word attack skills, and introducing story structure concepts, such as the main idea and details, cause and effect, and compare and contrast. Your child finishes first grade with advanced reading fluency and writing competency, which increases academic mastery across all subject areas at an early age. In second grade, our teachers expand your child’s reading and grammar proficiency through significant works of children’s literature and analysis of narrative text, characters, plot, and setting through daily instruction and creative book reports. Your child strengthens sentence and paragraph development by composing personal narratives, letters, and short fiction, which gives your child the building blocks for effective communication. As a third grader, your child delves into a diverse assortment of materials, including anthology and novel studies, where development focuses on higher level questioning and comprehension skills to increase strategic analysis. Through our third grade writing portfolio project, your child composes narrative, expository, and opinion-based pieces and completes a research report using our library and computer science resources, demonstrating the proper process for comprehensive research.

Math
In first grade, your child masters basic computation skills and processes, including number identification of the ones and tens place in a two-digit number and solving simple story problems, including comprehension of parts to whole relationships by modeling simple fractions. Your child also learns practical time telling and coin counting skills, which assist them in becoming independent thinkers in real-world situations. Our second grade math curriculum uses creative manipulatives, technology, and collaborative grouping to help your child increase proficiency in addition and subtraction, including sums and differences of two one-digit numbers and regrouping. When solving word problems, your child uses drawings, equations, and written explanations to make abstract concepts more concrete and clear, which increases self-confidence in math comprehension. In our third grade math classes, your child focuses on the four basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, with an emphasis on mastery of basic multiplication and division. Using SMART Boards®, Apple iPads®, and DreamBox® to expand their knowledge of measurement and data, fractions, and geometry, our students apply advanced math techniques to solve problems in virtual and real-world environments, which encourages interest in fields like engineering and computer programming.

Science
Our first grade science program teaches investigation and experimentation skills through a variety of subject areas, including solids, liquids, and gases, different plant and animal habitats, as well as weather. By applying similar techniques across an extensive range of scientific study, your child receives exposure to chemistry, biology, and meteorology in one school year. Your second grader uses more abstract thinking in life, physical, and earth science to categorize, observe, and interpret nature and logically predict results. With the assistance of real life models, including our pet snake, volcano eruptions, and butterfly habitat, our students watch and interact with nature’s wonders, taking concepts out of books and placing them into their hands. Our third grade curriculum instills understanding and encourages curiosity about matter and energy, force and motion, simple machines, and living and non-living things. Your child investigates scientific concepts in a lab setting and on field trips to enhance topics covered together in the classroom.

Social Studies
In first grade, your child learns more about the world around them and their responsibilities to other people through our geography and cultural diversity focus. Our students explore good citizenship, national symbols, labor and industry, geography, time and chronology, and life in the past, which supports our Global Curriculum and Serviam initiatives. Our second grade curriculum incorporates maps and topography to determine locations and interpret information, expanding our study of world history and foreign cultures. By pinpointing a country in relation to its neighbors, your child develops an understanding of how nations interact with each other, laying a foundation for interest in political science. Our third grade curriculum focuses on communities in the United States and introduces your child to government and the election process, as well as economics. As a year-long project, your child learns the names, capitals, and regions of the 50 states and concludes this study with a research report on a specific state.   

Religion
First grade students explore Bible stories, from Creation through Jesus’ death and resurrection, and learn ways to worship and praise God in our everyday lives. As a member of the international network of Ursuline schools, your child studies the history of the Order of St. Ursula and their contributions to women and society, which imparts greater awareness of Serviam and the trailblazing efforts of St. Angela Merici. In second grade, your child begins learning the importance of loving, trusting, and praying to God while focusing on the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. Your child also engages more deeply with the Ursuline Community by praying the rosary during Lent and participating in an inclusive Holy Eucharist Celebration in May. As an Ursuline third grader, your child shares in the teachings and traditions of the Catholic faith, including liturgies, student-driven service projects, and prayer, which encourage a deeper understanding of Christian values and use of special gifts and talents to serve others in the Serviam tradition.