Academics
Lower School

Curriculum

Kindergarten-5th Grade Program

Learning is an active process for students in grades kindergarten through fifth.  Learners by nature, curious about their world, and eager for accomplishment, elementary school students are given the opportunity to explore the world and their place in it.  Students study core subjects with their homeroom teachers, while specialists enrich the learning and development of their young pupils in other academic areas. The elementary school curriculum stresses the acquisition of foundational skills in language arts and mathematics. Reading instruction is carefully tailored to the level of each child to ensure that every student progresses steadily in both the mechanics of reading and reading comprehension.

Elementary School Program Components

List of 10 items.

  • Mathematics

    In grades kindergarten through five, the Everyday Mathematics curriculum developed by the University of Chicago School of Mathematics Project forms the foundation of St. Anne’s mathematics program.  There is a systematic progression of skills, a strong focus on real-life problem solving, and many opportunities for hands-on learning in every grade. When additional practice or enrichment is needed, teachers may use a variety of other resources to meet the needs of individual students or the class.  At each stage of learning there is an emphasis on critical thinking, development of a deep understanding of the concepts being taught, and on the acquisition of solid computational skills. Everyday Math is a rigorous curriculum, with instruction that deeply connects conceptual understanding with real world applications.
  • Social Studies

    St. Anne’s social studies program is designed to help students understand the world in which they live, including the geographic, cultural, political, and economic systems of their own and other nations.  While gaining a sense of the placement of important historical events in time, students develop a respect for the rights of others, gain insights into how people can effectively live and work together, develop an understanding of their rights and responsibilities as citizens, and begin to understand the interconnectedness and cause-effect relationships of our world. Moving upward through the grades, the scope of the curriculum expands outward from the study of the home and school in kindergarten to our local communities, our state, the nation and the world. Through projects, historical re-enactments, biographies, field trips, and outside speakers students develop a sense of history, an understanding of both the past and present, and a feeling of being “in” history.
  • Science

    The Elementary Science Program builds upon the vision set forth by the State of California, STEM, and the Next Generation Science Standards. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade begin to develop an understanding of the four disciplinary core ideas: physical sciences, life sciences, earth and space sciences, and engineering, technology, and applications of science. In the earlier grades, students begin by recognizing patterns and formulating answers to questions about the world around them using best practices to engage in scientific inquiry and exploration. By the end of fifth grade, students are able to demonstrate grade-appropriate proficiency in gathering, describing, and using information about the world. The performance expectations in elementary develop ideas and skills that will allow students to explain more complex phenomena in the four disciplines as they progress to middle school and high school. Our cross-curricular approach and hands-on weekly science lab encourages all students to explore investigations that empower them to participate confidently and successfully in an environment that nurtures and is filled with excitement and wonder.
  • Language Arts

    Pre-K - Grade 2: Superkids is a pre-kindergarten through second grade early literacy phonics-based program that seamlessly integrates all reading skills of phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension and fluency with spelling, handwriting, grammar and mechanics. The key to the program’s success is its systematic and explicit phonics instruction that provides the foundation from which all other reading skills evolve.

    Grades 3 - 5: The language arts curriculum focuses on developing skilled and enthusiastic readers and writers. The program consists of integrating listening, speaking, reading and writing to develop context and skills.  Students learn to be active and capable readers of both fiction and nonfiction, including a variety of print and non-print texts, who enjoy talking about their reading with others. As a result, students engage in a wide range of comprehension activities designed to support both critical reading and continued growth as readers. Students learn to write and to use writing to learn. Students write in a variety of genres, thus developing their ability to express ideas, emotions and beliefs while acquiring a firm, yet developmentally appropriate, foundation in the fundamentals of writing. They are taught rules of spelling, capitalization and grammar to be applied to their daily writing. Moreover, St. Anne strives to develop students who enjoy reading and writing and who value reading and writing as a means for success.
  • Religion

    Through the series We Believe published by Sadlier students come to understand that we are called to believe what the Church teaches. The program clearly incorporates the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the baptismal profession of faith, the sacraments of faith, the life of faith and the prayer of the believer. The elementary program is rooted in scripture and tradition. It provides excellent connections with Saints and Catholic feasts, and devotions. Within the school community the administrators, teachers, clergy, parents and students experience together what it means to live a life of prayer, community, personal responsibility and freedom, manifesting the Gospel values of peace, justice, community, love, patience, reconciliation and respect.
  • World Languages

    Acquiring languages other than English and having a basic understanding of other cultures are important skills in today’s world, and St. Anne’s world language program lays the foundation for our students in these critical areas. Meeting once a week, students in kindergarten through fifth take a semester of Spanish and a semester of Mandarin. This experiential program exposes the students to the Spanish and Mandarin languages and to the geography and cultures of the countries in which those languages are spoken today. The primary goals of the kindergarten through fifth grade world language program are increased awareness and appreciation of different cultures; an understanding of the value of communicating in other languages; and, acquisition of basic words and phrases in Spanish and Mandarin in a risk-free environment that stresses oral communication.  Our elementary world language program prepares students for the formal study of either Spanish or Mandarin in middle school.
  • Technology

    Teachers and students in the elementary grades access classroom computers for whole or small-group instruction. Interactive white boards such as SMART Boards are important instructional tools in every classroom. Additionally, elementary students attend a weekly class in the library computer lab where students receive computer/technology instruction designed to enhance their use of technology in their daily lives.  Fifth grade students are equipped of their own personal iPad mini to enhance classroom instruction.
  • Visual and Performing Arts

    Elementary music program focuses on understanding the elements of music, development of vocal and instrumental capabilities, and a continuation of methods of music appreciation. Students study composers, music theory and vocally continue to build techniques with regards to physical alignment, proper breathing, and accurate diction. They continue to build basic rhythmic patterns on various rhythmic instruments. Elementary students are invited to audition for the yearly elementary play production and are invited to join the Beginning Orchestra upon entry into the third grade which continues and is offered into middle school. An appreciation and application of religious, patriotic, classical and popular music is taught throughout elementary.

    Classroom teachers instruct art in the classroom in kindergarten through second grade.  Once a week, third through fifth grade students are exposed to a variety of cultural art from the past to present with our art specialist teacher.  Students learn about the elements of art and principles of design through the artwork that they are exposed to and practice their techniques with a variety of two-dimensional and three-dimensional media such as brush and ink, oil pastels, repouse, and clay.  After analyzing artwork and practicing techniques, students create a cultural piece of artwork. 
  • Physical Education

    Beginning in kindergarten, students have regularly scheduled physical education classes with our three full-time physical education specialist teachers. The curriculum offers students a wide variety of opportunities to gain the knowledge of and proficiency in the basic skills, exercises and activities used for body maintenance and the pursuit of leisure time activities. The aim is to allow each individual to gain an understanding of the human body and to be motivated to maintain its healthful efficiency.
  • Library

    Students visit the library once a week. Library skills are taught within the context of the classroom curriculum, not in isolation. The librarian works closely with teachers and other specialists to plan library sessions, which support and extend work being done in the classroom.

St. Anne School

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An independent Catholic school recognized by and within the Diocese of Orange