Middle School (6th-8th)

CURRICULUM

St. Philip Neri School delivers its instructional program and curriculum in concert with the Archdiocesan Course of Studies and the regulations of the Maryland State Department of Education for non-public schools.

Faith permeates every aspect of our lives and is an integral part of all areas of learning. All children enrolled in St. Philip Neri School must attend Religion classes and services.

RELIGION

The religion program strives to achieve the three fold dimensions of message, community and service. This program offers a Christ-centered, sequentially developed learning experience based on Scripture, doctrine and a deepening prayer life.

School liturgies are held throughout the month. These liturgies are planned by individual grades throughout the year. Students and their teacher, in conjunction with the priest, select readings suitable for that day. Penance services are held periodically throughout the year.  Class Masses will be planned periodically.  Our pastor, Father Michael DeAscanis, is involved in class liturgy, penance services and paraliturgies.  Parents are encouraged to attend these services whenever possible, in order to show support of your child’s faith development.

FAMILY LIFE

Physical, spiritual and emotional growth as a God-created individual is discussed within each grade (K-8) at an appropriate level in the maturity of the students.  Parents receive notification at the start of this program.  Your signature indicates your wish for your child not to participate.

LANGUAGE ARTS

The language arts program consists of a literature-based reading, English, and spelling program, with a strong emphasis on phonics. The process of writing is emphasized to develop the student’s ability across the curriculum.

MATH

The math program consists of building an understanding of concepts, applying arithmetic skills and developing and using problem solving skills. Our seventh and eighth grade students receive pre-algebra and algebra, based on their ability.

SCIENCE

Life science, earth science (including space), physical sciences, ecology with Chesapeake Bay studies, technology and use of the scientific processes are the areas of study within the science curriculum appropriate for grades 1 – 8.

SOCIAL STUDIES

American history, world history, and geography skills are covered throughout our social studies program, emphasizing the study of facts and the cultures of peoples.

ART

Student creativity is emphasized in our art program. The study of famous artists and the exposure to various media, color theory and basic elements of design and shape assist the development of the student’s talent.

MUSIC

The program includes a wide variety of music which enables the student to perform rhythm, melody, and harmony with instrument and voice and understand the music with basic concepts and transcription skills.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

The program is committed to preparing students to lead a healthy and physically active life, cultivating the total development and well-being of each child.

SPANISH

Spanish is introduced in PreK with emphasis on listening and speaking skills. Fourth through Eighth grades are exposed to reading and writing the language. Middle school students have Spanish class three days per week. Cultural appreciation is included in all grades.

COMPUTER

The program combines formal computer classes with curriculum integration for all students.

LIBRARY

Grade appropriate skills are emphasized including an appreciation of literature and the proper use of the library.

MIDDLE SCHOOL

Students in grades 6th–8th learn in a departmentalized setting taught by teachers who specialize in particular subject areas. A cross-curricula team approach is used in our middle school program.

Students learn time management skills, note-taking skills, gain self-confidence and ultimately are prepared in every way for quality high schools. In middle school, students move to separate classes for instruction by subject specialists.

Middle school students continue to pursue accelerated curricula in math, science (laboratory courses), and English.

Technology integration is achieved through project-based learning.

In language arts, students learn to apply and refine writing, critical thinking and analytic skills across academic studies.

Special Events & Programs

  • Science Fair Competition
  • Archdiocese of Baltimore Spelling Bee Competition

Subject Areas

Found below is a listing of the areas of study for each grade level with example content and essential skills.


Religion

Released in 2011, “Bringing Good News” is the Archdiocese of Baltimore Religion Curriculum for Elementary Schools. This standards-based curriculum serves as a guide, a road map for both teachers and students as they embark on a journey, which will provide them with the knowledge and understanding of the faith as witnessed in the teachings and the traditions of the Catholic Church. The curriculum is built on the Six Tasks of Catechesis: Promoting Knowledge of the Faith; Liturgical Education; Moral Formation; Teaching to Pray; Education for Community Life; and Missionary Initiation and is aligned with the Assessment of Catholic Religious Education (IFG:ACRE).

By the completion of sixth grade, students will master a variety of skills including:

  • Explain that at the end of time, Christ will return and we will be held accountable for how we responded to the gift of faith and helped to build the Kingdom of God.
  • Trace the unfolding of God’s revelation through the history of the Chosen People ‐ the Jews.
  • Describe each of the seven sacraments as entrusted to the Church.
  • Indicate how the Decalogue relates to current moral issues and leads to greater understanding of the Gospel through the Great Commandment.
  • Discuss evangelization as central to the mission of the Church in which we all have a role.

By the completion of seventh grade, students will master a variety of skills including:

  • Recognize that the Bible has both divine and human authorship initiated by God to reveal the truths God intends.
  • Investigate the fruits of the Sacrament of Baptism to include forgiveness of all sins, birth into a new life, and a share in Christ’s three‐fold mission as priest, prophet, and king.
  • Explain how a well‐formed conscience is developed through the knowledge of Scripture and Church doctrine as well as the witness of Church leaders and faithful role models, past and present.
  • Explain the importance of Christians taking an active part in public life and promoting the common good.
  • Discuss the call to religious life in the Church which is identified in two forms: active and contemplative.

By the completion of eighth grade, students will master a variety of skills including:

  • Understand that Jesus’ paschal mystery, that is his life, passion, death, resurrection and ascension, are central to Jesus’ mission on earth and the fulfillment of revelation.
  • Explain that the context of moral decision‐making within the Catholic Christian tradition reflects the values of human dignity, God’s grace, the virtues, the Holy Spirit, and the teaching of the church.
  • Understand that our beliefs are sound and rooted in Apostolic Tradition and Sacred Scripture, as entrusted to the teaching office (Magisterium) of the Church.
  • Describe the progress and continuation of the Church’s mission through ecumenical councils, including, but not limited to: the Councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon, Vatican I, Vatican II, Fourth Lateran, Trent, Constantinople, and Ephesus.
  • Communicate that our respect of other Christians means that we can both recognize what we share in common but that we also need to be honest about how we differ.

Mathematics

Revised in 2013, the curriculum for all elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore include the following units:

  • Counting and Cardinality
  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Measurement and Data
  • Numbers and Operations in Base Ten
  • Geometry
  • Numbers and Operations

Catholic educators never forget that our schools exist to bring our students to Christ. By continuing to implement new standards that are challenging, we work to fulfill the promise of quality Catholic education that educates the whole child, both mind and soul.

By the completion of sixth grade, students will master a variety of skills including:

  • Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.
  • Reason about and solve one-variable equations and inequalities.
  • Represent and analyze quantitative relationships between dependent and independent variables.
  • Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area, and volume.
  • Develop understanding of statistical variability.

By the completion of seventh grade, students will master a variety of skills including:

  • Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
  • Use properties of operations to generate equivalent expressions.
  • Solve real-life and mathematical problems using numerical and algebraic expressions and equations.
  • Draw, construct and describe geometrical figures and describe the relationships between them.
  • Use random sampling to draw inferences about a population.
  • Investigate chance processes and develop, use, and evaluate probability models.

By the completion of eighth grade, students will master a variety of skills including:

  • Know that there are numbers that are not rational, and approximate them by rational numbers.
  • Work with radicals and integer exponents.
  • Understand the connections between proportional relationships, lines, and linear equations.
  • Define, evaluate, and compare functions.
  • Understand congruence and similarity using physical models, transparencies, or geometry software.
  • Understand and apply the Pythagorean Theorem.

In addition, advanced eighth grade students are offered a higher level course in Algebra. That course of study includes the following units:

  • Relationships Between Quantities and Reasoning with Equations
  • Linear and Exponential Relationships
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Expressions and Equations
  • Quadratics Functions and Modeling

English Language Arts

Revised in 2014, the English Language Arts Curriculum for the Archdiocese of Baltimore is designed using the Catholic, College and Career Ready clusters as its foundation. Through literature, this course of study fosters students' Catholic identity, shaping them to be models of Christian living for others. This curriculum is fully integrated with our Catholic faith. We provide students with a curriculum that is rigorous and rich in literature, oral and written language, grammar, writing, vocabulary, informational literature, and multimedia/technology.

By the completion of sixth grade, students will master a variety of skills including:

  • Use of the process in research writing.
  • Use of the process in essay writing.
  • Voice and tone in writing emphasized.
  • More Focus in Fiction, Genre, and Literary Elements.
  • Use of Grammar integration.
  • Collaboration, oral presentations, speeches, and technology components incorporated regularly.

By the completion of seventh grade, students will master a variety of skills including:

  • Students will be able to write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
  • Students will analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
  • Students should demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
  • Students should acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

By the completion of eighth grade, students will master a variety of skills including:

  • Students use their knowledge of word origins and word relationships, as well as historical and literary context clues, to determine the meaning of specialized vocabulary and to comprehend the written word.
  • Students read a good representation of narrative and expository text (e.g., classic and contemporary literature, magazines, newspapers, online information).
  • Students write clear, coherent, and focused essays. The writing exhibits students’ awareness of audience and purpose. Essays contain formal introductions, supporting evidence, and conclusions.
  • Students progress through the stages of the writing process as needed.
  • Students write and speak with a command of Standard English writing mechanics including correct grammar and usage that is appropriate to this grade level.

Additional Subject Areas

The following subject areas are currently under revision across the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and if you would like more information regarding these standards and essential skills please contact the school directly.

  • Science
  • Instructional Technology
  • Social Studies
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Physical Education/Health
  • World Languages