The Sacred Heart curriculum is designed to stimulate intellectual curiosity, develop critical thinking skills, and nurture the desire for life-long learning.
To achieve this, our teachers shape the curriculum to meet the different needs of our students as they progress through each level of learning. The content, techniques, and structure employed in each grade are designed to reflect their changing capabilities and prepare them for the next level of learning.
Our curriculum is rooted in a base of rigorous academic standards. The foundation for these standards is set by the Archdiocese's Office of Catholic Schools. These standards detail specific learning goals by subject for each grade. They were constructed to fulfill both State of Illinois standards, as well as the standards set by the respective teacher associations for each major subject area (e.g. the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics, National Science Teachers Association, etc.). It is enhanced by our own standards for challenging each student to fulfill their fullest academic potential.
Sacred Heart School offers the benefits and communality of one school, while offering appropriate teaching methods and structures for the various ages:
Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten:
Our earliest programs prepare young students to thrive in a structured learning setting. A warm and nurturing environment develops the child's confidence and comfort in their ability to learn.
The Junior Kindergarten is a half-day program built around the development of social, language, math, and motor skills. The children are given ample free-choice time within a structured class schedule so that their natural love of learning is incorporated into their transition to student life.
Sacred Heart is one of the few schools in the area to offer a full-day Kindergarten that further prepares students for their learning journey.
The curriculum continues to develop social, language, and math skills. It also starts to expand into reading readiness, writing, and science. These young students work independently, with small groups, and in whole class exercises in order to expose them to different learning environments. Each Kindergarten student is matched with a 4th Grade Buddy to connect them with the older students, and with their own future development path.
Primary Grades (grades 1 and 2):
The primary grades provide students with the opportunity to complement their basic skill development with critical thinking skills. For example, while Language Arts continues to build on growing vocabularies and phonic mastery, it also introduces the idea of questioning, challenging, and summarizing what they read. This approach is reflected in all their subjects, as they expand on both what they know and how they put that knowledge to work.
The full curriculum is in place by the primary grades, including reading, math, physical science, social science, Spanish, art, music and religion. The Math Center supplements the basic math instruction by emphasizing the use of verbal interaction and manipulative activities. As students progress through the primary level, they evolve into independent readers. This gives them the ability to individually pursue knowledge and enjoyment of all subjects in the grades ahead.
Intermediate Grades (grades 3, 4, and 5):
These grades entail a multi-year transition that prepares them for Junior High. The intermediate grades continue to advance academically and to develop positive personal learning habits. Teachers help students to develop more organizational skills, responsibility, and accountability in their work.
Academically, students move along a steady path of more complex thinking in all subject areas. Language Arts introduces the literature strand that exposes students to longer novels and literature that require higher-level comprehension skills. Different writing formats are explored, as well as the planning, proofreading, and editing process of more complex writing forms. Mathematics moves from simple mathematical functions to more problem-solving applications. Science incorporates the study of natural systems. Social Studies augments the study of culture and geography with discussions of history and government.
During these years, they are introduced to departmentalized teaching, switching classes for different subjects with different teachers. Supplemental instruction in life skills is provided in conjunction with Family Services of Winnetka/Northfield. Together, all these programs help our students make the challenging transition from childhood to adolescence.
Junior High (grades 6, 7, and 8):
Junior High is designed to prepare our students to move on to a successful high school learning experience. Students work through assignments and projects of increasing difficulty across all subjects. Their accountability, responsibility, and organizational skills are further developed as they successfully complete numerous, challenging, and contiguous assignments.
Language Arts incorporates a four-modality approach of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Students gain experience across a variety of literary formats including novels, non-fiction, essays, poetry, research, and short stories. Mathematics builds toward the mastery of algebra in 8th grade as part of a higher effort to learn the logical, critical and analytical problem-solving processes. Social Studies extends the study of world and US history, while exploring the study of current events and independent research into their understanding of the wider world around them. Science continues to advance their knowledge of natural systems while introducing them to the scientific method through hands-on experiments in a laboratory setting. Our students graduate with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to succeed in a competitive learning environment.
We live in an increasingly technology-driven world, so it is critical that our students are proficient with the tools that will play an increasing role in their lives. Led by an Apple Distinguished Educator, Sacred Heart's award-winning technology programs have been cited as a model for elementary schools. Our educators are regularly asked to consult with other local schools on their technology programs.
Our computer lab gives us a state-of-the-art resource to introduce our younger students to the proper use of basic computer applications. Among the many activities, they learn how to assemble an interactive report, construct a podcast, and conduct Internet-based research.
Technology is integrated into the curriculum in several ways so that students naturally learn to use it appropriately and productively. Each classroom has iMac computers to assist in the delivery of in-class programs and lessons. Multimedia Smart Boards help teachers make class lessons interactive and dynamic. Students link to the SchoolTown website program to get a list of their daily assignments.
Starting in 6th grade, all students receive their own MacBook laptops to use for class activities and assignments. In these and other ways, technology becomes a natural part of each student's development.
The use of technology is not limited to the students. Our PowerSchool application allows parents to get real-time information on their child's progress by subject. Between meetings with teachers, parents can check on their child's homework assignments, test scores, and overall class grades. In this way, technology helps us keep an open dialogue between parents, students, and teachers.
The mission of Sacred Heart demands that we be more than an excellent
school. We are also a ministry of the parish, helping our students to develop a
life of faith and works as they grow into their role as contributing members of
|Sacred Heart School :: 1095 Gage Street, Winnetka, IL 60093 :: 847-446-0005 :: Contact Us :: Sacred Heart Parish|