Saint Benedict Academy curriculum is guided by the Diocese of Manchester and Core Knowledge curriculum standards. These standards not only exceed the academic expectations of many outside educational organizations, but also provide resources, structure, and projects for teaching values and attitudes, and the Catholic faith tradition.
The Catholic faith is the main focus of our school ministry. Our faculty are committed to living the faith and, through their examples and expectations, transmit our faith tradition and Gospel values. Teachers stress the importance of Catholic values in everyday life, community service, as well as through the curriculum. Learning to live as Catholics is a primary goal for Saint Benedict Academy.
Each week, all students participate in a Liturgy. Older students prepare readings and present the gifts in the Offertory Procession. Students also take part in traditional Catholic devotions throughout the year, including the Stations of the Cross, Advent prayer services, recitation of the Rosary and the May Crowning to honor Our Blessed Mother. Students select organizations and take an active role in special charitable efforts during the seasons of Lent and Advent.
Through our authentic approach to living our faith, our students come to understand religion as the integral part of life that it is. Religion is not treated as a single subject, but is at the very center of the curriculum. For example, Catholic values may be examined during a literature class, or may be part of a thematic unit which integrates religion, social studies, and art classes.
Saint Benedict Academy believes that a strong foundation in the skills and appreciation of language and literature will provide children with the powerful means of expressive language. A key component of this core subject is the understanding that God has provided us with many means for communication with each other, and that God hears all our prayers in every language. As children move through the elementary years they refine their handwriting, dictionary and organizational skills, while their knowledge develops in areas of language development, spelling, vocabulary, composition, and grammar. Through daily oral language activities, students attain and develop speaking and listening skills as well as literary appreciation. Ultimately, students who can think critically about language and communication will develop a sense of personal effectiveness and confidence in their ability to assume a responsible role in the church and society.
Foreign Language — Spanish
Students at Saint Benedict Academy study Spanish throughout the primary grades. They build on foundations of basic vocabulary and conversational phrases by singing songs, listening actively and role-playing. State of the art technology facilitates language acquisition as oral and auditory skills are reinforced with engaging learning software. In upper grades, curricula focus on improving students’ written, oral, and auditory skills through a variety of spoken and written activities and experiences. A key component of the Spanish curriculum is the knowledge that God hears our prayers in every language, and new prayers are learned each year in both English and Spanish. Students also learn each year about the foods, customs, and celebrations from various Spanish-speaking countries around the world.
Saint Benedict Academy’s phonics-based reading program encourages skilled reading and instills life-long enjoyment and appreciation of reading. The curriculum begins in kindergarten with the fundamentals of emergent reading skills and culminates in the sixth grade as students understand and critically interpret various texts. Comprehension and interpretation, reference and study skills, and vocabulary development are emphasized at every grade level. And because reading is necessary for success in all subjects, the reading curriculum is closely integrated with other content areas. Finally, students are encouraged to browse the shelves of their classroom libraries and are taken for frequent visits to the school’s library so that they may appreciate the joy that comes with discovering and exploring new books.
The goal of Saint Benedict Academy’s social studies curriculum is to help students understand human relationships within an ever-widening circle. After examining connections with each other and their family, they begin to understand the personal and civic relationships between friends, school, neighborhood, city, state, nation, and the world. Our educators harness children’s natural interest in stories and use the narrative power of history to reveal continuities between the past and the present. In their formal study of US history, students learn about the history of New Hampshire, the development of the United States with special focuses on colonization, independence, expansion, immigration and the Civil War. World history gives students the chance to learn the stories of Ancient empires, Medieval Europe, and the Industrial Revolution.
Saint Benedict Academy teachers work with students to develop their intuitive understanding of mathematical concepts and ability to problem solve. Building on basic skills including numbering, measurement, and operations, students complete the primary grades experienced in algebra and geometry. Through discussion, daily routines, cooperative groups and learning games, young learners establish links between past experiences and new concepts, building a solid foundation of knowledge for success in mathematics.
In an atmosphere of Christian values, Saint Benedict Academy prepares today’s children for tomorrow’s world by encouraging students to: reverence and respect creation, explore the connection between faith and scientific investigation, and develop a better understanding of themselves, others, and the world in which they live. Through their study of Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science, students will learn and practice the scientific method by forming questions, designing research approaches, devloping and asessing hypotheses through observation and laboratory experiences, analyzing and synthesizing data, and finally evaluating and communicating resulting. Students in grades four through six participate in a Science Fair, and teachers encourage students in all grades to explore their own interests in and out of the classroom.