Core Academic Courses
English Language Arts
During their four years of attendance, Nativity students are expected to read more than 40 novels and achieve a degree of English proficiency that exceeds state standards for their grade level. They are asked to demonstrate an ability to retain concepts from reading, analyze passages for main ideas, grasp and apply grammatical rules, employ critical thinking skills to make inferences, abstract from concrete material, memorize and retain new vocabulary, write with clarity and precision, and utilize their creativity when working on individual or class projects. The English curriculum works to address these expectations by dividing ELA time into three substantial areas: Reading, Vocabulary, and Grammar.
In grades five through eight, students are expected to achieve proficiency in basic skills, develop critical thinking skills and reasoning ability, and to learn procedures and methodologies to solve problems in order to prepare them for a rigorous secondary school program.
Students should be able utilize good methodologies to solve problems. A structured approach to solving problems helps students to organize and sequence strategies. This becomes critical when more complex multi-step problems are introduced in advanced math courses. As they learn step-writing skills appropriate to each level of mathematics, they apply them to solving more complex problems. The outcome is greater accuracy and a growing confidence in their ability to solve challenging problems.
The overall purpose of the science department is to advance each student’s understanding of scientific principles and concepts. Fifth graders study general science, learning concepts from many fields including: botany, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, and biology. The sixth grade focuses on Earth Science: geology, meteorology, oceanography, and astronomy. The seventh grade studies Life Science: biology, zoology, and botany. The eighth grade studies Physical Science: physics and chemistry.
Science classes are also a place of social learning, where heavily debated topics like natural resource conservation and energy dependency can be brought to the table from the perspective of science.
During their four years of attendance, Nativity students are expected to develop a working understanding of world history, American history, civics, and geography. They are asked to demonstrate an ability to retain concepts from reading, analyze passages for main ideas, employ critical thinking skills to make inferences, abstract from concrete material, memorize and retain historical facts, write with clarity and precision, and utilize their creativity when working on individual or class projects. During fifth grade students study a general survey of world history. In the sixth and seventh grades, students study American history from the 1500s to the present day and develop a working knowledge of local, US, and world geography. Finally, in the eighth grade, students study civics and US government in depth.