The curriculum at St. Ignatius School is rigorous, engaging and standards-based. Central to the program is the development of the whole child. Our promise is to inspire, empower and support each student as a unique individual so that they may attain their educational and personal goals.
To educate young men and women for and with others.
St. Ignatius School’s philosophy is based on the Jesuit ideal of cura personalis– the care for the whole person – academic, social, physical, spiritual and emotional development. Our middle school program (grades six through eight) is designed to prepare all SIS students for high school and college and to facilitate the necessary and ongoing communication between home and school.
The academic program addresses the needs, interests and abilities of developing adolescents and emphasizes mastery of skills and competence in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and religion. Teacher lesson plans and curriculum are aligned with New York State’s Common Core Standards for English, Language Arts, Math, Social Studies and Science. Teachers coordinate learning activities, follow an interdisciplinary approach where appropriate, and help students understand the connections core subjects have with one another.
English Language Arts
Language Arts skills are central to the interdisciplinary approach at SIS. Our rigorous academic curriculum is aligned with New York State’s Common Core Standards. Incorporated into every lesson is a blending of focus standards in the areas of reading, writing, listening, speaking and the proper use of technology. Three basic components are incorporated into St. Ignatius’ ELA program. The first includes the core literature selections. This refers to the required reading mandated at each grade level. Pre-selected core literature provides consistency at each respective grade level. To become high school and college prepared, students are required to read and comprehend a range of literary and informational texts independently and with proficiency. In addition, students select outside reading from the school library based on their personal independent reading level. Selections made are based on personal choice and provide greater freedom of pace. A daily library period is scheduled for all students for silent reading, test prep, and conferencing with teachers. A third component includes summer reading requirements. At the end of each academic year, summer reading lists are distributed. Students are assigned two required books and one free choice.
The writing process is an integral part of the ELA program. Students are explicitly taught through direct instruction how to pre-write, outline draft, revise and edit. Assignments are structured to align with the Common Core writing standards. Use and conventions of Standard English are incorporated into all writing assignments. Throughout the year students compose:
- narrative pieces
- expository pieces
- persuasive essays
- on demand writing
- responses to grade level short stories
- writing a friendly letter and business letter
The grade level course outlines and syllabi in the SIS Math Department reflect New York State’s Common Core Standards Initiative. The standards highlight “varieties of expertise that mathematics educators at all levels should seek to develop in their students”. Mathematical practices at each grade level include:
- Making sense of problems and persevere in solving them
- Reasoning abstractly and quantitatively
- Constructing viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
- Modeling with mathematics
- Using appropriate tools strategically
- Attending to precision
- Looking for and making use of structure
- Looking for and expressing regularity in repeated reasoning
The primary purpose of the Social Studies curriculum at SIS is to help our students develop the ability to make informed decisions as an American citizen living in a culturally diverse democracy. The curriculum includes in-depth study in the following disciplines throughout middle school: anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion/belief systems and sociology.
- 6th grade curriculum begins with an introduction to social studies and geography. Subsequent topics include a study of the River Civilizations, the Golden Age of the Mediterranean, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Comparative World Religions, and the Medieval Period.
- 7th grade curriculum begins with a focus on Native Americans. Subsequent units cover exploration of the New World; colonization in America; causes of the Revolutionary War and America’s Quest for Independence; Early Colonial Government and Life in the New Nation; and the Jackson Era and Westward Expansion. The school year culminates with study of the Civil War.
- 8th grade curriculum is a chronological continuation of the the prior year. Students begins their study with the Reconstruction Period, Industrial Revolution in America, Immigration and Urbanization, Progressivism, World War I, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, and Civil Rights.
The focus of the science curriculum at SIS is designed to help students to develop scientific literacy and to question, predict and think “like a scientist”. In addition to classroom instruction, students conduct lab experiments. Throughout the three-year curriculum, an in-depth focus is maintained on the three branches of science: physical science, life science, and earth science. Use of technology, including equipment and Internet-based searches to glean up-to-date data on the latest science research findings, is incorporated to enrich the education of our budding scientists. An inquiry-based approach to instruction motivates our students and provides them opportunities to experience what it is like to be true scientists. The science curriculum includes offsite trips each year, including visit to the Bronx River for water testing experiments and trips to museums and parks such as the Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum, Liberty Science Center, and the Bronx Zoo.
- 6th grade curriculum introduces scientific language and writing by incorporating reading comprehension packets utilizing Science World Magazine as well as the foundational elements of physics (motion and forces) and chemistry (matter, atoms, elements, and compounds).
- 7th grade curriculum focuses on ecology, animal behavior, human anatomy and physiology, and genetics.
- 8th grade curriculum focuses on astronomy, weather, and geology.
In 6th grade students encounter the mystery of God through His involvement with people in history. They study how God reveals himself in the Old and New Testament. In 7th grade students look closely at the Gospels and study the Sacraments as expressions of their reciprocal relationship with Jesus. 8th grade students explore how the choices they make affect the relationship with one another and within communities. They study Church history and learn lessons of leadership and social responsibility. Students learn different ways to pray as part of the Catholic community and as individuals who give expression to their own hearts.
Rooted in the Jesuit Education tradition of cura personalis ‘care of the whole person’, our aim is to continue to grow a music program of excellence. We strive to ensure that our students achieve proficiency through the study of theory, active participation in music making experiences, and opportunities for performance/practice with professionals.