Curriculum Overview

PRESCHOOL — PK3, PK4 and Kindergarten:

The pre-school child learns best through discovery play. This allows him to develop his intellectual, emotional, social, and physical gifts when he is developmentally ready. All of the programs are enriched through specialization classes in religion, French, Spanish, art, library, music, and physical education.

The PK3 curriculum provides opportunities for boys to develop positive self-esteem in a warm, caring, stimulating learning environment. Children are introduced to a wide variety of language, hands-on, and outdoor experiences through a well-rounded, integrated, developmentally appropriate program. Learning centers are the focal points in the classroom. The materials in the centers are changed throughout the year as the learning theme rotates. Centers include manipulatives and puzzles, pretend play, computer literacy, blocks, science, art, and sand and water play. Examples of themes incorporated in the centers include space, the great outdoors, occupations, community helpers, and food and nutrition.

The PK4 curriculum continues to address the learning needs of each child and continues to foster a love of learning. The boys are provided concrete learning tools and opportunities to explore their world through play and their senses. The program revolves around weekly thematic units integrating math, language, science, and art into these topics. Learning centers, using hands-on manipulatives, are incorporated to facilitate individualized learning, group projects, and direct instruction.

The Kindergarten curriculum offers a hands-on, center-based program that considers the unique learning style of each child. The integrated curriculum emphasizes language, writing, math, science, and social studies experiences. Students are provided daily opportunities to read and write, count and explore numbers, observe and make predictions, as well as to play and interact.

LOWER SCHOOL — Grades 1-4:

Creativity and intellectual curiosity are encouraged within a strong academic framework in the Lower School. All of the programs are enriched through specialization classes in art, library, music, physical education, computer, and French.

Religion: The formation of a spiritual relationship with God is founded on love and personal responsibility. Activities for personal growth include Chapel, community service, and the Quality of the Month program. Spiritual growth activities include Chapel, Mass, Stations of the Cross, recitation of the Rosary, and May Devotions.

Language Arts: “Good readers make good writers, and good writers are good readers” is the philosophy of the language arts department at Stuart Hall. The goal of the language arts program is to develop good readers, writers, listeners, and speakers. Trade books combined with other traditional texts are used to develop skills in reading, phonics, spelling, grammar, handwriting, listening, and speaking. The program builds upon the skills introduced and practiced in prior years. For example, in reading the boys move from learning to read words and building their vocabulary to reading fluently to learning to understand
what is read and make judgments about that information. In writing, students move from writing simple sentences to an understanding of sentence structure, language usage, and grammar. Opportunities to practice the skills of writing are provided on a daily basis through classroom activities, peer editing, and teacher conferencing.

Mathematics: Students receive a balanced, integrated mathematics program that includes continual development of whole number concepts, whole number computation, mental math, problem solving, patterns and functions, measurement, geometry, fractions, decimals, and probability and statistics. Manipulatives, computer-assisted instruction, problem of the day, and word problems are a daily part of the math program. The math series used for basic instruction is aligned with the NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) standards.

Social Studies: Map skills, units on communities and countries, use of reference materials, and basic geography form the core of the Lower School’s social studies curriculum. The basic text is supplemented with guided reading of non-fiction books, weekly news magazines, and map experiences. Social studies class provides a multitude of opportunities for the boys to work in cooperative groups as they complete research projects and draw conclusions about their readings. Field trips, art projects, films, guest speakers, role play, and other expressive activities are incorporated to bring social studies to life in
the classroom.

Science: Appreciation and respect for all living things and the environment are emphasized in our science program. Students develop their curiosity through experimentation, observation, deductive reasoning, and communication. Hands-on experiences and working in teams are hallmarks of the science program, providing opportunities for enrichment, reinforcement, and integration of the skills and concepts presented.

Enrichment Classes: Physical education, art, computer, French, music, library and guidance are offered to enhance the academic and personal development of the students.

MIDDLE SCHOOL — Grades 5-7:

To support the boys through this time of transition from child to adolescent and from concrete to abstract learner, Stuart Hall Middle School provides an atmosphere that assists each student in developing strong self-esteem through opportunities of self-discovery. All of the core academic programs are enriched through specialization classes in art, library, music, physical education, computer literacy, guidance, study skills, and foreign language.

Religion: The religious education program has as its foundation the teaching of the Catholic Church with sequential study of Scripture, the Church, and the Sacraments. Religious services include Mass, May Devotions, the Rosary, and the Stations of the Cross.

English: Grammar and creative writing are major parts of this program and are used as tools for good, proper, and effective oral and written communication. A computer writing lab reinforces skills in composition, revision, and mechanics.

Reading: The reading program exposes students to various genres of literature. The program focuses on the development of the critical skills needed for reading, promoting a lifelong appreciation for reading, and an expansion of the student’s vocabulary.

Science: Hands-on experiments, projects, and field trips help students develop an understanding of the three branches of science: life science, physical science, and earth science. All grade levels focus on the steps of scientific method, including research, hypothesizing, experimenting, collecting data, and drawing conclusions.

The hands-on labs provide the students with opportunities to conduct research and experiments. Computer activities and projects are also a regular part of our science class. Use of our wireless Internet-connected laptops and iPads for researching, synthesizing, and organizing information sparks the interest levels of even the youngest scientists.

Math: This curriculum solidifies and strengthens the accuracy and speed of computational skills, develops critical thinking and problem solving skills, and establishes fundamental understandings of basic geometry and algebra. The text is supplemented with computer programs and Internet activities. Additionally, the math series used for basic instruction is aligned with the NCTM standards.

Social Studies: The social studies curriculum is centered around a study of our country, and our world. In the fifth grade, students study American History. The sixth grade curriculum focuses on World Geography with an emphasis on World Cultures. The seventh grade students study World History. Research and writing skills are emphasized in all grades.

Foreign Language: French, Spanish and an introduction to Latin are offered in the Middle School foreign language program. The program emphasizes comprehension of written and spoken language, oral expression, and pronunciation, with a formal approach to grammar.

Art: Students are engaged in projects which develop basic skills, art appreciation, and creative expression.

Music: The program is designed to enhance a love for music and a joy of singing. Extra-curricular music programs include two music choirs for grades 2-7, and several handbell choirs.

Physical Education: This multi-faceted program focuses on the improvement of students’ overall health and wellness by increasing students’ endurance, strength, flexibility, and agility.

Computer: Middle school students concentrate on word processing, databases, spreadsheets, and communications through use of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The school-wide network provides access to the Internet in each classroom and in the computer labs. Responsibility, safety, and the critical use of technology are emphasized.

Library: Students develop an appreciation for the value of literature and of reading as a means to gain knowledge and learn the skills necessary to conduct research.

Interscholastic Sports: Stuart Hall competes in soccer, basketball, baseball, tennis, swimming, cross-country, and flag football. The school is a member of the Metropolitan Middle School League.

Knights’ Program: Upon meeting the criteria necessary to become a Knight, seventh grade students are eligible to participate in this leadership program. Knighthood is the highest level of recognition possible for a Stuart Hall boy.

Round Table Program: The Round Table is Stuart Hall’s student government organization. Participation in The Round Table provides student leadership opportunities through regular meetings to discuss school issues and to raise funds for worthwhile needs of the school and community.

Extra Curricular Offerings: After school chess for first through seventh graders meets once a week, and the students are eligible to participate in the Louisiana Chess Association tournaments. The middle school Lego Robotics Team meets once a week, and participates in the First Lego League. Cub Scouts is offered to first through fifth graders. There is a weekly den meeting and two campouts a year in addition to the regular scouting events.