Academic Details

The basic goal of school curriculum is to establish a systematic approach to learning situations so that children may grow, learn and develop to the maximum of their potential in spiritual, academic social, physical and mental disciplines aspects of their entire person/being.

In Visitation BVM School, the student is required to arrive each day in a punctual manner, to wear the school uniform correctly and with dignity and to be properly prepared for all classes. He/she must maintain an average in each subject in keeping with his/her potential, with the 70 percent average as a minimum for passing.

A religious atmosphere is maintained and fostered throughout the school. In accordance with our philosophy, Religion receives special focus. Students participate in Masses on First Fridays and other days of religious significance, attend the Stations of the Cross and Benediction during the season of Lent, the Living Rosary in October and May Processions and Rosary in May. Service is a vital component of a complete Catholic education; and the students participate in a wide variety of outreach opportunities throughout each school year.

The ability to read and comprehend is often the measure of a pupil’s ability to learn. Learning to read in the primary grades becomes the basis for reading to learn as the grade levels progress.

All textbooks series are updated regularly, follow the national standards in the various subject disciplines and are aligned with the Guidelines of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Visitation BVM. School follows these Guidelines strictly; they may be reviewed by going to the Archdiocesan website at www.catholicschools-phl.org.

The mathematics program is designed as an ongoing process, each day building and hinging on the student’s previous knowledge and background. In addition to the textbook material, daily maintenance is practiced. Various tactile models, supplemental materials, math activities via technology and learning centers are used in mathematics instruction. The Honors Math program is in place at Visitation BVM School and is offered to those students who meet the Archdiocesan requirements for entrance.

Science develops the student’s appreciation of God’s creation and man’s responsibility to the environment. The student comes to realize the importance of scientific exploration and technological advancements through an organized presentation of science topics. An updated science lab and botanical center enhance this area of the curriculum.

The Visitation BVM School social studies programs enable our students to become enlightened citizens who are ready and willing to assume their responsibilities in their family, parish, local community and country. Geography is integrated with social studies themes in Grades 1 through 5 and taught separately in Grades 6, 7 and 8.

The English Language Arts (ELA) program combines instruction in reading, writing, listening and speaking skills with grammar, spelling, phonics and penmanship disciplines. Students are challenged to become lifelong readers and writers, to listen and think critically and to express themselves effectively and with confidence.

Music, art, physical education and library science are integral disciplines in our curriculum and they encourage the students in their knowledge of and creative expression in the fine arts, physical development and research skills. Through the music program, each student follows a well-organized process of experience in all types and forms of music; in art class, each student learns artistic skills and techniques and expresses his/her artistic talent in creative projects based on famous artists’ works.

The technology program follows the Archdiocesan curriculum guidelines for the curriculum both for the classroom and the computer lab. This includes Microsoft Office, Google Apps for Education, Internet Safety, and Internet Searching Skills. Our school has four wireless laptop carts which are used throughout our school. The classroom teachers use their laptops and shared laptops to help instruct the students with research in their respective subject areas and to reinforce skills learned in their curricula. The integration of technology skills with other disciplines is an integral element of the academic process at Visitation BVM School. United Streaming Videos, Inspiration, Kidspiration, and Type to Learn are all programs used at Visitation School. The faculty uses Google Sites to keep parents informed of their child’s classroom activities and homework.

A summary of curriculum topics for each grade level is included in this review as a means of providing a complete picture of academic life for our students. Parents and students are encouraged to use the Archdiocesan link provided above to expand one’s knowledge and understanding.

Prekindergarten

The focus of this program is on academic preparation for Kindergarten with an emphasis on faith and social skills. Prekindergarten classes enable the children to develop a strong foundation for growth and development. It is a learning-rich environment that allows our children to grow emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Art, Music, Physical Education along with Science and Language development are an essential part of this program.

Kindergarten

Religion, Reading Readiness, Math, Science, Physical Education, Art, Music and Computer classes are introduced into the Kindergarten curriculum. Children are exposed to many cultures through guest speakers and hands-on-activities.

Grades 1-2

Learning to read is the main focus in the primary grades. The ELA program is implemented to not only develop skills, but to encourage our children to explore their world through exposure to literature. Reading is encouraged throughout the year with summer reading lists. The ELA program is supplemented with phonics skills. The Science curriculum is expanded and includes the Human Body, Life, Physical and Earth Sciences. Cognitive skills are developed as the children become aware of the world around them. Visits to the laboratory and greenhouse take place for optional activities at teacher discretion. The math curriculum includes hands-on activities and calculator instruction.

Grades 3-5

At the Intermediate level, the students learn to utilize skills obtained in the primary grades. A transition is made to a literature based reading series, and all aspects of ELA are extended across the curriculum. Science skills are developed through investigation and reasoning. During laboratory periods, problem solving techniques and active exploration allows each child the opportunity to creatively investigate their world. Further investigation, via the Internet, has given students access to NASA. This has enabled them to talk directly with astronauts. Math instruction is enhanced with computer software and calculator activities. Laptop computers and wireless internet connections are employed across the curriculum by the Grades 3-5 level students. Honors mathematics is offered for those students who meet the Archdiocesan qualifications (Grades 4 through 8).

Grades 6-8

At the Junior High level, a greater responsibility toward academic independence is stressed and expected. It is evident, through literature-based activities and various projects, that the ELA program is implemented. Traditional methods are also used to reinforce content areas. Students complete research papers, give oral presentations and serve as writers and editors of the school newspaper and school yearbook. The Scientific Method is stressed throughout the Junior High years. Students consistently implement the five-step problem solving method during laboratory periods, cooperative learning activities, dissections, and the Science Fair. Dissections are an important element of the Grade 7 Science Curriculum.  The Science Fair serves as a channel for enrichment and appreciation of the Sciences. Mastery of the Scientific Method is demonstrated and critical thinking skills are further developed. Laptop computers and wireless internet connections are employed across the curriculum by the Junior High level students. . Honors mathematics is offered for those students who meet the Archdiocesan qualifications (Grades 4 through 8).

Standardized testing is provided in all grades. These results are shared with the parents and child in Grades 1 – 8, and assist parents, teachers and students to build on areas of strength and improve areas of weakness. Educational goals are established and/or adjusted via their scores.