We believe that confident readers are confident students in other subjects. Therefore, we devote considerable classroom time in grades K4-2 to thorough instruction in phonics and the application of phonics rules to reading and spelling. Students acquire a large listening and spoken vocabulary and are exposed to literary texts of outstanding quality.
From the outset, reading for comprehension is stressed, and even the youngest students read excellent literature in complete texts. The uplifting content of the reading material also reinforces Trinity Academy’s commitment to moral excellence and character formation. Emphasis is placed on classic authors and works in a steadily more challenging sequence. Our youngest students enjoy reading classic literature such a Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit. They eagerly await the visits of Dr. Mitchell, our Headmaster, who reads A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh as a special treat!
At Trinity Academy, we want our students to become confident, independent readers who have discovered for themselves that reading is worthwhile and enjoyable. A complete list of our Classic Reading Curriculum is available from the Development Office, and supplementary reading lists are also available for our reading termites!
Writing and Speech
Writing occupies an important place in the curriculum from K4 to grade 5. In the earliest years, students learn how to proofread and correct their own work, basing their judgment on a solid foundation of instruction in phonetic spelling, grammar, usage, and punctuation. These skills, along with the reading of fine literature, enable them to develop a clear and confident writing style. Writing instruction in the early grades focuses on narration and description. As students’ writing matures, attention is given to principles of organization and development of ideas.
A solid understanding of mathematical concepts is stressed. Students have extensive practice in computation and application, and they become confident in problem solving and logical thinking. From the start, the hierarchy of mathematics is followed, beginning with rote counting, counting objects, recognition of symbols, associating quantity and symbol, writing numerals in sequence and out of sequence, and counting by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s and 10’s to 100. Students become familiar with quantitative terms, geometric concepts, money concepts, and time concepts.
As students rise through the early grades (1-3), they learn the four basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Emphasis is placed on memorizing number facts, and eventually on speed and accuracy in computation. Multiple-step problems (using basic operations) are emphasized, and fractions, metrics and further geometric concepts are introduced.
Throughout the curriculum, instruction is given in life science, physical science, and earth science. In life science, there is a progression from observation of growth and change in plants, to similar observations in animals. By grade 4, students are studying vertebrates and invertebrates, and human body systems. In physical science, students begin by learning the properties of matter. They eventually explore sound, heat, and light; magnetism and electricity; energy, forces, motion, and work. Earth science introduces students to weather and climate, the water cycle, crystals and rocks, the oceans, land forms, and the solar system. Ecology and conservation will be viewed in the light of our respect for God’s creation.
History and Geography
Beginning in the earliest grades, students learn about the events and discoveries which shaped Western Civilization, and about the men and women who made significant contributions. In increasingly sophisticated course work, students learn of the influence of ancient civilization and how Greece and Rome and the subsequent European civilizations form the heritage from which America developed. Students study our nation’s history from its founding to the present day. Beyond the rote memorization of facts, names, and dates, the curriculum emphasizes the significance of historical events and students also read biographies, primary documents, and historical fiction.
Catechism instruction, the study of the faith, and an appreciation of frequent use of the sacraments begins in Kindergarten and continues in each grade. The catechetical program is supplemented by readings from Scripture and the lives of the saints. A love of the Blessed Mother permeates the school, and devotions to her are fostered. Traditional forms of prayer are taught in the earliest grades. The love Jesus has for each child is stressed, and devotion to Our Lord is a way of life.
The Eucharistic Chapel of the Holy Spirit is available to students for Adoration and private prayer. All-school Mass on Fridays is followed by a dedicated time for each class to pray with their teacher in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit before the Blessed Sacrament.