Children learn best when they are fully engaged—intellectually, creatively, emotionally, socially and physically. Grades 1-5 students learn in self-contained classrooms to build a strong foundation in reading, writing, mathematics, social studies and science. Specialized faculty teach art, physical education, music, media studies, library and language. Curriculum-based field trips, projects and block scheduling for reading, language arts and math build enriched in-depth learning experiences.
Visual Art engages the mind, the eyes and the hands. At St. Patrick, art classes help students find their voices through lessons in drawing, painting and self-expression. Emphasis is placed on art appreciation, art history and cultural relevance. Beginning in 2017-2018, Grade 4 will participate in Stages of Sound, an arts residency program, to explore the art of film-making.
We believe that children grow into responsible, involved citizens through a robust social studies curriculum. Our children study the local community and delve into national and global history through project-based, experiential learning. One such project—The Social Studies Wax Museum—afforded students the opportunity to “become” a historical figure. After researching a chosen person and creating a costume, students became wax figures who sprang to life to share their biography with museum visitors.
At St. Patrick’s we work to build in-depth understanding of concepts, critical thinking and real world applications. Learning spans the grades to build understanding of concepts, mastery of numbers and operations, and estimation skills. This leads to proficiency for increasingly complex math applications. Grade 6, 7 and 8 students can work towards completing high school level Algebra 1 Regents by the end of 8th grade.
Science at St. Patrick is STEM-based and focuses on the science and engineering model of inquiry. Everyone pursues hands-on discovery lab classes in our Science Lab. Younger students learn the basics of science and the scientific method. They work collaboratively in teams to understand concepts and problem solving, and explore laboratory skills. Science in Grades 1-5 fully prepares students for the challenging general science classes and high school level Living Environment and Earth Science Regents classes offered in Grades 7 and 8. In 2016-2017 students in Grades 6, 7 and 8 competed in the STEM Olympics; tasks included engineering, math and technological problems to be solved.
The language program focuses on language proficiency and fluency. Learning begins with an understanding of letters and their sounds, and progresses to vocabulary, pronunciation and sentence construction. Grades 6, 7 and 8 will have a choice of language: Spanish, Italian, Latin and Arabic using Rosetta Stone, an independent learning program.
Our Physical Education program instills a love of fitness and healthy living. Gym classes are age appropriate and focus on establishing and improving individual fitness skills, learning the rules of competition and teamwork. An active and fun complement to the classroom, Physical Education classes have taken up The Mighty Milers program to reinforce running skills.
English Language Arts
Reading and writing are essential to all learning. Our curriculum is interdisciplinary and progressively builds basic grammar and mechanical, spelling and vocabulary, listening, writing, reading and handwriting skills.
In Grades 1 and 2, students learn phonics, writing and reading using the Superkids Reading Series. Grade 3 students are introduced to the Treasures reading series. In Grades 4 and 5, the curriculum combines literature and non-fiction works as well as poetry. Grade 6, 7 and 8 continue to focus on literature and nonfiction through articles, short stories and novels in preparation for high school English classes. Public speaking is also included in the Grades 6, 7 and 8 curricula.
There is a long tradition of music at St. Patrick’s especially during the 1980s when music teacher Aldo Bruschi and his students performed throughout the city including Carnegie Hall. Today’s music classes carry on that tradition by building and sharpening students’ vocal abilities and honing their performance skills. Various presentations and pageants starring students take place throughout the school year.
We are very fortunate to live in the metropolitan New York City area, home to the world’s finest museums and cultural institutions. Our curriculum includes field trips to take advantage of the wealth of resources around us, to enrich classroom learning, and to expose students to diverse experiences. Field trips include visits to museums, plays, movies among other educational opportunities. In 2016-2017, students visited the 9/11 Memorial, Madame Toussad’s Wax Museum, Greenwood Cemetary, Theatreworks at the College of Staten Island. At Christmas, the entire student body participated in a school-wide trip to a local movie theatre.
Centered around reading areas with comfortable seating, the library is a reading oasis. Its shelves hold books and materials for all ages and includes fiction, non-fiction and reference literature. A media center is equipped with tablets for reading and research. The quiet space is open during lunch and after school; classes use the library throughout the day. The Monsignor Parks Memorial Library is undergoing renovation during the 2016-2017 school year.