Academics

Our Lady of Mercy offers an exceptional educational opportunity in a spiritual, nurturing, faith-based, values driven environment.  The curriculum at OLM is based on the Christian principle, “to teach as Jesus taught”; that is with love, concern, dedication, and understanding. Through Him, OLM teachers, in collaboration with parents and clergy encourage each student to develop spiritually, academically, socially and emotionally. Designed to build a solid academic foundation, the challenging inter-disciplinary curriculum encourages self expression, creative thinking, respect for life, and a thirst for life-long learning.

Curriculum descriptions:

Early Childhood:

Pre-K

Pre-K

The Preschool curriculum is set up as a process to prepare children for kindergarten.  Our program supports and is consistent with the mission of the school.  Children in preschool through grade eight participate in whole school prayer, fundraisers, activities, and outreach programs.

The preschool focuses on the cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual growth of each child.  With the belief that each child progresses at a different rate, the program is individualized as much as possible to meet the needs of each student.  Many teaching methods are used to accomplish this goal.   (Ex. Whole group, small and individualized instruction, problem solving, active dialogue, stimulation of intellectual curiosity.)  Using a variety of these methods the preschool’s goal is to maximize the full and unique potential of each child and to present experiences that build confidence, independence and cooperative social skills that will continue with them across all grade levels.  Throughout the school year teachers are able to attend workshops, conferences and seminars that help them to accomplish these goals.

One of the most notable strengths of the preschool is the easy transition into the kindergarten program.  Throughout the year preschool children participate in many activities with the kindergarten students and their teachers.  This encourages them to become familiar with the kindergarten setting.  Some of these activities include Advent prayer service, field trips, and literature enrichment activities.  The preschool teacher meets with each child’s parents to discuss their individual transitional needs.  This facilitates a smooth transition from preschool to kindergarten.

Kindergarten

Kindergarten

Our full day kindergarten at Our Lady of Mercy School promotes: a positive attitude toward learning and school, a positive self-concept, good citizenship, and love of God and Country. Kindergarten at OLM encourages children to develop an ability to discover, to inquire, and to make decisions. We build a strong foundation in the academic areas while enhancing creativity and enjoyment of life through music, art, and movement activities.

Religious Education – Our basic teachings include: The Holy Family (Jesus, Mary, Joseph), families, the Church, what it means to be a Christian, self esteem, and friendship.

Language Arts -The program incorporates language experiences through stories, poems, and songs. We also place a strong emphasis on phonemic awareness. Children are exposed to upper and lower case letters, letter sounds, sight words, listening skills, sequencing, left to right progression, poetry, similarities and differences, writing, opposites, and rhyming.

Math – Children learn by doing! The use of manipulatives is an integral part of each math lesson. The children are able to clearly see concepts at work and the connections between them. Some topics that are covered are as follows: position/location, sorting/classifying, counting readiness, patterns, measurement, and number concepts (0-20).

Science and Social Studies – Taught as an integral part of the kindergarten program, science and social studies involve many mini-units which are integrated in all of the academic areas. Units include: seasons, community helpers, holidays, families, pets, our country and flag, homes, farms, magnets, weather, animals, five senses, seeds, plants, and insects.

Each week the children participate in a music, library, and computer class. They also have physical education classes twice weekly and a health class biweekly. Along with our regular program, we incorporate field trips that are integrated into the curriculum. We encourage parents to assist in these activities. Our kindergarten is a place where children develop by exploring the world around them and learn about the love of God, friends, and family.

First Grade

First Grade

Our First Grade classes are engaged in a variety of learning activities. Here is a look at some of things we are learning.

In Religion we learn about God’s love for us. He wants us to be happy by living as He taught us. We learn about Christian Living, the sacraments, and prayer. Our First Grade students will host our school liturgy in May.

In Math, we practice number sense, addition and subtraction, place value, telling time, estimation, measuring, geometry, fractions, probability, and problem solving strategies.

In Reading and Language Arts, we review many consonant sounds and master the short and long vowel sounds. Each week we learn sight words to accompany a new literature selection representing a variety of genres. Writing includes daily Journal writing, an introduction to the Writing Process, and grammar lessons.

Seasonal studies complement the Science and Social Studies curriculum. Homework is assigned Monday through Thursday and is practice of concepts taught in class.

Second Grade

Second Grade

Under Construction. Check back soon!

Intermediate Grades:

Third Grade

Third Grade

Children who are entering the 3rd grade have generally mastered basic reading and math, and are primed to expand upon what they’ve learned. Third graders will make more use of reference books and materials, and will use 3rd grade math and science to continue to explore and discover the world around them. They will begin to think more globally as they learn about the world beyond home and school.  Active participation in class, along with timely completion of assignments, homework, and projects is also very important in third grade.

In the area of Language Arts the children will expand vocabulary and use reference books such as dictionaries and thesauruses to get information. They will start to write detailed stories and essays with a logical sequence of events and discernible plot points and endings.  Children will read longer chapter books and be able to articulate the main points of the stories. They will also continue to learn cursive writing.

In the area of Math the children will learn multiplication, division, fractions and decimals.  They will become increasingly more adept at applying math to real-life situations such as making change or adding up allowance money.  The children will also learn how to measure weight, height, volume.

In the area of Social Studies students will learn about community, geography, history, economics, and citizenship.

In the area of Science students will learn about water, sound, plants, and recycling as well as do many hands on experiments.

In the area of Religion children will learn about the origins, characteristics, and work of the church.  Children can train to be altar servers in third grade.  They also do many outreach projects such as the Easter Basket Raffle to help those less fortunate.

Fourth Grade

Fourth Grade

Fourth grade is an exciting, yet transitional year, in which students learn to apply the basic skills honed in primary grades. Our curriculum includes integrated and creative lesson plans with rubric based assessments for students and teachers. We believe every student should be provided and adequate opportunities to:

• Engage in a variety of educational experiences

• Think creatively and develop effective problem solving skills

• Reach their fullest potential by becoming self-motivated learners

FOURTH GRADE’S CORE CURRICULUM

RELIGION

• 10 Commandments

• Beatitudes

LANGUAGE ARTS

Use the following reading strategies:

• Inferences

• Main Idea

• Sequence

• Author’s Viewpoint

• Summarizing

• Predicting Outcomes

• Before, during ,and after reading activities

Self-selected Reading

• Choose reading materials at an appropriate reading level

• Innovative reports to assess comprehension

Writing:

• Process writing for a variety of purposes

• Use of graphic organizers

• Editing to improve spelling, grammar, and mechanics

MATH

• Show competency in computation of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division

• Use problem solving strategies

• Use fractions to identify part of a whole

• Compare and order fractions

• Rename fractions and mixed numbers

• Relate fractions and decimals

Students also engage in science, social studies, Spanish, computer, music, art, library health, and physical education

Fifth Grade

Fifth Grade

The fifth grade year is filled with exciting and new experiences in all aspects of the curriculum. The focus is to help all students secure the needed fifth grade skills in order to be prepared and successful as they enter Middle School next year.

Our religion curriculum focus is on the sacraments. We examine the connection between Baptism and Confirmation, how the sacraments of healing restore us, and question and discuss how we can love and serve as Jesus did. We actively engage in Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy throughout the year. We also recognize and explain the liturgical calendar, and recognize the rules of the Catholic faith in which we show respect for human life.

Our reading program explores a variety of literature forms, which encompasses both a basal reader and many interesting trade books. The Common Core standards are followed and supported by the reading and writing curriculum. The topics cover numerous themes and genres including historical fiction, biographies, informational and expository text, as well as an array of fictional stories. Writing is a central focus in fifth grade, and is used across the curriculum.  The Six Traits of Writing are used to engage students in the writing of poetry, personal narratives, compare and contrast pieces, as well as informational and persuasive writing.  Language and grammar skills are also part of the writing process.

Math covers a wide spectrum of skills. The math program incorporates use of basic skills such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers, decimals and fractions to extend the bridge of higher level operations. Included in the math program are strategies for solving problems containing decimals, data, graphs, fractions number theory, measurements, percents, geometry, area, volume, as well as some pre-algebra.

The fifth grade science program consists of daily lessons and includes a sequence of units that cover the core sciences of physical, earth and life sciences. Students engage in hands-on, inquiry based learning and problem solving through the use of science kits. The trimesters are split to focus on the following topics: Physical Science: Newton’s Laws of Motion and light energy, Earth Science: Soils, Rocks and Minerals; and Life Science: Microworlds which includes the study of magnifiers, and the use of microscopes to observe plant and animal cells.

The central social studies focus in fifth grade is the “road to the Revolutionary War”. The curriculum begins with the development of map skills. Students then examine colonial life and regions as well as conflicts and resolutions in our nation’s history leading up to the Revolutionary War. The three branches of government and the Constitution are also explored. We usually include a fieldtrip to the Pequot Museum and Sturbridge Villaage which enriches our social studies curriculum

Middle School:

Sixth Grade

Sixth Grade

Welcome to the Sixth Grade We like to think of Grade Six as a special community. We see our mission as one where teachers and parents work together to help students manage the many changes in their lives and develop as thinkers, leaders, friends, citizens, and individuals.

In their academic courses, Sixth Graders learn that the homework they do on their own is just as important as the learning they do together in class. They also learn to conceive and carry out independent long-term academic projects.

The Grade Six academic curriculum offers a rich variety without losing sight of creating age-appropriate, diverse learning experiences. The program is designed as a gradual but increasingly challenging progression where students prepare for a successful transition to Grade Seven. Students develop their organization and time management skills, their ability to generate and reflect upon ideas, their willingness to work in groups, and the skills to present their work in a variety of forms.

Although emphasis is placed on independent learning, individual attention is offered to all students. As students begin to move away from dependence upon parents and other adults, we try to move our students towards a sense of personal responsibility. We hope to develop our students a realistic self-image as well as broaden their perspective on the larger community around them.

Learn more about the 6th Grade Curriculum

Seventh Grade

Seventh Grade

The study of science and mathematics leads the learners from the practical and the concrete to the abstract. Physical involvement, the use of manipulative materials and visual aids are employed to this end. Science lessons are often initiated with inquiry and experimentation.

Instruction in art and music aims to promote the student’s creativity and imaginative self-expression. The school desires to develop the student’s appreciation and promotion of wholesome artistic endeavors; to regard them indispensable to the psycho/spiritual well being.

Practical skill application is emphasized in the mastery of language arts, reading, social studies, foreign language and computer education. Instruction employs oral and written practice of language, phonetics and writing. Thematic units provide context and meaning in the study of children’s literature and social studies enhancing student interest and understanding.

Learn more about the 7th Grade Curriculum

Eight Grade

Eight Grade

Welcome to the Eighth Grade where teachers and parents work together to provide students with the tools necessary for self-motivated, intellectual achievement. Collaborative work, independence and personal responsibility remain the central focus of our mission.

The Eighth Grade curriculum offers a diverse variety of learning experiences. In-class projects and homework as well as independent research projects afford students the opportunity to develop critical thinking and promote meaningful class discussion.  The faculty takes pride in providing an academic atmosphere that encourages students to have an appreciation for learning while promoting inquisitive, creative thinkers.

Although emphasis is placed on striving for academic excellence and independent learning, individual attention is offered to all students.  Small class size and interdisciplinary curriculum afford teachers an opportunity to form a close relationship with their students.

Guided by the traditions of the Roman Catholic faith, the ministry of our faculty is to invite young people into responsible participation in life, mission and work of the faith community. The curriculum offers programs to students that promote a willingness to serve as valued members of the Church.

Eighth Grade is a very special year for students, commemorated by a whole host of extra-curricular activities, including dances, field trips, an eighth grade class trip and an eighth grade dinner dance.  The year is culminated by a graduation ceremony that incorporates a mass, distribution of academic achievement awards and diploma presentations.

The Eighth Grade faculty is committed to guiding students through the exciting but challenging adolescent years, preparing them for a smooth and successful transition from middle school to high school and helping them develop as individuals as well as valuable members of a community.

Learn more about the 8th Grade Curriculum