In the primary grades, students learn to read, write complete sentences, think critically and solve problems. Students also learn how to listen attentively, actively participate in class, share and get along with classmates. Every grade builds off of the foundational skills previously taught. St. Apollinaris students are guided to be spiritual, scholarly and committed to service.
A spiraling curriculum that increases in complexity provides the foundation for practice and mastery of mathematical concepts taught each year in the primary grades. Hands-on math instruction serves as a building block and helps construct a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, ensuring mastery in the future.
English Language Arts
Our focus in the primary grades is on phonemic awareness, oral reading fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, grammar, and writing. Students participate in the Renaissance Accelerated Reader program. Students have the opportunity to select high interest books from our on site library.
Daily prayer, religious education lessons and attendance at weekly Mass as a school community provide a foundation in faith formation. Students have the opportunity to lead daily prayer and intentions. Sacramental preparation begins in first grade and the students receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion in second grade.
An introduction to the study of life, earth, and physical science is supported through Mystery Science, Science Spin, and hands on opportunities for learning.
In the primary grades, students learn about their local community, country, and the world. Students embrace learning while studying people and places around the world, important historical figures, geography and map skills.
Students in grades K-2 are introduced to foundational fine art skills and concepts. For Visual Arts, working with a variety of materials and tools, the focus is on developing fine motor skills and creative exploration in an encouraging environment. For Performing Arts, students are learning to master the fundamentals of music such as beat, rhythm and pitch while experiencing the joy of creative expression.
Physical Education provides students a curriculum that develops gross motor skills and teaches them the importance of working as a team, exercising and eating healthy.
Students learn how to be responsible digital citizens by demonstrating the appropriate use of technology through the use of chromebooks. Students are introduced to basic operations which include keyboarding and word processing skills.
Our third to fifth grade students are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning and to create a deeper commitment to their faith and actions. As scholars, students are given opportunities to take an active role in their education by facilitating discussions, participating in hands-on projects and problem-solving on campus and during field trips. Students are excited to dive into the world of Native American history, novel studies, advanced math class and their first overnight field trip to Coloma to pan for gold. Peer collaboration, study skills and organization are emphasized to support student achievement. We are committed to helping our students grow in their spiritual life. Ongoing faith formation, service projects and opportunities to follow the examples of Jesus are interwoven into daily life at St. A’s.
3rd through 5th grade math focuses on multiplication facts, math vocabulary and word problems creating a strong math foundation in each student. Beyond the classroom, students are offered additional computer based learning programs funded by St.A’s. Beginning in 5th grade students have the opportunity to participate in accelerated math.
English Language Arts
With a strong phonics and fluency foundation from the primary grades, students enjoy digging deeper and analyzing short stories, poetry, informational texts, and novels. Developing writing skills and expanding vocabulary in addition to spelling, grammar and reading instruction create a comprehensive language arts curriculum and help to develop well-rounded students. Students set individual and group goals to track their reading success using the Renaissance Learning Accelerated Reader Program.
St. Apollinaris provides many opportunities for students to actively participate in their faith formation. Students in grades 3-5 acquire knowledge of God and his Church through the Faith and Life Curriculum, learn about the saints and virtues, and participate in weekly mass and daily prayer. Fourth graders develop a deeper understanding of forgiveness and receive the sacrament of Reconciliation.
Science at St. Apollinaris Catholic School focuses on the Next Generation Science Standards for Catholic Schools, which establishes meaningful expectations for student performance and achievement in science while promoting our Catholic identity and faith in the lives of our students. Students in 3rd through 5th grade participate in learning science through Mystery Science where they develop skills needed to analyse and interpret data, develop critical thinking skills, problem solve and connect ideas across all science domains. Students at St. Apollinaris Catholic School participate in hands-on STEM based activities which reinforce ideas learned and help students make real world connections.
The Social Studies curriculum in third through fifth grades takes the students on a journey beginning with California’s history and continuing on through early U.S. government. In third grade, the focus is on California Native Americans, early explorers and settlers. In fourth grade, they progress through the California missions, the Gold Rush, and California becoming a state. In fifth grade their studies continue beyond California to the thirteen colonies and the early U.S. government. The students experience this curriculum through California Studies Weekly and a variety of projects, group activities, presentations, and field trips. In addition, the fourth grade students also use an interactive online course called California Native Peoples and Missions to further explore the missions and their impact.
The Visual Arts program for grades 3-5 continues building skill through creativity and exploration. Students are introduced to a number of different styles and techniques in a multimedia experience. In the Performing Arts, students deepen their understanding of the fundamentals of music while learning to play the recorder in 3rd and 4th grades and the ukulele in 5th.
Physical Education will provide students with a curriculum that teaches manipulative skills, rhythmic skills, team sports and the importance of incorporating exercise regularly and healthy eating habits.
Students demonstrate a proficiency in the use of computers and applications by being introduced to the Google for Education platform which includes word processing, spreadsheets and multimedia presentations. Students learn critical thinking skills using Computer Science Fundamentals which teaches students basic programming concepts using drag and drop blocks.