Primary School Curriculum

Primary School’s community of teachers and learners upholds Holy Trinity’s commitment to educate the whole child – academically, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  With this purpose in mind, our program encourages our young students to engage learning with confidence and curiosity while embracing the values of kindness and empathy.

Every child’s potential to realize their Best You is our chief concern.

 

Students are introduced to varied activities across the curriculum including hands-on, concrete experiences that complement a child’s natural inquisitiveness. We develop foundational skills for reading, writing and reasoning while exposing our children to a rich curriculum that integrates Technology, Science, Spanish, Visual Arts, Music, Sacred Studies, Physical Education, Library Science, and Service to the Community. Personal responsibility, decision-making and the ability to apply learning are developed throughout the Primary School years.

Art

Age-appropriate projects and lessons introduce students to the aesthetics of the visual arts. Children learn to value creative ideas and feelings and the beauty that is around them. Students study the artistic styles of renowned artists and use them as inspiration for their own creations. Through the use of various media children develop skills and confidence.

Language Arts

Students are immersed in a print-rich environment that helps develop their literacy and language arts skills. Using a phonics-based approach to reading instruction, our children work with a variety of books and materials in various genres with appropriate levels of support. Elements of a story, comprehension, and critical thinking are emphasized. Primary School students are exposed to a broad range of literature for enjoyment and information.

In writing class, students begin with simple sentences and short paragraphs. They expand their writing into stories, poetry, letters and reports. The use of persuasive and descriptive vocabulary, and of journal and research format are explored. Correct punctuation, capitalization, sentence structure, and spelling are stressed. Children receive formal handwriting instruction in manuscript and cursive handwriting.

Effective and clear oral speaking are fostered in presentations across the curriculum.

Learning Resources Program

The Primary School Resource teachers provide extra support to students who will benefit from additional practice when working with specific language arts and/or math activities. Confidence grows and skills are built and reinforced in a small group setting.

Library/Media Center

It is the goal of the library program to provide resources that will stimulate young people to be critical thinkers, to enjoy the sound of rich language, and to become life-long readers. The aim of the library curriculum is to help children feel at home in any library, and to be able to locate information in a variety of formats on whatever topic they seek.

The Primary School Library offers over 8,900 books ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade reading levels. Weekly class sessions include instruction on using the online library catalog, as well as time to check out books. Fourth grade students will learn study and research skills using the Encyclopedia Britannica and World Book Encyclopedia Online School editions. They will also learn how to navigate the library and locate materials.
Acceptable use policy for computer/internet usage.

Please access Holy Trinity’s library catalog here.

Online Resources

Encyclopedia Britannica

WorldBook Online

Digital Collections

Prince George’s County Memorial Library System

Project Gutenberg

International Children’s Library

Library of Congress

Mathematics

Math manipulatives, games and projects are integral to our math program. A hands-on approach using a wide variety of materials and activities promotes a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. Math facts are learned to build a foundation for further concept development. Skills and strategies for reasoning develop while logical and critical thinking are encouraged and enhanced within an exciting framework of discovery.

Using Singapore Math techniques, Primary School students work with algebraic concepts and equations, estimation, mental math, geometry, fractions, decimals, measurement, percent, probability, ratio, data analysis and word and problem solving.

Music

Primary School children learn about and develop an appreciation for music. Through participation in and exposure to developmentally appropriate activities such as singing, playing musical instruments, and games they expand their understanding of style, rhythm, and harmony and learn the basics of musical notation.

With the study of prominent composers, Primary School students are exposed to and become interested in great music from around the world, music theory and music history. As the school year progresses, each class presents a special chapel to parents, faculty, staff and their fellow school friends.

Outdoor Education

Children experience teamwork and the invaluable qualities associated with the pursuit of a common goal and camaraderie in the Outdoor Education Program. On nature walks and overnight camping trips, students develop environmental awareness, confidence and problem solving skills.

Physical Education

The Physical Education program provides our children with a basis for life-long enjoyment of physical activity. Within a structured classroom setting they develop large motor skills, ball handling skills and eye-hand coordination. They learn about sportsmanship, basic game rules, and how to use equipment properly. A fun-filled Field Day is held every June.

Health related units raise our students’ awareness of health and fitness.

Sacred Studies

Concepts and learning about faith unite in Sacred Studies. While our children represent many faiths, teachers at the Primary School serve as gentle guides to our students during the delicate process of moral formation. In Sacred Studies children develop their understanding of scripture, religious traditions, and values within an Anglican framework. As with all Primary School instruction, the perspective of the child is at the center of every lesson and through the use of thoughtful resources such as puppets and videos, Bible stories, lessons and prayers are learned.

Children participate in weekly chapel. In special chapel presentations, our children strengthen their skills of public speaking, memorization and creative expression. The Holy Eucharist is celebrated six times a year.

Community service opportunities help our students to understand one’s responsibility when others are in need and to develop a compassionate, empathetic and giving character. Outreach projects are often discussed during chapel.

Science

The Primary School has adopted the Smithsonian STEM curriculum in our approach to teaching Science. Students investigate various scientific concepts by using concrete experiences and conducting inquiry-based experiments with Earth Science (Weather, Soils, Rocks and Minerals, Land and Water), Health Science (Food Chemistry and Nutrition), Life Science (Organisms, Life Cycle of Butterflies, Plant and Growth Development, Animal Studies) and Physical Science (Solids and Liquids, Changes, Chemical Tests).

In Science children gain understanding through hands-on exploration. They learn critical thinking and collaboration through age appropriate projects, experiments and activities.

Social Studies

Lessons in the Social Studies curriculum evolve from self and home to the study of Communities, Native American Culture, Colonial Life and the State of Maryland. History, geography and map skills are integrated throughout all units of study. A student-created interactive museum exhibit is a highlight of the study of African American leaders. Field trip and special assemblies expand our classroom walls, augmenting and enhancing classroom instruction.

Spanish

Primary School students learn conversational Spanish through songs, games, stories and videos. Vocabulary and grammatical skills are strengthened through reading and writing. In Spanish class children learn about Spanish culture and holidays as they work on projects and crafts, play games and sing music. Celebrations such as Cinco De Mayo are enjoyed by students and adults.

Technology

Students receive dedicated weekly technology classes in a computer lab that is equipped with desk tops for each student. Skills are developed in word processing, multimedia presentation, internet safety, digital citizenship, basic computer programming (Coding, Scratch, and creating QR Codes), keyboarding and parts of the computer. They learn to use Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, and have access to assorted software programs and selected websites that enhance instruction in math, reading and language arts. Teachers have the additional resource of two carts of laptops so they may successfully implement innovative 1:1 technology strategies in their academic goals.

Robotics is introduced to our students at grade appropriate levels as part of our STEM learning program.

As practiced throughout the school, technology is integrated into the classroom via cross-curricular projects. Additionally, Grades 1 and 2 have the use of new (2017) Samsung Android Tablets and Grades 3 and 4 utilize Dell Laptops (there are 2 carts – one for 3rd and one for 4th). 3rd and 4th grade students also have a Microsoft Office 365 account in which to save work done on the computer at school (in the Computer Lab or on a laptop) and to be able to access their documents at home. The students are also introduced to using flash drives as well as utilizing the Cloud.