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The FINE Arts Program
We live in a culture which tends to ignore or downplay things of the spirit; still, human authenticity is most manifest in those activities that point to the transcendental aspect of human nature. At Holy Child Catholic School, we reject the current trend in primary school education which relegates the fine arts to an after thought.
An educated person is one who understands himself, the world around him, and the cultural and historical context in which he finds himself. One of the key elements of a classical curriculum is that all subjects are presented with a keen awareness of their historical context. In this way the student comes to an appreciation of the way in which all knowledge is interrelated, that every discovery, every innovation, depends on the long historical "conversation" that preceded it.
History is not a mere curious interest in the past. It teachers us about the human condition, both noble and ignoble. We study history because we believe there are important lessons to learn from the past. The students of Holy Child Catholic School will be well equipped to think through the challenges of the present precisely because they will have received an education which is so insistent on the importance of the past.
Holy Child Catholic School utilizes the educational plan of St. Jerome Academy, a unique curriculum that focuses on a nine year cycle of history and offers an exciting way to ground students in tradition of Western Civilization. Students cycle twice through the history of the world.
Geography provides a spacial perspective for learning about the world. It transcends time, chronology, and sequence by teaching students to think in terms of physical and human systems, patterns, distributions, the movement of people, goods, and ideas, the world's regions in all their forms, and the interaction between people and their environment. It examines the spatial dimension of human experience (i.e. space and place) in ways that cannot be adequately developed if left in the mix of social studies.
(2003) Geography: An Essential School Subject—Five Reasons Why, Journal of Geography, 102:1,42-43, DOI: 10.1080/00221340308978519
The mission of Holy Child Catholic School is to advance the development of the soul, mind, and body through a rigorous classical curriculum, to foster spiritual and intellectual growth, to develop stewardship of God’s gifts. and to inspire a love for the Eucharist, the Church, and evangelization.
The study of the Faith is not simply one subject among many. Rather, it is the supreme integrating principle. Religion pervades all that the HCCS community is and everything it does, which is why the typical school day begins with either daily Mass or the Rosary. Through participation in the Holy Eucharist, our Lord is constantly calling our students to a deeper, more profound spiritual life.
Literature cultivates the human soul. The great existential issues of life are powerfully addressed though literature. At Holy Child Catholic School, therefore, we expose children to literature that develops the moral and religious imagination.
Good books also serve as precursors to the great books. The great books of literature are those perennial classics which have made their way into the canon of literature.
Young students, by virtue of their age, are not able to read many of the original great works—e.g., The Iliad or the Divine Comedy—but, sadly, many older students are also unable to appreciate great books precisely because they were not reading good books when they were younger. At Holy Child Catholic School, we expose children to age appropriate literature which grasps their attention and curiosity and prepares them for the sublime heights of Virgil, Dante, and Shakespeare.
This course is designed to help students begin the process of thinking logically and learning the proper way to compose an argument. In addition, students study basic teachings of Plato, and Aristotle. They also receive an introduction to the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. In particular, they study Aquinas' proofs for the existence of God.
This course is a crucial part of our pedagogy in that it helps students concretely understand the relationship between faith and reason. Finally, it provides students the necessary tools to begin to think critically-an indispensable element to the dialectic stage in a classical curriculum.
Human beings are embodied creatures. There is a reciprocal relationship between mind and body, and, if one intends to give a holistic education, care must be given to provide physical training. The program at HCCS emphasizes the understanding that each of our bodies and physical abilities are a gift from God. All of the truths that are covered in the Theology classes are put into practice as students can see how being made in His Image and Likeness can be practiced. Since it is a gift freely given, we must show gratitude by not neglecting what we have. This is shown through discipline and stewardship.
The joy of movement, the satisfaction of cooperation, the building of self esteem, and excellence are also emphasized. All of these bring us happiness and we give that back to God as thanksgiving for His Gift to us. As a Catholic classical school we take pride in our emphasis on good sportsmanship, and we also celebrate play, which, like joy, is its own end.
The Physical Education Program has three essential components:
• Physical Fitness
HCCS strives to give the students the tools to promote their health and fitness for a lifetime. This is taught progressively through the grades using fitness testing, sports, activities, skills, and rules. Fitness is assessed using the Presidential Challenge twice a year beginning in the First Grade. All of these activities are designed to teach students how to participate in games and sports where they can both lead and be led, subordinating their own role to the good of the team.
HCCS's Latin program lays the foundations for success at understanding this rich language that is central to our history and faith. There are many benefits to the study of Latin.
Learning another language at an early age has been shown to increase neuron development in the brain and is therefore truly expansive.
Latin is an inflected language, meaning the role a word plays in the sentence is determined by its ending, rather than word order. This means the student Latin must be much more aware of such grammatical constructs as case, person, number and tense. This also means that making sense of a Latin sentence is a bit like solving a puzzle, requiring careful attention to detail, sorting out all that the endings of each word are communicating and then figuring out how to reassemble the words into standard English syntax. This process is highly beneficial and most people also find it fun. It fosters the mental rigor we are seeking to instill in our students.
Beyond these advantages, there is the weighty benefit of an increased vocabulary.
As a classical school, we are by definition literary and historic in our orientation. Latin is the language of 2 millennia of western civilization. One cannot study this language without gaining access to the history, the mind of the ancients, the church fathers, the treasured texts and creeds of our faith, and the formative songs that stem from the inception of our faith. It is the language of our faith.
How do we learn Latin?
At HCCS, students approach the study of Latin incrementally, laying a careful foundation and building on it little by little. Chanting is the fun and long-established method of instilling Latin paradigms into the memory, so students do a good deal of that. The classes are vocabulary based and each week students are be expected to learn a vocabulary list along with the grammatical idea presented each week. Class activities and homework exercises are designed to foster understanding and memorization. Latin studies are "grammar based" in the lower grades and "literature based" in the upper grades.
Our Language Arts curriculum encourages a love for the beautiful expression of the spoken and written word, for only in a love affair with beauty will students passionately seek to find and elegantly express truth. That love affair is ignited, in primary and middle school, when teachers model the structure and elegance of the English language. We “model” such expression in a number of ways:
The Telling and Retelling of Fables and Fairy Tales
Poetry Memorization and Recitation
Dictation and Copying
Rigorous Grammar Curriculum
Our intense focus on writing, grammar, vocabulary, and the study of Latin lead to above grade-level achievement. Our students tend to be enthusiastic about reading original texts and great novels simply because they are accustomed to it.
Building A Foundation: Language, Phonemic Awareness, Spelling and Grammar.
The Logic of English integrates phonemic awareness, systematic phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, spelling, and grammar. There is also a Greek and Latin root component.
We live in a culture which tends to ignore or downplay things of the spirit; still, human authenticity is most manifest in those activities that point to the transcendental aspect of human nature. At Holy Child Catholic School, we reject the current trend in primary school education which relegates the fine arts to an after thought. Music and choral instruction is an important part of every student’s education at Holy Child Catholic School. Music is one of the myriad ways by which our minds and souls can rise to contemplation of God and the mysteries of his beautiful creation.
We also offer instrumental lessons to our student body after school. In short we want to develop a culture of music at Holy Child Catholic School and we fully believe that music—like math and science—should be a part of the lives of all our students. A life without good music is impoverished.
Students participate in choral instruction in all grade levels as part of our curriculum. Students learn sacred music, solfège, sight reading, harmony, chanting, and music history.
Choir is open to students in 4th-8th grade. The choir provides beautiful music to Mass on Thursdays and practices weekly.
The highlight of the Fall choir season is the Christmas concert/Children's Mass on Christmas Eve. At Fine Arts night in the Fall and Spring, students have an opportunity to present choral and solo performances.
Suzuki Strings Program
The Holy Child Catholic School Suzuki Violin Program is designed to offer key elements of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki's method of instruction on the HCCS campus. Beginning at the Kindergarten level, students - in partnership with their parents - may choose to play the violin, viola, or cello. Click here to learn more!
Mathematics is an indispensable component of a student’s intellectual formation. The study of mathematics enriches and feeds the soul and the intellect no less than literature and language. Math is not valuable only because it enables us to engineer great projects; math is first and foremost a transcendental discipline, and its primary value is that its very existence points to eternal realities.
Given the highly abstract and conceptual nature of Mathematics, instructors teach the subject in a conceptual as opposed to a formulaic manner. HCCS uses the Singapore Math Series (K- 6th grade) because the program fosters real mathematical thinking. Singapore Math is also attractive because of the strong curricular connection the series makes between concepts and manipulatives. The best way for children to grasp concepts is to allow them to grasp things; the Singapore curriculum is built on that important educational insight.
Young children are instinctively curious about the natural order and our science curriculum is designed to meet that curiosity with a systematic exploration of creation.
The primary and middle school science curriculum offers graduated and systematic exposure to many different scientific disciplines (e.g. physical, biological, and astronomical sciences) but the curriculum is unified in a number of ways. First and foremost, we are concerned to help our students think scientifically. The sciences are “experimental disciplines” with their own distinct methodologies and goals; above and beyond the facts of science, the elementary and middle school curriculum primarily intends to develop the intellectual ability to think scientifically.
Scientific thinking is fueled by wonder and curiosity. Therefore, developing wonder and having fun with science are hallmarks of a good primary and middle school science education. Finally, since the created order is God’s gift to the human race, we infuse naturalistic studies with an ethical component. In short we believe that students should constantly reflect on the moral obligation to use nature responsibly.
More resources on our academic subjects
More about poetry and literature
More about STEM
More about the Logic of English program
More about our history textbooks
Doctors of the Church
Holy Child Catholic School is committed to preserving our Catholic intellectual tradition. This is why each of our classrooms is named after a Doctor of the Church.
At the bottom of each page of this website, you will see a photo of a Doctor of the Church and the classroom that honors that particular doctor.