Religion classes at Good Shepherd Catholic School are all about learning the matters of faith in order to find a faith that matters! In the classroom, teachers guide students in deepening their understanding of our Catholic faith, and in developing their own relationship with Christ through prayer, study, Sacraments, and service. As a school community we gather for weekly Mass, meaningful prayer experiences throughout the Liturgical Year, and conduct school wide service projects to reach out to the neediest among us. Yes, it’s cool to be in our Catholic school!
We are proud to use a program called Interactive Science by Pearson as our K-8 science curriculum. Elements from life, physical and earth science are introduced and strengthened with each progressing year at Good Shepherd Catholic School. Hands-on activities are used to reinforce key scientific concepts. From our well-stocked lab to classroom experiments, Good Shepherd students are constantly making connections between science content and real world experiences. The Scientific Method is emphasized each year. Students then use that knowledge when they participate in the Science Fair during middle school. The chance to compete at the regional level and beyond is open to 7th and 8th grade students.
The instructional focus during the early education years tends to be on basic computational & procedural skills and problem solving. As students move forward, instructional time is spent on higher-order math skills and disciplines, along with solving complex problems and relating math to real world applications. For students in the upper grades, algebraic concepts and geometric concepts are explored. All math instruction consists of components including manipulative activities, problem-solving opportunities, and online tools. Finally, we participate each year in both the Immaculate Heart of Mary Math Contest and The Math League Tournament.
At Good Shepherd, our teachers proudly provide quality instruction in grammar, writing, and reading. Through in-depth grammar instruction, students learn about parts of speech, punctuation, and sentence structure. Hands-on writing instruction guides them through the writing process. Additionally, daily reading instruction focuses on phonics, spelling, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, and expression. This multi-faceted language arts approach aids our students in becoming the wonderful readers and writers that they are!
From Pennsylvania history and geography expanding to World Geography, and spanning from Ancient Cultures to current events, each year at Good Shepherd Catholic School has new Social Studies topics to explore. The knowledge gained throughout these years leaves students with an understanding of their place and impact on the world around them, making them Geo-literate citizens. Extra opportunities are available through our participation in the National Geographic Geography Bee and History Day competitions at the Middle School level.
Art classes focus on developing students’ motor skills and refining their art knowledge. Units are centered around master artists of the past and present. Each year builds upon the previous year’s knowledge of art and design through studies of styles of art and different artists. Cross-curricular connections are made with social studies, sciences, and math, when possible, to expand student learning and understanding. Students explore a variety of media, techniques, and art forms as a means to develop a stronger understanding of the language of art.
Spanish class aims to provide students with a personalized, enjoyable, and introductory program to Modern Foreign Language that will help them acquire skills necessary for basic proficiency in the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Class lessons are communicative and fun and contain dialogues, linguistic exercises, games, videos, and songs with a focus on basic language structure and developing intercultural understanding.
Explore the magic and adventure of the Good Shepherd Library Media Room. Our Good Shepherd Catholic School Library Card Catalog System is online and can be accessed anytime from classroom or home. Activities include: investigating search engines and directories, identifying copyright rules, recognizing a variety of genres, evaluating and distinguishing primary and secondary sources, and differentiating among facts, opinions, propaganda, bias, and point of view in source materials.
Music at Good Shepherd is blossoming into more and more every year. Students in Pre-K through eighth grade attend music class weekly, closely following Diocesan and National Standards of Music. In using handchimes, guitars, Orff instruments, and classroom instruments, students get a well-rounded musical experience through creating, singing, playing, and learning. Choir is offered to students in grades 3-8 to sing at Mass and outside concerts.
Physical Education at Good Shepherd includes many different levels for all students including many concepts related to sports, games, physical fitness, sportsmanship, teamwork: as well as Learning basic motor skills including – skipping, galloping, running, hopping; learning basic sport skills including – throwing, catching, kicking, chasing, fleeing, body awareness, space awareness and learning specific sports’ rules, skills and game play including soccer, football, hockey, basketball, volleyball, and badminton.
Technology classes at Good Shepherd are taught in a “spiraling curriculum.” Students will see the same topics throughout their school career, with each encounter increasing in complexity and reinforcing previous learning. Younger students learn basic core concepts such as mouse manipulation, touch typing, word processing, spreadsheet and presentation skills. In the older grades, emphasis is placed on application and refinement within various programs of core concepts learned in prior grades. Beginning in Kindergarten, all students receive instruction in computer coding. Robotics are introduced to our middle school classes. Digital Citizenship (which aims to create a positive school environment that supports safe and responsible use of technology) is taught to students starting in Pre-K. The importance of online safety and digital citizenship continues to be reinforced in all grade-levels using a variety of age-appropriate lessons.
Good Shepherd students utilize technology tools (such as tablets, laptops, and Chromebooks) within their classroom environment on a daily basis. Grades K-3 use more of a “centers” approach, while grades 4-8 take advantage of our 1:1 computing system.