Middle School - 6th, 7th & 8th Grades

Middle School 6-8 Curriculum Overview

St. Cecelia Interparochial Catholic School is a IB Middle Years Programme (MYP). For further information about IB and its programmes, visit http://www.ibo.org.

Religion

Religious education at SCS is a catechetical program designed for the faith development of adolescents. It is based on Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and other sources that aid in helping students to acquire a deeper understanding and appreciation of their Catholic faith. It encompasses the roots of our faith– the Hebrew Scriptures, the life, values and teaching of Jesus—the New Testament, and the origins and traditions of the Catholic Church. Character development and drug education are also included in the curriculum. The curriculum is supplemented with the Sadlier, We Believe series, and along with weekly scripture study using the Breakthrough! Bible for Young Catholics (St. Mary’s Press).

Language Arts

St. Cecelia Middle School has a language arts curriculum that is rich in content. The curriculum is designed to meet the Diocese of St. Petersburg Comprehensive Standards and Benchmarks, the State of Florida Common Core Standards, and the IB Standards. The middle school language arts curriculum, which is offered as an on-level course and as an Honors course includes: literature, grammar, Accelerated Reading, and 6 Traits of Writing. Language is fundamental to learning, thinking and communicating; therefore it permeates the entire curriculum. The newly implemented Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) class supplements the language arts topics. Teachers collaborate to ensure maximum writing skills are used across the curriculum. Through speeches and a variety of speech and writing activities, students are engaged in challenging projects, encouraging growth and confidence. Sixth graders utilize Kinneavy/Warriner’s Elements of Writing, McDougal/Littell Literature, Holt/Rinehart/Winston English Workshop Introductory Course. Seventh grade utilizes Kinneavy/Warriner Elements of Writing, Holt/Rinehart/Winston English Workshop First Course, and McDougal/Littell Literature. Eighth grade utilizes Kinneavy/Warriner Elements of Writing, Holt/Rinehart/Winston English Workshop Second Course, and McDougal/Littell Literature. This comprehensive curriculum ensures that our middle school students are prepared and confident to succeed in high school.

Mathematics

Mathematics plays an essential role both within the school and in society. It promotes a powerful universal language, analytical reasoning, and problem-solving skills that contribute to the development of logical, abstract, and critical thinking. IB MYP mathematics aims to equip all students with the knowledge, understanding, and intellectual capabilities to address further courses in mathematics, as well as to prepare those students to use mathematics in the workplace and life in general. As students move from sixth to eighth grade, they develop, improve, and build upon the skills they have learned at each level of Mathematics. Teachers use inquiry, collaboration, and problem-based learning to provide students the opportunity to become a true IB learner. St. Cecelia’s offers both on-level math courses and Honors courses.

 

St. Cecelia uses the Digits math program for middle school, grades 6-8. Digits is published by Pearson, a leader in educational curriculum. Digits utilizes interactive learning modules in the classroom and provides access to the program at home where students complete customized homework assignments and assessments online.

 

In addition to the Digits program in Middle School we offer an Algebra I Honors course in the eighth grade year to motivated students who meet the qualifying criteria and who have had the pre-requisite study in Pre-Algebra. The Algebra I Honors course is designed to provide students with an in depth level of instruction, an accelerated pace and a cooperative learning environment. Topics include properties of real numbers, equations and inequalities, operations with polynomials and functions, graphing linear equations, and operations with rational and radical expressions. The curriculum covered prepares students for future success in Honors Algebra II and Honors Geometry. In particular, the course guides students in the development of critical thinking skills and algebraic problem solving skills which provide the foundation for real-world problem solving.

 

This course meets the application requirements for various local High School Magnet programs, as well as, the preparation for the Pinellas County Algebra I End of Course Exam.

 

All students in the middle school participate in a year- long Math Learning Strategies class. This course focuses on the continuous building of basic math skills allowing students the opportunity to improve speed and accuracy when attacking problems.

Science

As an MYP IB Candidate School, the middle school science curriculum follows the Diocese of St. Petersburg Standards and Benchmarks and the Common Sore Standards instructing the students in the fundamentals of Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science along with the three fundamental concepts of the MYP which include:

 

Holistic Learning

Holistic learning emphasizes the links between the disciplines, providing a global view of situations and issues.  Students work closely with other subject areas.  Students are provided cross-curricular activities and opportunities to appreciate the contributions that science makes to society and the quality of life.  Students reflect upon the way science and scientific knowledge have developed and evolved over the years.

 

Intercultural Awareness

Intercultural awareness concerns itself with developing students’ attitudes, knowledge, and skills as they learn about their own and others’ social and national cultures.  Students are provided opportunities to explore scientific issues locally and globally.  Students develop an understanding of how science and society are interrelated and how social, economic, political, environmental, cultural and ethical factors are interdependent.

 

Communication

Communication is a fundamental piece to learning, supporting inquiry, and understanding.  Learning the language of science is seen as learning a new language.  Students develop skills to understand and communicate scientific ideas effectively.  Students read, write and meet in articulation groups to discuss science.  Students use a variety of mediums to communicate their findings.

 

The science curriculum is supplemented using the Pearson Prentice Hall Science Explore Series.

Social Studies

All SCS Middle School Social Studies classes are introduced to the IB MYP Humanities Programme. MYP humanities encourage learners to respect and understand the world around them and to equip the students with a skill set appropriate for becoming a 21st Century learner. MYP humanities involve inquiry into historical, contemporary, geographical, political, social, economic, religious, technological and cultural contexts that influence individuals, societies and environments. This encourages learners, both students and teachers, to consider varied local and global contexts. MYP humanities defines itself as incorporating disciplines traditionally found in the humanities, such as history and philosophy, as well as, disciplines found in the social sciences, such as economics, geography, sociology and politics. Through the MYP humanities framework, knowledge and conceptual understanding, as well as, thinking critically and communication, contribute to the development of the student as a whole. All subject groups in the MYP share a common foundation through the attributes of the IB learner profile and with the fundamental concepts of the MYP- holistic learning, intercultural awareness and communication.

 

The middle school program is supplemented using the Pearson series: My World History, My Florida Civics, and America- History of our Nation: Beginnings Through 1877.

 

Sixth grade students focus studies on ancient regions of the world from China and Africa to Ancient Rome and Greece. Students “dig up the past” through archeology and learn how to navigate building map skills.

 

Seventh grade students focus on civics, economics and geography, with an emphasis on U.S. political and economic systems, and U.S. geography.

 

Eighth grade classes study exploration to reconstruction, with an emphasis on Colonial America, the American Revolution and the Civil War. Students in this grade level continue their studies of economics and culminate the unit with a trip to the Stavros Center where they experience Finance Park. The IB Programme culminates in the 8th grade with Community Projects. This year long project requires students to plan, construct and implement an outreach activity to benefit the local or global community.

 

Programme culminates in the 8th grade with Community Projects.  This year long project requires students to plan, construct and implement an outreach activity to benefit the local or global community.