St. Thomas is proud to participate in the Archdiocesan Elementary Honor's Math Program. This program is intended to provide students the opportunity to complete the prescribed elementary core curriculum in seven years instead of eight years and complete the Algebra I course used by the Archdiocesan High Schools while in 8th grade. Students who complete this program and satisfactorily master the Algebra curriculum are able to test into their second year of secondary mathematics in their freshman year.
Students are identified for the program in the spring of their 4th grade year and begin instruction in 5th grade, although a student may be admitted at a later time if they meet the guidelines set forth by the Archdiocese. Students may be admitted based on a combination of their Terra Nova scores, Final Math Level Test score, final math grade on their report card, and recommendation of their classroom teacher.
Once admitted to the program, students are required to maintain these criteria each trimester. Participation in the Honors Math Program is contingent upon the approval of the Archdiocesan Mathematics Committee, not the school principal or Honors Math teacher.
English Language Arts is a prominent part of Education at St. Thomas the Apostle. We believe in providing students with a balanced program, focusing on reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, and spelling. We hope to instill a love of reading in our students to help them find both enjoyment and academic achievement.
St. Thomas the Apostle School has a state of the art science program that was implemented in 2007 from the Lab Learner Science program. This is a 100% research-based and hands-on approach to science in the 21st century. This program at St. Thomas begins in Kindergarten and run through grade eight. The science education included in with this program a fully equipped in-school laboratory, complete curriculum including all assessments, on-line parent and teacher resources. Lab Learner incorporates the latest in brain research and classroom practice into a program that teaches students science in a way they can truly understand and enjoy through hands on applications. Students in the Lab Learner Program also engage in lessons integrated into their classroom setting. Experiments and classroom lessons use metacognitive tools that prompt students to use numerous learning and thinking strategies.
Spanish is taught at St. Thomas the Apostle school from Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade. The goal of the program is to give the students a good foundation of the Spanish language and to broaden their knowledge of the Spanish speaking world, including geography and culture. Basic vocabulary is emphasized along with an introduction to Spanish grammar in grades 6, 7 and 8. The main goal is to expand their awareness of other cultures and prepare them for language in high school.
As a Catholic school, we play an integral role in the mission of the Church. Many of our activities help our students develop a personal relationship with Jesus. Through Mass, prayer services, various prayer practices in the classroom, the students at St. Thomas the Apostle School live the Gospel Message each day. Service to others is emphasized through participation in the Holy Childhood Association, Catholic Relief Services, to name just a few.
We are committed to preparing our students for Christ-centered lives as 21st Century learners and followers of Christ.
In the lab, 21st century skills are learned through project-based integration and more.
Students use the computer to publish work, conduct research, analyze and solve problems and either print or present their results. The current school curriculum is integrated with technology in order for the students to have a well-rounded learning experience.
Students from kindergarten to eighth grade regularly use the Internet for research. They use traditional software such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher and PowerPoint. The students also incorporate into their curriculum, programs such as Photo Story 3, Glogster, Prezi, Podcasts, Wordle and other software.
St. Thomas the Apostle’s Visual Arts Department is dedicated to heightening a child's appreciation of art through a variety of techniques. Our program is aligned with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Visual Arts curriculum. Students in grades K-8 will be exposed to art from the past and present. Students will explore art from diverse cultures, study various artists and their work, and have opportunities to use a variety of media and techniques. The children will be encouraged to think creatively, learn how to appreciate and discuss numerous works of art and will ultimately gain confidence through their own artistic expression.
Here at St. Thomas, we are blessed to have a 3D printer in our school and we are all thrilled to be embarking on a journey to explore this new technology. As an art teacher, any projects including technology or just showing students in general that art is so much more than pencils and paper is exciting for me. I have opted to incorporate 3D printing technology into my sixth, seventh, and eighth grade art lessons. To start off the use of the printer, sixth grade will be designing their own Lego characters. Scale and measurement are essential for creating with the 3D printer, which offers wonderful opportunity for interdisciplinary domains. Rather than just learning to use the printer, students will be working on a software called Tinkercad to specifically 3D render and build their projects on their chromebooks. After printing, students will have the freedom to turn their Lego character into anyone or anything they choose- whether it be a superhero, a princess, a character from a book or movie, or even themselves. As for seventh and eighth grade, (who will be using it next) perhaps jewelry, key chains, board game pieces, sculptures; the possibilities are truly endless.
Music class is full of interaction, engagement, and excitement throughout grade K-8. We learn about musical topics such as basic and more difficult rhythms, reading our notes on the staff, steps and skips, music history, world music, parody and protest music, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the orchestra, music technology, play writing, tempo and dynamics, ostinato, timbre, and even more! Throughout grades K-8, the students receive an extremely well-rounded music curriculum in which we sing, dance, and play pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments. Keeping the music curriculum relevant and engaging is one of my top priorities so that the students can cultivate a strong love of music!
In music class, we not only sing, dance, and use instruments, but we use technology everyday. St. Thomas's music classes use the iPads for various apps such as Nearpod, Blob Chorus, and Treble Cat. We use the 3D Printer to print our own instrument pieces- that actually work! We create our own songs using UJAM and even code our own songs and rhythms on madewithcode.com.
We have introduced the Osmos and use them to code our own songs as well on the app "Coding Jam". We can notate our own musicals scores using flat.io and can create musical presentations on Google Slides. We have also explored WebQuests to learn about music history and composers
Each year, Mrs. Delargey directs the Christmas show for the St. Thomas School community. The 8th grade students play the actors in the performance, and each grade from K-8 sings their own song. The students create their movements for their song and memorize every line. The students begin practicing in September for the Christmas show and it is always a huge hit.
In 2013, Mrs. Delargey began the St. Thomas Glee Club. The Glee Club has grown from twenty five members to seventy from grades 1-8. The students practice every Tuesday with Mrs. Delargey at lunch recess. They sing popular songs, Disney songs, musicals, and many more! Some examples include Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Journey, Bon Jovi, The Beatles, We The Kings, Adele, Ed Sheeran, and FUN- just to name a few! The past two years, the Glee Club has been invited to sing before the start of the Wilmington Blue Rocks baseball game. In 2017, they sang "God Bless America" and in 2018, they are scheduled sing "The Star-Spangled Banner". All are welcome to join the Glee Club in grades 1-8.
In 2016, Mrs. Delargey was chosen to be the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Honor Chorus chair. The Honor Chorus consists of exclusively 7-8 graders from the Archdiocese who must audition to be a part of the choir. Mrs. Delargey facilitates auditions, keeps record of each student’s participation and distributes the music. On the day of the concert, she aids the Honor Chorus conductor and ensures the students from all around the Archdiocese have prepared their music.
At the primary levels coordination, rules of activities and collaboration as a group are emphasized. Various team activities and sports are taught to middle and upper level grades. The aim of physical education is to:
- appreciate and understand the value of physical education and its relationship to a healthy, active lifestyle
- develop the motor skills necessary to participate successfully in a variety of physical activities
- experience enjoyment and satisfaction through physical activity
- develop social skills that demonstrate the importance of teamwork and cooperation in group activities
Each classroom spends time in the library/media center. Study hall for grades 5-8 and lunch time book clubs are commonly held here as well.
In the summer of 2017, the library was fully updated. A new carpet, sun-blocking curtains, paint, 6 ceiling fans, interactive whiteboard and projector, sound system, 43" TV, and Wi-Fi were all added to the space, In addition, layout changes were made creating a more open space for the children. Seating and tables accomodate 35 students. There is a dedicated area for students to work on H.P. Sprout computers.
The Scholastic Assistance Center or SAC Center assists students in reinforcing, supporting and challenging skills covering all academic areas of learning. There is no fee to the family for the service and students are assigned by teachers with parental consent. Students are guided and assisted in individual or small group instruction for short periods of time. The Center provides direct and supplemental instruction to students.
A variety of materials and resources are utilized to help support specific academic needs. We offer technology, flashcards, educational and age appropriate games to practice skills. The students have access to Wi-Fi and an Apple TV for viewing of material/lessons as well as six computers to utilize as needed. Various educational websites, the internet and YouTube videos are incorporated into assisting the lessons. Students may utilize Ipads and Chromebooks as needed.
The SAC aids students from Kindergarten through eighth grade. The Center is staffed by Miss Cherie McGinley, a former STA teacher with over 25 years of classroom experience. Students serviced by the DCIU do not receive any service from the Scholastic Assistance Center.
The SAC offers assistance in the following areas: time management, organizational skills, use of manipulatives, completion of missed tests/assignments (absence), use of Ipads and computers, reinforcing activities, challenging activities, practice of basic skills, and tips for studying, test taking skills.
To contact SAC and Ms. McGinley: CMcGinley@staglenmills.org.