English Language Arts & Literature
These courses are to provide students with a solid understanding of English language arts and reading (Literature) supported by the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). TEKS connect learning skills in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking through integrated strands of development. The focus is on sustaining foundational language skills, comprehension, response, multiple genres, author’s purpose and craft, composition, inquiry, research, and academic oral expression.
Authentic reading, and reflective writing are integrated and progressive with students continuing to develop knowledge and skills with increased complexity and nuance in order to think critically and adapt to the ever-evolving nature of language and literacy.
Students will be using a Singapore Math curriculum which infuses visual, concrete, and abstract reasoning skills. The goal is to not just teach students computation but real-world application through hands on learning experiences.
Students will be exposed to the order of operations, problem-solving skills, and strategies, as well as geometry, pre-algebra, and algebra concepts. The curriculum is supported by the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
Religion will focus on what we believe; how we celebrate, live and become better disciples of Jesus Christ through our Catholic Faith. Students will learn about God’s covenants in the Old Testament and how Catholic traditions stem from those stories. It will also focus on helping students understand and integrate Catholic doctrine into their lives. Our goal is to help students feel a strong moral foundation and make faith-based decisions, holding a deeper understanding of the liturgy and the liturgical year, and developing personal prayer and spiritual reflection. We will learn to understand more clearly our call as Catholics to live out the Church’s commitment to social justice and peace by being disciples of Christ.
In Science, students will be provided with a solid understanding of laboratory safety, scientific investigation, and reasoning. Students will conduct laboratory and field investigations following safety procedures and environmentally appropriate and ethical practices.
Students will use appropriate tools, including journals/notebooks, beakers, Petri dishes, meter sticks, graduated cylinders, test tubes, balances, microscopes, thermometers, computers, timing devices and other necessary equipment to collect, record and analyze information. Students will use preventative safety equipment, including goggles, aprons, and gloves. Students will be trained and prepared to use emergency safety equipment including the eye/face wash, a fire blanket, and a fire extinguisher.
Students will analyze and evaluate scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing to encourage critical thinking.
Social studies will focus on a solid understanding of economic, social, political and environmental factors that shape our world. Students will learn about history, geography and culture and be provided with the tools to understand and analyze them including map skills, primary and secondary sources, and OPTICS. They will learn about the major periods in history, exploration, conquest, and settlement and how that cycle still has an impact our society today.
Students will also understand their role as Citizens and Catholics in our world from knowing their basic rights and responsibilities to treating all people with dignity and respect. The progression of Social Studies includes World Cultures, Texas History and American History.
Middle school students receive three hours of visual arts instruction per week.
Students in middle school can select a visual arts semester elective either as General Drawing and Painting or Mixed Media Visual Arts.
Fifth to eight graders are developing a sense of cultural and social awareness and the ability to communicate their responses to different ideas. In the visual arts they develop a richer understanding of language and terminology for describing and assessing their own and other’s work. Principles of Design are introduced and, increasingly, assignments will require students to make greater individual choices. A individual artistic voice will emerge from students who reflect, conceptualize and plan, create with good craftmanship and learn to assess their work.
Inspiration may come from contemporary artists and include current events or social issues that are relevant to our middle schoolers.
Middle School students have the opportunity to work in a variety of artistic media which may include print, textiles, drawing and painting, 3-D work such as clay, metal, or photography. Students also learn to collaborate on projects together.
Students learn how to use the following media:
- Graphite and Colored Pencil
- Oil and Chalk Pastels
- Tempera, Watercolor and Acrylic Paints
- Paper and Fiber
- Air-dry Clay, modeling clay or paper-based
The curriculum focuses on:
- Elements of Art
- Principles of Design
- Historic and cultural connections
- Visual literacy
- Safe use of tools and materials
Choir & Band
Middle school students may choose band or choir as an elective. Our Pre-Band program uses child-friendly beginner versions of basic woodwind instruments to prepare students for 7th & 8th grade band. Students strengthen music literacy skills, and will work to improve playing skills and build confidence. Students have several opportunities throughout the year for performances. Our choir program involves learning high-quality sacred and secular music, and our choir leads the liturgical services with many opportunities for performance, including weekly mass. Students will strengthen music literacy skills, and will enjoy working with other students to create beautiful music.
The Epiphany Catholic School Library is designed to meet the educational, informational, and recreational needs of all students. The library promotes an appreciation of reading, enabling students to interpret various forms of literature, in addition to strengthening their ability to access information and education resources independently and effectively.
Middle School grades visit the library once a week for checkout as needed. Students may also, with teacher approval, visit the library throughout the week to borrow books, read, or to conduct research for class assignments. The catalog can be accessed at epiphanycatholicschool.follettdestiny.com.
Physical Education (P.E.)
The goals of our Middle School PE program include:
- Emphasis on participation of athletic activities for enjoyment & challenge both in and out of school
- Use of offensive and defensive strategies while playing a modified version of a sport
- Learn fitness-related stress management techniques
- Understand how to use of peer interaction in a positive way to enhance personal self-image
- Learn difference between aerobic vs anaerobic exercise
- Identify importance of goal setting to improve skills
- Utilize technology to evaluate, monitor and improve physical development
- Learn structure and function of the muscular and skeletal systems
- Discuss basic weight training mistakes
- Participate in health workshops on compassion vs. empathy
- Analyze health information and products
Students acquire language proficiency through the combination of grammar and familiar language based on thematic units that provides comprehensible input using the technology as a tool to supplement the language learning.
In STEM, applied science and math come alive through engineering design. By providing students in depth learning experiences in applied mathematics and science, students demonstrate skills in self-directed learning, thinking, research, and communication. Engineering is showcased in everyday life as the context for student learning.
Learning to think like engineers, students complete hands-on design challenges that help them experience real-world engineering, science, and computer science practices. In the STEM lab, our students learn critical thinking and how to make connections to become creators, designers, problem solvers and change makers.