The subjects of the Regina Coeli Academy Curriculum is the formative function of education is to develop, discipline, and direct the capacities of the human person. This is achieved when the mind assimilates, with and through subject-matter, definite ideas, attitudes, methods, habits, and principles. This formative function of knowledge is the aim of the various subjects that comprise the curriculum. Recognizing every child as an individual learner, Regina Coeli Academy places students according to skill level despite grade level.
Introduction to the Catholic Faith the religion curriculum presents the beauty, logic, and saving truth of the Catholic Faith by the study of the following: Holy Scripture and Catholic doctrine, the seven Sacraments and the history of the Church, the primacy of St. Peter and the role of the Magisterium, papal encyclicals and the Fathers of the Church, the teaching of the Church Councils, the lives of the Saints. The celebration of the Holy Eucharist once a week, days of recollection, monthly Penance celebrations and daily prayer are integrated into the schedule. Emphasis is placed on familiarity with Scripture and the Catechism as well as on understanding and memorizing the truths of the faith. This coincides with the words of the Holy Father in Catechesis Tradendae where he states,
A certain memorization of the words of Jesus, of important Bible passages, of the Ten Commandments, of the formulas of profession of faith, of the liturgical texts, of the essential prayers, of key doctrinal ideas, etc., far from being opposed to the dignity of the young Christians, or constituting an obstacle to personal dialogue with the Lord, is a real need . . . Faith and piety do not grow in the desert places of a memory-less catechesis. What is essential is that the texts that are memorized must at the same time be taken in and gradually understood in depth, in order to become a source of Christian life on the personal level and the community level.
Phonics is the basis for the elementary reading and writing instruction. Grammar and syntax are mastered through memorization and practice, along with exposure to classic and quality literature as early as possible. Critical and aesthetic reading of literature, literary analysis, vocabulary, rules of grammar, composition, and research skills are emphasized throughout the English program of study. The classics determine the scope and content of the literature program at all levels. Extensive reading and written expression form the basis of the curriculum. Composition and handwriting are developed and emphasized throughout the curriculum.
The realm of mathematics strengthens the student’s ability for abstract thought. The Academy’s approach to mathematical instruction is cumulative and incremental, so that no skill is taught in isolation. Pre-Algebra is offered in the seventh grade and Algebra I in the eighth grade.
History is studied “at its deepest level as salvation history” (Pope John Paul II). The student is led through the course of human history from the ancient pre-classical civilizations, onward to the classical world, to early Christianity and through the flowering of Christian civilization to the modern world. American and Pennsylvania history are studied along with history of Western civilization and the development of world cultures. The centrality of Christ as Lord of history is the foundation for the history curriculum.
The primary goal of the science program is to develop in the students a sense of wonder and a genuine appreciation of their surroundings and the universe beyond. Through classroom instruction and experimental investigation they will discover the interconnection of all branches of science and will develop the ability to link their growing knowledge of the physical world to other components of the school curriculum. Through local science competitions, students are afforded the opportunity to present their investigations orally. Students come to understand their environment as a unique creation amid the vast universe and the need for stewardship of the earth which has been entrusted to them by their Creator.
Latin merits a special place in a classical curriculum given its rich heritage in Western civilization and its privileged place in the life of the Church. The study of Latin forms an integral aspect at every age level of the curriculum. Formal training in Latin grammar is emphasized in fourth through eighth grade. Latin is integrated into the curriculum in less formal ways beginning in pre-kindergarten. Latin leads the student to an understanding of the logic of language. Latin roots are the basis of some 60% of English vocabulary while Greek roots form another 20%. Students are exposed to elementary aspects of Latin beginning in pre-kindergarten.
The art and culture of Western civilization has flourished under the patronage of the Catholic Church because it views beauty as the “attractive radiance of the truth” of Divine Revelation. The study of the fine arts is integrated throughout the Academy’s curriculum as a complementary and vital part of the student’s education. The students also receive separate instruction in both music and art. Students are exposed to masterpieces in music, art, and architecture which comprise Catholic culture through the centuries. The music program includes the study of the theory and notation of music and trains the students to sight read. The student body sings pieces from the great treasury of Catholic music, including Gregorian chant.
The need to develop and discipline the body is important at all times, especially during adolescence. Physical activity is integrated into the schedule daily after lunch and during the weekly gym class. Activities emphasize physical fitness and teamwork while building and developing leadership abilities.
In addition to the curriculum instruction, the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes benefit from a learning environment that is Montessori based. The practical life skills, the development of focus, and the cultivation of a child’s natural wonder for the world around him are all benefits derived from the Montessori experience. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a Montessori program that explores the Catholic Faith, is an essential component within the Montessori classroom. Students in pre-K through second grade receive The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program weekly.