Curriculum at Mother Caroline Academy
Students at Mother Caroline Academy experience a rich and rigorous curriculum during their five years of study. Guided by the Common Core State Standards, the curriculum focuses heavily on literacy and math skills in the lower school (Grades 4-6). As students progress into the upper school (Grades 7-8), these skills build the foundation for higher level work—finding their voice in both speech and writing, critical thinking
and reasoning skills, and becoming engaged and respectful global citizens.
In addition to their core academic courses—English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies—students engage in courses that integrate art into their learning, through our own Art curriculum, as well as through outside partnerships with local organizations like Step Into Art with the Harvard University Museums and music with the Handel and Hayden Society.
Because learning takes place both inside the individual classrooms and across their subjects and grades, students also take part in programs that bring together multiple grade levels to share their learning. Annually, students participate in field trips that supplement the classroom curriculum in multiple subjects and develop projects for a whole school Science Fair, as well as an end of year Art Show and Talent Show.
The STE(A)M at Mother Caroline Academy comes in many forms, from the classroom and our after-school activities to events with families and the greater community. In a multidisciplinary unit on pandemics, students can be found diving into the history of the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 and determining what modern-day technology and knowledge they would bring back to Philadelphia to stem an outbreak; or designing kinetic sculptures to create perspective and tell a visual tale to their audience. On a Saturday afternoon, members of the afterschool STEM program busily work in the art room to design a 9-hole miniature golf course from recycled materials for a school event honoring a longtime board member. Whatever the format or the environment, STEM learning at Mother Caroline draws upon students’ critical thinking skills and their ability to bridge art, history, and other subjects in the design and discovery processes.
Faculty work diligently to create meaningful relationships to the students’ lives as they study the world around them. They work to create cross-subject learning. Often a book in English Language Arts serves as the foundation for a science project, or a current event in the world of science, technology, or public policy becomes the content of a student debate. Students experience the interconnectedness of the material they are studying and use it to create a project that speaks to different subjects.