"Wonder is the desire for knowledge."
-St. Thomas Aquinas
The instructional program at St. Thomas Aquinas School is intended to enable each student to achieve the goals and objectives of the curriculum. In collaboration with the student’s family, a learning environment is provided which promotes formation in Catholic values and traditions, faith and moral perspectives, academic development, personal responsibility and service. St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School follows the Diocese of Phoenix Curriculum Standards.
The Preschool course of instruction includes religion, language and literacy, mathematics, personal-social development, social studies, media-art, music, science and sensory motor development. Preschool uses organized and free-play activities to provide opportunities for students to interact, explore and relate successfully in their environment.
Kindergarten - 8th
Instruction for Kindergarten - 8th Grade includes religion, language arts (reading, writing, spelling, and handwriting), social studies, mathematics, science, fine arts (art and music), technology, physical education, health, safety, and Spanish. The 3rd - 8th Grade students use IXL Math as a supplemental program. This web-based program is accessible from school and home. After a diagnostic assessment, the program places students at their developmental skill level. Staff monitor student progress, provide immediate assistance, and advance students through the program.
Library class provides a range of learning opportunities for students to access and use quality information and resources, select appropriately-leveled books for the Scholastic Reading Counts (SRC) Program, and to read for enjoyment. Individual study and collaborative learning time is also provided at various times for classes. Structured story time is included for younger students, incorporating themes and activities throughout the year.
Technology class helps prepare students for the growing importance of digital tools in education and society. Students are being exposed to four key elements through the school year: keyboarding, computer basics, digital citizenship, and coding. Classes are stand-alone lessons or used as a cross-curricular lesson to integrate what is being taught in the core classrooms. Through training and experience, our students will learn to use technology in ways that will provide a solid foundation for their future.
Art is a valued tool for teaching students about themselves and the ability to see the beauty of things through creativity. In Kindergarten – 8th Grade, by working with different art media, the program teaches students how to see the world through their own imagination. A focus on art helps students with their development of motor skills, social skills, decision-making, and inventiveness while incorporating a focus on their Catholic faith.
Students participate in physical education classes throughout the week which includes a wide variety of sports, conditioning and focus on the health of mind and body. The program promotes movement, assists student’s skill development as well as integrates health-fitness concepts and activities into educational games and body management along with developing teamwork, sportsmanship and cooperation.
Students experience music through song, playing instruments, listening, and critiquing pieces of music. All of this leads to the development of increasingly sophisticated skills and the understanding of musical concepts. Our 5th Grade serves as the choir for School Mass.
Language education that starts early and involves children in daily communication and content learning allows students to develop a second language as naturally as they learned their first language. This program centers on communication, cultures, and connections as the student’s develop their level of communication. The goal of the program is to present Spanish as a mode of communication, emphasizing understanding, and confidence with the skills acquired.
Reading Counts (RC) is an independent reading program that combines reading practice and software-based reading assessment. This program develops reading skills, helps raise test scores, and motivates students to achieve reading success. To support ongoing learning, instant feedback is provided through the program which allows teachers to closely monitor the reading progress of students. Once books are read, students earn reward points based on completing computerized quizzes and their achievements are recognized throughout the year.