West Ridge Academy’s curriculum, the Core Knowledge Sequence, encompasses language arts, mathematics, science, history, geography, fine arts, and physical education. The curriculum is characterized by knowledge that is:
Context-rich – lasting, unchanging knowledge such as important events of world history;
Cumulative – a planned progression building on students’ previous knowledge and eliminating excessive repetition and gaps;
Content specific – clearly defined knowledge at each grade level ensuring fairness for all students;
Coherent – explicit knowledge identifies what children should learn at each grade level to ensure an articulated approach to building knowledge across all grade levels.
To learn more about Core Knowledge click here:
Classic Books, Substantial Content
Classic literature appropriate to the age and ability of each student is read extensively. Students are exposed to high quality reading materials to stimulate their interests and engage their minds.
The 3R’s and then some!
The skills of learning – reading, writing, calculating and speaking – are learned through a combination of curriculum content, modeling, coaching, and sensible practice. West Ridge teachers help students develop skills using specific programs including Sadlier Grammar, Thompson Grammar Launch, CKLA (Core Knowledge Language Arts), and Saxon Math.
More than just the facts!
It is not enough to acquire knowledge. The ability to see patterns and analyze facts is necessary to be able to influence and improve the world around us. At West Ridge Academy, progressive thinking skills, unique to each discipline, are used to guide young people in applying discernment to knowledge.
Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) is a comprehensive, preschool through fifth grade program for teaching reading, writing, listening, and speaking while also building students’ vocabulary and knowledge across essential domains in literature, global and American history, and the sciences. In the early grades, CKLA focuses on oral language development through carefully sequenced read-alouds as well as systematic instruction in reading and writing skills. In later grades, CKLA continues to advance students’ knowledge and vocabulary through read-alouds and in-depth discussions while also immersing students in complex texts and advanced writing assignments that draw on the academic content they’ve been engaged in since preschool.
- Core Knowledge Language Arts Program (CKLA) – Literacy instruction for grades K – 5. The Listening and Learning Strand and Skills Strand of this program support the Core Knowledge Sequence.
The 6th – 8th grade students cover all the information required in the 6th – 8th grade Core Knowledge Sequence for Language Arts. This includes a very thorough exposure to classical literature, rich vocabulary and spelling, Language Network and Thompson Grammar, Poetry, Public Speaking, and detailed instruction in the primary writing forms (narrative, descriptive, compare/contrast, creative, persuasive, research, and a standard letter).
For over 30 years, Saxon Math has been delivering proven results for students in Grades K–12. West Ridge Academy uses Saxon in our K-8th grade. The Saxon Math curriculum has an incremental structure that distributes content throughout the year. This integrated and connected approach provides deep, long-term mastery of the content and skills.
Saxon Math in your classroom is:
- Incremental: Students have time to understand and practice the lesson
- Distributed: Students have time to practice and master previous concepts
- Cumulative: Students are ready for high stakes assessments
The acquisition and appreciation of other languages is essential to the understanding of one’s own language and the world. Latin vocabulary, the root of all Romance languages, is taught throughout the grades with a dedicated Latin I course in 7th grade. Some of the benefits of Latin include:
- Decoder for sciences & medicine.
- Access to thousands of rich, nuanced words. Root for 90% English words with more than one
- Strongest foundation for Romance languages. Root for 80% Italian, French, Portuguese, Spanish,
- More than a language, a discipline.
- Decoding instills logical and precise thought.
- Like math, provides invaluable experience of studying one systematic subject to mastery.
- Latin students score higher than modern-language students on ACT & SAT.
The Core Knowledge curriculum provides students with a solid background in art and music history, theory, and appreciation. 5th – 8th grade students may also choose from a Band or Choir elective. In the future, there will be art electives to choose from as well.
Healthy minds and healthy bodies work together. West Ridge Academy believes in a well-balanced education. Learning about health/wellness and lifetime sports are an important part of the educational experience. Physical Education is offered to grades K-8.