Lower School (Coed, K-6)

Grades 1-2

A Unique Primary Program, Grades 1-2

Grade 1-2 Curriculum
Our private primary program includes grades 1-2 at Oak Knoll. They write daily homework assignments to go home in the organizational tool called the “copybook.”

Our 1st and 2nd grade curriculum has students working cooperatively at learning centers, while supporting their growth in personal responsibility. Open-ended questioning encourages critical thinking. Excitement and pride builds with each skill mastered.

On the Move
Unique to Oak Knoll, our grade 1-2 students begin to travel from class to class. Unlike other private elementary schools, our Elementary School is departmentalized. Starting in grade 1, children pack up their tote bags and travel to different classrooms to learn from teachers who are experts in their subjects.

Building Community in our Primary Grades

Toward the end of the school year, all of the second graders and their families come together for a Community Mass to celebrate that most students have made their First Communion in their various home parishes.

Primary Courses: Grades 1-2

List of 13 items.

  • Religion

    Religion class meets five days in the six-day cycle. The “Be My Disciples” text in the RCL Benziger series helps children build an understanding of God so that His lessons can be reinforced throughout the school day. The Pflaum Gospel Weeklies Faith Formation Program is also used. These weekly lessons are based on the Sunday Gospels.
  • Language Arts/Reading

    LAR (language arts and reading) is taught every day using the Scott Foresman Reading Street program that includes phonics, comprehension, spelling, grammar, vocabulary and writing. Writing instruction is supplemented with elements of the Columbia University Teachers College Writers’ Workshop program. Handwriting skills are reinforced using the Handwriting Without Tears program.
    In second grade, a variety of genres are covered with a balanced mix of fiction and nonfiction texts. Writing instruction is supplemented with elements of the Columbia University Teachers College Writers’ Workshop program. 
  • Mathematics

    In first grade, EnVision Math 2.0 by Pearson Education introduces and reinforces skills including adding and subtracting, patterns, shapes, money and time. Lessons teach students different strategies and use manipulatives to reinforce new skills.
    Second grade students use enVision Math 2.0 by Pearson Education, which introduces and reinforces skills including adding and subtracting, multiplication and division, patterns, shapes, money and time. Lessons teach students different strategies and use maniulatives to reinforce new skills.
  • Science

    Building on what they learned in kindergarten, students in first-grade science will observe and analyze similar and different parts of plants and animals, describe the function of each of our senses and how organisms can take in water, food, air and light. Students will investigate light and sound: determining how light can help you see, how it travels and how shadows are formed, as well as how sound is made and travels. Students will then look up to the sky and express what can be seen: the sun, the moon and the stars, while determining patterns of movement.
    In second grade, students research and investigate how plants and animals are able to survive in their ecosystems, while also depending on each other for survival. Students will be able to observe different kinds of habitats, such as the rain forest, desert, fresh water and salt water. Students will then observe materials, focusing their investigation on the three states of matter, the different purposes and how they can be reused, and what happens when materials are mixed, heated or cooled. Students will then expand on their learning about the Earth and their map skills to determine what is on the surface, the different kinds of land and water that can be found, and how phenomena (such as earthquakes or volcanoes) can change the Earth’s surface.
  • Social Studies

    The social studies curriculum uses the new social studies state standards as a springboard for the program. 
  • Physical Education

    At the primary level, physical education focuses on health-related fitness activities and movement exploration techniques. Students are developing a mature form of fine and gross motor skills. The program includes "Project Adventure" activities, success-oriented games, and a variety of movement tasks. National Physical Education Standards are utilized in age-appropriate fitness tasks.
  • Art

    In the visual arts, the children are given a variety of experiences in many different media in order to strengthen their skills and abilities. As the child’s confidence and skills grow, new materials and challenges are introduced. The curriculum goes from a formalist approach in the lower primaries to cross-discipline integration in the older grades. Aesthetics and art appreciation are also extremely important in the total development of the student’s creative process.
  • Music

    Lower School students participate in a general music class of active music making, and in an age-appropriate chorus. Classroom music uses the Orff Schulwerk approach, in which children sing, move, and play pitched and unpitched percussion instruments and recorders, as well as listen, analyze, improvise, and compose. Aspects of theory and music literacy are part of the instruction. The music curriculum for all grades includes hands-on support of classroom iPads for reinforcement of music skills and creativity in composition. All students in grades 1 to 6 participate in the Christmas Concert and at least one other performance during the year incorporating music, movement, and drama. Often these performances represent a cross-discipline experience. In addition, students prepare and sing liturgical music for school liturgies.
  • Drama

    In creative drama classes, the children explore, enjoy, and share new ways of self-expression through movement, pantomime, storytelling, puppetry, improvisation, and small and large group performances. The folklore of many countries provides the core curriculum for the primary grades. All grades participate in creative dramatics throughout the year and are involved in the creation of their own videotaped commercial which is self-developed, written, directed, and produced! In the winter and spring, the students celebrate their talents in both our Christmas and spring concerts.
  • Dance

    In dance, the children are encouraged to develop basic movement skills and body awareness through artistic expression. Introducing the children to ballet, modern, jazz, and choreography techniques, they begin to appreciate different forms of dance and music. Students are shown how dance can also be a sport. Developing theatre skills and etiquette, social skills, good health, cultural awareness, and a sense of history complete the dance experience. Through in-class exercises and performance opportunities, the children develop a positive sense of self and interest in the field of dance beyond the dancers on stage.
  • World Language

    World language begins in kindergarten through sixth grade with the study of either French or Spanish. The students are encouraged to speak, read and write in the target language through various activities with an emphasis on cultural awareness.
  • Computer

    Elements of art and aesthetics are integral to the first grade computer curriculum. Through creating art on the computer, children become more proficient with use of the mouse, ease with the keyboard, knowledge of basic operations, and understanding of the keyboard as a tool. Scholastic Key’s Max Write (Word), Max Count (Excel), and Max Show (PowerPoint) become the second grade computer tools. Once students become familiar with basic formatting and editing, they begin a new journey, learning about tall buildings. Student and teacher-developed question sets guide students as they conduct research using the school’s subscription databases and approved websites. Students organize their information in the graphic organizer Kidspiration in preparation for their culminating slide shows, which include student drawings, imported graphics, and student-created sound recordings, poems, and songs. Student use of technology also occurs across curriculum areas in their classroom, where 1:1 laptops are available for their use throughout the school day.
  • Library

    The Bonaventura Library program focuses on two main objectives: the development of information literacy skills necessary for learning in the 21st century and a lifelong love of reading. Children in kindergarten to grade 6 attend regularly-scheduled library classes and visit the library for class projects, for group or independent research, or to check out books at any time during the school day.

    Children in grade 1 are introduced to the library catalog and conduct simple searches for author, title, and subject. They are also introduced to dictionaries and encyclopedias. In grade 2, students begin to really use the reference section. They learn to use keywords to “look it up.” They also begin a simple method of note taking and use these skills to produce simple animal and biography reports.
Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child is a Catholic independent school coeducational from kindergarten to grade 6 and all girls in grades 7 to 12. Oak Knoll was founded in 1924 and is one of 10 schools in the Holy Child Network of Schools that provides independent Catholic education across the United States.


44 Blackburn Road
Summit, NJ 07901
Phone: (908) 522-8100

© Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child 2014