116 Montecito Avenue

Oakland, CA 94610

Phone: 510.285.9600

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Curriculum Overview
The development of students as mathematicians is fostered through an emphasis on skills, content, problem-solving strategies, and communication. In alignment with California State Standards, the material spirals, with the expectation of mastery and a continuing development and integration of concepts.
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The student as scientist is the focus of the science program and, as such, the curriculum is rooted in project-based inquiry and experiments. Mastery is achieved through intertwined content strands that include knowledge of scientific explanations of the natural world; generation of scientific evidence; and sophisticated discussion of the development of scientific theories.
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Reading and Writing
The curriculum begins with the core principles of reading and writing, taught in kindergarten, first, and second grades, and moves into increasingly complex comprehension and writing skills. Grammar and spelling skills are explicitly taught. In grades three through five, students explore, analyze, and create in multiple literary genres. Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders hone their skills in presenting arguments in five- or eight-paragraph essays. Students become literary critics and aficionados of irony.
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Social Studies
Acting in the roles of geographers, historians, and social scientists, students explore a range of cultures through projects, simulations, readings, artistic renderings, and research papers. Students simulate pioneer life, pan for gold, design a civilization and bury its artifacts, and collect oral histories of family members.
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Instruction in Spanish begins in kindergarten and first grade with an exploratory program, led by classroom teachers. Spanish language specialists formally teach Spanish in grades two through eight. Dance, music, art, workbooks, and interactive online learning engage all kinds of language learners, including those who learn best through kinesthetic, auditory, or visual means. Students develop the ability to conduct increasingly nuanced conversations.
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Service Learning
Service Learning is core to the mission of St. Paul’s and is an integrated part of classroom instruction. Projects may extend over the course of the school year. Service Learning includes first graders making sandwiches for a family homeless shelter in Berkeley; second graders assisting elders at the weekly St. Paul’s Food Co-op; third graders conducting the longest running waterfowl census at Lake Merritt; and sixth graders studying the eco-system of Lake Merritt.
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Music, Performing Arts, and Fine Arts
All students at St. Paul’s are singers, rhythmic musicians, and performers. Students develop vocal technique, an ability to play rhythm instruments, and experience with music theory, movement, and drama. Students produce music individually, in small groups, and in the St. Paul’s Band, as well as in whole class ensembles. Music and performing arts classes typically meet twice a week in the Lower School, three times a week in sixth grade, and as an elective in seventh and eighth grades. Performances are held several times a year.

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Physical Education
Through games and activities, students develop agility, strength, balance, and cardiovascular fitness. Physical education classes meet three times a week in grades K-6, and at least twice a week in grades seven and eight, where PE classes are supplemented by once-a-week electives that include athletic activities.

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St. Paul’s welcomes students and families from all faiths, or none. Weekly Friday morning Chapel presentations, coordinated by the School Chaplain, do not teach any one belief system, but introduce students to the spiritual mind and its wisdom.
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Social Curriculum
The student as a respectful, open-minded, and empathetic citizen is the focus of the social curriculum. The Responsive Classroom approach is used in grades K-6, including morning meetings, student goal setting, and logical rules and consequences. Students in grades seven and eight are assigned to small, same gender advising groups, which meet once a week for two years and provide a forum for teaching problem-solving skills
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Inside the Curriculum
Great Work Underway with Summer Mini Grants
Teachers are setting up maker spaces, looking at the social curriculum, and more.
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Practicing the Art of Thinking
Third graders put serious thought into problem-solving.
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Berets, Snapping Fingers, and Shades
Must be a poetry cafe! Fifth graders feel the groove at their annual celebration of rhyme and meter.
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