The Primary Department consists of grades K-2. Grades 1 and 2 continue building on the foundation established by Kindergarten and follows the St. Malachy School Mission statement in order to guide students in growing academically, socially, and spiritually. K-2 classrooms are aligned to the Indiana State Standards, and Archdiocesan Religion Standards.
All K-2 classrooms use an Archdiocesan approved Religion workbook, Sadlier’s We Believe series, as well as teacher-chosen supplemental materials to excite children about their faith. Kindergarten focuses on God’s creation, the life of Jesus, and saints. Grade 1 continues in the same areas as Kindergarten although in more depth, learning more about the liturgical year and the celebrations of Advent/Christmas, Lent/Easter, and ordinary time. They learn more in depth about special feast days through the year, and continue a look at saints in order to learn about models of Christian faith. Kindergarten students prepare and participate in a prayer service, while first and second grades plan and participate in at least two Masses per year. Grade 2 students focus on the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and prepare for and celebrate their first Holy Communion. Religion permeates all areas of academics, and Catholic identity is very obvious at St. Malachy both inside and outside the classrooms.
Development of social/emotional skills are ongoing in each K-2 classroom and beyond at the school-wide level. Social/emotional skills are incorporated across the curriculum through student to teacher, and student to student relationships. In addition to the regular religion program, teachers incorporate lessons on bullying. The school counselor also visits and teaches lessons to each classroom on friendship, tolerance, understanding, and perspective to name a few. Teachers use “teachable moments” in the classroom to take advantage of opportunities which will help young students develop lifelong skills to ultimately help them become responsible and kind citizens of the world.
Grades K-2 work on a continuum to build the foundational skills necessary to create independent readers, writers, and speakers. For reading and language arts, K-2 classrooms use the McGraw Hill Wonders program which is specifically aligned to the national Common Core Standards, and 6 Traits Writing. Grade 2 is a year during which students are expected to be more independent readers and writers, as well as more responsible students. For math instruction, K-2 classrooms use Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Go Math! program which is aligned to the national Common Core Standards. This program prepares students well for conceptual and deep understanding of mathematical concepts. In addition Rocket Math is used as a supplement in order to develop and assure strong computation skills. Grades K-1 follow Indiana Academic Standards for Science and Social Studies with much hands-on learning and inquiry projects. In Grade 2 students use a more in-depth focus on content knowledge in the areas of Science (MacMillian McGraw-Hill) and Social Studies (Harcourt Horizons). Each teacher uses a variety of supplemental resources to support the adopted academic programs based upon what the students are studying.