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Elementary Curriculum


A Catholic education gives young students the intellectual and spiritual keys they need to explore the world of education. AOPS elementary students learn about the people who shape our lives, the discoveries that fueled our knowledge, and the love God shared to make this beautiful world possible.

We’ve partnered with the International Center for Leadership in Education to create a curriculum that is rooted in scholastic tradition and relevant for today’s world.

Here’s what’s covered at all of our elementary schools:

  • The curricula followed by the students in the Elementary Schools of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (AOP) are developed by and/or approved by the Secretary of Catholic Elementary Education (OCE).  This is done in coordination through the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and related Staff Development for Pre-K through grade 8.
  • Guidelines for specific curriculum areas are prepared and disseminated through OCE. In teaching the content of any curriculum area, teachers should adhere to the content of the most recent curriculum guidelines, rather than any specific textbook series.
  • Elementary curriculum guidelines are copyrighted material. Guidelines may not be copied in whole or part, electronically or by any other means.


View Subjects by Grade

Physical Education

The mission of the Physical Education Curriculum Committee is to provide the best Physical Education opportunity for every student in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, motivating them to the best use of their individual abilities. As Physical Educators, our sacred obligation is to foster in the student a lifelong love of fitness. This will equip them with the skills and understanding necessary to take care of the physical gift of their body that God has entrusted to them. Upon graduation from an Archdiocese of Philadelphia Elementary School, our students will be able to envision and pursue a healthy lifestyle while understanding the benefits of being physically, socially, and mentally fit. We believe the guidelines set below will equip educators with the tools necessary to provide our students with the best possible opportunity to achieve these goals.

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World Languages

Schools are encouraged to include world languages in the elementary curriculum, where feasible. The school administrator must ensure that the program is taught by teachers who are competent in this area. The time allotment for a world language program must be in addition to the required curriculum of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Consultation and collaboration with the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and related Staff Development for PK-8. is recommended when introducing a world language program in a local school.

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Fine Arts (Art and Music)

The Fine Arts curriculum of  the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is designed to broaden a student's general knowledge of basic musical skills and concepts at all levels of elementary education.  Through participation in the music program, students are lead in a deeper appreciation of liturgy, ethnic cultures, and musical styles.  Music holds a prominent place in the spectrum of Arts and is of paramount importance in the development of the whole child. 

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The Archdiocese of Philadelphia's Technology competencies aim to create engaged and empowered learners, utilizing technology as a tool for gathering, curating, and utilizing information, and producing learning products. These competencies are based on the ISTE National Standards and encourage the integration of technology with the curriculum. Students are encouraged to develop proficiency in higher order thinking skills and project-based learning, creativity and innovation, and collaboration and communication. Teachers are encouraged to use these competencies as a scaffolding device for building technology skills and affording opportunities for independent application and cooperative use of digital proficiencies. They should also be familiar with aspects of digital citizenship, as the policy for technology use in the school communities is updated yearly. Technology is seen as a dynamic vehicle for learning and a bridge to connections with the local and global communities, with education being a life-long journey.

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Library Skills

The mission of the Catholic elementary school library program is to support and extend all curriculum areas. In collaboration with faculty we strive to prepare students to become effective users of information and literate life long learners. The library curriculum serves as a framework for teaching research strategies; developing skills to analyze, evaluate, interpret, and communicate information and ideas; fostering an appreciation for literature, promoting reading for pleasure, and encouraging independent learning experiences. This framework acknowledges the gospel message and nurtures our Catholic heritage.

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Media Arts

The baseline curriculum for Media Arts in grades K-8 follow these general topics expanded upon in each academic school year: Citizenship, Safe and Ethical Actions in the Digital World, Organization, Cross-Platform work, Selection and Utilization Review, Keyboarding and Manipulation Skills, Comprehension of reference material, MLA and APA review, Word Processing, Research Skills and Interactive Discovery, Presentation, Appreciation of different types of media, Design skills, and Data Analysis.

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