The Language Arts curriculum empowers Saint Hilary School students to become intelligent, critical thinkers while developing all of their language arts skills: making inferences, asking questions and forming opinions in their writing, reading, oral conversation, and public speaking. The curriculum grows in complexity and expands on a foundation of mastered skills through each grade.
Step Up To Writing is our school wide writing program. It is the result of a two-year process that included teacher training and professional development, both on our campus and in collaboration with other Marin schools.
From Primary Kindergarten to Grade 8, our teachers and students experience and use a common language that builds logically and seamlessly as it progresses from grade to grade. Step Up To Writing highlights the use of graphic organizers, active reading strategies, oral language development, and skill specific writing tasks.
Step Up To Writing focuses on expository and narrative techniques. The basic construct of expository writing, regardless of type, focuses on the paragraph. The vast majority of writing done in school and working life is expository; we write to explain. Students use a variety of writing strategies to construct a well-formed thought that is logically presented to the reader. Narrative, or story writing, focuses on character, plot, setting, and does not have the same specific construction criteria as expository writing. In both genres, the emergent writers in the younger grades focus on high quality sentence structure with the older students effectively and creatively constructing paragraph or multi-paragraph essays, reports, or stories.