BETHLEHEM LUTHERAN SCHOOL CURRICULUM
Our commitment and mission at Bethlehem Lutheran School is to provide a high-quality Christian education that nurtures the academic, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of each child. We are committed to the development of students as compassionate human beings as well as scholars.
Our dedicated teachers and support staff offer a rigorous and innovative curriculum that challenges students to live up to their full academic potential while also encouraging strong moral character and preparation for life-long success. Through well-chosen concepts, meaningful lessons, challenging standards, authentic learning and robust hands-on experiences, students learn academic fundamentals, critical thinking, and creative problem-solving using a variety of evidence-based curriculum and differentiated learning approaches.
Our Early Learning Center students receive daily access to our gym and outdoor spaces, in addition to the preschool classroom learning centers, to support Bethlehem’s play-based curriculum that engages their early development and love of learning.
All K-8 students participate in core classes, as well as music, physical education, computer, art and library. Middle school students also participate in their chosen electives, including STEM, visual art, creative writing, computer media and foreign language. Middle school students also have the opportunity to apply to participate in Bethlehem’s National Junior Honor Society chapter.
Our Lutheran religion curriculum takes students on a journey through the Old Testament and the New Testament. Students learn hundreds of Bible stories and biblical concepts to give them a well-rounded understanding of the Holy Trinity: God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. All students participate in weekly chapel services to enhance their understanding of the Bible while also praising their Savior through songs and Bible verses. Middle school students participate in more advanced religion and Bible classes that prepare them for Confirmation at the end of 8th grade. All students participate in character development lessons that encourage a strong moral compass, emotional wellness, and compassionate social development. We utilize the Love and Logic ® approach to support the instruction of our five Christian character traits: reverence, respect, responsibility, integrity and compassion. We also focus on a wide range of life skills to help create well-rounded human beings who love their God, the world, and all people in it.
Our literacy curriculum fosters a love of reading through intentional reading skills, lessons that explore literature and engaging text in an age-appropriate way that builds in complexity as students move through grade levels. Using a multi-sensory approach and rigorous text, students learn and build on skills focused on the fundamentals of reading proficiency including letter and sound recognition, phonemic awareness, phonics, high-frequency words, fluency, comprehension, decoding and segmenting and blending words. Teachers use a variety of high quality children’s literature across many genres to enable students to master all skill areas of reading. Our literacy curriculum also teaches writing skills that allow students to articulate ideas and express themselves creatively. Our intense and focused grammar curriculum teaches students to understand all aspects of correct grammar, which translates to writing pieces that demonstrate a clear understanding of sentences and paragraph structure. Students learn to plan what they want to write and then draft, revise, edit and publish their work. Through whole group, small group and one-on-one instruction, students learn precision and elegance in their writing.
Our math curriculum builds conceptual understanding of a wide variety of math skills through direct instruction, critical thinking and daily application of concepts. The math concepts taught build upon each other so students are constantly revisiting and practicing skills so they are able to understand increasingly complex math problems. Students have regular access to a large library of manipulatives, concrete materials, pictorial models and visual representations as they work to learn, understand and apply what they are taught in the classroom through hands-on practice and study. Students performing above grade level also have the opportunity to move up to a more advanced math class to further allow their math potential to shine.
Our science curriculum builds bridges between scientific concepts and our Lutheran religious beliefs. Through a variety of life science, physical science and earth science lessons, students explore the world around them. Students apply critical thinking and real-world problem-solving as they discover what makes God’s creation so interesting. Students spend much of their science time engaging in hands-on activities that encourage curiosity, investigation, questioning and risk-taking.
Our social studies curriculum encourages students to become agents of change by allowing them to think analytically in response to their religious backgrounds while also making sense of the world around them. Students participate in lessons that give them an in-depth understanding of history, geography, civic responsibility, culture, families and social emotional development. Students also learn to be a contributing member of society by learning about their various roles in their families, schools, churches and communities.
Our music curriculum introduces musical language, basic music theory and music vocabulary through movement and play. Students are given numerous opportunities to perform individually and as part of a group as they sing in church, perform in Christmas plays and showcase their talent at our annual Arts in the Afternoon event. We also offer private piano lessons during the school day.
Our physical education curriculum encourages our students to become physically literate by creating a foundation for a lifetime of health. Students learn that physical activity is an important part of everyday life and that movement is good for overall health and well-being. Students in both the K-8 and ELC are exposed to a wide variety of age-appropriate traditional sports that teach basic skills, as well as team-building, leadership and independence. Through fun and play, students gain an understanding of exercise for life-long health. In addition, a dedicated health class is utilized in the middle school grades as a supplement to their physical education class and preschool students are taught about healthy eating in the classroom as a springboard to the scientific approach to health that follows in the K-5 curriculum.
Our art curriculum exposes students to a variety of artists and cultures, which leads to an understanding of various art techniques and encourages creativity. Students are encouraged to experiment, explore, reflect and collaborate as they plan and carry out art projects. Students use many forms and mediums to create their art, which is proudly displayed throughout our campus and showcased at our annual Arts in the Afternoon event.
Our computer curriculum provides access to Chromebooks, iPads and interactive whiteboards. Students are taught basic typing skills, as well as how to be a responsible digital citizen and how to use the internet and technology safely. Through concrete lessons and hands-on practice, students learn how to be productive and how to use technology for investigation and exploration. Kindergarten through fifth grade students participate in weekly computer lessons. Middle school students are able to choose to participate in technology electives that teach concepts related to STEM, robotics and computational thinking.
Students have access to a well-stocked library for reading pleasure and academic research. Preschool students are able to spend time in the library hearing age-appropriate stories from many genres to promote their love of reading and to help them grasp concepts and learn new words. Kindergarten through fifth grade students use the library weekly to learn library terminology and organization. Students also learn how to care for, check out and return books. Middle school students have access to the library for research and homework purposes. Additionally, students are encouraged to read books that are in their zone of proximal development (ZPD) to maximize their development as a reader. They do this by carefully reading books and taking comprehension quizzes through the Accelerated Reader (AR) program. The overall goal of our library is to create lifelong readers who enjoy reading a wide range of genres and materials to learn and grow.