The Basic School curriculum is integrative and thematic and exceeds Common Core State Standards as well as NC State Standards. The curriculum will ensure each child receives a high quality education. The curriculum is highly engaging and provides many opportunities for hands-on learning and peer interaction.
The Basic School curriculum is based on these eight themes called the Core Commonalities:
The Life Cycle
The Use of Symbols
Membership in Groups
A Sense of Time and Space
Response to the Aesthetic
Connections to Nature
Producing and Consuming
Living with Purpose
The Core Commonalities are integrated into all thematic units and spiral upward from K-8.
At United Community School, literacy is the first and most essential goal. All students are expected to become proficient in the written and spoken word. Language at UCS is defined broadly to include words, numbers, and the arts. We consider all of these to be critical areas of development for students to be truly communicative, and we expect our students to have a deep understanding of all three areas. Language is the means by which all other subjects are pursued.
United Community School uses the writing program Handwriting Without Tears® (HWT). This program was created by Jan Z. Olsen, an occupational therapist, and is perfectly developed for young learners. The curriculum in the program places emphasis on teaching the readiness skills necessary to ensure handwriting success. The HWT teaching method was also developed to have as few opportunities for letter reversals (the most common early writer mistake) as possible for the students, and as a result, makes handwriting easier and less frustrating for your children to learn. We use HWT curriculum for both printing and cursive instruction.
UCS draws from multiple resources that help us to meet and exceed state standards, including Eureka Math. Eureka Math was written by a team of teachers and mathematicians who took great care to present mathematics in a logical progression from grade PK—12. This coherent approach allows teachers to know what incoming students already have learned and ensures that students are prepared for what comes next. When implemented faithfully, Eureka Math will dramatically reduce gaps in student learning, instill persistence in problem solving, and prepare students to understand advanced math.
We believe that students learn best when they gain knowledge through exploration and active learning. We do not rely on text books and lectures to teach content. Instead, we engage students in meaningful, hands-on, real-life experiences that challenge them to think and explain their reasoning instead of memorizing and reciting facts.
United Community School is part of the A+ Schools of NC (an art-based network). UCS focuses on art history, art appreciation, and art making to help build a strong respect for the art and enrich our students’ lives. In reference to art, Dr. Ernest L. Boyer wrote, “It is an essential language that makes it possible to communicate feelings and ideas words cannot express.” United Community School ensures that students are exposed to the various art forms (music, dance, art, theater) and learn to use the arts as a means of communication. Art is incorporated into everyday activities. Our students’ exposure to the arts will continue outside of the classroom as classes participate in field trips to art museums, symphonies and shows, and local exhibits. Students in every grade level perform and produce artistic pieces that showcase their learning in the classroom.