Curriculum Guidelines » Home


The curriculum at St. Finn Barr Catholic School is designed as a careful balance between academic and non-academic programs. Our teachers develop instructional experiences based on Archdiocesan curriculum standards and suited to meet the needs of the diverse learners we serve. 

Religion: Religious instruction forms the basis for the total development of the student. All students participate in all regular religion classes, liturgical preparation and school oriented church services during school hours.

Language: English, Reading, Spelling, Phonics and Writing provide the basic tools for gaining knowledge and understanding of the spiritual, educational, social and vocational experiences of life. These skills are correlated with all other subjects.

Math: Our Math program is designed to help each student learn the basic mathematical structures, language and principles in order to develop skills in computation, use of vocabulary and symbols, reading and interpreting data, measuring and solving problems. 

Science  The Science program gives students an understanding of the basic truths of nature and man's relationship to them. Since 2011, we have purchased all new instructional materials for grades 3-8 with FOSS (Full Option Science System) kits from the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley. Additionally, we have purchased all new microscopes, scales, and lab tables to support student learning. 

Our science learning is supported by outside excursions to enrich classroom learning -- including visits to the San Jose Tech Museum, the Marin Headlands NatureBridge program, the San Francisco Academy of Science, the Presidio, and many more local sites. 

We are is proud to serve as a pilot school for several Lawrence Hall of Science curriculum development projects, most recently with the Roots/Seeds pilot of a scientific argument related to human microbiome and antibiotic use. 

Social Studies: The goal of this program is to develop knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes necessary for effective citizenship in our society.

Spanish: Spanish is taught daily to students in grades K-5 and weekly to students in grades 6-8. Our Spanish program is designed to develop students' conversational skills and basic reading and writing, as well as nurturing an appreciation for the cultures of Spanish-speaking populations. We celebrate our Spanish learning at the end of the school year with our annual Spanish Festival. 

Physical Education/Healthy Cooking: Physical Education is a fundamental aspect of how we prepare students for a healthy life. Our students participate in twice weekly Physical Education classes provided by CYO (Catholic Youth Organization). This provides an opportunity to learn the importance of exercise to maintain a healthy body. Once per month, this program includes a healthy cooking class to develop this essential life skill for our students. 

Art & Music:  These programs are provided to develop creative potential. All of our students participate each fall in preparing for our musical theatre Christmas Show. We also offer enrichment programs in music and the arts including guitar, choir, musical theatre, drum line, and drama. 

Technology: Our technology program integrates teaches computer literacy and digital citizenry into all subjects. It is intended to help prepare students for a high technology future, where problem solving and critical thinking intersect with effective communication skills and social and moral ethics. 

We are proud this year to expand our technology program with an entirely new infrastructure, new classroom presentation devices, and the introduction of mini-ipads in grades 3-8.