Our Signature Curriculum with Our Dual Path in Early Education
The NFA Program
As Philadelphia’s oldest Catholic and independent elementary school, Norwood-Fontbonne Academy offers nearly 100 years of proven expertise in preparing students for future leadership and scholarship. The NFA program includes our unique dual-path in Early Education. Families have the advantage of choosing between our Primary program and our Montessori program for students ages 3-8. (NFA’s Montessori program is one of only 6 accredited programs in Pennsylvania). In Fourth Grade, students from the Primary and Montessori paths merge into our Intermediate Elementary program where creative, interactive education is the hallmark. Our Middle School program for 7th and 8th graders prepares students for the area’s most selective Catholic and independent secondary schools.
As a Catholic and independent school, NFA’s Signature Curriculum extends and expands the Common Core State Standards and those of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the State of Pennsylvania. With a focus on hands-on, project-based learning, as well as other varied authentic experiences, our program is rooted in best practice, providing our children both challenge and support in their learning.
Centered on life-long faith formation, the religion curriculum roots students in Gospel values. Students engage in study, discussion, prayer, liturgical leadership, and sacramental preparation along with grade specific service learning. At NFA, service learning is not simply outreach or charity; it is a highly-valued curricular focus that starts in kindergarten and is rooted in Catholic Social Teaching and the mission of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. Our service learning program incorporates age-appropriate lessons, twice a year visits to off campus sites, and thoughtful reflection on the needs and challenges of those marginalized in our society.
NFA students are active learners, working in small groups and small classes with individualized attention at all levels. A focus on reading, writing, mathematics, organization and public speaking ensures a timelessness of preparation, while an emphasis on STEM-science, technology, engineering, and math at all levels prepares students for the ever-changing tools of the future. In our unique Exploratory Program, Middle School students elect courses in areas of interest such as video journalism, biotechnology, and entrepreneurship, which allow students to immerse themselves in challenging career applications.
The NFA curriculum is enriched by music, art, physical education, and media studies (library science and technology). Spanish is formally introduced to three year-olds and becomes a major subject in fifth Grade. Eighth Grade students enjoy 1:1 computing using Chromebooks. NFA also provides an Office of Student Development with two teacher specialists to serve the needs of exceptional students. NFA is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and The American Montessori Society. NFA has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.