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Engaging Minds. Building Futures. 

Core Knowledge at Salisbury Academy

 Salisbury Academy is part of a growing network of schools across the country that uses the Core
Knowledge Sequence and is finding great success as measured both by standardized tests and by the
students’ enjoyment of learning.

The Core Knowledge Sequence is a planned progression of specific content that builds upon itself year after year while enhancing students’ critical and higher-order thinking skills. In each grade, students explore a broad range of historical, scientific, and cultural topics. This wide array of subject matter not only develops a deep understanding of science, social studies, and the arts but also establishes the strong vocabulary necessary for true reading comprehension and prepares students for later educational success.

Children learn about the world in which they live, facts and legends, far-off people and places, songs, works of art, and much more. This “core of shared knowledge” develops cultural literacy in a way that is systematic but leaves room for creativity for both teacher and student.

The Core Knowledge sequence comprises, on average, about fifty percent of our school’s curriculum and provides the foundation for the other fifty percent which is tailored to the specific needs of our students and consistent with the mission and vision of Salisbury Academy.


Core Knowledge Quick Facts

  • Salisbury Academy has been a Core Knowledge school since our inception.

  • Core Knowledge was founded by Dr. E.D. Hirsch and based on ideas presented in his book Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know and The Schools We Need and Why We Don’t Have Them.

  • Knowledge-rich content is the basis for Core Knowledge. Students learn skills through the use of rich, necessary, shared intellectual content.

  • Beginning in junior kindergarten, students encounter complex written text through read-alouds that are often above grade-level and based upon and/or integrated with their science and social studies.

  • Students in junior kindergarten through eighth engage in vocabulary instruction and analytical discussions while making connections to other materials throughout the school day.