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CURRICULUM INTRODUCTION (click to view as a PDF)
The following is a list of the classes taught at Holy Family Academy, with descriptions of the focus and goals of each class, along with the main texts used in the class. Prizing as we do the Classical, liberal arts education, the texts listed below are often supplemented with primary source material on the subject at hand. Please note that we have only listed those texts which are distributed to the students in book form, but most classes also involve a number of other selections that are shared as copies of short excerpts.
In a time when people become more visually oriented while their language becomes more and more corrupt, the ability to write well is, sadly, a rare phenomenon. Not only do we ensure that the students learn organizational skills and proper sentence structure, but they are challenged to present great ideas in a clear and logical fashion. Writing is a part of not only the Literature & Grammar courses offered at Holy Family Academy, but also of Theology, History, and Philosophy. The Saint Report and Pro-life paper in Theology, along with the Philosophy assignments, are an opportunity to practice composing in a logically coherent manner. In History, students are taught the art of researching and writing a paper with citations to support their work. Of course in Literature, in particular, they learn the craft of good style and vivid description.
(N.B., classes listed with two grade levels are taught every other year.)
As a school dedicated to passing along the teachings of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, we do not hold Theology as just another subject to be taught, but as the most crucial of the subjects presented to our pupils. An essential aspect to any complete education, in light of the end of each man, is to consider the Beatific Vision, knowledge of God, and the things of God – and how to live one’s life in friendship with God. In handing on the truths of the Faith, we make use of both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, as we find it in the teachings of the Popes, along with the Fathers, Doctors, and Councils of the Church. Passages from these sources, as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church, are consulted regularly in each of these classes.
- Chief Truths of the Faith & the Old Testament (7th & 8th Grades, 2017-2018)
This first class in theology for our Junior High students is a presentation of the most fundamental and essential teachings of the Church. We seek to move beyond mere memorization of certain Doctrines to come to an understanding of what is taught. The text by Fr. Laux contains “penetrating explanations of all essential truths of the Faith.” At the same time, this course also reviews the Old Testament, reviewing its parts, and the major moments in the Old Covenant. This course, then, lays the foundation for our Faith in a study of its essential truths, along with the Old Testament. Class Text(s): Chief Truths of the Faith, Fr. Laux
- Mass & the Sacraments & the New Testament (7th & 8th Grades, 2016-2017)
The second theology class is very much focused upon the New Covenant and the salvific work of our Divine Savior, Jesus Christ. The textbook for the class is a study of the seven Sacraments, and notes not only their matter, form, and purpose, but their basis in Sacred Scripture. Particular emphasis is put on the “source and summit” of our Faith, the Holy Mass. Sacramentals and indulgences, too, are studied. Along with this, the New Testament is reviewed, placing the Sacraments within the context of Christ and the newborn Church. Class Text(s): Mass & the Sacraments, Fr. Laux
- Catholic Doctrine (9th & 10th Grades, 2016-2017)
The purpose of this class is to review and deepen the high school student’s knowledge of the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church, from the existence of God to the Sacraments and the Commandments, through a systematic study of the whole range of Catholic Doctrine. While much of the particular material should be familiar, this class seeks to instill in the student a more thorough and mature understanding of the Doctrine of the Church. The text for this class by Canon Ripley is excellent for its clarity. This text will be complemented by references to Sacred Scripture, the Church Fathers, the Doctors of the Church, and magisterial documents of the Popes and Church councils. Class Text(s): The is the Faith, Canon Ripley
- Moral Theology (9th & 10th Grades, 2017-2018)
Moral Theology is, simply, the study of Catholic morals. The Catholic Faith is not merely a set of Doctrines to be believed, but a way of living! In short, this is a class that focuses on how to live one’s life in such a way as to receive eternal salvation. This should prove the most practical class! We will employ several texts, with Fr. John Laux’s Catholic Morality as our outline and main text book. Blessed Pope John Paul II’s Encyclical Veritatis Splendor will be an important supplement, especially as we seek to avoid certain popular errors concerning this topic. Class Text(s): Catholic Morality, Fr. Laux
- Scripture (11th & 12th Grades, 2016-2017)
“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” In such words St. Jerome emphasized how crucial an understanding of the Word of God is for the faithful. While much of the text of the Bible is familiar, this course seeks to systematically study the parts of the Bible, place them in context, and introduce the student to the four senses of Scripture, along with an appreciation of exegesis. Class Text(s): The Holy Bible (either the Douay-Rheims or Ignatius editions may be used); A Guide to the Bible, Antonio Fuentes
- Catholic Apologetics (11th & 12th Grades, 2017-2018)
This class has as its purpose introducing the student to the art of engaging in Apologetics – a defense – of the Catholic Faith. In the tradition of the Summa Contra Gentiles of St. Thomas Aquinas, we seek to explain the tenets of the Faith using arguments that will be compelling for those that would challenge it. Of course, in learning how to defend the Faith intellectually, one comes to a more complete understanding of it, and, hopefully, a sense of the importance of living it oneself! Class Text(s): Handbook of Christian Apologetics, Kreeft & Tacelli
Unique among most institutions in secondary education, Holy Family Academy believes that a presentation of philosophy and certain philosophical principles is an essential part of a classical education at this level. The fundamental importance of philosophy for an educated man is obvious, for every decision an individual or an organization makes is either implicitly or explicitly based on philosophical principles.
Law, morality, beauty, the nature of man, the existence and attributes of God, and the nature of the family and marriage are topics that a philosophical mind contemplates. Teaching our students how to think about the ultimate reasons of existence is the very foundation of education.
By contrast, every error concerning the value of all human life, the reality of God, and the nature of the family is a result of philosophical ignorance that is intellectual sloth. A realist approach to Philosophy, “the handmaiden of Theology,” in the tradition of St. Thomas Aquinas, will help the student to pursue both logical reasoning and “the Queen of the Sciences,” Theology.
- Logic (7th & 8th Grades, 2017-2018)
Sorely needed in a world of contradictions and propaganda, this course provides a basic introduction to the study of logic. While only a primer, and tailored to a Junior High audience, this class still seeks to instill in the student an understanding of clear and rational thinking that is both consistent and grounded in the truth. Class Text(s): Traditional Logic, Book I, Martin Cothran
- Introduction to Philosophy (7th & 8th Grades, 2016-2017)
This course moves from a study of how to think to an introduction of those subjects and concepts most worth thinking about. The purpose of this course is to simultaneously inculcate in the students a habit of pondering important questions, while also guiding them to the answers. Building confidence in truth pondered, not sowing doubt, is the purpose of this course. Class Text(s): Introduction to Philosophy, Sullivan
- Ancient and Medieval Philosophy Concepts (9th & 10th Grades, 2016-2017)
This course surveys the philospohical concepts from Ancient and Medieval philosophers that help provide the foundation to understanding Catholic Theology and Culture. Class Text(s): Introduction to Philosophy, Sullivan
- Philosophy of Human Nature (9th & 10th Grades, 2017-2018)
In this course, the student studies what it means to be made in the image and likeness of God as a Human being. Using the “Treatise on Man” from St. Thomas’s Summa Theologiae and Aristotle’s De Anima, the class treats questions touching upon the soul, the intellect, the will, and the soul’s relationship with the body. Without a proper grasp of who and what man is, an understanding of morals or the common good, for instance, is damaged or lost. Class Text(s): Introduction to Philosophy, Sullivan
- Philosophy of Being (11th & 12th Grades, 2016-2017)
The study of being, or existence, itself, often called metaphysics, is the most sublime type of philosophy. In touching upon the subject at a secondary level, this course can do no more than introduce certain fundamental questions of existence in general. For instance, this class reviews the Categories of Aristotle, noting the difference between accidental and substantial existence. It culminates with a study of the Quinque Viae of St. Thomas Aquinas, the five proofs for the existence of God, Who is Being itself. Class Text(s): Introduction to Philosophy, Sullivan
- Philosophy of Ethics (11th & 12th Grades, 2017-2018)
This class seeks to provide a rational basis for ethical behavior and emphasizes the role of virtues in living well. This is the high school student’s opportunity for the study of a part of practical philosophy, attempting to arrive, through reason, at an understanding of how to act. This course will use the Ethics of Aristotle as its main text. In the end, this class demonstrates that moral, virtuous living is not only a matter of command or of religious tenet, but is actually the most rational, and most human, manner of living that even a pagan could come to grasp. Class Text(s): Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle
Literature & Grammar
It is through great literature that man comes to grips with who he is and what his place is in relation to God and the world. By reading the classics and critically analyzing them, students grasp universal truth and falsehood, which face men every day. Poetry, dramas, novels, essays, and letters by authors such as Homer, Sophocles, Euripides, Dante, Racine, Corneille, Cervantes, Molière, Goethe, Shakespeare, Dostoevsky and Tolstoi make up the core of the literature curriculum. In addition to reading various classic works, each literature class also performs a live play that, for the high school students, is also part of their Rhetoric class.
It is only through an understanding of language structure found in the study of grammar that a student can come to express himself and his beliefs clearly and intelligently both in speech and writing. Thus, traditional English grammar is emphasized throughout the school’s curriculum, while at the high school level, the skills learned earlier are used and perfected.
- Classic American Literature (7th & 8th Grades, 2017-2018)
In addition to reviewing the basic parts of Grammar, this class introduces the student to the serious reading and analysis of literature by means of classic American works, such as Longfellow’s great poem Evangeline, and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. These literature selections complement the history class taken in seventh grade. Class Text(s): Evangeline, Longfellow; Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain; Warriner’s Grammar and Composition, Second Course
- Classical Literature & Mythology (7th & 8th Grades, 2016-2017)
This class continues the student’s review of grammar, along with a focus on the reading and analysis of literary works. The particular literary focus here is an introduction to works of classical literature – Greek and Roman – along with a study of the mythological stories that are the basis of so much of that corpus of literature. Class Text(s): Bulfinch’s Mythology; Warriner’s Grammar and Composition, Third Course
- Classical Greek & Roman Literature (9th & 10th Grades, 2016-2017)
This course involves a serious study of the truly great works of the Classical Great and Roman world – the Epics of Homer and Virgil, the masterpieces of Greek drama, and the birth of History as a literary genre. This class also involves a review of the fundamentals of English Grammar. Class Text(s): The Odyssey, Homer; The Iliad, Homer; Antigone, Sophocles; Aeneid, Virgil; Warriner’s Grammar and Composition, Liberty Edition
- Medieval & Renaissance Literature (9th & 10th Grades, 2017-2018)
Moving beyond the classical world of Greece and Rome, this class examines the literature of the Medieval world, from the quasi-Christian Beowulf and the explicitly Christian Song of Roland, through the great works of the Renaissance as embodied in Dante, to “the Bard” himself, William Shakespeare. This class also involves a review of the fundamentals of English Grammar. Class Text(s): Beowulf; Song of Roland; Divine Comedy, Dante; Canterbury Tales, Chaucer; MacBeth, William Shakespeare; Warriner’s Grammar and Composition, Liberty Edition
- Modern Literature (11th & 12th Grades, 2016-2017)
Beginning where the Medieval and Renaissance Literature class concluded, this class studies the great and worthwhile literature of the world since the appearance of Protestantism. Cervantes, Molière, Dostoevsky, Tolstoi, and Goethe are a few of the authors examined. The class makes use of a sizable anthology that allows for selections of a range of works to be presented. This class complements the Modern History class that is taught at the same time. Class Text(s): Norton Anthology of World Literature, Volume 2, 6th Edition
- American Literature (11th & 12th Grades, 2017-2018)
An understanding of the best literature of our own home is certainly a great part of the study of literature in general. The class makes use of a sizable anthology that allows for selections of a range of works to be presented, from Nathaniel Hawthorne to Henry Adams. This course is also presented simultaneously with the American History & Government class. Class Text(s): Concise Anthology of American Literature, 4th Edition
Historia vero testis temporum, lux veritatis, vita memoriae, magistra vitae, nuntia vetustatis.
“For history is the witness of the past, the light of truth, the survival of memory, the teacher of life, the message of antiquity” (M. Tullius Cicero, de oratore (“On Oratory”) 2.36.
History is for us, as Catholics, not just the memorizing of trivial dates and facts – it should not be merely “intellectual bug collecting,” but rather our attempt to know who we are and how we have come to be here as Catholics and as Americans, and to learn from the wisdom and example of our forefathers. At Holy Family, we always seek to stand on the shoulders of giants, hoping to reach yet greater heights. In all of this, of course, we approach the study of history with the proper perspective: that the Incarnation of Christ, the Word becoming flesh, is the pivotal moment in history, and that the progression of history since that event has been, and is, leading to His Second Coming.
This practically manifests itself in the classroom in two primary ways, with the use of primary sources, and with an emphasis on scholarship or research. Throughout the year the students are exposed to a steady diet of primary source documents – often government documents, but also works of contemporary literature that give particular insights into the time and place (e.g., Magna Carta, Excommunication of Luther). Second, students are encouraged to do their own research – that being the meaning of the term “history” – into historical topics. This is best seen through the yearly history term paper that each student must complete – a brief paper in the Junior High, and a more full work in the student’s High School years. Scholarship is important in what is currently such a sloppy or hostile field.
- History of the Founding of the Americas (7th & 8th Grades, 2017-2018)
This course is designed to give the student an understanding of the origins and early history of the Americas, and especially, the United States. From the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus, to the independence of the United States, this class pays particular attention to the planting of the Catholic Faith and Western Civilization in the Americas. The class is concerned especially with the Spanish, French, and English colonies, hopefully giving the student an understanding of not only the background of this country, but of the hemisphere in general. Class Text(s): Atlas of American History, Martin Gilbert
- History of the Founding of Western Civilization (7th & 8th Grades, 2016-2017)
This class explores the origins of Western Civilization, in which we find ourselves. The goal is to examine the contributions of Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome, as it were, looking at the particular history of the Hebrews, the Chosen People of God, the Greeks, who contributed so much to art and philosophy, and the Romans, who united the Western world and laid its political foundations. Class Text(s): Penguin Atlas of Ancient History
- Classical & Early Christian History (9th & 10th Grades, 2016-2017)
This course begins the cycle of High School history classes. It begins with the coming of Christ and the start of the Roman Empire and continues through the first millennium of Christian history. After a brief review of the Classical World, including the Roman Republic, and the Hellenistic Empires, this course traces Christian history from the catacombs, through the Age of Constantine and the Doctors, to the fall of the West and the Conversion of the Barbarians. The class concludes with the rise of Monasticism and the contributions of Charlemagne – glimmers of hope in what had been a dark age. The years covered in greater detail are 27BC to 1066AD. Fr. Laux’s Church History supplements and complements the class lectures, as do certain period works such as Boethius’ Consolation. Class Text(s): Church History, Fr. Laux; Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius
- Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern History (9th & 10th Grades, 2017-2018)
This class covers that period of history when the West was most thoroughly and explicitly Christian – going from the Norman Conquest of 1066AD to the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648AD that cemented the existence of Protestantism. Topics in this class include the Crusades, the Mendicant Orders, the rivalry between Pope & Emperor, Gothic art, the founding of the University, the Black Death, the Renaissance, Protestantism, the Catholic Reformation, and the Wars of Religion. Fr. Laux’s Church History supplements and complements the class lectures, as do certain period works such as those by Machiavelli and Thomas More. Class Text(s): Church History, Fr. Laux; The Prince, Machiavelli; Utopia, Thomas More
- Modern History (11th & 12th Grades, 2016-2017)
This course is designed to give to the High School student a firm and well-balanced understanding of the history of the West from about 1648AD to the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the end of the Cold War. Major topics include a study of the Ancien Régime, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, the Age of Metternich, the Industrial Revolution, Imperialism, Nationalism, Communism, World Wars, and the Cold War. The lectures will be supplemented by several articles and primary source documents, from the Treatise on Orders by Loyseau to the Communist Manifesto of Karl Marx.
- American History & Government (11th & 12th Grades, 2017-2018)
Being, as we are, a school located in Virginia, it is well that our students know the history of their home, and both the origins, and the current structure, of our nation’s government. This class begins with the early cultures of North America, notes the colonial contributions of the Spanish, French, and English, studies the American Revolution, and the new nation of the United States. Time is taken to read the US Constitution in its entirety, noting its context, but also the developments and changes in law as the United States grew, endured Civil War, hosted immigrants, and became a world power. A study of government, then, is not isolated in this course, but is done alongside a study of American history. This class also considers the other countries of the Americas – within Monroe’s sphere of influence – and pays particular attention to the local history of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Class Text(s): Declaration of Independence and Other Great Documents of American History, 1775-1865; Up from Slavery, Booker T. Washington; Atlas of United States History (Hammond)
The study and examination of the beauty and complexity of creation will surely lead to a greater appreciation and awe for the Creator. The belief that science does not conflict with faith, but rather complements it, is the basis of our program. In all of our courses of “natural philosophy,” we emphasize the scientific method as a means of coming to an understanding of the order and structure of the natural world.
- Earth Science (7th & 8th Grades, 2017-2018)
This first science course in the Junior High is a study of the Earth – a combination of geology, meteorology, and basic astronomy. This class encourages the student to observe the world around him and those things that, whether noted or not, shape our particular community and habitat. Class Text(s): Earth Science for Christian Schools
- Basic Science (7th & 8th Grades, 2016-2017)
In the second science course of our curriculum, the student moves from an observation of the natural world on a large scale, to a more particular study of matter itself. This class examines the atom, the elements, compounds, states of matter, and other basic topics such as the characteristics of motion, sound, pressure, and light. Class Text(s): Basic Science for Christian Schools
- Physical Science (9th & 10th Grades, 2016-2017)
The course explores the physical aspect of God’s creation vis a vis the whole universe and provides a critical foundation for Chemistry and Physics. Class Text(s): Exploring Creation with Physical Science, Guide to Stars and Planets, Moore; Theories of the World, Crowe; 365 Starry Nights, Raymo
- Biology (9th & 10th Grades, 2017-2018)
This course is designed to give the student a firm and thorough understanding of the basics of the art and science of Biology. Long considered both a part of Natural Philosophy and of Medicine, the study of living things has always fascinated and inspired scholars, from Aristotle and Galen to William Harvey and Gregor Mendel. This course will, in general, be interested in understanding the order and structure of material living things, both as a means of better understanding the natural world, and as an indirect glimpse into the order and goodness of God. Thus, topics as diverse as taxonomy and the theory of evolution will be studied, and practical exercises, from tree identification to fetal pig dissection, will be conducted. Class Text(s): Biology: A Search for Order in Complexity; Common Native Trees of Virginia, Virginia Department of Forestry
- Physics (11th & 12th Grades, 2016-2017)
Physics is the study of matter in motion, and this classis a traditional presentation of the discipline of physics, accompanied by lab experiments and demonstrations of the subject. Physics clearly demonstrates the relationship between Mathematics and the natural sciences, as well as the great order of the material world. An Honors track will be offered for motivated students. Class Text(s): Physics for Christian Schools
- Chemistry (11th & 12th Grades, 2017-2018)
This class is a study of matter, in its particular physical forms. Elements and compounds, atoms and molecules, the periodic table of the elements, chemical formulas, and the Mathematics governing these things are studied at some length. Class Text(s): Chemistry for Christian Schools
The study of Mathematics actually includes two of the liberal arts of the quadrivium, both Arithmetic and Geometry. Mathematics is really the study of logic and order as expressed by numbers (Mathematics) or in space (Geometry). Thus, this study holds an important place in a classical education, as it reinforces logical, structured thinking, disciplines the mind, facilitates the study of the natural sciences, and, more practically, prepares the student for College Board exams!
- Algebra ½
We begin our standard Mathematics curriculum in junior high with this introductory “pre-Algebra” class that reinforces the basics of Arithmetic, while laying the groundwork for Algebra. Class Text(s): Saxon Algebra ½
- Algebra 1
This class is a basic, traditional presentation of the fundamentals of the study of Algebra. Prior geometric concepts are reviewed and continue to be taught as well. Class Text(s): Saxon Algebra 1
- Euclidean Geometry
Our study of Geometry is rather unique, insofar as our study examines the actual text of the Elements of Euclid, and derives the particular propositions themselves. We hope our students don’t just know what the Pythagorean Theorem is, but know how to arrive at it! Class Text(s): The Elements, Euclid
- Algebra 2
This class is a traditional presentation of the fundamentals of the study of Algebra that builds on the concepts introduced in Algebra 1. We require all of our students to pass this class, as a minimum, before graduating. Class Text(s): Saxon Algebra 2
This course presents topics in advanced Algebra, trigonometry, and geometry in preparation for Calculus. An honors track will be offered for motivated students. Class Text(s): A Graphing Approach, Larson et al.
This is the final class in our Mathematics curriculum and is an introduction to the concepts of Calculus. This course is a study of limits, differentiation and integration of algebraic and transcendental functions, and the applications of differentiation and integration. Class Text(s): Calculus of a Single Variable, 6th Edition, Larson, Hostetler, and Edwards
The study of foreign languages is not only a salutary exercise in disciplining and ordering the mind, but a wonderful means of broadening vocabulary and rounding out a classical education. Indeed, in former ages, a man was not educated without a grasp of Latin and Greek.
“The wisdom of the ancient world, enshrined in Greek and Roman literature, and the truly memorable teaching of ancient peoples, served, surely, to herald the dawn of the Gospel which God’s Son, ‘the judge and teacher of grace and truth, the light and guide of the human race,’ proclaimed on earth…Thus the inauguration of Christianity did not mean the obliteration of man’s past achievements. Nothing was lost that was in any way true, just, noble and beautiful…The Church has ever held the literary evidences of this wisdom in the highest esteem. She values especially the Greek and Latin languages in which wisdom itself is cloaked, as it were, in a vesture of gold.” – Pope Saint John XXIII, Veterum Sapientia (1962)
Latin is the language of the Church, of scholarship, and of the Classical world. Our students begin their exposure to Latin with the text Lingua Latina, which emphasizes the oral and, as much as possible, exclusive use, of the Latin language. From there, we use the Henle series, with its grounding in classical works and a solid comprehension of grammar. The students are also expected to have a copy of Henle’s Latin Grammar, which is an invaluable study assistant. The Holy Family student can also expect the occasional Latin prayer or special Latin selection to supplement the material in the texts listed below.
- Introduction to Latin (6th Grade)
This course represents the first exposure of our upper school students to the Latin language at this level. The emphasis is on the oral use of the language, and a familiarity with the basics of Latin grammar. Class Text(s): Lingua Latina, Orberg
- Latin ½ (Introduction) 7th Grade
The text for the class is the First Year Latin of Fr. Henle. This is a classic grammar-based approach to Latin, grounding the students in the fundamentals of the language by drill and translation. The class covers approximately half of the First Year Latin text. Class Text(s): First Year Latin, Henle
- Latin I
The text for the class is the First Year Latin of Fr. Henle. This is a classic grammar-based approach to Latin, grounding the students in the fundamentals of the language by drill and translation. The class covers the second half of the First Year Latin text. Class Text(s): First Year Latin, Henle
- Latin II (Caesar)
The text for the class is the Second Year Latin of Fr. Henle. The course will involve both routine exercises that reinforce grammar concepts, along with readings in Caesar, from his Gallic Wars. Class Text(s): Second Year Latin, Henle
- Latin III (Cicero)
The text for the class is the Third Year Latin of Fr. Henle. The course will involve both routine exercises that reinforce grammar concepts, along with readings from Cicero’s First Oration Against Catiline. Class Text(s): Third Year Latin, Henle
- Latin IV/V (Virgil/Ovid)
The text for the class is the Fourth Year Latin of Fr. Henle. The course will involve both routine exercises that reinforce grammar concepts, along with readings in Virgil’s Aeneid. Class Text(s): Fourth Year Latin, Henle
- French 1 & 2 (Electives)
The French language is taught at Holy Family Academy as an elective for those who have completed the minimum Latin II requirement. The focus of these courses, which each work through the same text, is not only the basics of the language itself, but also French culture. France, the eldest daughter of the Church, is rich with splendid Catholic culture and art, from Clovis and the heroes of the Vendée, to the monastery of Mont Saint Michel and the Cathedral of Chartres. Class Text(s): Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Françaises, Volume 1
Rhetoric (9-12th Grades)
This course is designed to give the High School student a firm and well-balanced understanding of the Liberal Art of Rhetoric, the art of persuasion. Of course, the study of this element of the Trivium focuses a great deal on persuasive public speaking.
The first term will concentrate on the fundamentals of the art, especially as presented by Aristotle in his work Rhetoric, with preparation for, and presentation of, the High School Debates. These are formal, structured, debates in which each team must match the other in a variety of prepared and impromptu formats, including speeches and cross-examination.
The second term focuses on both the Thesis papers and the High School plays. The thesis involves the student crafting a paper in the manner of an article from the Summa Theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas – including both objections and replies to those objections – and an oral presentation and defense of the paper. The plays, in conjunction with the Literature class, are variable by year, but always involve a classic work, and employ the services of every student in the class!
Class Text(s): Plays vary year-to-year
Choir (7-12th Grades)
Considering the place that Sacred Music has within the liturgy, and the fact that Music was one of the liberal arts of the Trivium, we consider exposure to the art of singing to be a part of a well-rounded education.
Class Text(s): Adoremus Hymnal; Liber Cantualis; St. Gregory Hymnal
Physical Education (7-12th Grade)
Mens sana in corpore sano: A healthy mind in a healthy body. In order to encourage our students to develop healthy habits and learn how to participate in organized sporting activity, we have our students participate, once a week, in a Field Day class. A variety of sports are played, with a vision of making them well rounded, able to work in a team, and familiar with the rules and skills of multiple games.
Yearbook (9th-12th Elective)
For our high school students, we offer a yearbook class as an elective. It is a splendid opportunity to build school spirit, learn computer and photography skills, and practice managing a project with multiple members.