A Classical Education
One of the strongest academic programs in all of Kamloops belongs to the students and faculty of First Baptist Classical Academy. What's the secret to such strong academic performance? The answer is simple: the Classical methodology of education.
A classical education utilizes traditional liberal arts as a means of instilling wisdom and virtue in our students. It invites the scholar into what Mortimer Adler, a 20th century pioneer of classical education, called the "great conversation", that ongoing discussion to which the great thinkers, poets, artists, and musicians have been contributing throughout history. A classical school such as First Baptist Classical Academy provides a setting where students are immersed in the very best ideas and works that are the heritage of Western Civilization as they are taught to read well, speak well and think well.
A classical education provides a strong foundation in all the key subjects, giving students the skills and knowledge with which to excel for the rest of their lives, no matter what course of study or career they choose to pursue later in life. Excellence in writing, an appreciation of the order in creation, knowledge of the patterns of history and the structures of language: these will all serve our children and our city well into the future.
Schools and teachers of previous generations divided knowledge into relatively isolated subjects. In isolating subjects from one another, students have failed to fully appreciate the interconnectedness of all subjects as parts of a whole. To put it another way, students may have learned many facts and figures, but they have not always seen the truth of it all, and they have not seen how those truths relate to God and the Bible.
Rather than teaching subjects, the classical educators of old emphasized the importance and use of those skills and competencies which facilitated learning and could be widely applied to every subject. It is held that there are three elements to every subject which are necessary for the discerning, understanding and mastery of that subject: grammar, logic and rhetoric. This comprises the classical Trivium of learning. Our goal is to restore the Trivium approach of education and to offer this education to students in Kamloops.
Of course, in order to learn the use of these tools, it is necessary to apply them to some subject, so actual subjects must be studied. It is no different in learning to use any other tool. A hammer must be applied to a nail in order to learn correctly how to wield a hammer. A chisel must be applied to stone in order to learn correctly how to wield a chisel.
In the same way, the tools of learning must be applied to a particular subject in order to be learned. Note, however, that the chief goal is to master the tools of learning, not various subjects. For in mastering the tools, any subject can soon be mastered as well. We encounter a paradox: classical educators favored the tools of learning over the content to be learned. Therefore, they helped students to master more content than ever. They taught their students how to learn.
At First Baptist Classical Academy, we strive to teach our students and parents how to learn, in order that they may love learning and be life-long learners. With this goal in mind, you will find that education at First Baptist Academy encompasses the following:
I. Age-specific K–12 learning
First Baptist Classical Academy uses the children’s God-given strengths at each stage of growth to help them learn. Young children enjoy memorizing, singing, and rhymes. Utilizing these God-given joys, we strive to lay a solid foundation of grammar, facts and figures in each and every subject of study at this age.
Middle-school students are inquisitive, so we develop their ability to reason, ask pertinent questions and discern truth. We teach logic and reasoning, and assist the student in understanding the logical connections between subjects.
High school students want to talk. Rather than suppressing their natural desires for talking and self-expression, we teach them how to present their ideas persuasively in such a way that they may stand up to the scrutiny of their peers. The result is a high school graduate that knows what they believe and why, and they can positively impact the community around them.
Statistical data reveals that classically trained students excel over other students in every subject drawing from a broad range of standardized tests. Cited from the Association of Classical & Christian Schools.
II. Time-tested method and content
First Baptist Classical Academy seeks to develop skills to equip students to be lifetime learners by teaching students that every subject is comprised of certain defining facts with an orderly organization of the information, and a concise and persuasive way in which to present the acquired material.
This method of instruction has been in use for hundreds of years, and is the means which produced most of history’s great thinkers. It is the new “old-way” of educating students with a long history of success. Graduates are familiar with reading, writing, Latin, Greek, logic, math, science, rhetoric, and the fine arts resulting in gracious, knowledgeable, and thoughtful men and women.
III. Christ-centered curriculum
First Baptist Academy teaches all subjects based on the principle that God is the Creator of all that exists, and therefore all knowledge is interrelated and points back to Him.
First Baptist Academy acknowledges that God has given parents the responsibility for the education of their children and that First Baptist Academy instructs those students under the parents’ delegated authority.
IV. Academically rigorous
Students are capable of achieving much more than is commonly thought. Therefore First Baptist Academy has high expectations for student learning. Students learn to love the subjects that their teachers love and cheerfully follow the godly example of their instructors.
V. Nurturing community
First Baptist Academy is a private school community of parents and teachers who share a commitment for teaching children to love learning and growing in godliness. Smaller class sizes ensure that teachers know their students and are better able to serve them individually. Students know they are loved! They are not just another face in the crowd.