Middle School (6-8)
In her seminal oration, “The Lost Tools of Learning” Dorothy Sayers shared a series of insightful and influential observations with her audience, most of which were based around the mismatch of existing curricular focus and the natural human development of students at specified ages. After identifying the areas of concern, she proposed a new system of education – one out of which the classical school movement was born – and laid the foundation for a new order of instruction, and more importantly, a new focus for educators that mirrored the intellectual and developmental strengths of each age group of students.
It is in that tradition, and using that initial wisdom (and the nearly century of instruction and optimization that has come since) that we at Optima Classical Academy are building upon to deliver timely, appropriate, and developmentally sound education for all of our students.
In 6th-8th grade at OCA, students are focused upon the development of logic and reason and the beginnings of oratory and argumentation, both in debate and in essays and other written examples of ordered thinking. The focus on constructing logical arguments matches their natural inclinations at that age to engage in debate and discussion and challenges them to support and defend their assertions and observations.
As in the early grades, OCA seeks to instill virtue at all times and in every lesson, and in our older grade levels, while still practicing self-governance, scholars (that’s what we call our students) will engage the idea of virtue in the abstract for the first time, and will be asked to find evidence of virtue in literature and art, in the lives of great thinkers and scientists, and encouraged to seek it for themselves.