Social Media Feed
2.23.2018 at 3:48pm
Lower School March Newsletter fb.me/9bzxRMTgt
2.9.2018 at 4:36pm
Special thanks to Major General Jason T. Evans for inspiring our Varsity Basketball Team as they embark on the... fb.me/8C1ChKMvb
"I am so grateful for a school that is focused on giving kids their best every day. Having our son attend Virginia Academy has been a wonderful experience. The academic challenge here is much greater than the private schools he has attended in the area. We were recently presented with a challenging dynamic, for which I was extremely pleased with the support and speed for which the teacher, principal, and even the headmaster intervened to provide. This level of caring and dedication from the teachers and administration helps both our child and our family know that we've chosen the right school. Thank you, Virginia Academy!"
Jon W. Lindberg, MBA, CAE, CEO
American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine
A study by the U.S. Department of Education revealed that 80% of an individual's ability to learn is acquired by the age of eight. Therefore, an early academic foundation stressing the "3R's" in learning basic skills, study habits, and motor development is most essential. Such an academic stage is set in our preschool and elementary grades and is blended with Christian citizenship and character development.
Each school day is started with prayer and the pledges to the American flag, the Christian flag, and the Bible, followed by a Bible session. A unique Scripture memory program is utilized in each grade. The highly regarded "A Beka" curriculum includes Bible, phonics, reading, social studies, language, handwriting, spelling, mathematics, poetry, and science. Students are taught reading by a superior phonetic approach. Math concepts are learned through a variety of methods such as repetition, manipulatives, and “hands on” activities.
The lower school teachers at Virginia Academy seek to provide a structured environment in which children can learn more about God's world from a Biblical perspective. Students not only learn about God’s wonderful world but also about how they can use their understanding of it to be a blessing to Him, themselves, and others. The following provides the core of our lower school academic programming. For more detailed information, please check out our lower school program guide.
LOWER SCHOOL SUBJECTS
Stories from God's Word and the teaching of principles of Christian living begin each school day. Students are encouraged to "hide the Word in their hearts" through Scripture memorization. A special chapel program is held each week for all students to help teach God’s Word, encourage godly character, and build a foundation of Biblical understanding, which leads to faith in Christ.
The goal of the lower school reading program is to build upon the excellent phonics training received in the preschool. Much of the pupil's reading in social studies, science, and other content subjects requires locating, selecting, appraising and organizing ideas in order to understand and thoroughly digest printed material. Consequently, comprehension skills, advanced work analysis and vocabulary development are stressed to help the pupil increase his ability to read narrative and informational material independently. Such preparation is important for building a solid foundation for a lifetime of learning and critical thoughts.
English grammar, spelling, penmanship, poetry, and creative writing are taught with a goal of preparing children for effective communication of God’s gift of language whether written or spoken. Students develop a strong ability to understand sentence structure and paragraph formation at the basic level; building a strong foundation for excellent writing skills, which will serve them well throughout their education.
The learning of math facts and measures is an integral part of each day's math activities. Foundational concepts, as well as problem solving, are stressed. In the primary grades, critical thinking skills are built through word problems. Students learn how arithmetic plays an important role in their everyday lives and developing strong math skills in order to be great stewards and managers of life’s important resources.
God has revealed Himself through His Word and through creation. Each year the students build upon previous knowledge of creation by studying energy and matter, space and the universe, the earth and its cover, and all living things. All science is taught from a Biblical perspective. Students are able to marvel in and investigate the wonders of God’s magnificent creation and learn about how they can use their knowledge to be good stewards and keepers of it.
History and Geography begins with a basic knowledge of God’s plan for us through “The Children of the World” series and Our Great Country (Map studies, Famous Americans and Places) In addition to teaching our children the facts of American and World History as well as integrating geography/map skills, each student will be taught to love America and appreciate our Christian heritage while also being encouraged to use their knowledge of our past and present to be good contributors to society.
This is the study of our body and how we are to care for it. God’s Word has something to say about how we are to treat it. This course explores proper health, safety, and manners at the primary level. It transitions into the circulatory system, nutrition and physical fitness, digestive system, our inner spiritual makeup, and interpersonal relationships in the upper grades.
Virginia Academy offers a variety of enrichment to accompany the A Beka curriculum to provide a well-rounded education. Students receive at least one class of instruction a week from teachers who specialize in the area of world language studies (currently Spanish), Art, Chorus and/or Music, Computer/STEM education, and physical education. Physical education is offered twice weekly while others are offered once a week. We use a semester-based approach to scheduling to increase enrichment opportunity while safeguarded core subject instruction.
The Art program for lower school is designed to develop artistic skills through visual art production while managing basic creative factors. This is done primarily through the experimentation of image building techniques and creative stimulation. Students will work with the following techniques throughout the school year: watercolors, tempera, acrylic painting, clay modeling, crayons, markers, color pencils, oil pastels, and mixed media creations.
Our health and physical education program at Virginia Academy is designed to develop a desire in students to live a life of fitness and honor the Lord through taking care of their physical bodies. Instruction focuses on students’ manipulative and motor skills while teaching rules, strategies, and game play of a variety of sports. Students will gain understanding of important fitness concepts through the instruction of the body’s physiological response to proper diet and exercise.
Music & Performing Arts
Virginia Academy recognizes and supports all of the fine arts and the value they add to the education of all students. An impressive and encompassing musical program called for in Psalm 95, and in 2nd Peter provides the foundation for our cross curriculum approach to our classes. We desire for our students to appreciate and develop such abilities for the expression and furtherance of the glory of God.
Beginning with our Kindergarten students, music is added to reinforce, through songs and poems, the strong phonetic language arts program. Songs also support Bible, social studies, science and history. Identification of music symbols and their meanings, the families of the orchestra, and the members of each family, vocabulary such as forte (loud) and piano (soft) are explained and added to known songs. Note values are introduced, as well.
Continuing with the concept that education is layered, the first through fifth grade students have more advanced materials to aid them in their musical development. Theory, music appreciation, vocabulary, sight-reading, and repertoire building appropriate to their grade levels, prepare them for performing songs featuring rounds, as well as, two and three part harmonies. Visual, tactile and auditory materials, along with games, make music a time of enjoyment and learning. Productions throughout the year provide the students a means to develop confidence in public speaking, stage presence, and teamwork.
The culmination of the work and effort made by each student comes to fruition and is witnessed in graduation performances, and in major stage performances, which have included Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, Cinderella, Sing a Song of Christmas, and Go Tell It on the Mountain.
Instrumental Music begins in second grade and prepares students for the future study of band instruments by establishing basic musicianship skills and exploring instruments. Following the renowned Orff process, the program also reinforces singing and movement skills. Second and third grade students use the recorder as their focus instrument, while fourth and fifth graders use the xylophone. Music theory is experiential, allowing students to connect what they already know in order to reinforce basic notation. This course is graded primarily on participation and responsibility/care of instruments.
World Languages & Cultures
In today’s global society where over 7,000 languages coexist and influence one another, learning a second language is an amazing asset in life-not only on a professional level but on a personal one. As students study cultural differences around the world, they are encouraged to develop an understanding, respect, and even appreciation for the diversity of humanity. Students are required to learn about other cultures and begin foreign language studies beginning in kindergarten; preparing them for a lifetime of greater social awareness and ability to contribute to society and further the Gospel.
Spanish is the first foreign language offered at Virginia Academy. Students - kindergarten through 5th grade are required to take this beginner’s language course designed to explore the multiple facets of the Spanish language and culture. This course is divided by themes through which the students will explore vocabulary, Spanish culture, and basic grammar. There will also be an introduction to daily life communication and conversation. Students will be introduced to the language and culture in an environment that will be both challenging and fun. Because this is a beginner’s language course and is primarily enrichment, children are graded on their participation and communication skills in the classroom.
COMPUTERS (Introduction to Computers and Scratch programming K5 thru 5th grade)
A solid knowledge of technology in today’s world is not only paramount for personal success, but it also serves to compliments the learning process and increases productivity in many areas of life. We desire for our students to develop a solid foundation in the use of technological devices , which can be Students will learn about computer hardware/software and develop a working knowledge of computer terminology. They will use the mouse and become familiar with the keyboard. They will perform basic computer tasks in a windows environment. They will troubleshoot minor computer problems and perform proper shutdown procedures.
Scratch is a programming language students can use to program and share interactive media such as stories, games, and animation. As students create with Scratch, they learn to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically. Students will learn mathematical and computational ideas that are built into the Scratch experience. As students create programs in Scratch, they learn core computational concepts such as iteration and conditionals. They also gain an understanding of important mathematical concepts such as coordinates, variables, and random numbers. As students work on Scratch projects, they also learn about the process of design. Typically, a student will start with an idea, create a working prototype, experiment with it, debug it when things go wrong, get feedback from others, then revise and redesign it. It’s a continuous spiral; get an idea, create a project, which leads to new ideas, which lead to new projects, and on and on.
Introduction to Lego Mindstorms EV3 3rd thru 5th grade
Students will build programmable robots using Legos. They will learn basic programming concepts pertaining to basic robotic movements.