Upper School Student Life

Student life at The First Academy is a rich and vibrant experience. Whether it involves cheering at a sporting event, participating in drama after school, the occasional field trip, playing in the worship band, volunteering on a mission trip, leading house duties, going to a dance, attending a student activity, or participating in a variety of clubs, students have ample opportunity to make friends and participate in group activities beyond the classroom.
Participation is a way of life at The First Academy. Explore the options below and on the side navigation menu to see how an Upper School Student can find community and involvement.

Royal Houses

The First Academy Royal House system is comprised of five houses, each embracing a notable Christian figure: Athanasius, Edwards, Elliot, Tozer, and Wesley. These houses establish student groups building leadership, friendships and most importantly faith.

House Deans and Mentors will invite students to honorary house positions. Learn more about the House System on the Royal House page.


Homecoming-FloatEach Fall TFA has Homecoming festivities that include a parade, king and queen coronation, a Homecoming football game, spirit week, and powder-puff football game. The week is a whirl of color and fun. Upper School students build floats for the parade, cheer their class in class competitions, cheer with major enthusiasm at pep rallies, and tailgate at the Homecoming game to cheer our heroes of the gridiron.

If you are an alumnus of TFA, please come and join us. Check out the school calendar to see when this year’s festivities are scheduled and plan on coming out to renew old friendships and make new ones.

Download the Homecoming Packet | Register for the Homecoming Dance Tickets

Student Leadership University

Student Leadership University is a great way to get your students involved in faith based, progressive leadership opportunities. Crafted with four global experiences SLU offers the rules and tools of leadership and gives students a 20-year head start in their ability to think, dream and lead. Start your student’s journey through SLU with SLU101. Registration is on the Activities page usually from November through December.

If you missed the initial email detailing the program, the potential academic credit, dates, times and places, you can learn more about the entire program at StudentLeadership.net.

The First Academy chose to register as a group, allowing for the group discount, permitting TFA chaperones to go along with TFA students. If you are interested in your student attending SLU, please pay the $375 deposit to reserve an opening. Once your pay the deposit, TFA will take care of the rest of the registration process for your student.

Upper School Activities & Groups

Events and activities are a major part of The First Academy experience. These events give students an opportunity to learn cooperation, leadership, the value of participation, work ethic, planning and implementation, and the joy of a job well done.

Missions Trips & Projects

“Service before self is an important element in the mission state of The First Academy.” Yearly, TFA students have the opportunity to participate in missions projects across the world. Recent trips have seen TFA students in Europe, Asia, South America and North America. We partner with First Baptist Church Student Ministries to provide students a rich missions experience.


Clubs provide an opportunity for students to pursue a common academic, social, or spiritual mission or goal in concert with or outside of the classroom. TFA offers more than 20 different clubs in which students can participate.

Senior Retreat

Each year seniors begin the school year with a several-day retreat with the Headmaster and Upper School Principal. This retreat is designed to strengthen the bonds of friendship within the class and focus them on their last year of secondary education. One of our goals is to begin to prepare students for college in earnest. This retreat allows the seniors to set the tone for their class and, in leading by example, for the school. It is a great time of renewal, focus, and fellowship for our seniors.

Spring Musical

Each spring our Fine Arts Department selects and presents a musical for the enjoyment of the TFA family and the community. This production involves student musicians, singers, dancers, actors and technicians. It is a great venue for students to ply what they have learned during the year. It is also a great venue to allow students to learn from performing before an audience.

Past shows have included The Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof, The Wizard of Oz, Oklahoma! and many, many more. Check out the school calendar to see what’s in store for this spring production.

Breckenridge Ski Trip

This yearly trip is available to seniors and represents the final class trip of their secondary educational experience. For the last several years the destination has been Breckenridge, Colorado, which represents a radically different atmosphere for the Florida student. While the focus is on fun, year in and year out, this trip pulls students out of their comfort zone and, for many, provides an opportunity to accomplish things they never possible. It is a confidence-builder as seniors look ahead to the remaining few weeks before graduation and then to college beyond.

Poetry Out Loud

This school wide competition national competition allows students to perform poetry before the school. Students select works from existing poets and then recite them before their English classes. Winners from the class level move on to perform their selected poem before the school. Students are adjudicated at this level and winners go on to perform at regional and then state levels. This relatively new competition has greatly raised the awareness of the art of poetry in our school and is a terrific way for students to involve themselves in the literary arts. Finalists can submit their poems for review online.

Inside Insight

Started by three students in 2009, Inside Insight has grown to be a full-fledged publication. Inside Insight is a repository of creative student essays, poetry, short stories and even paintings, drawings, photographs and general creative art. Copies are printed three times per year, and are available in the Administrative Offices of the school.

Visit the Inside Insight page to download a digital copy today!


Weekly, TFA students have the opportunity to participate in worship of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Students plan and implement this worship experience for all Upper School experiences. We are fortunate to be able to meet in the Student Center of First Baptist Church, Orlando. Speakers from both without and within grace the stage at TFA and a Worship Band comprised of students provide the music for the worship experience.

Humanities Scholar Bowl Competition

Some years ago The First Academy originated the James Madison Constitutional Scholars Competition. Today, it exists as the Humanities Scholar Bowl Competition. This yearlong scholastic event for TFA Upper School students allows the chance to compete for multi-thousand dollar college scholarships and cash prizes as well as personal recognition. The competition culminates with a final game show style event in April.

Due to the generous support of Mr. Walt Meloon and other contributors, The First Academy has had 13 students awarded a total of $33,000.00 since the program’s inception.

  • Facts at a Glance

    • 21,102

      Volunteer hours given by the Upper School Students last year.
    • 1,345

      Alumni since 1986.
  • The First Academy is Accredited by:

    • Florida Council of Independent Schools
    • Florida Kindergarten Council
    • Southern Association of Independent Schools
    • AdvancEd Southern Association of Colleges & Schools
    • Council on Educational Standards & Accountability
    • Association of Christian Schools International