As a college-preparatory school, The First Academy is dedicated to the continual pursuit of academic excellence. The scope and sequence of the Lower School curriculum is based on national standards for the core academic areas, and the Florida Sunshine State Standards for the special areas including Music, Art, Physical Education and Library.
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The purpose of the Christian Studies program at TFA is to provide an academic environment for students to know God through Jesus Christ and to grow in their faith. It is our belief that God is a personal God who reveals to humanity His nature, purpose in history, and love for all creation. At the center of our faith is the crucified and risen Jesus Christ and our belief that “…the Son of God became a man so that humanity could become children of God” (Mere Christianity, Lewis, C.S. (1943). The purpose of the Bible curriculum is to provide the framework for a study of God’s Word, and allow students to apply Biblical principles and examples to the choices and issues they face each day. The focus of the intentional classroom instruction consists of a) knowledge of the Bible, b) application of Scripture and c) discernment to think and reason from a Biblical worldview. The ultimate goal is to help students formulate a Christ-centered biblical worldview. (Col. 2:8). Bible memorization, as well as the Lower School chapel program, are integral to the Christian Studies Curriculum at TFA.
A TFA Visual Arts curriculum provides students the opportunities for hands on experiences, critical thinking, active problem solving, application of persistence, practice, cooperative learning, and creative graphic expression. The student develops a Biblical World View through the study and application of visual art. Students come to understand that the Lord is actively at work in all areas of life. By focusing on the world’s beauty through the eyes of the Lord, the creator, students are commissioned to demonstrate creativity and harmony. Students develop a variety of methods and forms of expression for their artistic talents.
TFA Performing Arts provides students a stage to reflect the glory of their Creator. Students become proficient in elements including: a) kinesiology, b) expression, c) stage presence, d) stage craft, e) oral communication, f) tone, g) pitch, h) rhythm, i) pace, and j) performance. Students are encouraged to develop a lifelong love of music through articipation in performance and study.
High & low pitches, movement of pitches: low and soft, fast and slow, steady beat quarter notes, quarter rest, rhythm patterns, Carnival of animals-introduction to instruments
As a result of the TFA Language Arts education, students are exposed to a variety of literature: Christian fiction, apologetic writing, secular novels, historically-based literature, historical documentation, prose, poetry, personal narratives, and a wide array of Children’s literature. The systematic targeting of organizational skills, analytical thinking, and editing skills woven throughout the Language Arts curriculum enhances the success of the students. Discernment for God’s Truth is taught formally and informally within the Language Arts discipline. Students evaluate literature and accompanying forms of written communication on the basis of the Truth, and gain a deeper understanding and application of Biblical Truths.
The First Academy’s objective is to prepare Christian leaders who demonstrate curiosity, appreciation and a desire for learning. Students are academically challenged through specific academic standards and benchmarks and the incorporation of a variety of academic activities utilizing: a) research, b) critical thinking/discernment, c) application of knowledge, d) evaluation of performance, and e) solution finding/problem solving. Students actively engage in skills required in written and oral communication applicable for academic, business and creative environments. Students demonstrate clarity of thought, organization, unique voice, and accurate and articulate utilization of the English language. Students become “fearless writers”. The TFA student is proficient within the Language Arts arena and applies the skills and strategies within other curriculum areas.
Mathematics is one tool by which we better understand God’s precise, orderly, and sometimes mysterious creation. As a result of a mathematics education, students will value this tool and develop literacy in the use of mathematics. In seeking solutions students incorporate technology and problem solving skills. Developmentally appropriate instruction challenges and supports students by incorporating abstract thinking skills. Students experience abundant opportunities to reason mathematically and recognize the connection between mathematics to other disciplines. Students express an understanding of concepts using a variety of methods and media. (CHCA, 2004)
As a result of TFA’s Physical Education, students will make informed decisions within a Christian perspective about personal, community, and global health issues. Students receive instruction in mental, physical, social, and spiritual health. Students are encouraged and guided to develop positive self-esteem, to accept themselves and others, to handle stress, to solve problems, and to exercise leadership. By learning about body systems, nutrition, exercise and by practicing physical activities, the students embrace health allied to physical fitness as a lifelong goal. Social health includes working within diverse relationships to share feelings with friends, family, and peers. Spiritual health places Christ at the center of a Christian’s life strong bodies and healthy habits for life long Christian service. Students are encouraged to seek physical, mental, and social challenges in life utilizing faith-informed, responsible choices. (CHCA, 2006)
The TFA Science Curriculum provides an opportunity for the student to develop a grounded Biblical truth measured against his/her observations of the natural world and its processes. Science is a method of inquiry founded upon the order of this natural world and the design of its Creator, and in addition, science is an ongoing process that is limited as an investigative tool. Students become responsible, independent, questioning, creative, and organized learners moving from curiosity to familiarity, then master of scientific skills, processes, concepts, and theories.
Students explore the various disciplines of science through an organized progression of class presentations, hands-on activities, and laboratory investigations that emphasize scientific processes and develop critical thinking skills. Students recognize that science integrates with mathematics, technology, written language, consumer and career interests. Resulting from scientific knowledge, students come to acknowledge personal responsibility as stewards to care for humanity and conserve resources for the glory of God.
Students acquire an awareness and understanding of the world, its people, and its history and investigate ways the past may influence the future. Within the diverse range of Christian perspective students explore patterns of human and environmental interaction through history, geography, political science, economics, and current events aware of the interconnectedness of these disciplines. Just as Luke recognized the importance of firsthand accounts in understanding historical events: Luke 1:1-2, “Many people have done their best to write a report of things that have taken place from the beginning,” so too, student learning in the social studies focuses on primary and secondary sources.
Students apply Christian principles to examine past and present, local, state, national, and global events and explore cause and effect relationships. Students develop an appreciation for a personal heritage and cultural differences as they evaluate their role and responsibility as citizens in God’s creation. Using multiple research techniques and mediums, students collect information then analyze, synthesize, and present this data in a variety of modes, including formal written and oral presentations. The availability of technology surrounds students and aids all facets of the research, learning, and presentation process. Students grow in their ability to make informed, reasoned decisions as citizens in a culturally diverse democratic society in an interdependent world.