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 consist 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).
As a result of TFA’s Computer Science Curriculum, students will utilize technology to conduct research, increase productivity, perform basic operations, facilitate communication, and engage in problem solving and decision-making. Students will recognize their personal responsibility in the use and application of technology as a medium of Truth. The TFA student is proficient within the Language Arts arena and applies the skills and strategies within other curriculum areas. Students will understand the benefits and cautions that technology currently presents.
Basic skills using mouse / keyboard, locate letters on keyboard, recognize human creativity is an extension of God the Creator, introduce paint / drawing program tools; technology vocabulary grade appropraite; problem-solving / decision making with applications.
Basic skills with computer components; Identify input / output devices, name, save, print file; use keys for right/left hand; uses of technology in home, school, workplace; create/save pictures; use word processing to create text; use hyperlinks via EBL intranet.
Log on/off from generic account; identify storage devices; input data using correct fingering, shift key to capitalize; name/save file to location; use graphing application to record research results; format text/add graphics to Word document; create slides in presentation application include text / graphics; research uses teacher-selected websites; identify software used for purposes; introduction to desktop publishing.
Proper fingering for letters, shift key, space bar, enter key; terms for peripherals; save/retrieve files to network folder; identify misuses of technology in society, how to safeguard privacy; simple presentation of multiple slides with text and graphics; desktop publishing for publications and displays; websites on EBL intranet; search tools for research; graphing application, spreadsheet; online class project.
Basic understanding of school network; basic troubleshooting skills; scan/save pictures for projects; respect others using computers; content area multimedia product; author multiple paragraph text with Word; desktop publishing for brochures/publications; photo editing uses; web page creation in content area; online project; Internet research; simple programming language; software for varying purposes. Internet safety.
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
Rhythm: demonstrate pulse (individual/group); identify pulse as Ta or I; differentiate between sound/silence as Ta/Rest; experience fast/slow; identify fast/slow as TiTi/Ta; experience meter (2/4, 4/4, 6/8)
Melody: differentiate between high/low; experience up/down; develop a repertoire of songs (folk/seasonal/multicultural/patriotic); experience SM/SML melodies; identify SM/SML scale tones and hand signals; demonstrate contour
Harmony: develop proper mallet technique; demonstrate simple bordun (chord); experience ostinato
Form: experience same/different; identify phrase; identify introduction; identify repeat sign; identify same/different as AB (ABA)
Timbre: identify unpitched percussion; differentiate between vocal qualities (speak/sing/whisper/shout); demonstrate dynamics (loud/quiet); classify unpitched percussion (wood/metal/skin); identify four levels of body percussion (snap/clap/pat/stamp); classify pitched percussion (wood/metal)
Rhythm: demonstrate quarter note/half note pulse; identify notes; label half note; identify rest; label half rest; define tempo; experience meter (2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 6/8); recognize time signature (2, 3, 4)
Melody: demonstrate contour; demonstrate proper vocal technique; develop a repertoire of songs (folk/seasonal/multicultural/patriotic); experience MRD melodies; identify Do and Re scale tones and hand signals; perform MRD/SMRD/SMD/SMLD
Harmony: develop proper mallet technique; demonstrate ostinato; experience major/minor; experience vocal ostinato; demonstrate simple bordun (broken); experience suspended pitch
Form: demonstrate phrase; identify Coda; identify ABC; explore time/space/shape/force in movement; identify bar line/double bar/measure
Timbre: identify forte/piano; identify pitched percussion (xylophone / metallophone / glockenspiel); demonstrate hand drum technique; identify accent
Rhythm: demonstrate pulse quarter note/half note/ dotted half note/ whole note); label whole note; label whole rest; label dotted half note; label sixteenth notes; experience question-answer technique (body percussion)
Melody: demonstrate proper vocal technique; develop a repertoire of songs (folk/seasonal/multicultural/ patriotic); label staff; experience SLMRD melodies; identify D1; identify L1; experience SMRDL1 melodies; identify Fa scale tone and hand signal; identify S1; label treble clef lines and spaces
Harmony: demonstrate proper mallet technique; experience ostinato; distinguish between Major/minor; demonstrate simple bordun (crossover); label canon/round; demonstrate score reading (two-part)
Form: demonstrate phrase; identify interlude; experience extended form; lable rondo
Timbre: differentiate between crescendo and decrescendo; identify orchestral string family; indentify orchestral percussion family; demonstrate accent on hand drum; identify fermata
Rhythm: demonstrate pulse; demonstrate question-answer (body percussion/ unpitched/barred instruments/recorder); label eighth rest; experience acceleranco/ritardando; label pick-up (anacrusis); visualize 6/8; demonstrate conduction in 3; identify triplet
Melody: develop a repertoire of songs (folk/seasonal/multicultural/ patriotic); review treble clef lines and spaces; experience BAGEDC1 on soprano recorder; demonstrate question-answer on recorder (GM/em pentatonic); experience counter melody; identify Ti; identify ledger lines; experience scale; label sharp/flat
Harmony: demonstrate proper mallet technique; experience canon/round; experience ostinato; demonstrate simple bordun (level); distinguish between Major/minor; demonstrate moving bordun; experience I-V
Form: demonstrate phrase, experience rondo; identify A1; lable D.C. al Fine; experience additive form; experience 12-bar blues
Timbre: identify recorder family; identify orchestral woodwind family; identify orchestral brass family; identify pianissimo/fortissimo
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.