The secondary grades build on the foundation laid during the primary learning. Students in the seventh and eighth grades continue developing their understanding of subjects while beginning to apply the principles of logic across the curriculum. In eighth grade they take a separate class in logic to further their foundation in this core skill. Music and studio art continue for all students in seventh and eighth grades.
Many opportunities to grow in rhetorical skills are provided to students as they develop their confidence to write well and communicate before an audience. All students will also take Latin through their eighth-grade year.
In high school our instructional focus shifts to rhetoric, by which we mean the clear and persuasive expression of ideas. The classroom curriculum itself is organized around three “schools” – Humane Letters, Math and Sciences, and Arts and Languages.
Review our Secondary Course Outline
Humane Letters: This is a combination of history, literature, theology, philosophy, speaking and writing that is the heart of our program. The issues discussed in Humane Letters classes are ones that relate to every area of life. The course begins in the ancient world (9th grade), moves through the classical and medieval periods (10th grade), modern European history (11th grade) and finally culminates with the literature, history, and civics of the United States. During 11th and 12th grades, students also take a two-year course in classical rhetoric for more in-depth training in spoken and written expression. The primary text used here is Aristotle’s Rhetoric.
Some works read for ninth and tenth grade Humane Letters include: The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Aeneid (all complete texts); Plato’s Republic, Thucydides, Herodotus, Plutarch (selections); Boethius’ The Consolation of Philosophy (complete), Beowulf (complete), and Dante’s Inferno and Purgatorio (complete texts). In the eleventh grade, Humane Letters students read complete texts of: Paradise Lost, Pride and Prejudice, A Tale of Two Cities, The Abolition of Man, and Brave New World, among others. In the twelfth grade, students read, among other works, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, The Roots of American Order, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Killer Angels, and Citizen Soldiers.
Math and Science includes arithmetic, geometry, advanced math (including precalculus, statistics, and calculus), history of science, as well as life and physical sciences (which include biology, chemistry, and physics). Math and Science are sometimes difficult to integrate with Humane Letters, but can be readily coordinated with it. Science classes approach the subject from a “humane” perspective by studying the historical and philosophical roots, as well as including more “traditional” methods of study and lab work.
Arts and Languages teach fine arts, music, and foreign and classical languages. Students take four years of foreign language study, either classical or modern. One of the foremost goals of education is to perceive the world rightly. This cannot be done without background in fine arts, so all students at Veritas high school take music and art history.