The training up of a student’s soul is enhanced greatly in the study of the Fine Arts.
Whether it be performance or visual arts, students who dedicate themselves to an arts-based discipline are being trained for much more than that art alone. Their very soul is being formed into one that recognizes rhythm, harmony, symmetry, and decorum in such a way that they would, as Plato stated in book III of the Republic, “have the sharpest sense for what’s been left out and what isn’t a fine product of craft or what isn’t a fine product of nature.” Meaning, these students are much more able to recognize when something is as it ought to be, or as it ought not be to a greater degree than students who are not trained in the fine arts.
Not only does the study of the Arts help bring about the formation of a virtuous soul, but its explicit focus on Beauty makes it one of the most enriching disciplines for a Classically educated student. It trains the eye to see Beauty, the mind to understand Beauty, and the heart to love truly beautiful things. Students of the fine arts become critical observers of the world around them, seeking harmony, balance, and loveliness. This training of the heart and soul is a central reason why students at ACA are exposed to the Arts throughout grammar school and are required to take a Fine Art Elective in the early Upper School.
As a school that works to train students up in the way of virtue, Athletics and Physical Education play an important role in that process.
There are certain virtues that are difficult to practice in a classroom, and the field of competition and physical training an arena for that practice. Students are pushed beyond limits, taught discipline, and are forced to practice strength and virtue when they are tired, losing, or pushed beyond the comfort of a typical classroom.
Students also learn to practice the habit of a healthy lifestyle, learn to use and move their bodies appropriately, and enhance their physical ability to complete difficult tasks. This development cannot be done without a strong emphasis on physical activities. To that end, students at Ascent Classical Academy will be exposed to Physical Education classes in the Grammar school and will be encouraged to take part in both Physical Education courses and Athletic teams in the Upper School.