An Integrated, Classical Curriculum
Students at Chesterton Academy of Buffalo enjoy a cohesive, content-rich education. A broad exposure to many different disciplines helps students expand their interests and uncover hidden talents. Each year builds on the previous, so that by the end of senior year, our students are articulate, clear-thinking, well-rounded, and most importantly, joyful individuals.
GRADE 9: ANCIENT WORLD
GRADE 10: EARLY MEDIEVAL PERIOD
GRADE 11: HIGH MIDDLE AGES TO THE RENAISSANCE
GRADE 12: MODERN WORLD
Our study of literature is tied to the study of history and the rest of the humanities. Students are first introduced to classical epics of Homer and then exposed to early English classics such as The Canterbury Tales and modern literary renderings of medieval history. Moving towards the modern period, they read Dante, Shakespeare, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Chesterton, and American Literature. Reading and writing go hand in hand, and each student masters the art of the essay in their writing assignments in all subjects.
The history classes at Chesterton Academy form the backbone of our curriculum. The four-year history sequence covers ancient history through the Greek and Roman civilizations, early Church history, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Reformation and Counter reformation. In senior year, students study the modern era, including the American and French Revolutions, the Industrial Revolution, the Communist Revolution, and the Sexual Revolution. Each history course is tailored to provide a colorful backdrop for literature, art, and science classes.
Philosophy, “the love of wisdom,” exercises the brain while it elevates the soul. The ability to understand abstract concepts leads to clear and systematic thinking in all things. We use philosophy to connect the humanities, but also to show its obvious connection to logic and mathematics. We study the development of philosophy from its classical roots focusing on Plato and Aristotle, its dramatic encounter with the early Church, its christening by St. Thomas Aquinas, and its deterioration in the modern era.
Theology, “the study of God,” is the context by which all other texts are studied. The principal theological texts studied are the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. We also read selections from the Church Fathers, Documents of the Church Councils, and Papal Encyclicals.
The study of a foreign language is required of all students for three years. All students are required to take three years of Latin. In 2020-2021 we hope to offer Spanish or Polish as a third-year foreign language elective.
Math and Science
Mathematics is the art of measuring. Science is the study of what can be measured. While math is woven together with the sciences, it is also connected to the humanities. It teaches logic, which is a basic philosophical principle. It teaches balance, which is a basic aesthetic principle. Math at Chesterton Academy covers Euclidean geometry and algebra, all the way through advanced Calculus.
Math Track I: Algebra I, Euclidean/Analytic Geometry, Algebra II/Trig, Precalculus
Math Track II: Euclidean/Analytic Geometry, Algebra II/Trig, Precalculus, Calculus
Science is the study of the physical world, that is, of God’s creation. None of these subjects can be approached without a sense of wonder. It is fitting, therefore, to begin by looking up at the heavens, at the lights in the sky: Astronomy. Then we take a look at the world God created (Geology), the creatures he created (Biology), and the intricate substances of which all things are made (Chemistry). We end by gaining an understanding of the nature and properties of matter and energy (Physics).
Grade 9: Astronomy and Earth Sciences
Grade 10: Biology
Grade 11: Chemistry
Grade 12: Physics
Science Sequence may vary slightly depending on faculty and needs of students.
Music appeals to the ear and the mind, the emotions and the intellect, the senses and the spirit. Chesterton Academy students are exposed to a wide variety of music that they perform chorally several times a year. An education at Chesterton includes music theory, performance, ear training, note reading, and musical analysis. Students perform in grade-level choirs and in the all-school choir concerts.
A complete education must include the development of the creative nature and must provide students with the tools and the technique with which to express their ideas, their feelings and their love. It must also include the analytical skills with which to judge a work of art and exposure to great art. Finally, the mechanical skills and the aesthetic aptitude must be put into the proper context of eternal Truth. A good artist is a complete thinker and vice versa. The influence of the arts in today’s society cannot be overstated, and this is why art is mandatory at Chesterton Academy all four years.
ART HISTORY AND STUDIO ART SEQUENCE
Grade 9: Ancient Art History | Drawing
Grade 10: Late Roman and Early European Art History | Pastels and Colors
Grade 11: Late Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque Art History | Oils
Grade 12: Classical, Romantic, and Modern Art History | Oils
The dramatic arts are particularly powerful in our present culture where movies and the media are often the primary source of knowledge and ideas for many young people. Drama involves the study of how words are brought to life, and in order to successfully do this on stage the actor must learn to see the work as a whole, to understand the author’s vision and the time in which it was written. In other words, the actor must learn to be a good literary critic, philosopher, and historian. Drama ties together the information students learn in the classroom and asks them to actively participate in its performance.
The upperclassmen perform one school-wide production each year while freshmen are encouraged to participate in behind the scenes training.
Academic and College Advising
The Guidance Department at Chesterton Academy seeks to journey with each student, encouraging them to develop their gifts while discovering who they are meant to be. We use a team approach which includes the student, faculty, guidance staff and parents, all working together to assist the individual in finding the next step on their vocation and career path.
Beginning in 9th grade we begin to look at college, career and vocation options in individualized guidance sessions. We invite parents for their perspective and work to support them as the pivital influence in their son/daughter’s life. Please contact our Campus Guidance Liaison, Theresa Updike at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
College Readiness Resources
College Testing Resources
Our staff coordinates on campus visits from various college admissions representatives, encourages individual college visits, facilitates student visits to local college fairs, as well as provides introductions to religious orders and communities. If you are a college admissions representative and would like to visit our school, please contact our main office or our Campus Guidance Liaison, Theresa Updike at email@example.com. College representatives may schedule visits on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during our lunch hours.
In addition to advising students regarding plans beyond high school, our staff coordinates testing for college readiness. The following tests are used throughout the United States to gauge academic readiness for college. Our students are also encouraged to take the CLT exams focused on classical curriculum studies.