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SCHOOL PROFILE*

Dr. Michael Johnson: Head of School

Westminster Academy ascribes to a Classical and Christian pedagogy. In its first eight years,
this Memphis based school has acquired its accreditation and grown to over 290 students in kindergarten through grade twelve.  The curriculum is rigorous, college preparatory and has its foundation in the ancient and traditional liberal arts. Westminster Academy considers its entire scope and sequence as equivalent to Honors courses.  For this reason, we do not designate individual classes in this way.  There is a faculty to student ratio of 1:9.

CLASS OF 2004: 13 students

SAT SCORES

ACT SCORES

NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARSHIP

Avg Verbal: 628
Avg Math: 586
Avg Total: 1214

Avg English: 26
Avg Math: 23
Avg Composite: 26

1 Finalist Scholar
2 Commended Scholars

A Classical Curriculum Explained
The Classical curriculum required of Westminster Academy students offers to colleges and universities high school graduates uniquely qualified to engage in intellectual debate and exploration. The foundation of the Classical curriculum is an immersion in Socratic dialogue through the seven liberal arts. Emphasis is placed on a dialectic approach that consistently leads students to a deeper examination of each subject. Concurrently, students are trained to evidence their progress both in written and in oral presentation. In addition, there is profound weight placed on each studentís understanding of the interconnectedness of all subjects and the imperative to synthesize them.

In particular, the logic (Why Logic?) and rhetoric (Why Rhetoric?) departments at Westminster Academy are grounded in the traditional (ancient and medieval) verbal arts. The emphasis is on Aristotelian theory and Latin practice. The pedagogy is one that models the Ciceronian theory, imitation, and practice. The primary aspects of the curriculum center around the traditional concepts of Dialectic, the Topics, Aristotle's categories and syllogistic proof, the Five Canons of Rhetoric, and Stylistic Tropes and Schemes. The elementary exercises of the progymnasmata are continued, culminating in declamations and theses. Theses are presented and defended orally before the faculty and students once during the sophomore year and twice each during the junior and senior years (see Rhetoric Presentations). Because of these unique offerings, the specifics of the curriculum are delineated below. These are required courses. Also of note is the beginning of Latin study (Why Latin?) in the second grade which is continued as a required course through the ninth grade. Elective Greek and continued Latin Studies are offered from tenth grade on.

L O G I C

I

 

II

Year

7th grade

 

8th grade

Title

_______

Traditional and Categorical Logic
_________________________

 

Categorical to Symbolic Logic

________________________

Texts

Traditional Logic - Memoria Press

 


Intermediate Logic- Canon Press

 

 

R H E T O R I C

I

II

III

Year

10th grade

11th grade

12th grade

Title

Intro to Rhetoric / Ancient Rhetoric

Invention and Arrangement / Medieval Rhetoric

Style, Memory and Delivery / Modern Eloquence

Texts

Gorgias, Phaedrus- Plato; On Rhetoric- Aristotle; Ad Herennium- Cicero

De Inventione, De Optimo Genere; Oratorum, Topica- Cicero

Over twenty historical and modern orations to be rhetorically analyzed.


*The "School Profile" is sent with the transcripts of seniors as they apply to college, it gives a brief overview of the school, its curriculum and standardized test scores.  Also included is a list of the courses offered in the 9-12th grades.  These courses can be found under Upper School Texts.

Westminster Academy : 2500 Ridgeway Rd. : Memphis, TN 38119
Phone 901.380.9192 :  Fax 901.405.2019