Steeped in the Catholic tradition of forming students academically, spiritually, and morally, the Cathedral School has been educating students from all faiths and backgrounds for 100 years. As we move into our next century of providing excellence in Catholic education, we are excited to enhance our students’ learning by implementing the Classical Education Model. This change will provide our students with a complete education that feeds their minds while forming their character.
The Foundation of Classical Education
Classical Education is distinguished by its approach of teaching children how to think instead of what to think. It focuses on the basics: reading, writing, and arithmetic, with a strong emphasis on language and communication. Technology is used as a tool, not the instrument through which students learn. Students develop communication and problem-solving skills through active class discussions and interaction, giving them the confidence to express their viewpoints and the courage to ask questions — traits they will carry with them for life.
Latin is taught beginning in 2nd grade as a grammatical tool. Since many languages are rooted in Latin, students develop a deeper understanding of word origins, sentence structure, and grammar. Additionally, research shows students who learn Latin are more successful learning other languages.
The Classical Method is divided into three phases known as the Trivium: Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric. As a Pre-K through 8th-grade school, ICCS’s students will learn through the Grammar Phase (K-5th grade) and the Logic Phase for (6-8th grade).
Grammar Phase (K-5th Grade) Students in the Grammar Phase use songs, games, and chants to memorize foundational knowledge of phonics, literature, languages (Latin and Spanish), math, science, and history. These activities directly correspond to students’ developmental phases, creating the perfect blend of learning, retention, and fun.
Logic Phase (6-8th Grade) Students in the 6th-8th grades naturally begin to ask questions; as they learn, they want to know “why.” During the Logic Phase, students will use their foundational skills to form independent thoughts, using what they have learned to think and analyze critically. Respectful, well-organized arguments are part of the learning process and exploration is encouraged.
In all subjects throughout each phase, religion is incorporated not only as a class, but as a lens. Classical Education emphasizes truth, beauty, and goodness. God gives us the gift of knowledge and truth. Whether it be through the teaching of Virtues, the viewing of classical works of art, or the discovery of God’s creativity through math and science, Classical Education demands that all subjects be taught as God-breathed knowledge that we are privileged to explore and discover. This approach encourages students to view the world around them with a sense of awe and wonder, strengthens our Catholic faith, and gives us a deeper connection to our Creator.
Please call our Office of Admissions at (901) 435-5344 or email Cathy Armstrong to learn more about Classical Catholic education at ICCS.