Grades 9-12: Thoughtful Expression
A student’s Dominion education culminates in the upper school, which focuses on mastering the art of rhetoric, or artful expression. As students become more concerned with how others view them, the upper school equips them to communicate with poise and eloquence. At this level, the program builds upon the knowledge gained in the lower school and the understanding that was pieced together in the middle school. To these skills, the upper school program helps students add the art of persuasive communication.
Centered around the core courses of humanities (integrated history & literature), mathematics, science, and Christian studies, the upper school curriculum at Dominion trains the student not only to master the fundamentals of a given subject, but also to appreciate the interconnections between the disciplines, and thus see the inherent wisdom in the Created order.
Eloquent Expression and Understanding
The skill of applying wisdom in our learning is fundamental to completing the Classical Trivium. Knowing facts and reasoning logically cannot be put to good use unless one can wisely communicate the truth behind the facts and ideas. Students are trained to speak carefully and purposefully, and to write effectually and gracefully, in order to influence the world around them. All subjects require that the student engage with the material in a thoughtful way.
Knowledge of the Breadth of the History and Literature of the Western Tradition
As students study the primary sources of intellectual development, they critically examine the events and mindsets of the time from a biblical perspective. The humanities approach allows for seamless integration of literature, philosophy, theology and history. Through the Harkness Method, the students begin to truly participate in the “Great Conversation” in their own right.
Excellence in Mathematics & Science
Students gain a thorough training in the mathematics sub-disciplines from Algebra and Geometry through Trigonometry and Calculus, as well as sciences of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Course-work emphasizes both the practical experience of math and science in day-to-day life, as well as the theoretical foundations of math and science that explain the God-ordered reality we see in the world.
Formal Study of Music, Art, & Language
Beyond the traditional core subjects, our students train in the practice of beauty through music, art and language. Believing that a well-rounded education includes an appreciation of the arts, we offer courses in classical guitar, chorus, musical theatre, art and art history, and Spanish for upper school students.
Ability to Align Thoughts & Lives with a Christian Worldview
As students comprehend the interconnections among disciplines, their appreciation for the God-established order in the world deepens. This appreciation leads them to more clearly formed convictions on matters of truth and falsehood, right and wrong, and wisdom and folly. At Dominion Christian School, we teach the expression of these convictions in written and oral formats, as well as in a life well-lived to God’s glory.
Upper School Humanities Reading List
The upper school humanities program is rich, providing a broad foundation of theology, literature, and primary historical documents. Since we “begin with the end in mind,” we encourage families of students of all ages to peruse the full upper school literature list, which reflects the full scope of what a Dominion education can produce. Review the full upper school humanities reading list by clicking HERE.
The Harkness Method, developed at Phillips Exeter Academy (one of the oldest and most prestigious independent secondary schools in the nation), has revolutionized instruction in the schools that have adopted it, including Dominion. Rather than passively receiving information from their teachers, students must thoroughly prepare for each lesson and then engage fully once they enter the classroom. The method nurtures each student’s sense of investment, agency, and ownership in the academic environment while the teacher acts largely as a facilitator, providing guidance and redirection as the students collaboratively seek truth together as a group after a deep reading of an assigned text. Dominion employs the Harkness Method extensively in the upper school while training middle school students to use the method when they get to our upper school.