Our Program

Overview of Curriculum (K-8)
The curriculum and pedagogy at CPA – CFA will be based on the classical Trivium, which comprises Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric. Each of these traditional disciplines corresponds to a stage of learning. The Grammar stage encompasses learning facts and background knowledge. In the Logic stage, Socratic questioning, logical argumentation, and discursive reasoning are the main instructional methods. In the Rhetoric stage, knowledge and understanding are synthesized and connections are made between domains.

The stages of the Trivium correspond to periods of schooling as well. During the Grammar stage, teachers will provide a rigorous grounding in the basics of English, history, mathematics, science, art, and music by using the Core Knowledge Sequence developed by E. D. Hirsch, Jr. This rigorous, content-rich curriculum is instituted for grades K-8. Teachers will emphasize observation, memorization, and recitation during this stage as recommended by Hirsch. To complement the Core Knowledge Sequence and to provide a strong foundation for the Logic stage of learning, CPA–CFA will use Singapore math. All three major instructional methods (Core Knowledge, the Trivium, and the Socratic method) emphasize problem-solving, as well as provide opportunities to practice creative and critical thinking, which will be emphasized at all levels and stages of learning.

Along with academics, students who attend CPA–CFA are expected to develop character building skills that allow them to demonstrate their potential in the six core values of the mission statement.  Students learn character development through the school culture and interaction with peers, teachers, administration, and community members.

CPA–CFA will teach students to serve others, as well as encourage ethical behavior by incorporating the mission statement’s core values into the day-to-day curriculum. Students will be taught to treat others with respect and civility. They will study the history of their nation and their world, and learn about the contributions and struggles of various peoples and groups.

Core Knowledge Sequence for Grades K-8  
The Core Knowledge Sequence provides engaging and rich content that promotes critical and creative thinking, problem-solving skills, and specific knowledge to students of all abilities in grades K-8, helping them to compete academically throughout the nation and the world.  The design of the Core Knowledge curriculum provides teachers with ample content and the opportunity to scaffold assignments that help students progress to the next grade.  Additionally, Core Knowledge supports differentiation because the same content can be taught at varying levels of exploration and understanding, which is ideal for English Language Learners, Exceptional Children, and gifted students.  Click here to see a typical Core Knowledge sequence.

Core Knowledge and State Standards
The Core Knowledge Sequence promotes literacy and creates a broad knowledge base to improve reasoning, critical thinking, and written and oral communication skills. The Sequence allows even those whose background knowledge base is limited to build their knowledge and comprehension through the use of fiction and non-fiction texts, teacher read-alouds, and independent reading.

The Core Knowledge Foundation’s motto is “educational excellence and equity for all children.” They offer assistance and materials to schools and parents. CFA–CFA shares their belief that every person in a diverse democratic society deserves equal access to the common knowledge base that draws together its people while recognizing their differing traditions and contributions. Offering universal access to this shared knowledge is a primary duty of schooling, critical to literacy and to the closing of achievement gaps between groups. CFA–CFA chose the Core Knowledge Sequence to provide this general knowledge to a diverse student population because it provides students in K-8 with a coherent, cumulative, and content-specific curriculum.  For instance, Core Knowledge exceeds the math requirements for the state of North Carolina and prepares all students to take Algebra I in the 8th grade.  In addition, the Core Knowledge reading program has a strong phonics base to help students learn scanning and decoding, but it also teaches reading through content. Broad, rich content knowledge is integrated into the many hours devoted to language arts instruction, and reinforced with strong reading and writing across the curriculum strategies in all subject areas.