Classical Education

A FRAMEWORK FOR LEARNING Raphael School of Athens

Classical School provides an excellent education through an academically rigorous curriculum within a classical education framework. Classical education was initiated by the Greek and Roman civilizations over 2,000 years ago. The core of a classical education is based on the methodical approach, the Trivium, determined in the Middle Ages.

The Trivium consists of the Grammar Stage, the Logic Stage, and the Rhetoric Stage. This three-step approach to learning trains the students in a consistent, repeatable process that can be used for all future learning. While the classical Trivium can be matched with any new learning situation at any point in our lives, this three-step learning process coincides as well with the developmental stages of a growing child.

Beginning at the Grammar Stage, factual knowledge or information about the new area is learned. When children are in the primary grades, or Grammar Stage, of elementary school they eagerly absorb information. At Classical School, this stage is focused on learning the basic rules of phonics, reading, math, English grammar, Spanish vocabulary, and the factual knowledge of the Core Knowledge® content subjects. This knowledge is the foundation upon which the second stage is built.

By about the fifth grade, children reach the Logic, or Dialectic Stage, and begin to think more analytically. In the Logic Stage, the information is analyzed; the “why” is asked and answered. At Classical School, students in the upper elementary and middle school levels spend time asking “why?” after the factual knowledge of a subject is learned. Students discuss how the information fits together in a logical framework and they begin to apply logic to all academic areas. The logic of reading, for example, involves literary analysis, while the logic of science requires that the student learn the scientific method.

The Logic Stage sets the groundwork for high school and beyond when the student enters the Rhetoric stage. At this stage, the students are ready to integrate the knowledge from the Grammar Stage and the rules of logic from the Logic Stage to draw their own conclusions and make connections to related fields. It is at this stage that students learn to express conclusions in a thoughtful and polished manner. Finally, it is at this stage that the students begin to specialize in areas that interest them.


One of the definitive goals of Classical School is to produce well-informed citizens who possess the ability and dedication to engage in the continuing human dialogue that began before Socrates and links our modern world experience with the great thinkers of the past who mentally grappled with the very same human concerns. This pivotal connection to the past is fostered through classical education.