“Christian education takes in the whole aggregate of human life, physical, spiritual, intellectual and moral, individual, domestic and social, not with a view of reducing it in any way, but in order to elevate, regulate and perfect it, in accordance with the example and teaching of Christ.”
Pius XI, Rappresentanti in Terra
Saint Benedict enhances the standard diocesan curriculum through the use of a classical instructional methodology. This method utilizes “great books” to stimulate discussion, enhance literary understanding, and transmit the values of western civilization. In addition, there is an emphasis on the traditional skills of logic and rhetoric. Known today as critical thinking and public speaking, these skills prepare students to effectively communicate and problem solve in high school, college, and a future career. The study of Latin provides students a research-based method for improving their grammar skills, while also providing a foundation for learning a variety of other romance languages. Further down the road, students will be better prepared to take the verbal sections of high school and college entrance exams, thanks to their experience with Latin.
All schools in the Diocese of Richmond take the Terra Nova series of standardized test each year. The Terra Nova, produced by McGraw-Hill, is a nationally normed test used by many private schools throughout the country and based on national benchmarks for the core subject areas. Students at Saint Benedict take the full test battery of language, math, social studies, and science every other year in grades 1, 3, 5, and 7. In grades 2, 4, and 6 students take a shortened form of the test that measures the areas of language and math. Parents receive a copy of the student test scores at the end of each school year.