The Catholic school exists to cultivate a soil in which the Faith and the love of God might grow. The teachers at St. Peregrine Academy serve this end by helping form in the child lasting qualities of mind and heart through exposure to the true, the good, and the beautiful across the entire curriculum. In the study of literature and the humanities, they reveal to the child the nobility of the human soul, which is ever thirsting for the absolute, and all their effort as teachers is to awaken this same thirst in the child’s own soul. Throughout the various disciplines, they draw the child to rectify and strengthen his natural faculties in harmony with his created good so that he might have the desire and the strength to embrace, freely and with confidence, the supreme Good, God Himself.
Learning is a profoundly human process, one best accomplished through patient, qualitative drawing out, rather than a mechanistic, quantitative filling up of information. Although the school will strive continuously to provide teachers and students with the best possible tools and resources in terms of texts and an integrated curriculum, it will be the obvious love which the teacher has for the subject matter, his mastery of it, and his talent in communicating that knowledge and love, which will spark a fire in the children, fostering in them a lifelong love of learning.
The curriculum for Grades K-8 includes the following subjects: Religion, Language Arts (Learning to Read and Write, English Grammar, Dictation, Literature, Composition), History, Geography, Mathematics, Nature Study and Science, Music, and Physical Education. Fine Arts – music (sacred and secular), poetry, art, and drama – also form an important part of the curriculum. The Academy encourages performing skits, copying and drawing pictures, dramatizing poetry, and singing, along with creative projects and presentations in all subjects.
Formal religious instruction holds the place of honor in the curriculum. Classes include an ordered presentation of the Catholic Faith through the study of Christian Doctrine, the Life of Our Lord, the Mass, the Liturgical Year, Bible History, and the Lives of the Saints. The child is taught to memorize his catechism, and at the same time, to see behind these truths the Face of Our Lord, calling him to a life of holiness in union with Him. Thus the students are encouraged to develop a profound spiritual life in union with the Liturgical and Sacramental life of the Church.
Schools of the Society of St. Pius X place great emphasis on a literature-based Language Arts program. Good literature is essential to the proper, healthy development of both the intellectual and the spiritual life. As Our Lord knew when He chose to teach through parables, stories naturally engage the intellect, inspiring wonder and understanding. Literature presents accurate depictions of reality, including the best and the worst of human nature, allowing students to experience – vicariously yet profoundly – circumstances and scenarios that will inspire them to embrace the good and reject the bad. Through the teaching and discussion of good literature, as well as its profound integration through composition exercises, students gain an openness to the noble realities of the soul, and thus are made docile to the call of grace, which draws them towards the noblest of all realities. Dictation and poetry are a preparation and an extension of this study of literature, inspiring the intelligence and nourishing the memory with beauty. The study of grammar is the handmaid of literature, enabling the child to penetrate the essential of the written word and to express himself with clarity and elegance.
The other subjects studied in the classroom are geared towards the nature of the student learner. Memory work is often required, especially in catechism and poetry. Mathematics teaches accuracy, order, and logic. Science teaches the children about God’s beautiful plan in nature and in the order of the world. History complements the studies about human nature and the world in which we live, bringing to life true heroes and real life consequences. Geography and map skills teach students about the world and invite them to learn about the cultures of the world and how other children of God live their daily lives.
Unifying all the various subjects is Our Lord Jesus Christ, the central focus of St. Peregrine Academy. As the center and final end of human history, it is the discovery of the Person of Christ in all things that gives life to each subject. Here, students are taught that above all else: to see Jesus Christ in all things, so that one day they may restore all things in Him.