Curriculum Structure & Overview

Foundational to the curriculum of Hagia Sophia Classical Academy is the belief by the entire faculty that everything we teach (all subjects at all levels) is grounded in the understanding that the LOGOS (Jesus Christ) is the source of all Truth. With that pervading Christian worldview at the heart of everything we do, the curriculum of Hagia Sophia Academy focuses on:

  • Mastery of the classical languages (Latin and Greek)
  • Discipline of the maths
  • Understanding of the great works of Western civilization
  • Study and practice of the arts and sciences

The following is a plan of curriculum from Early Grammar through Rhetoric (Grades 1-12). It is to be understood that – due to the very nature of human lifelong learning intermingling with the inclination to formalize – the scope and sequence, as well as the curriculum, are to be considered living, organic documents. As a result, at the discretion of the Headmaster, in consultation with fellow faculty, this plan may vary from time to time, especially in the early years when growing enrollment will require combining certain classes. All students who graduate from Hagia Sophia Academy, however, will exceed the requirements of an Indiana Honors Diploma.

The Academy places each student into one of three areas of education: Grammar, Dialectic and Rhetoric. The students are placed in a certain Level (Grammar), or Form (Dialectic and Rhetoric)  based upon their individual academic, social and spiritual abilities and needs. Note, however, that many school functions and activities combine all Forms. Older students mentor the younger ones, and younger ones often lead the way in enthusiasm and unreserved delight. Everyone together, from the youngest to the oldest, participates in prayer, worship, and service to others.

Hagia Sophia will also sanction after-school elective guilds offering drama, sports, languages, folk dance and arts as volunteers avail themselves.

The Structure of Hagia Sophia Academy’s Classical Forms and Levels

Ages 6-8+ Ages 9-11+ Ages 12-14+ Ages 15-17+
Early Grammar
Late Grammar
Level I (1st yr)
Level II (2nd yr)
Level III (3rd yr)
Level IV (4th yr)
Level V (5th yr)
Level VI (6th yr)
Form I (7th yr)
Form II (8th yr)
Form III (9th yr)
Form IV (10th yr)
Form V (11th yr)
Form VI (12th yr)


Grammar: Levels I-VI (Grades 1-6)

Studies in these years take advantage of the impressive abilities and ease with which the young are able to memorize and learn by rote. At this age, memorization and the acquisition of new skills and information is pleasurable on the whole. Students are taught many of the tools they need for school and life. An excitement for learning and a sense of the satisfaction of working hard is cultivated in the heart and mind of each student. Daily prayer, study of the Scriptures, and stories from the lives of the saints integrate Christian worldview, understanding and practice with academic growth.

Dialectic: Forms I-III (Grades 7-9)

While there is certainly overlap between the forms, the dialectic age is characterized by contradicting, answering back, liking to trick or “trip people up” (especially one’s elders); and by the propounding of conundrums. Its nuisance value is extremely high. This, then, begins the age of reason marked largely by the questioning of what the student originally learned by rote. Dialectic students go back over many of the same topics they were introduced to in the Grammar Form, studying them in greater depth. These years evoke a mix of familiarity and strangeness, of “I remember studying this!” and “I never thought about it that way before.” While some of this might look like rebellion, the clash of ideas is simply a part of the growing up of the man and woman. Cultivation in virtue and character, while training the young men and women in the proper use of reasoning, guides them – as with a compass – and prepares them for the rougher waters to come.

Rhetoric: Forms IV-VI (Grades 10-12)

The Poetic age (15–17+ years old) is popularly known as the “difficult” age. It is self-centered; it yearns to express itself; it rather specializes in being misunderstood; it is restless and tries to achieve independence; and, with good luck and good guidance, it should show the beginnings of creativeness; a reaching out towards a synthesis of what it already knows, and a deliberate eagerness to know and do some one thing in preference to all others. At the Rhetoric age begins the synthesis of the ‘black and white’ rote of the Grammar age, the clashing contradictions of the Dialectic age, and the newly developing struggle to realize one’s place in the cosmos. It is here that knowledge blossoms into understanding and the teacher/mentor helps the student to make “sense” of the prism of ideas tracing back the colors of all knowledge and understanding to the light-source of the Logos. Academic, spiritual, and moral studies culminate in the Senior Thesis, when Rhetoric Form VI students eloquently explain and defend their learning before a faculty jury as well as an audience of teachers, students, and community members.