These past two weeks, Jessica and I, but mostly Jessica, have been working on developing the curriculum for the first six years at The King Alfred School. While the school will open with only Year One, Two, and maybe Three, at the end of the month Tom and Hayley are submitting their application to the UK government to become an Independent School. As a part of this, they will be applying to teach through Year Six, therefore all the plans have to be ready.
In truth, Jessica has been hard at work putting this all together and I am occasionally involved at the end of my normal school day. She has crafted what is called a Scheme of Work for each grade we have completed (currently through Year Five). This is a plan for what will be covered in each of the terms throughout the year in each of the subjects: Language Arts, Math, Latin, History, Classical Studies, Geography, Science, Music, Visual Arts, and Christian Studies. When she has this all sorted, I will then edit the Curriculum Plan for the year (this is essentially the broad overview of what the students will learn throughout the year). This way we get to share the work, and we both get to see what the school will be teaching.
Thankfully, the school is using Memoria Press’ curriculum, so we have not had to build it from the ground up. Jessica has had the chance to create their music program essentially from scratch, but most of the rest of our work has been compiling material from Memoria, another school in the UK, and lists of books we love. We have been looking through all of the material for the year, both of us have gotten quite excited about all that we will be teaching and all that the school is planning to focus on. Today, after looking over our completed Year Four plans, I thought both how much I look forward to teaching the material and how awesome it would be for a child to attend this school for all six years.
I consider this work in part to be an act of faith, as our pitch to our church has yet to come. At this point, however, we are both so confident that God will provide. There is a strong sense of peace that this school is our calling and that God wants us there in the future. All that remains is for the practical security that we will have money to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. I have to keep reminding myself, whenever I get a little nervous about the amount of money that we are asking for, that if God is the Lord of all Creation, $10,000, $50,000, or even $100,000 are as nothing to him.
To close, a quote about King Alfred himself:
We discern across the centuries a commanding and versatile intelligence, welding with equal force the sword of war and of justice; using in defense arms and policy; cherishing religion, learning, and art in the midst of adversity and danger; welding together a nation, and seeking always across the feuds and hatreds of the age a peace which would smile upon the land.-Winston Churchill, The Birth of Britain
Certainly an excellent namesake for a school.