The 5th grade Colonial Ball is one of the most anticipated feasts of the year in the K-6 grammar years.
We take the 5th grade Colonial Ball quite seriously around here! Students look forward to this day of celebration as they study their way through American history. The lunch feast includes colonial recipes prepared by many parents. The students engage in colonial pastimes including dipping candles, writing with quill pens, and playing the colonial version of bowling. To top it off, the class "retires to the ballroom" where they dance the day away with the Minuet, the Virginia Reel, and a square dance to "O Johnny."
Later in the spring, the class will take an overnight trip to Colonial Williamsburg—a mini-grand tour of sorts where they will visit shops and tour buildings set in the colonial era.
Learning Requires More Than A Classroom
While the classroom at Rockbridge Academy is a dynamic experience, true learning requires more than just sitting behind a desk. Students at Rockbridge Academy experience history through annual History Feasts and events like the K-6 History Parade or 9th Grade World War II Day. Our science curriculum leads students to explore their world through events like regular Kindergarten Enrichment visits to Kinder Farm, 4th Grade Leaf Identification Days, or the 10th grade DNA lab day at Owen Science Center. Curricular field trips in grades K-6 range from the 1st grade trip to the St. Mary's City to the annual fifth grade overnight trip to Williamsburg, or the 6th grade trek through the battlefield at Gettysburg. Upper school experiences like Junior and Senior Soirée prepare students for social skills beyond high school. Meanwhile, day trips to historical and educational sites in the greater metro area culminate in one of the capstones of the Rockbridge Academy experience, the 18-day Grand Tour to Greece and Italy, where rising seniors reflect on their breadth of classical knowledge while being challenged to interact with the wider world.
Mrs. Stevens, upper school art and humanities instructor, took 13 painting students and a handful of parents to New York City to take in the various forms of art throughout the city. It was 3 full days of touring the city, the museums (The Met and The Cloisters), the 911 Memorial, the New York Public Library, Central Park, Times Square, the financial district, and various cathedrals. We saw the Brooklyn Bridge by ferry, walked over 20 miles throughout Manhattan, conquered the subway system (or at least we didn't lose anyone!), and attended service together at Redeemer East Side.
All the while, Mrs. Stevens, challenged the students to think about what they saw:
- Why was this art created?
- Who was it for?
- How important is the language of symbols?
- Who chooses what a culture values and preserves?
- How does curation impact our experience of art?
- What repeated themes are seen in art?
- What are the purposes of public art?
- How is our creative capactiy evidenced in our worship?
- What is the responsibility of the Christian artist in the Church and the world?